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.
Two members of Workshop 88 went to hear Massimo Banzi’s talk on Arduino, open source hardware and more. The talk was part of Ge Garage’s Idea Week. He gave some great stories of the philosophy, joys and problems of putting the Arduino out as open source hardware.
Among many other insights, he described how the fashion industry – with no intellectual property protection – made a lot more money than the entertainment and music industries with all their DRM efforts. He told of the value of the many iterations of Arduino and how a primary metric of its success was the time between a new user opening the box and getting a useful result. We learned it was named for a bar where they held many design meetings. It was a great talk.
Rachel also scored some excellent networking time with Massimo, including connections that will be very useful in her upcoming trip to the Rome Maker Faire. Jim brought home a newly autographed Arduino that had run the dollhouse at Rachel’s New York Maker Faire booth.
(Thanks to Drew Fustini from PS:1 for the lead picture!)
Pursuing her passion for making technology accessible to girls, Rachel Hellenga inspired a whirlwind project to automate a dollhouse. After the smoke cleared, the one-room dollhouse she and Jim W and Bill P built was a miniature version of – and is now displayed within – the “Circuit Castle” she’s showing at the New York Maker Faire. Read her Make Magazine blog post about it.
The Dollhouse Automation System powering it is a collection of small, cheap microcontrollers in a simple network allowing sensors (push buttons, motion detectors, light sensors, etc) in one part of the house to control actions (lights, motors, sounds etc) in another part of the house.
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