Austin gave me this video of my interactive LED diversion being interacted with.
There are a lot of cool Arduino projects floating around Eugene Maker Space. You can do a lot in a hurry with an Arduino, and programming is so easy it almost feels like cheating! Here are a couple simple projects I've done.
I had less than a day to design and build this prototype from scratch and fly to California to demo it. Normally I would design and build up a custom board, program a micro in assembly, make a 3D model of the mechanical design, and machine a custom case. None of that was an option, so I rushed out and picked up an Arduino from Radio Shack and decent looking junction box from Home Depot. Even having never used an Arduino before, within a few hours I had a completed product. A few LED's and an ink jet printed face plate and the result was remarkably professional. Unfortunately due to the commercial nature of this, I can't show too much of the final result.
This application is a perfect fit for an Arduino. There are 4 LED's that flash and fade to give user feedback. There is a button input, as well as a light sensor. An op amp and trim pot are used to amplify the output of the photocell. There is also a relay to switch a line voltage device. This is soldered together on a proto shield sitting on top of an Arduino Uno and powered by a 9 volt battery.
Here is another example project. This is an Arduino Mega 2560, which has a lot more I/O and memory than the Uno. Connected to it is an 16x2 LCD display from Adafruit. What is notable about this display is it has an RGB backlight, meaning you can change the color to anything you want, including fading from one color to another. This is also a 'negative' display, so the characters light up instead of the background.
Eugene Maker Space will not be having Open Hack Night next Tuesday, December 25th, because it will be Christmas.
We will be back on Friday, December 28th, and probably on Tuesday, January 1st, 2013.
Open Hack Night is every Tuesday and Friday night from 6 to 8 PM (major holidays excepted (-: ). Come to the shop. Bring your project and/or see what other people are working on.
I haven't posted here about the laser cutter in quite a while.
It's coming along. I'm nearly done with the mechanical assembly and ready to start on wiring and electronics. The gantry, the movable beam in the center of the picture, is installed. The laser carriage, which rides on the gantry, is also installed. The table has been installed for a while, though I'm going to replace the plastic eggcrate table surface with an aluminum eggcrate.
The EMS annual membership meeting and board elections are coming up very soon. The meeting will be held on Saturday, December 8th at 1:00 PM. The meeting will take place at Eugene Maker Space. If you want to vote in the board election, please make sure you have your dues paid up for the month of December and you filled out the membership form and waiver at some point in the last year. We will have an online voting system so if you can't make it to the meeting you will still be able to cast your vote. More details on this to come!
I have been writing Arduino software to drive a stepper motor. I am planning to grow this into a complete control program for the laser cutter I've been building. Today I got some interesting things working, and I made some videos and uploaded them to Youtube.
It's just about time for us to hold our first annual meeting since Eugene Maker Space was founded! The meeting will be held on Saturday, December 8th at 1:00PM.
At this meeting we also have to elect our new board. There are currently five positions on the board and all members in good standing will get to vote to fill those slots. We are working on an electronic voting system that will allow you to vote online in the event that you cannot make it to the membership meeting or otherwise do not wish to attend. This should help us reach our quorum so we can officially elect the new board right away. More details about the electronic voting system will follow, but the most important thing to note is that the polls will close on Saturday, December 8th at 2:00PM. That is exactly one hour after the meeting starts. This will give candidates some time to speak their peace before the votes are all cast.
Do you think you might want to run for a board position for 2013? Please do! This is your chance to step up and make a difference in this community. If you think you want to run for a board position, please send an email to the discussion list or talk to some members in person to let us all know why you want to be on the board and what you can bring to the table. Another member must nominate you for a board position. If you wish to nominate someone for a board position, please send an email to the discussion mailing list with a subject line of "NOMINATION - Member Name". That will make it easy for us to keep track of nominations. Nominations will close on November 30th, so make sure you get all of your nominations in before December 1st.
We encourage all members who are interested in this voting process (or are interested in running for a position) to familiarize themselves with our current governing documents. You can review the most recent version of our governing documents on the EMS wiki:
If anyone has any questions about any of this, feel free to email email@example.com and one of us will help you out where possible.
Our open house party is tomorrow from 11:00AM to 4:00PM at 687 McKinley St. Suite #2 in Eugene. We will have projects to show and tell, soldering kits for people to learn soldering, food, and more! If you've been looking for an excuse to finally come check out Eugene Maker Space to see what we are all about, this is the time. This event is open to anyone and everyone so bring your friends and family.
Recently some EMS members have been learning to weld. Unfortunately, the shop hasn't been very welder-friendly. We have the one welder but we really didn't have a good place to weld. The only place we are able to plug in the welder is in the far back corner of the shop, and the only surfaces we really have to weld on back there are the concrete floor or the wooden workbench. Neither of those are very good options. Another problem was that we didn't have a good way to protect other members from being flashed from the welding arc. We had no safety screen. And still a third problem was that we had all of our welding gear separated into a few areas of the shop, so there was never a good way of knowing just what exactly we had or where it all was. Well, fret no longer!
After visiting HeatSync Labs in Arizona a couple of weeks ago and seeing their awesome welding booth, it really got me motivated to make something in our shop that would enable our members to weld more easily, and more safely. The problem was making welding readily accessible but not taking up too much space in our already crowded shop. After some thought and planning, I managed to cobble something together that I hope will work out well. I mounted a custom curtain rod in the corner of the shop near the 240V power outlet and stuck two 6' x 8' welding curtains on it. Now we should have enough room to store all of our welding gear in or near this small 6' x 5' square and be able to weld simply by pulling back the welding curtains and securing them shut. The curtains also allow us to keep that large square open when the booth is not in use. This way, the welding booth doesn't take up a large square of the shop at all times.
The welding booth is not yet completed, but I hope to have it mostly completed by Friday night, before the big open house on Saturday. I still need to do the following:
- We should be getting a decent welding table tomorrow to put in the booth (Donated!). Now we will have a surface to weld on!
- Move the welder into the booth wherever it makes sense.
- Put some adhesive Velcro on the curtains so we can attach them together easily and quickly.
- Cut the white shelf on the wall so the curtain can close all the way to the wall.
- Replace the zip ties with actual curtain rings.
- Install some kind of ventilation to get the fumes moving out of the shop.
- Put up some signage about general usage and safety in the welding area.
I'm sure there is more to be done than just that, but those are the top priorities for now. I hope this booth will work out well for everyone. It shouldn't take up much space when not in use but it should provide easy access to the welding equipment whenever one has that urge to fuse metal together.