Projects which the members have shared

2019 Quelab’s Fireless Fourth links and ideas!

Smokey the bear Hostile firework stand takeover.

Greetings Folks!  Here we have the ‘2019 Fireless Fourth’ Science and entertainment demos, that are selected from across the web all year, I believe ive been pushing these out to the friends of Quelab for 8 years now!  The goal is to let people learn while having fun, and letting you explore a little science while saving some money, and if you like me live in a very dry, high fire danger place, perhaps you will get a few people an alternative or a supplement to a personal fireworks display. 

Well at the bottom I will link you back to the previous years Fireless  Fourth posts. And as always please share this around! 

On to the new Links! 


Bald Eagles with Oreos.  

Bomb Fizz Strawberries, 

Take a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and baking soda,  and mix, then with either freshly washed strawberries, (the tarter the better within reason)  dip the strawberries into the mix and tap to dust off the excess. Now eat them. What does it feel like in your mouth?   -invention made by Adric 

Light/Sound demos:

How to make Lightning! (simple homemade electrostatic builder)
link to post 

Sidewalk Chalk Rockets!

Wax paper dye Resist, fireworks! 

Hurricane in a Jar 

Paper Poppers,  or Bangers! We did this one our first year at Quelab,  but here is a nice version with 3 types, which works best?

Try this with Wristband glowsticks for your own skybloom firework simulator!

Digital Fireworks:

Have a Hue light & android?  You can synchronize it with firework sounds.

Augmented Reality fireworks, with ability to snap pictures.  (android) 

Send fireworks,  (Iphone)


Summer science fun for kids.

More fun Summer science

Probably not a good idea:

Someone decided to scale up an elephant toothpaste experiment.   And it was amusing. 

Quelab’s Fireless 4th Links from 2018 

Quelab’s Fireless 4th Links from 2017

Quelab’s Fireless 4th Links from 2016

Quelab’s Fireless 4th Links from 2015 

Quelab’s Fireless 4th Links from 2014

Links from 2013

Quelab’s Fireless 4th Links from 2011

Please Share this list, anywhere you might find bored grownups or kids!   And if you have further ideas/links email me at adric at, put “Fireless Fourth” in the subject.   

Fundraiser at Color Wheel Toys November 6

Quelab is holding a fundraiser with Color Wheel Toys! Tuesday November 6 from 10 AM to 6 PM. Note this is at Color Wheel Toys (3418 Central SE), NOT at Quelab! Be sure to mention “Quelab” at the checkout counter (or print out a flyer and bring it with you to show when you checkout) and a portion of your purchase will benefit Quelab!

Personally I’m really excited for this fundraiser because I visited Color Wheel several times during their pop up shop last year. They specialize in “toys that require imagination” and I think it’s a store that many makers would enjoy. I found some great science and STEM/STEAM gifts for kids and adults on my list, plus some extra gifts that were just a dollar or two “in case”, and — let’s be honest here — some nifty stuff for myself too. I’d always wanted one of those marble run toys, and there’s a nice selection of glow in the dark stuff. I bought a pile of their combo pen/stylus/screwdriver/ruler/level things for myself and gifts too.

There’s one other thing I rather liked about this store that I didn’t even realize until I overheard another shopper talking with the owner. The toys aren’t divided up by gender, which is particularly nice if you are shopping for yourself — because why should I have to decide if I want girls LEGO or boys LEGO? At Color Wheel Toys there’s just one LEGO section AND it has a bulk bin where you can pick out exactly what you want.

While Color Wheel Toys will be open through the end of December, remember it’s ONLY on Tuesday November 6, 10am-6pm that you can help out Quelab while you shop — AND you need to mention Quelab at the checkout counter or show them a flyer. (Full page flyers here, 4 per page here — give some to friends!)




Quelab is a Nonprofit organization started as a entirely self-funded and membership-driven organization, staffed by a group of passionate volunteers who strongly believe that makerspaces can help make the world a better place. Quelab is a 501(c)3 non-profit that has been serving Albuquerque’s maker community since 2010 with a 11,000 square foot workshop. To find out more, visit, email us at, or call the Quelab message line at (505) 750-4522

Come Visit Quelab at Hacknight!

Sunday October 7 is our once a month Hacknight! Starting at 5 pm is a social hour and potluck where you can get to know Quelab members, 6 pm a community planning meeting, and 7 pm we have Hacknight (our version of an “open house”) — come to any or all!

Our once a month Hacknight is a great place to learn more about Quelab. If you are thinking of joining Quelab, or just curious to find out more, this is the time to come and get a feel for our community of makers, tour our 11,000 square foot facility, check out the equipment in detail (everything from a wood shop to laser cutter to fiber arts to welding to darkroom to 3d printer, and too many more to list). A few members will be bringing some projects to check out and hands on maker stuff to share!

