Our old Makerbot case sitting in the scrap parts bin has been resurrected as a grow case for my terrariums! All it took was an afternoon, some scrap plastic sheets, a few LED strips + power supply, and liberal use of a hot glue gun.
When I saw this poster on the right in the lobby of our studio building I thought it looked neat, but it wasn’t until the mastermind Dave Kyu visited that Hive76 was convinced to participate in WriteSky. Well, he mostly convinced me, as I ended up as the only contributor, but I am glad that Hive76 was able to host the collaboration meeting with our fellow group, artists that work in 319 N 11th St, members of Grizzly Grizzly and Tiger Strikes Asteroid.
We met on one Wednesday open house to figure out exactly what message we would write over our neighborhood. I don’t have a lot of history collaborating with other artists, but after the experience I had using Dave’s process and the smart 319 Artists Mary Smull, Jacque Liu, Sarah Kate Burgess, and Jaime Alvarez, I am looking forward to my next collaboration. It was a pleasure brainstorming, discussing, and compromising to come up with what we think is the perfect sentiment to be written in the sky for a few minutes. What message is that?Ah, but ours and the two other collaborative groups’ messages are secret up until the actual writing. We want it to be a surprise.
If you can make it this Saturday, please come to The Eraserhood at 11:30am and look up. Weather permitting, you’ll see three wonderful messages written in vaporized canola oil over the Philadelphia skyline. It will be visible for about 15 miles, but the best view will be directly underneath. If you see the writing in the sky, tag it with #WriteSky and it will appear on the page: http://writesky.com/photos/
Keep looking up!
If you’re into music, making music, or making things that make music, you won’t want to miss this! If you’ve been to the space before, you’ll know that we run on a steady diet of tunes. And on Thursday, we’ll have all our audio and music-centric projects out in what is sure to be the loudest night of PTW. No RSVP necessary.
When: Thursday, April 17 from 6PM to 10PM
This is a weekly open house for Hive 76, where folks drop by to work on software, hardware, or any other DIY projects that may be of interest. The open house gives people a chance to meet the members and to see what kind of projects Hive76 likes to work on. Feel free to bring your own work along and ask questions! No RSVP necessary.
When: Wednesday, April 9 from 7 PM to 10 PM
Three more things in my house require a remote control now, and one of them is the streetlight in front of my house. Ever since I heard about a hacked streetlight at the Guerrilla Drive in for Back to the Future in 2009, I have been turning off the streetlight on Darien Street by carefully aiming a laser dot at the light sensor on top of the streetlight. The light sensors on most streetlights face west to catch the last photons from the fading sunset before illuminating for the night—and this one faces right into the third floor of my house. It is very important to me to be able to choose to sit in the cozy dark, save my city some money, and not contribute to light pollution for a minute.
Just recently I revamped the process with a new, permanent laser and remote control system. Here it is in action:
I’ll show you how …
I have been “hanging out” with a research group at Penn (alas, there is not a more dignified way to describe this relationship .. but at least I am there by invitation and it’s awesome). We needed to create some electrodes that were resistant to electrolytic degradation, and we were interested in some clever alternative to the old (and rather expensive) stand-bys, like platinum and gold.
It turns out that graphite is right up there at the tip-top of the Galvanic series, so it is about the most robust electrode material we could want. However, we also wanted to be able to draw arbitrary electrode geometries and, while graphite is definitely suited to drawing, pencil lines are too resistive and too inconsistent to function as electrodes in our application. Graphite in “bulk” form conducts well (in fact, too well for our needs), and it is hard to machine. We wanted a technique that would let us “draw” relatively conductive lines easily, and it quickly became became apparent that we needed something a little novel. Somehow, I vaguely remembered seeing a few hacks where folks used light-scribe drives to create patterned graphene for super-capacitors, and I got to wondering whether I could make graphene too. I am happy to report that the light-scribe method works as advertised and that it was every bit as easy as I had hoped.
A few years back I received a birthday card that, when opened, played a 15-second clip of The Final Countdown. Before tossing it out, I tore the little board and speaker from the card. I knew nothing about electronics at the time, but I just thought it was worth keeping around. (more…)
I recently decided to make a proof-of-concept for a simple hydraulics kit. Ultimately you would be able to take this kit, get some standard PVC pipe from the local hardware store, and very quickly build your own simple hydraulic devices. Use it to learn about the principles of hydraulics while staying cool on a hot summer day, or use it to power your homemade tools like simple presses, lifts, or even an articulated digging arm.
The pressure in your typical garden hose is nominally around 40 psi or so, so my first hydraulic cylinder should be able to develop about 125 pounds of force if it had really good seals. This is a proof of concept so I didn’t bother with o-rings or anything, so it leaks like crazy and thus is unable to develop quite those kinds of pressures, although it is quite strong. Moving from a 2″ to a 3″ hydraulic cylinder would bring this up to about 282 pounds of force, not too shabby for garden hose power!
The hydraulic cylinder is made of standard PVC pipe (2″ for the cylinder and 1.5″ for the ram), although I had to use my lathe to turn down a 1.5″ pipe cap to fit inside the outer cylinder. The control valve is made of 1/2″ CPVC fittings and tubing, with the exception of the spool which is a length of 1/2″ solid PVC rod. I had to turn down the spool on my lathe to the appropriate profile and also had to drill out the valve to fit it. The fit is fairly poor but it shows that the concept definitely works. Eventually I am hoping to be able to have all the custom parts injection molded to get the unit cost down cheap enough that it would make a good toy for DIY doodlers and budding engineers everywhere.
Whoa! Fosscon is tomorrow and Hive76 is going to be there!!
What’s fosscon? From the fosscon crew:
Fosscon 2012 is a free and open source software conference, and will
include six general-interest talks, and workshops on topics including
development, community building, hackerspace activities, and more.
Learn about 3D printing, security, and protecting your privacy.
Network with the local tech community and discover new technologies.
Whoa, workshops?! That’s right! Some of which will be conducted by Hive76! We’ve actually been given an entire ROOM for the conference, so be sure to stop by when you’re there!
The workshops that we’ll be running cover Intro to soldering, Intro to Arduino, Build Your Own Flat Panel Speakers, and several workshops on Building Your Own Simple Square Wave Synthesizers.Several? Yeah, Sean will cover using 555 timers, MSP430s, and also Arduinos!
The costs for these workshops will vary from $10-$30 to cover instruction and also cost of materials used.
Make sure to register for fosscon! Seating is limited! If you’d like to financially support fosscon (you should, it’s awesome!), it will only cost you $25 and you get some nice swag! Otherwise, fosscon is a free-as-in-beer event, but you still have to register!