The first EMS Make-O-Rama was held last Saturday, Feb 23 from 11AM to 4PM. We had a good turn out. We had a good portion of our membership turn up to help out either by showing off projects or talking with visitors. We had a ton of snacks, drinks, pizza, and good conversations. A few people were able to solder electronic components to a circuit board for the very first time, which is was exciting. Austin set up a GoPro camera to take time lapse footage of the event. You can check it out below. Clif also took some photos during the event and uploaded them to the EMS gallery. Check them out!
The Eugene Public Library hosts events for young kids on Sunday afternoons. A few months back, Eugene Maker Space was invited to host one of these events at EPL. We accepted the offer and on February 3, 2013, six members from EMS went to the library to run the event.
The age group for these events is typically ages 3-7, plus parents of course. We thought that building and launching paper rockets would be a great event for this age group. It's also relatively inexpensive for us to host since we already have two available rocket launchers and the rockets themselves are made from just computer paper and masking tape.
Eugene Maker Space Invites You to Visit
Make-O-Rama: “Tooling Up”
Our Semi-Annual Show & Tell/Open House
February 23, 2013
11:00 to 4:00
687 McKinley Street, Suite #2
www.eugenemakerspace.com for more information
Making awesome tools to make awesome stuff!
Come see what we’re building now:
Laser Cutters! Vacuum Tables! 3D Printers! Welding Booths!
Eugene Maker Space now has its name on the sign out front of the building. We are easier to find than ever before.
Open Hack Night was busy tonight. I did not catch what everyone was doing. I did catch that Michelle was gluing together a puzzle box, Ben and Kassie were installing Raspbian on their new Raspberry Pis, Celeste was prototyping an LED-illuminated yo-yo kit for girls to make, Taper was wiring up a circuit to drive some Nixie Tubes (?) from an Arduino, Austin was printing a plastic fan guard and then a special-purpose Wii holder on the MakerBot, and I was making the wiring harness for my laser cutter project.
We've been getting really good turnouts at Open Hack Night lately. It must be the lovely weather. (-:
This is a video of our cat with special dietary needs using her RFID feeder. It is made from an hacked cd-rom drive and an Arduino with a RFID reader attached. It also uses a PIR (Passive InfraRed) sensor to make sure it doesn't close on the cat. It has actually saved us considerable money as the food is very expensive and the other cats love to eat it, so both a fun and very useful project!
Austin shot this short video of James' hexapod.
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.