We’re starting a new group at Hive 76 called “Scheduled Sunday Security Sessions” (an homage to PJ Santoro’s Monthly Monday Microcontroller Madness). S4 will focus on computer and electronic security. We’ll have demos and presentations on security related topics, as well as group penetration testing challenges each month.

The first meeting will be on June 10th, at 6 PM.

See you there!

 

Standford University is at it again with another round of free (as in beer) courses! This time they’re joined by the likes of Princeton, Penn, and the University of Michigan!

Why should you care? Well, Hive76 is forming a study group to help individuals tackle this incredible and challenging opportunity to be found within Standford’s Machine Learning course, of course! Our first meeting will be held tomorrow night during Open House Hours (7-11 PM)! If you are interested in taking this course, please take the time to register with Stanford at the link provided here.

As a place to get started, Mike S. of the Noisebridge hackerspace in San Francisco, has compiled an excellent list of resources for the study group that they have going on the left coast. Do consider joining their ML-specific mailing list!

Folks considering this course should be familiar with programming concepts and linear algebra, for sure! Recommended linear algebra lectures can be found here, and for your open source alternative to MATLAB, check out GNU’s Octave.

See you tomorrow!

 


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.

    (more…)

     

    … Soon, I’m gonna have to switch places with some of the students in the class


    It was weird to hit the Wednesday Hive Open House and see a handful of original MSP430 projects.  The video above is an LED chaser effect that Chris Thompson whipped up based on concepts from the first session of the MSP430 class.  As the old saying goes — teach a geek to fish and you’ll soon have LED encrusted fish.

    Speaking of LEDs, here’s a Morse Code blinker project that Chris did.  Mostly a cut & paste job, but if nothing else, it makes the point that there are plenty of  MSP430 code samples out there and that it’s relatively easy to use them once you know the tools.

    Audience

    If you are an artist who wants to create small, cost effective interactive systems or a stone geek who wants to actually make a computer do something physical, this is a must-attend course.  We’ll have labs that will show you how to flash gobs of LEDs with just a few IO pins, run stepper motors, read switches, generate sounds, read analog signals and even have MCUs communicate.   You’ll leave with sample code and enough experience to apply this tech  immediately.
    We’ll be running this class again, for sure.

    Send any questions to: mikehogan62 AT gmail DOT com
     

    With the recent formation of Hive76′s Flickr pool, I thought I would take the opportunity to post some of the great pictures we’ve been capturing during our Teh Art of Electronics (sic,TM) sessions!

    Originally designed to be a book study group, our introductory offering on the subject has morphed into quite the full-fledged intro course! Thanks to our resident gurus, the curious world of electronics has begun to unfold for some of Philadelphia’s creative minds. As a starting point, our students have learned about the relationships between charge, voltage, current, and power. We’ve since moved on to more complex topics and hope to finish out with learning about creating sensors!

    So, if you’ve got some pictures of the space, or the the folks here at Hive76, and would like to share them with us, take a minute to hop on Flickr and join the group!

    Hope to see you at our next [ open_house || class || event ] !

    Disclaimer: These particular photos were taken with my phone, so please excuse the graininess for now. I’ll be sure to improve their quality with a better camera in the coming sessions.

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    To paraphrase the course description for MIT’s Practical Electronics Open Course Ware:

    “You can build most any damn thing if you understand a few basic electronics concepts and follow a few basic rules”

    “Teh Art of Electronics” (sic,TM) is about teaching you those concepts and rules.  Each class will present basic electronics material and conclude with a lab period where you’ll build actual, working devices in order to learn practical fabrication and debugging skills, while reinforcing your intuitive understanding of the course material.

    The course will be based loosely on MIT’s “Practical Electronics” course.  By the end, you should be able to design and build your own circuits (up to a surprising level of complexity) and the world of electronic design will be substantially demystified.

    We recommend that you purchase a copy of “The Art of Electronics”, by Horowitz and Hill, but it’s not mandatory.  We’ll furnish all components, reading materials, tutelage etc. that you need to perform the coursework and the corresponding labs.

    We are currently planning five Sunday sessions, 1 PM to 4 PM, starting April 4.   See “Intro to Electronics” in the Hive 76 Calendar for preliminary, session-by-session details on course content.

    Tickets here

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    Python Programming on Feb 22nd

    We are running a workshop on Feb. 22nd about getting started with Python. We will help you get Python installed and setup, and get you working on some great initial projects to get your feet wet. This class is best for people with some programming experience in *any* language, but can be taken by someone without any experience at all. The workshop is a measly $5 suggested donation to cover snacks,etc. If you really can’t afford that, we have $0 tickets available too.

    You will need to bring your own computer (Mac/Linux/Windows) and your curiosity. Bonus points if you bring a snack for the people running the workshop! It’s be quick, it’ll be fun, and you will walk away knowing how to build some cool stuff using your new tools. This class is brought to you by Hive76, specifically by Phillip and Far.

    Dive into programming Python:
    Mon, February 22, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
    915 Spring Garden St (Suite #519) – Hive76 Headquarters

    Register Now
     
    Get Academic tickets
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    Guitar Effects 101

    Its Alive!
    Build Your Own Effect Pedal!
    Where:  Hive76 (915  Spring Garden)
    When:  Monday, December 7th
    Cost:  $50 (purchase tickets)
    Open to all abilities, ages 14+.

    Hive76 has wanted to host an introductory electronics class for some time now.   But instead of teaching folks how to solder together some dinky LED circuit,  we decided to teach them how to make vintage guitar effect pedals! 

    Whether you are an old hand on the DIY electronics scene, or if you have never touched a soldering iron before,  you will leave this class with some learnings about electronics, invention, and music, and, best of all, your very own home-brewed Tube Screamer clone, a classic distortion pedal if there ever was one.

    For more info, contact jack@hive76.org
    Print out the flyer here.

     

    Guitar Effects 101

    Its Alive!
    Build Your Own Effect Pedal!
    Where:  Hive76 (915  Spring Garden)
    When:  Monday, December 7th
    Cost:  $50

    Hive76 has wanted to host an introductory electronics class for some time now.   But instead of teaching folks how to solder together some dinky LED circuit,  we decided to teach them how to make vintage guitar effect pedals! 

    Whether you are an old hand on the DIY electronics scene, or if you have never touched a soldering iron before,  you will leave this class with some learnings about electronics, invention, and music, and, best of all, your very own home-brewed Tube Screamer clone.

    Open to all abilities,  ages 14+.

    For more info, contact jack@hive76.org
    Print out the flyer here.

     

    On Monday the 21st, we’ll be having our first ever DIY music night. Anyone with an interest in music –whether its assembling analog effect pedals, designing custom MIDI plug-ins, or modding up a fretless bass — is welcome. Come with your own personal secret project, team up with like minds, or get some guidance from our resident experts. There will be copious supplies of common electronic components (no digikey necessary), several computer workstations, and a good deal of geeky comraderie for inspiration and assistance. This study-group/workshop is open to novices and pros alike.

    And feel free to bring a guitar/synth/childrens-toy to jam out on!

     
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