Hive76 Ultimate Open House and Expo

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Our grand finale/blowout/party for Philly Tech Week will take place on Saturday, April 27. Everything from the previous week’s events will be on interactive display, and more. It’s an all-day exhibition of everything that goes on at Hive76 and everybody’s invited!

  • 3D Printing/OpenSCAD interactive demo
  • Fighting robots
  • DIY musical instruments, effects, snyths, amps, circuit bending, everything
  • Continuous open hack/project marathon: make whatever you want with whatever we’ve got
  • Open soldering workstations
  • Member’s signature projects on display
  • Gaming, arcade and pinball machines
  • Music
  • Karaoke!
  • Libations
  • Free food

We are located in the Arts Building at 915 Spring Garden Street. Stop by at any time during the day/night and dial 0519 at the callbox. See you there!

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For Philly Tech Week, I will be showing visitors how to take a shape from Adobe Illustrator into the popular open source CAD program OpenSCAD and make a 3D model suitable for 3D printing.

Draw in Illustrator, extruded in OpenSCAD

Draw in Illustrator, extruded in OpenSCAD

I’m sure you know Illustrator. It’s the most successful vector drawing program <clarkson>in the world.</clarkson> OpenSCAD is less well known. It is best described as coding for objects. You make a solid with the function cube() and cut a cylinder() out of it with the difference() function, etc. But sometimes you want a more organic or complicated shape to start with. That’s where artist JK Keller stepped in and made a script that automates some of the process for you. What you need for this workshop:

There may not be time to print everyone’s design, but you should go home with something 3D printed.

Monday 4/22 5pm – 10
Gratis and Libre (free)

Hive76, suite 519
915 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia PA 19123

RSVP by commenting below.

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Fighting Robot Night at Hive76!

On Tuesday April 23, Hive76 will be hosting Fighting Robot Night as part of our week-long celebration of Philly Tech Week. We will have four miniature remote-controlled robots designed to battle one another in a table-top arena. All are welcome and all are invited!

Show up Tuesday and sign up for a spot to drive and fight, or just hang out and watch the destruction. Ask questions, check out our space and get your robot rocks off. This will also be a preview of an upcoming fighting robot class to be offered at Hive in which participants will build machines similar to those featured at Fighting Robot Night (TBA, check back soon!).

In the meantime, here’s some old Battlebots videos to get you excited.

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Guitar Stuff at Hive

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Last year, I purchased a 1970 Telecaster copy for $120 from Elderly Instruments. The frets were no good and much of the hardware was corroded, so it seemed like a good instrument to hone my repair skills on.

The first thing I did was take it to Hive and bounced ideas around with some folks. One thing I really love is that no matter what kind of project or idea you’ve got, there’s at least one or two people at an open house who have some expertise to share. (more…)

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Kthxbye!

kthxbye

kthxbye

 

Well everyone, so long, and thanks for all the fission reactors. I’ve moved to Alexandria, VA, to be with m’lady, plan our wedding, start a doggy dating website with some folks, and maybe spread the joy of hackerspaces a little further south. Step 1) figure out the joy of hackerspaces.

It’s a bittersweet change, as I am really going to miss Hive76 and her amazing people. You all taught me a lot and I will forever hold it all in my heart with great appreciation.

I’m not disappearing completely. You will still receive the occasional displeasure of reading some new, overly-verbose, trying-too-hard rambling from me on the listserv and in this blog. I plan on visiting on occasion as well. But regardless, here are a few of those things that I learned thanks to Hive76:

  • Everything is permitted. There is an avenue for doing just about anything. Don’t let the fact that you’ve never done something before prevent you from doing it now. Don’t ask permission to do it, either. People ask permission to do things in a lot of different ways. They stall the doing by looking for a job in what they want to do, waiting for an employer to give them permission. They research the “best” way to do something, asking questions of everyone around them, never actually just giving it a try. Someone will show up in your life with a need for help and you can help them by just saying, “I bet I can do that”, without knowing for sure if it is so. You win some, you lose some, hence it is a bet, but you always learn something, and that’s almost as good as winning.
  • Anything is possible. If you put your mind to it you’re capable of just about anything. Things you could never imagine will happen if you just try. Like having a piece of art put into a museum. Or meeting a legend of technology. Or just plain making the block clean for a change. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. A place like Hive can help you always be prepared for the opportunities that inevitably come our way.
  • It’s okay to do stupid things. Actually, it’s even preferable. We are too serious on most occasions. Having a habit of doing things just to see them done–things that have no inherent value of their own, beyond any spectacle they may bring–is pretty much the only way new discoveries are made; certainly the important ones. Without time for play, there is no art. Without art, there is no culture. Without culture, there is no language, no nation, no city, no people.
  • Don’t ever let anyone tell you what is right. Not a boss. Not a friend. Not your parents. Not a single person. You have to decide, and you have to get good at deciding, because half of the people out there are wrong and it’s on you to figure which half. Depending on what it is, more than half of everyone is wrong. There aren’t many places where less than half of everyone is wrong. So get good at deciding what is wrong and then trying new things to try not to be wrong. But absolutely, most importantly, respect everyone else’s path to figuring out how not to be wrong, because if you try to tell them you’re right, you’re probably wrong.

