Quelab is having some upstream mailserver problems right now, so if you just got home from the Albuquerque Maker Faire, and are sending us an email. it might bounce or fail please try again in a few days or hit us up on facebook! Or Drop by for open hacknight Tuesday 7pm-10pm
Last month we celebrated our 6 year opening day — Just last week we celebrated our 6 years since our official Grand opening! It’s hard not to feel like a proud parent watching it grow and get better all the time!
Take a stroll with us through the good times.
Iconic moments from Quelab’s last 3+ years (slideshow)
Some older iconic moments at Quelab. (slideshow)
In our our early days we had less than 1,400 square feet of space, we are now pushing 10,000 square feet with a huge selection of tools and equipment we never dreamed we would get to acquire. But it is not the tools or the space that is what makes Quelab so special — it’s the members, the supportive friends, and the whole Maker Movement that is what makes the magic happen!
This 4th of July, many of us near Albuquerque are living with the fresh memory of the Dog Head Fire — 17 thousand acres just went poof! — a few miles out of town, it’s now considered 95% contained, but as hot and fierce as it burned, it’s important to continue looking for fireless ways for people to celebrate. Since 2012 I (Adric) have collected ideas for sending out to friends, and Quelab friends.
I know my mother, who supported the responsible use of fireworks to entertain us kids, hated anything that went boom or whistled. (and if it flew in the air, it was pretty much forbidden by our county firework laws) This naturally made me love and lust for anything that whistled, boomed, or flew in the air. But her lessons on knowing where to safely set up fireworks, how to set up buckets and hoses and all to make sure we could contain anything that did start to burn, and other general safety ideas did stick with me. I’m not in favor of banning personal fireworks, but i do plead that everyone who uses them please be careful and responsible!
On with the Fireless Stuff!
Some of these can be combined as entertainment before and after the fireworks (no matter if it’s a big stadium display or your own small home one).
All ages ideas:
A bazooka that does not explode — and despite the fact it sucks, it throws a pingpong ball or paper ball pretty far!
Smoke ring cannon, with dry ice fog
Salt paint fireworks, (might be fun to setup some blowgun targets with paintballs and see if salt will stick to the “paint”) …
Fourth of July slime
Dish brush painted fireworks
Make pretty giant stars out of nothing but paperbags and glue
Bubblewrap machine gun
On the food front we have:
Alton Brown’s Favorite 4th recipes
Stained Glass Jello
Red White and Blue Layered Drinks for kids.
And Red White and Blue Drinks for adults.
Pizza Box Solar Smores!
Exploding water bottle bb/blowgun/pellet targets.
Liquid nitrogen can be pretty hard to get, and surely needs a little more safety, but here is a build for liquid nitrogen and water rocket launcher.
This one is for home made caps/exploding targets, it’s not entirely fireless, the compound does explode but there is no sustained flame.
#needs work section:
Glowing fountain (blacklight), this one was a bit of a failure, but i suspect the addition of some yellow highlighter marker ink, and a brighter blacklight could probably make this work. But its good to know others are also on the hunt.
Link to 2015’s Fireless Fourth, which also links back 2014, 2012, 2011!
Hi there, Im Adric. I love fireworks, Big, Small Loud/Smok!! But this year like several in the past, I have very much enjoyed collecting ideas and links for Kids and adults to do in places where fireworks are either not legal, not safe or not advisable. Some of these ideas can be used to entertain away the long hours it takes to get dark for the big shows, Or your own fireworks.
As always I don’t claim the rights to any of these ideas, (unless otherwise noted). But I do encourage people to share this post Share it on your social media, share it to your clubs and school groups. Its all a fun part of learning to DIY!
-This one is a fun color changing drink: starts off with a purple(blue) liquid, and mix in a clear (white) and you get a pink(red) right in front of your eyes.
-Red, White and Blue Patriotic Parfaits
-OOPS, this is a repeat from last year! sorry, but its still fun! Not technically a firework, but still cool, and I think some skybloom fireworks look like jellyfish, make a pseudo jellyfish!
-Or How about DIY Origami Fireworks:
Steve spangler show’s both the yeast, and the potassium iodide version of Elephant Toothpaste (in a Red White and blue motif):
-Funfetti or sprinkles to paint teeny firework paintings?
-Glowsticks in old refilled water bottles, then pick your favorite ball. and night time bowling!
-15 second paper screamer.
-This one requires liquid nitrogen, and there is a danger frostburn or bottle fragmentation, but i think the risk is pretty low.
-Smoke ring launcher (on the subject of cold stuff, this can be done with dry ice)
-Diy stomp rockets, 2l soda bottle, and an old innertube,
As always if if you do play with traditional fireworks keep a garden hose handy, and one or 2 buckets of water. and if your doing fountains, you might consider launching them from a ladder or other stand to get them up off the ground. It makes the fountains look more impressive, and more of the sparks are out before they can reach dry grasses or other combustibles.