Those under 18 are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. Most of our equipment is “kid unfriendly” so plan to supervise any younger children closely, though we do sometimes have a child friendly activity or two.

Absolutely free to attend! All we ask for at the door is for people to check in. Quelab is a 501(c)3 organization and we will be pleased to accept any donation you are moved to offer, but we don’t have anyone sitting at the door asking for a “donation” (awkward!) to attend our free Hacknight.

Ready to join Quelab and can’t make Hacknight? Good news, attending Hacknight isn’t required to become a member, all you have to do is pay your membership fees and attend an orientation and you too can be a part of Quelab! Orientation is generally the second Sunday of the month, but often there are other orientation sessions as well — you do need to register in advance for orientation, do that here:

If you can’t make this one, plan for next month — Quelab holds a Hacknight open house on the first Sunday of each month.

If YOU have an idea for something YOU are interested bringing to Hacknight — a presentation, a project, a maker activity to share — let us know!

2018 Fireless Fourth (4th) of July Links!

Fire Danger High

Wow, is it almost July 4th again? And New Mexico is still in a horrible Drought. So we continue to bring you the 2018 list of Quelab’s Fireless Fourth Ideas.

Link here to 2017’s Fireless Fourth links

Exploding Watermelons! Who says you need fire to explode watermelon everywhere? Just some rubber bands! How many did it take if you do this?

Lightning? in your kitchen?

Paint and explore Rainbows about Oilslick Rainbows, are the the same colors as storm rainbows? Did you know that the colors are due to the thickness of the layer amplifying some colors and interfering with others?

More colors more rainbows.

Cheap Solo Cup Ribbons or wind twirlers.

Rocket launched battery operated led lights.

Old School Oil and water light show..
Superglue explosions in hot borax water?

Shaving cream Dye? For Color Explosions., fun marbling technique.

Fake/EZ Sharpie Tiedye

Wireless power? Did this with friends back in Highschool. Florescent light bulbs (even burned out ones) will glow under some high voltage power lines.

Poprocks in foam. Make poprock goop.
If you know about Adric, you know he’s been on a styrofoam recycling kick. But here is a way to get some use out of it yourself. For making prints. here to 2017’s Fireless Fourth links

Pocket Catapult? Fun with those little paper wrapped poppers.

PVC, shock cord, and Pool Noodle Rocket Launcher.

Link here to 2017’s Fireless Fourth links which also has links back to previous years!

Inter-space (re)build: Asteroids

Long ago in a space far, far away, the Quelab crew had a means of amusement: Asteroids.

A donation from Adric, the Asteroids cabinet has seen its fair share of hands across its buttons: life at, presumably, an arcade and then later at Southwest Cyberport, it was brought to Quelab after it just didn’t have any more go in it. Never one to give up, we replaced the required parts, added a high score save kit, and pounded out more hours on it, racking up high scores in the 15,000 range. Some time later, we moved, and the cabinet stayed dormant: Nobody really wanted to play it much anymore. The buttons had been abused and left in a sorried state, dust had crept in, and the final straw came when a known issue with contact corrosion had made the board unable to boot again.

That is, until someone decided to fix it. Morgan G. (myself) and Ben L (of Black Lodge Research in Redmond, WA) decided to dig in and, over a weekend, get the thing up and going properly. Some preliminary work had gone into getting it working again.

So, what needed to happen? Just some cleanup, love, and a bit of attention. New fuses, cleaned contacts, and lots of reading schematics later made it clear what the problem was, and some new features we could add in for fun, and a beautiful, well-loved cabinet was given new life.

We left a note to anyone who opens the cabinet up in the future, as well as a copy of the manual, reproduced in true Atari form, plus some spare parts.

The root cause of the cabinet not working is a well-documented flaw in power supplies that use a sense line: the sense line needs to be really good in order for the whole thing to work, and if it isn’t, there’s a good chance the PSU will just cause problems. In an ideal world, they’re self-regulating; From an EDN article on the topic:

The remote sense function automatically increases the output voltage at the output terminals of the supply to compensate for any unwanted voltage drop in the output cables with heavy load currents. Likewise, the remote sense function decreases the output voltage of the supply when the required load current is reduced. In some applications, the power supply’s output needs to be adjusted by the user to voltage higher than its nominal (e.g. 5V nominal, adjusted to 5.5V). Always adjust the power supply’s output while measuring the voltage at the load.

The EDN article concludes saying these are only really useful in extremely high load environments (read: not the environment that Atari had been building for) and should be avoided in newer designs. Perfectly reasonable in Atari’s days, but we’ve learned new things about how the world works. It’s bad enough that bypass hardware exists for these since a bad sense line can cause insane voltages (40-80V!) when they go bad.

