Public access night, where you can work on your projects and meet the community

Community Meeting Sunday March 6, and a few of our upcoming events

Come to Quelab for our next community meeting and potluck on Sunday, March 6!  Potluck at 4 PM, meeting at 5:05 PM.

All community meetings are open to members of the public. Please bring a potluck dish if you’d like to join us at 4 PM.  You are welcome to stay for our hack night at 7 PM as well! We hope to see you there!

The agenda can be found on our wiki here. If you would like to add anything to the agenda please let an officer know.

Upcoming and Ongoing Events:

Quelab is open to the public for hacknight every Sunday and Tuesday from 7 PM to 10 PM, this is a great time to check out Quelab, have a tour of the space, and meet some of the wonderful folks in our community of makers.

Locksport initial meetup on Friday, March 18, 7 PM – 9 PM. Open to any level of locksmith/pick tinkering, no experience required. If there is enough interest a Toool locksport chapter here is a possibility. Free for members, $5 donation requested for nonmembers.

Join us for Arduino Wednesday on March 9 and March 23, 6 PM. Come work on your Arduino projects at Quelab!

Tabletop Game Night happens at Quelab every second and fourth Thursday, 6 PM – 10 PM. Come on down March 10 or March 24 and try a new game or bring an old favorite. New players welcome!
New Mexico Radio collectors club meets at Quelab on Sun, March 13, 1 PM. Quelab members are welcome to sit in on the meeting at no charge. More info at http://www.newmexicoradiocollectorsclub.com/

See even more events on the Quelab calendar! Have a great March and thanks for supporting Quelab!

Quelab — A Place to Make Things — A Community of Makers

[SERIES] Introductory Electronics Theory

New member Greg Crabtree will be hosting Introductory Electronics Theory for all who are interested. These lessons will focus on the basic principles and concepts (Ohms Law, etc) that make all electronic circuits work. This is to support whatever hands-on project you’re working on at Quelab.

These lessons will start as a kind of open study group, meeting every week, with both group and individual sessions. We’ll start with the basics and work up from there to whatever topic you are interested in. You do not need any electronics background to get started, members can join the study group at any time, and you don’t have to attend every session. If you already know the basics, but want to learn more about an advanced topic, please ask and we’ll dive into it with you if we can.

We’ve set up an Eventbrite event for this class, and you can register here: http://quelab-electronics-study-group.eventbrite.com

About the teacher: Greg Crabtree has a degree in Electronics (1986), another degree in Renewable Energy (2006), and has worked professionally for nearly 30 years in electronics as a TV & Radio broadcast engineer, recording studio engineer, marine electronics tech (ship radar & navigation systems), avionics technician, and solar energy systems. Greg has also been a high school teacher, a musician and music teacher, and a private pilot.

A special visitor to HackNight!

Last night’s hacknight had a special visitor: Sonny Jeon, the developer behind grbl – “a free, open source, high performance software for controlling the motion of machines that make things and will run on a straight Arduino.”  It is loaded on the Arduino running our Shapeoko 2 Mill (thanks, #INVENTABLES!) as well as many many more machines worldwide.

He emailed us, then came in to donate some CNC equipment & brewing supplies. Sonny had great discussions with Aaron & Morgan & others, and he even updated the Arduino running our Shapeoko to the latest version of grbl (freshly released in the last day or two)!   This new version is much faster, and we can already see the difference in movement of each axis.

…Sorry, Walter, but none of us thought to get a picture, durn burn it! Instead, please accept this sketch from his blog (a cropped version is also on his github page):

Come Meet Tritium Labs

Greetings out there, makers and hackers!

Tritium Laboratories (aka H3 labs) a fellow SpaceFed hacker/makerspace from El Paso, would like to pay us a visit. Unfortunately the time that works best for them is Saturday 26 October: a date we are not scheduled to do much of anything on.

They want to come up and get a feel for what kinds of things we do. So [Alfred] was thinking we could have an impromptu hacknight on Saturday.

We could do some Mame Cabinet planning, 3d printing and whatever else you all would like to work on.
So come out Saturday at 2pm to hang out with the H3 people and work on/show off something cool.

See you all there!

Updated: Power is Back (was off)

Thru a problem with PNM, the power is out and it will be at least Monday(They said maybe Wednesday) before the power is back on.

So, Sunday Night Hacknight is canceled, along with the organizational meeting for Hacker Scouts. The BoD still needs to decide if we are going to have the General Meeting.

Please check here (this website and the Quelab Facebook page) for more information on Tuesday Hacknight, the Stilts Class, and Sunday General Meeting.

We will have the Hacker Scouts organizational meeting at the Sunday Hacknight on 10 March at 7:30pm.

We are very sad about this and will be dealing with PNM to resolve the problem. We are really sorry about the inconvenience.

***UPdate! Stilts class is still on, the loan of a generator and a inverter/battery power to still do it!

** Update 2: Power has been restored**

Techmas 2012

This year, we will be continuing our annual ‘Techmas’ theme for December’s hack-nights. What is Techmas? They’re open craft nights; you can come and make decorations from old hardware, fabricate hand-made gifts, or plan out the schematic for your incredible light-display.

So, here’s the unofficial and rather free-form schedule of Techmas Events:

If you don’t see a particular craft you’re interested in doing, come on down during our hack-nights on Tuesday and Sunday evenings from 7-10pm, and utilize our workshop space to craft your own project. All we ask is that non-members pay a $5 donation to keep the lights on.

We wish you a happy techmas, and a hackish new year!

