Following up on suggestions from the board meeting to look at Stripe for charging member dues, I found a couple Rails tutorials and deployed via Heroku… it works with a few lines of (rails) code! The reason to maybe not use “gravity forms + stripe” just yet is because I think it is $200/yr — you need a Gravity Forms Developer License according to:
Yikes. Is that right? Different sites report different $$ so until someone at Hive tries it we may never know!

Well, we can just make our own embedded form, and Stripe can also deal with subscriptions painlessly, apparently. Try it with the herokuapp link below:
*****WARNING: it will actually charge your CC $1. I promise to deposit it back to Hive*********

Heroku is great, you deploy via github so we could also make the forms public (our private Stripe key is configured only in heroku and is NOT in the github repo). Here’s the rails app on github so we can collaborate; I put all the details for how I did this in the


Some more to think about:

1) Let’s make a member application fee of $1.00. This will ensure prospective members have Stripe setup BEFORE they become a member! Much better than if they are voted in but never actually pay…!

2) I think we should charge the Stripe fees *to the member*. This way we have dependable operational costs. You can see attached that a $5 charge results in only a $4.55 net gain because of the stripe fees, but this is still low cost and dependable for now (Stripe charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction). So we would need to charge users fee*1.029 + $0.30 (rounding up by cents; Stripe only charges whole cents) for each fee we designate. Then if Stripe changes fees in the future we just update this amount and Hive still has dependable operational costs.

3) Stripe is nice! Your CC will properly process whatever we write into stripe, here’s how it shows up on my card statement:

4) Right now funds get deposited into my personal checking account (!!) since I don’t have the Hive76 bank account number. Does someone want to give me that? Or I can coordinate this with the treasurer. Again, I promise to deposit your test charges back to Hive.

5) Obviously it needs beautification, choice between member rates, a way to subscribe, etc. But that’s all optimization for later, this rapid hack was about feasibility. It’s feasible to use stripe!

Here’s what you see in the Stripe Dashboard:

On Thursday May 5th, Hive76 will be hosting DIY Music Night which will engage participants of all experience levels in electronics, programming, and sound. The event is FREE to attend, participants can pay to take home their instructional materials at cost.
There are two activities to do, design your own analog synthesizer and design your own computer interface. Participants will be able to do both activities if they wish.
Build your own synthesizer
Using breadboards and a handful of very affordable components, participants will get hands on instruction in the field of analog signals. We will be making headphone amplifiers, oscillators, noise generators, filters, and more!Build your own USB control surface
Using a specialized Arduino board called a Teensy participants will get to create USB MIDI control surfaces that will work with any music software. Instructors will be helping everyone to adapt sample code for their unique design. Learn how easy and inexpensive it can be to create your own controller customized to your needs!

7:00 PM
Free to attend, $10 to take home a synthesizer
1901 S 9th St Philadelphia, PA 19148
Entrance is on Dudley st in the middle of the block, look for the touchpad to call a Hive76 member

It didn’t take me and Robert long to find an RGB LED pushbutton. I composed a short part number using the NKK data sheet and found a KP0215ASBKG03RGB-2SJB. I made a simple perf board shield with the proper resistors for my Arduino Mega 1280 and re-learned Arduino to light it up.

Gaussian curves from

Gaussian curves from

When I wanted to smoothly fade between all the available RGB colors, I couldn’t find a good solution. So I made my own using Gaussian curves. Here is a picture and link to the online graphic calculator desmos that was very helpful visualizing the LED levels.
There is more:

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What the heck is a Bug Jam?


Ok, so now what?




Apostrophe Now!based out of Philadelphia and developed by P’unk Ave — is “a content management system designed for maximum flexibility with a minimal learning curve. The interface is ergonomic, all content-editing is performed in-context.”

Do you have or are you building a website, but you are looking for alternatives to WordPress, Django and other CMS engines? Apostrophe may be right for you!

Come meet Geoff DiMasi and Tom Boutell, two of the lead developers, and find out all the nitty gritty about Apostrophe. They’ll give an overview of the system, design goals, and features, and they’ll also dive into the code to show us how it’s all put together. Geoff and Tom will also talk about other things Philadelphia (the founding of P’unk Ave, the founding of Indy Hall, and the founding of Ignite Philly).

You won’t find this info on Youtube or Vimeo. Come on down to your favorite hackerspace to learn all about Apostrophe and an awesome Philadelphia success story.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 7:30 pm
915 Spring Garden, Suite 519


The JayOscillator

The JayOscillator is the stupid name that I came up with for my HTML 5 synthesizer that I’ve been working on over the last month or so.  I spent a good part of today making it look pretty, though now It works in Chrome and Safari right now. It technically works in FireFox, but the displays for the variables don’t seem to want to open their eyes. Take a look:

The JayOscillator

I named it the “JayOscillator” after the Korg KAOSCILLATOR, as my thing is a similar sort of notion, written in JavaScript.

You can try it out here for now, though no promises that the URL won’t change in the future.

Unfortunately, I think I have to give up on iPad support. Apple nerfed the ability to auto-start HTML 5 audio tags from JavaScript. Without that ability, their is no way I can keep a continuous tone going.

I’m considering rewriting this as a native app, though. Most of the effort here has been in figuring out the math necessary to get this going. Since that work is done, porting to different languages and platforms is more of a chore in API calls.