Have ideas that have not been covered? send me a note and I will add them! Or collect them for next years post! adric at quelab.net
On Sunday morning in January 2015, a member’s project finally took flight from Quelab, and caused a bit of a stir. Gonner was test-flying his solar balloon, and it managed to get away from him. The tetrahedral contraption (known as a Tetroon) broke free and floated free in the skies above Albuquerque, prompting local residents and a news-team to call the United States Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration. KOAT-7 (ABC) came by to interview the creator, and put the story on the 5pm and 10pm news on 18 January. Click here for the News coverage (apparently, the 10pm coverage included a leader about UFOs in Albuquerque over the years).
I have always been into affordable entertainment and gadgetry. So when I finally found a source to buy a Google Cardboard, (a fancy name for a box you wrap around your smartphone to turn it into a Virtual reality viewer), I jumped at the chance. (one of our members had already lasercut one but the tricky part was finding strong enough lenses. figured id buy one, and then work my way around to finding ways to duplicate it. )
Its funny I knew exactly what it was physically, and was prepared to have some fun with it. But I must say my first 15-20min experience with the default app google put out first, It blew away all my expectations. Sure the cardboard rig was clumsy, the magnet switch was finicky, the pupulary distance was not quite right, and my big head and mismatched perscription eyes were less than ideal for it. but it was just a toe in the water. I could always modify(cut, tape, shape) the cardboard, or even lasercut my own wide enough to fit my face, (which I later did). but even withh all its warts, it was a very fun, “You gotta try this” thing. I love watching people when they realize they can actually look around, or fly around, or see the world with interesting camera effects.
But what amused me the most about google cardboard is, its really just a stereo-viewer, These things have been around since the 1800’s and those
view masters disks, full of Disneyland I remember so well (much better than actually visiting at age 5). But with the update of Accelerometer/gyroscope, and real time image rendering. (these contraptions we call smartphones are amazing bits of tech we take for granted every day). So from day 2, i decided i needed to retrofit Google Cardboard, into a classic stereo viewer. So i tracked down a small pocket travel stereo photo viewer and out of junk cobbled together a phone holder for it.
This was fun, and I liked it, but wanted to go back even older, so i kept hunting for an older wooden stick style of Stereoviewer/Stereoscope
“Holmes stereoscope” by User Davepape on en.wikipedia – Photo by Davepape. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
One of the many things I’ve always dreamed of Quelab being, is a place various clubs and organizations which are inline with the interests of Quelab and the member interests could meet at. Aside from the now semi defunct 2600 meeting’s this has not been realized as well as I hoped. But the idea was kicked off in grand fashion by the visit of the New Mexico Radio Collectors Club (NMRCC) A dedicated group of collectors and restorers and repairs of everything from vintage console radios, to the tabletop tombstone ones, all the way down to pocket transistor, and some members are into the HAM aspects too.
The club held its annual potluck, swapmeet, meeting, Show and tell, and club auction, there were some beautiful radios. They also had an AM transmitter connected to a XM radio playing classic 1920’s-1940’s tunes, for one of the restored console radios.
More can be seen here on our flickr feed.
Thank you everyone Who came to Ignite 15, As part of Tech Fiesta, it it was great to see you all, and your support for the NM Makers group!
Below is a slideshow of some of the highlights. Images can be clicked on to go to the descriptions.
Or you can see them all here on one scrollable page https://www.flickr.com/photos/quelabnm/sets/72157647074549889/
Created with flickr slideshow.
See you this weekend at the ABQ Mini Maker Faire? http://www.albuquerque-minimakerfaire.com/
On this date in 2010 We signed the lease on the first location that Quelab opened. We knew at the time it was not perfect, but with less than 7 people onboard we knew this was a community we needed to grow before we could even dream of perfect.
Quelab 1.0 was a quaint little place, a pretty old converted house (previous to us it was used as a flower shop), less than about 1200 sq foot of usable space (billed as 1400), it was quirky, But it let us have a space to “build it and see if the come”. It was not the dozens of people we hoped for but a small trickle. Our first tasks were building workbenches and some shelving, moving in some tables (most scrounged), chairs. By our grand opening party on August 12th (note that date Its when Quelab is going to observe its birthday this year with some Cake and Icecream with the members.) We had some bits of equipment, and we were just starting to make a name for ourselves.
Can’t say the next 4 years were easy, most of the time we were broke and being propped up on donations, and there were many times where we could have just closed the doors rather than digging deeper, We grew at a slow pace, and there was little chance we could reach out far and fast enough to survive on memberships alone. And none of us were good at grant writing, or experienced marketeers.
To survive we turned to what we knew, how to tinker with geeky things and thought we we should share that with the world. So we put on events, LED’s, Attraction, March of the Robots, Sound of the electron, Eco MAcGyver, Air&space, HauntedLab
Swapmeet’s, Steampunk Crafting, Hacking_Chocolate and more. We started hosting the Albuquerque Mini Maker Faire, and the Ignite Talks meetings, We setup booths at Tedxabq, Ace, and various other spaces. We have been toured by Caleb Kraft of Hackaday, we have won several Contests (Inventables, Instructables).
In November of 2013 after more than a year of hunting, Quelab was able to move to the grand Quelab 2.0 Campus we are in now. With over 340 people in attendance at our @nd grand opening (that is a huge increase over the 24 or so people who made it to our first one.) And a membership in excess of 50 members we are still on rocky waters but we have come a long-long way baby!
Thank you Albuquerque Makers, and supporters everywhere!
Happy Birthday Quelab!