A little vacuum forming. 3

Lastnight during hacknight we played a little bit with the small (5×5) vaccumformer (DentiFormer) i picked up off of craigslist. Its heater coil is burned out, and we didn’t have any of the proper thermoplastic sheets for it, but hunting around the lab we were able to find some various disposable meal containers, and water bottles and milk jugs to try. we used the heat gun in loo of the heater working, it was all just trial and error, but by the end of the evening Morgan had done 2 pretty good vaccuforms (they didn’t get photographed). but here is some of our playing with it.

These and more photos Here!
Im going to work on replacing the heater, and look for better blanks. so it may be a few months, but what would you like to try vacuforming? I think there is great potential for vaccuforming things off of 3d printed moulds! Sometime soon I’m going to try to make a steampunk pendant that holds my bluetooth headset. If threes enough interest we could always build a bigger one!

What is a Hacknight? Why should I show up? 1

Its been on my mind for a while that we have been running hacknights here at Quelab about twice a week for over 2 years, And we still get questions as to what “Hacknight is?”

Basically its part OpenHouse, part generic project work time, and part social time to talk about ideas and projects with other folks with diverse backgrounds and experience. (Members can arrange to get in any time, but it helps to get a good mix of members and non members)

During hacknights we invite members and nonmembers alike to come down and start/work on projects, teach, learn, inspire, share resources, and explore.

Another point of contention is what hacking is, We could call it Makenight, or Inventnight, or Craftnight. But we are a Hackerspace, Harking back to the days before hacker meant computer criminal! Back to when people were tinkering and experimenting, building actual radio shacks in their back yard and then building radios to put in them. When we say Hacking/Hacker we are not talking about the news style sensationalists whom are taking down websites or stealing identities and creditcard numbers. We are talking about grass roots inventors, the folks like Steve Wozniak whom built the first apple computer in a garage!

In the mid 90’s RadioShack started to scale back all of the tinkering bits, the diodes, the transistors, the battery packs, and even worse the kits. Folks stopped making and playing and building things and started just buying whole things with tamper resistant screws, glued shut things, with software licenses that made it illegal to see how it works. We aim to be the antidote to that.

Radioshack had a slogan kinda like “You have questions, We have blank stares!” we aim to be the opposite of that, you have questions we are here to help. You have a dead toaster? Come find out what makes it tick(maybe even fix it). You have an idea for how to build a winter planter for starting your garden seedlings, we want to help you with the tools and others to help. You want to build a robot, or a interactive sculpture, or learn to build a home security system, or even just experiment with light, or heat, or cameras, or rockets, recycling, or candy, or yarncraft… Just about anything you can think of we want you to think of ways you can use Quelab to make that happen!

Here is a quick list of some (but by no means complete list of hacknight hacks!)
Fixing: laptops, power plugs, appliances, glasses, cameras, furniture, bikes, cars, printers, locks, silverware, phones…
Making: 3dprinters, casting, soldering, robots, kits, trailers, signs, rugs, props, frames, ion generators, jewelry, steampunk crafts, cameras, fireworks, toys, puzzles, tools, shelves…
Hacking: leds, textiles, tastebuds, toys, game consoles, tvs, monitors, robots, locks, puzzles, gadgets, cameras, linux, microcontrollers, light-bulbs, rockets, bikes, solar, batteries, phones, games, typewriters, musical instruments…

Here is a link to a slideshow of some of the above mentioned hacks over the last few years, to hopefully inspire you!

So with that said, come on down, our Hacknights are currently Tuesday 7pm-10pm and Sunday 7pm-10pm! Our hope is to grow with your help to the point where we can have hack a lot more Hackdays and Hacknights! What would you build?

Lightpainting workshop Sunday May 27th

Quelab wants to invite you in to play with lightpainting. (basically long exposure photography in the dark, where you can use led/lights/phones/lasers/glowsticks to litterally draw in four dimensions!

Cost is just our usual hacknight fee + a fee for a memory card(which you get to keep with your digital creations on it) $8 (until we run out of cards)

So show on up about 8:30 let us knwo you are here to try out light painting, feel free to bring lightup devices. (led keychains, lightsabers, blinking bouncy balls, lighup fans or whatnot) We will have 2 DSLR’s on hand but if you want to bring another one or some tripods (I’m hoping I can find my tripod’s locking plate) feel free to do it.

Sorry for the late notice on this, if folks who can make it think this is good fun we will try and schedule a bigger better one later when we are all less busy.

For further ideas on what light painting is here are some examples. http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=light+painting&l=commderiv&ss=2

Here is a small animation of a few of our light painting ideas.

Arduino April


Source: arduino.cc

Quelab is offering an introductory course on making things with the Arduino microprocessor development platform in April. Classes will be held Wednesday evening, 6-9:PM, April 11, 18, and 25. Cost is $65 ($40 for members), and includes an Arduino Uno development board, prototyping board, and support electronics like LED’s, switches, transistors, and wires. Class participants will granted admission to the lab, including all hacknights. Members will be present to help you with your Arduino projects and coursework.

Bring in a computer to use as your development host. Almost any fairly recent LINUX/Windows/Mac netbook, laptop, or Desktop should support the Arduino IDE. The first session, April 11, will be dedicated to getting the Arduino development environment running on your computer, while the remaining sessions will take you through several tutorials and project examples.

The course will be limited to the first 15 students to sign up.
Registration is closed. Class is full.
See http://arduinoapril.eventbrite.com for details.

Join the Forum discussion on this post

Course Notes

Parts are in for projects, so come to Sunday or Tuesday Hacknights to get started on your build.