Quelab visits AFRL Maker Hub on KAFB

Quelab was approached last month to open some outreach talks with a representative of the local Air Force Research Laboratory(AFRL) and their Maker Hub, (A Makerspace on Kirtland Air Force Base). After talks and a tour of our space, we arranged for a small group tour to be escorted onto the base and see some of the AFRL’s space tech lab space, and then through the Maker Hub, which is a very nicely outfitted small Makerspace right in Western KAFB, which turns out to be open and free for people with base access. (details in a link below)

Opening just last year (2017) they already have an impressive start. The Maker Hub is in a small nondescript brown building on the west end of the base near the tarmac/runways. Inside are nearly a dozen 3d printers, a combination fiber and CO2 Epilog laser cutter, a small CNC, small machine shop, work benches, electronics lab, 2d large format printing, and even a fancy 2 armed red robot torso. So If you are on base much, please give them a look. I know they are looking to expand into a bigger space, which I think will be good for them, as it feels a bit cramped. But at this point I think its utilized low enough (much like we were for the first few years) that the size is not too constraining yet. (not until you have a half dozen people working on big projects)
If you see them tell them we sent you 🙂

Photos from our tour of the AFRL Maker Hub

For information and access

Quelab since its beginning we have always been interested in meeting with,  collaborations and exchanges with other local and world, Makerspaces and  Makers and those who don’t know yet they can be makers!

Star Wars Fest VI

Reporting by Darren Moody.

Yesterday, for the third year, Quelab participated in the Rio Rancho Library’s Star Wars Fest.  We were able to show off various disciplines that are offered at Quelab and let people know about our space. This year was the event’s 6th (or is that Sith?) occurrence.

As in the past, the event was VERY successful, and of course a very fun to be a part of! The three hours passed by quickly and it was over before we realized it.

A HUGE shout out and thank you to John “JT” Benedetto, Morgan Gangwere, Alice and Patrick Shriver, Darrel Knutson, Eric Lee and Josh Pedersen for volunteering their time and talents in helping Quelab have a presence at this event. A thank you as well goes out to Craig “Zoot” Goldsmith for coming to the event and taking these pictures.

Quelab had its’ (now becoming) standard Star Wars exhibit set up with 3D Printing, prop style lightsabers, combat lightsabers, and various forms of laser cut artwork. However, this year we did something different. Since this event has been so good to us in the past, in terms of new memberships as well as cash and equipment donations, Quelab gave back to the event. Simple and easy X-Wing and TIE Fighter kits (small ones, about 11-13 pieces) were cut on the laser cutter, bagged up, and given to the library. These proved to be VERY popular, as many of the participants came to the Quelab tables and thanked us for making cutting these as they proudly showed off their assembled kits.

Our presence at this event is very much noted and appreciated by not only the public, but especially the staff of the Loma Colorado branch of the Rio Rancho Library. Event organizer, Librarian Jenna Wells, expressed her appreciation many times during the event, starting with when we walked in the door. Many other staff members stopped me as I took a moment to walk around, to say thank you and how much they appreciated our presence. The Library Director also came over to our tables to personally thank us.

As the event was wrapping up, I had a chance to walk around.  I heard two different groups of librarians comment about us – “Those Quelab people are incredible!” and “That Quelab display was amazing”.   We have become a staple at this event, and as such, we have already been asked to come be a part of it again next year!

It would be nice to grow in our presence, and add more examples of what we do. One in particular is a Star Wars themed corn hole game. This could show off woodworking, electronics (if we want to get really fancy), large format printing, laser cutting and fabric arts! So, if you’d be interested in helping with this becoming a reality, don’t be shy, and let’s talk! If you have any other ideas for a Stars Was related exhibit or activity, please share them as well!

With all of the interest generated, it would not be surprising to see an influx of people visiting Quelab during the next few public nights! If you see some new/unknown people, stop and say “Hi” and welcome them to our space.  Remember, we were all new and walked in the front door as strangers once…

Thank you again to the participants, as well as everybody else who has taken the time to read this.

– Darren Moody

City on the Edge Podcast, 2017 Albuquerque mini Maker Faire Edition

I had the honor to be on a podcast panel during Albuquerque mini MakerFaire 2017,   Myself, and Mini Maker Faire organizer Wendi Flybutter, Bernalillo County Seed Librarian Brita Sauer, Talking to the City on the Edge podcast crew,  all about making, makering, planting new seeds, and about many more things including Quelab  (even if they got the tags a bit wrong).

City On The Edge Podcast

FYI Mailserver issues

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