Projects

Projects which the members have shared


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).

Enjoy!
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


6 Glorious Years and Counting!

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!

2010Quelab 1.0 DSC_7943                            2013680 Haines Location!

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!


2016 Fireless Fourth Ideas From Quelab

FireBadThis 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!
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Vacuum-cleaner-Bazooka/

Smoke ring cannon, with dry ice fog
http://www.instructables.com/id/Dry-Ice-Smoke-Ring-Cannon-No-fog-machine-necessa/

Salt paint fireworks, (might be fun to setup some blowgun targets with paintballs and see if salt will stick to the “paint”) …
http://busymommymedia.com/firework-salt-painting/

Fourth of July slime
http://www.pleasantestthing.com/4th-july-activity-make-slime

Dish brush painted fireworks
http://www.craftymorning.com/kids-fireworks-craft-using-dish-brush/

Wind twirls
http://happyhooligans.ca/patriotic-wind-twirlers-paper-towel-rolls/

Make pretty giant stars out of nothing but paperbags and glue
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAYLq1k264I

Bubblewrap machine gun
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76usvBPZbSk

On the food front we have:

Alton Brown’s Favorite 4th recipes
http://altonbrown.com/alton-browns-july-4th-recipes/

Stained Glass Jello
http://www.instructables.com/id/Stained-Glass-Jello/

Red White and Blue Layered Drinks for kids.
http://artsymomma.com/2013/07/red-white-blue-layered-kids-drink-4th-of-july.html

And Red White and Blue Drinks for adults.
http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g2465/boozy-4th-of-july-drinks/

Pizza Box Solar Smores!
http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/solar-oven/

#Danger# Section:

Exploding water bottle bb/blowgun/pellet targets.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rDRFFSUrPI

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.
https://youtu.be/jrRmID81wrc

This one is for home made caps/exploding targets, it’s not entirely fireless, the compound does explode but there is no sustained flame.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctX3juq9Okw

#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.
https://tutorialsformyparents.com/how-to-create-the-fireless-firework-a-humbling-scientific-exploration-and-thoughtful-relfection-on-the-michelson-morley-experiment/

Link to 2015’s Fireless Fourth, which also links back 2014, 2012, 2011!
https://quelab.net/19047/quelabs-annual-fireless-4th-collection-of-links/


Quelab Community Meeting Sunday May 1

Come to Quelab for our next community meeting and potluck on Sunday, May 1!  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!

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

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.

See our calendar at quelab.net