Option 1) Lasercut, Laser engrave, and LED-light-up your very own Snowflake

Option 1) Lasercut, Laser engrave, and LED-light-up your very own Snowflake

Join us on TUESDAY, December 20th, 7 pm – Midnight

Meet-and-Make, Hive76 and NextFab Studio Members
@ @ 3711 Market Street

This “Maker Collider” event will be a great opportunity to make awesome stuff.

We had proposed these projects:
All details are here on the Wiki

After reviewing the projects here and those proposed by NextFab members it sounds like we will be doing some form of the Chess boards, the snowflakes, some robotics, and a bunch of laser-engraving. But what if you don’t like those? Come by anyway and you can rally troops for helping you on your own project(s).

NextFab Studio will have these staff members on hand throughout the event:
Chrinstine : Textile and Industrial Design ( fabric knowledge, product design,cad, sewing )
Ian : Electronics (pcb design/fabrication, coding, wiring, soldering, etc.)
Seth : Mechanical Engineer (handtools, cad, product design)
Brandon : Multi-Media Designer ( 3d printing, graphic design, product design, cinematography, cad)

Anything you want to do, you can do. AWESOME.

Check out all their equipment.

Oh, and there will be food too. Be there at 7 pm!!

To Join in on the Discussion, please join our mailing list


After speaking to a few folks that expressed an interest in the MMMM workshop, it became apparent (a) most folks were newbs who want to learn the basics and (b) everyone wants to control motors.  Excellent!  We’ll do that.

Although motor control is potentially a vast and complex topic, with highly specialized branches, the basics are fairly easy to learn — and they’ll take you pretty far.   So … we’ll be prepared to present the following items:

  • DC motors
  • H-bridge circuits — these let puny microcontrollers run fairly powerful motors
  • Stepper motors — just a little more complex to program than DC motors and they use H-bridge circuits too
  • Quadrature Encoders — these are a  simple and accurate way to read the position of something

We’ll also try to discuss some organizational items — like the logistics of future workshops and the use of the MMMM GitHub, so that we can build up assets collectively, share them with the world and manage changes and contributions in a free-and-easy-but-organized way.

If you are coming , please bring:

  • Yourself — If you’re a newb, welcome — If you’re an MCU Yoda, then attend you must and wisdom to newbs impart
  • Some ideas
  • A laptop if you have one
  • You may want to install VMWare Player or VMWare Fusion before you arrive
  • An MCU development kit if you have one or …
  • Some money if you don’t.  We’ll have some development kits that you can buy.  Plan on at least $10 for the kits and some parts that you can use for small learning projects.
  • A bread-board if you want to build some live circuits to keep.  We’ll have breadboards to loan, but if you want to take one home, it has to be one that arrived with you.
  • That’s about it — see you all Monday.  To whet your appetite, there is some prototype code below for reading a quadrature encoded position detector (not really elegant enough for a final effort, but it’s a start).  We’ll have you writing stuff like this in no-time.




    In a week-or-so (Saturday, June 4th) is Random Hacks of Kindness.

    And what is RHOK? RHoK is a hackathon and competition to create solutions to pressing real world problems. By gathering the brightest hackers and problem-solvers for weekend hack-a-thons, RHoK aims to use technology to tackle disaster relief, social development, climate change, and human rights.

    RHoK Philly begins at 9am on Sat June 4th. Register a team of 2-4 hackers (or join a team there) and Pick one of the dozens problem-definitions. Then design a solutions, dream/scope/layout and hack at it, and see what you can make by Sunday afternoon. The best project will be featured around the globe. If you have a global problem to suggest, get involved in the discussion on the RHoK site ( and submit it.

    There will also be a keynote talk by Roger Dingledine of the Tor Project Space is limited so be sure to pre-register.

    WHAT: A FREE hackathon to create software solutions to global human challenges.
    WHO: Designers, programmers, geeks, hackers, activists, problem solvers and concerned citizens!
    WHERE: 3175 JFK Blvd, Drexel University, Philadelphia
    WHEN: June 4th and 5th, 2011 starting at 9am. (Reception on June 3rd at WHYY)

    Register at

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    Gitmarks 2.0 Alpha

    As rumors of shutdown rumbled through the internet, a bunch of geeks in a minor IRC channel started gabbing. They has a lot of info, links, tags, and data stored in, and were afraid to lose them, syncing, and all other good features. They realized as geeks often do, that if we owned the service, we wouldn’t have to worry about outside shutdowns if we had our own service. Thus hypatia spun-up Federated Bookmarks

    The first output of this crew is something called gitmarks, based on work by Hillary Mason (of This is a little tool to store bookmarks, bookmark metadata, and page content locally for searching, using, and peer-to-peer sharing. Since it is based on git this system can use a central server, *or* it can share peer to peer. As the name implies, it uses a git backed for data transfer and versioning. It also has the ability to pull down content for a local cache, and for local searching.

    This project is in Alpha, and if you want to test the silly thing, the basics work. If you want to help build a cool distributed tool, we could use some help! We need to building a server, building more git tools, xmmp messaging, and browser integration. We also hope to create tools that along the way that make it easy to build systems for Moglen Boxen. Ping, leave a comment here, or hit #hive76 in IRC if you want to help.

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