Somewhere in the depths of downtown Glen Ellyn, hackers and crafters alike have come out of the woodwork to conquer Rachel Hellenga’s latest project: creating LED roses out of duct tape.
Rachel is developing a kit for her website, Conducti.com, to help people combine technology and crafts. She requested beta-testers and lucky volunteers Rudy Ristich, Mike Emerick, and me were peeled away from their projects to tap into their crafty sides. Girl Scout Leaders and educators alike have been clamoring for Rachel’s electric rose how-to guide, so the pressure was on for us to come up with fast solutions to any problems which would arise from her guide. We followed Rachel’s step by step tutorial for the rose-creation from her blog post for Makezine to ensure all directions were coherent and effective.
Throughout the process, several problems arose for our two all star techies, who quickly solved the problems by applying creative solutions. I suffered from a few misreadings and ill-placed conductive tape pieces. One difficulty arose from keeping the two AAA batteries (which were connected with a tightly rolled piece of paper) together to maintain a strong connection. Rudy used his tech-pertise to offer an ingenious solution through the use of rubber bands and duct tape.
The use of duct tape provided a new learning opportunity; the tables were turned as I was able to contribute to troubleshooting by assisting my hacker friends in the art of duct tape application which I had gleaned from my many years of experience in paper crafts. In the end, we all finished with fabulous electric roses and were able to help Rachel make necessary changes to her tutorial before it’s published in a kit.
There’s been a lot of activity around amateur radio at Workshop 88 in the last few weeks.
The biggest portion of that was organized by Eric S. and Paul R., who had a table at the WCRA Mid-Winter Hamfest. Andrew M. helped with the table as well, and Tom M. and I also stopped by.
Paul and Andrew man the table at the WCRA Mid-Winter Hamfest
We’ve had a lot of electronics gear donated over the last year, and most of it just wasn’t being used. We were able to sell quite a bit of it to people who will actually get some use out of it, and raise some money for Workshop 88 in the process.
In addition, we’re talking about organizing some sort of study session or workshop to help people get their start in amateur radio. We have several very knowledgeable hams who are members, and a number more who are interested in getting their license for the first time.
If you’re interested in radio or want to find out what it is all about, come out to a public meeting night at Workshop 88 (every Thursday at 6:30) and introduce yourself!
The 1st post is a bullet list of chapter 1’s main points. Feel free to join in and comment about such things as “mechanism” and “policy”.
In chapter 2, there will be some code examples to try.
It would also be fun to speculate where we can go with this. One thought is to create a WS88 project (maybe even a PCB) that provides a new physical computer interface. Like a capacitive-touch-slider to control features such as volume.
Two of our members, Paul and Eric, recently took initiative to rework the electronics lab. The lab has already seen quite a bit of traffic in less than two weeks of being operational. Big thanks to Paul and Eric for all of their hard work and the materials that they provided for this remodel of one of the most important rooms at Workshop 88!
Workshop 88 co-founders Jay Margalus and Russ Lankenau recently gave a talk titled “Open Hardware and the Future of Games”. In their presentation they talk about a lot of things including Workshop 88, Raspberry Pi, open hardware initiatives, games as culture and much more. It’s always awesome to see what has come out of the work done by Workshop 88 members!
Russ is the current president of Workshop 88. He and Jay run an independent game company called Lunar Giant as well as a coworking space in Mokena, IL called SpaceLab.
The cornerstone of the THOTCON 0x4 design was to create a platform for a variety of electronics and radio projects. We’d like to showcase projects people have centered around this year’s AVR based PCB. The winning entry to our contest is called badgesniff and comes from Mike Ryan (@justfalter). Mike’s work is a powerful use of the radio on the badge. Not only did Mike create a custom firmware for sniffing the 802.15.4 spectrum via the badge but also a client application for saving the data to pcap files and instructions for setting up the environment on Ubuntu!
Kudos to Mike for creating such a useful tool with great documentation and instructions. His submission certainly surpassed our expectations.
We’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to explore the badge for THOTCON 0x4. If you have a project you couldn’t submit before the deadline last week we’d like to post your work here and archive
We’ve all had a full week to recover from the THOTCON and B-sides activity here in Chicago and it is time to get back to hacking. The badge that was distributed to THOTCON attendees was designed to be hacked and reused in your projects. In the spirit of badge hacking we’d like to announce our first badge hacking contest for the attendees of THOTCON 0x4.
The contest will start today and will run until 11:59 pm CT on Monday, May 27th 2013.
The rules are simple: In hacking there are no rules.
Although there are no rules your submission must be reproducible and should include:
Video Demonstration of your Badge Hack
Any applicable schematics for your hack
Any code and compile instructions
In the interest of collaborative learning any requested information about the badge for the purpose of the contest will be shared with other contest participants. All contest submissions will also be archived on the official badge website.
There will be several categories we will judge against, you’re automatically entered to each category:
Most hackerish hack (what can you hack with the badge?)
Most unorthodox hack (does your badge now dispense cat food?)
People’s choice (the tubez chuze)
The prizes will be notoriety and some 3D printed randomness courtesy of the badge crew at Workshop 88.
The astute observer will notice that the pin outs on the side of the board fit the Arduino footprint for access to many of the ATMEGA128RFA1’s peripheral systems and compatibility with most Arduino shields. The badge can be easily reprogrammed via the unpopulated ICSP header with (at least) the following methods:
If you’re looking to hack your badge over and over again we have a few left over prototyping kits we were selling during the con and you can get them for $20 plus shipping by emailing us here.
These include all the prototype rails and headers you need to use arduino shields plus the passive components necessary to power the badge from a wall wart or other external supply. The power system components are not necessary to reprogram or hack the chip.