Using Eagle CAD PCB design Software

This class will cover Schematic capture, PCB design, and CAD File generation.

When: October 26, 2013, 8:30 am to noon

What you should know before coming to this class: You should be somewhat familiar with electronic circuits.

What you should bring with you to the class: You should bring a laptop with the free version of CadSoft Eagle PCB installed and running on it.

What you will leave the class with: After the class you should have the ability to capture a electronic circuit into a schematic, build new components, layout the physical printer circuit board and generate the files needed to have a PCB manufacture make your board.

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Getting Started with Ruby

Ruby is an open source general purpose interpreted programming language intended to be easy to write, read and learn. In this introduction to Ruby, we will focus on basics of the language, with a bit of object-orientation and Test Driven Development.

When: September 28, 2013 9:00-11:00 a.m.

What you need to know before coming to this class: You should be familiar with Unix-like systems (Mac OS X or linux, for example). You should also be able to create and edit text files.

What you need to bring to the class: If possible, you should bring a laptop computer with Ruby preinstalled. We suggest using Rvm (http::rvm.io) to install Ruby.

What you will leave the class with: A knowledge of the basics of Ruby, what it’s strong points are, and how to learn more about programming with Ruby.

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Introduction to Arduino class (Arduino 101) Saturday September 21, 2013

Workshop 88 is offering our introduction to the Arduino platform at our makerspace in Glen Ellyn. This class is for anyone (member or non-member) who wants to learn how to get started with the arduino microcontroller, regardless of experience with programming or electronics. Class attendees will learn how to configure their arduino programming environment, how to design simple circuits for interfacing with the arduino and how to write simple programs to control the arduino. What is Arduino, you ask? From their home page:

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

If you need to get an arduino, please see the Workshop 88 Arduino Store. Sales from that store are fulfilled by amazon.com, and help support Workshop 88. Alternatively, you can order Arduino systems from several places, including Adafruit and Sparkfun. Both companies have lots of tutorials and howtos to get you started with Arduinos. If you’re looking for a local source to get Arduinos, try Trossen Robotics.

What you’ll get from this class: If you choose the registration + materials option, we will have an arduino and assortment of electronics components for you to take home after the class. (The Workshop 88 Arduino Store is by far a cheaper route to get supplies.)

In this class you will learn how to start programming in the Arduino environment including interacting with the inputs and outputs of the Arduino.You should bring: a laptop with the Arduino environment downloaded and installed.  Please contact us (info@workshop88.com) if you have any questions.

Image credit: By Linuswiki (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Jameco build night

Workshop 88 will have another Instructables night on Thursday, Aug. 22nd. This is electronics based and we have already received the booty from Jameco for it:

http://www.instructables.com/community/August-2013-Build-Night-with-Jameco/

Please note that the Grab Bag of Electronics Components has been renamed as the 1 Pound Bag of Crap (1lbboc). It has some odd things like an ISA bus connector, Extra-Wide SCSI and bunches of other junk.

Everyone come out and see what we can do with this!

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Git: Source Control Basics with Doug Bradbury

git logAre you tired of manually making copies of your code? Do you ever find that everthing is broken and wish you could go back to a time when it all worked again?

Come learn how you can use the open source git application to get control of your source code. You’ll never lose code ever again. You’ll be able to hack away with confidence knowing that you can always get back to your last working version.

This hands-on class will help you get git setup on your computer (be sure to bring one!) and teach you the basic concepts.

 

About the instructor:

Doug Bradbury is a software craftsman at the Chicago based 8th Light. He has 6 years of professional experience using git everyday.

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#THOTCON 0×4 Badge Hacking Contest Results

The cornerstone of the THOTCON 0×4 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!

Below is a video demonstration of his work:

The project can be cloned from git by this URI:

https://github.com/justfalter/badgesniff.git

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 0×4.  If you have a project you couldn’t submit before the deadline last week we’d like to post your work here and archive

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THOTCON Badge Hacking Contest Begins!

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 0×4.

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:

  1. Video Demonstration of your Badge Hack
  2. Any applicable schematics for your hack
  3. 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:

  • Best overall badge hack (make us say uhh!)
  • 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.

Register here for the contest!

 

 

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‘Twas the night before Thotcon…

Pics on FlickrHere are some pictures from the space the night before Thotcon.  Quite a few of the boards had been poorly soldered during manufacturing, and we had to do hot-air rework on them to get them to work.  Rudy was the hot-air magic man, but there were a bunch of people working to process all the badges.

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