I’m stopping at 4 because it’s not wrong to stop at 4 and I’m also tired of typing for the day. Don’t forget to check out Hive76′s Open Houses on Wednesdays at 7pm. I understand they have an opening for memberships now.

 

Hey everyone, as you may know, Philly Tech Week is coming up in late April. Hive76, as always likes to make ourselves as available possible during the week, and offer as much as we can.  We’ll be open from 5pm-10pm Mon-Thur, and Noon-10pm on Saturday while showing off one unique and interesting aspect of what we do each day.Update:  There’s no registration required for these events.

  • Monday: 3D Printer / OpenSCAD modeling class where we help people model ideas with OpenSCAD and Illustrator, and then allow them to print it on our 3D printer.
  • Tuesday: Combat Robotics Demo: Duke it out with miniature R/C machines in tabletop matches – it’s Robot Wars on a hand-held scale. Choose one from a field of 1-lb robots designed and built by Hive76 to drive and fight in a display of electro-mechanical fisticuffs. Learn the basics of building and strategy, and get a taste of upcoming combat robot classes offered at Hive76.
  • Wednesday: Open Hack Night, for anyone who wants to come and build, hack, or program. We’ll also have a Microcontoller session for individuals who want to become more familiar.
  • Thursday: Music Night: Come talk to our best music hackers and learn how to build effect pedals, make anything into a speaker and learn about amplifiers.
  • Saturday: Hive76 Ultimate Open House and Expo: Hive76 will have everything from the previous week available for display, and to play with.Also available will be Karaoke, Music, Movies, Food and Refreshments.
 
Necessity is the mother of all invention

Necessity is the mother of all invention

Michelle doesn’t drink coffee, so she does not own a coffee pot. However, she did have a few coffee filters left over from making cocktail bitters. Fortuitously, she had also finished off a jug of milk the night before, leaving it on the counter because I hadn’t yet taken out the garbage (see! Procrastination pays, probably!) So, the milk jug bottom with a hole cut in the center holds the filter. The milk jug top holds the bottom instead of the filter because the handle was crumpling the filter. The weight of the jug assembly with grounds and water make the chop sticks grip the assembly on top of the jar (my favorite part), otherwise the top-heavy nature of the assembly would probably make it topple over. And now coffee is ready! I can’t tell if it tastes good because it’s freshly ground or because I’m just overly pleased with myself.

 
Fight!

Such and Such vs. Uberclocker Advance (credit: Charles Guan)

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of competing at NERC‘s Motorama Robot Conflict with my fighting robot Such and Such – built 100% at Hive76.

Though it might have looked a little boring, that was the most exciting match of the competition for me. After 2 years of on-and-off work, Such and Such, the most ambitious robot I’ll ever build, worked like a charm.

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ANTS! TREMBLE BEFORE YOUR NEW OVERLORDS!

Ants’ new home gets blinged up. They can thank us later…

Jordan, Pete and I managed to finish the ant farm!  It is now home to over 1000 red harvester ants.  Unlike old ant farms that use dirt or sand,  ours uses a gel that was originally developed by NASA for ant experiments in space.  We are still looking into ways to make the gel ourselves, but in the mean time we found a website that manufactures the stuff, antgel.com.   The gel contains all the food and water that the ants will need to survive.  It even helps prevent them from developing infections.  The ants should have everything they need to reach the end of their life cycle, which should be in about 6 months.  

Right now, all the ants in our farm are workers, we don’t have a queen yet.  We have been discussing ways in which we could obtain a queen.  But it will probably be awhile before we decided to go through with it, since we would have to take extra precautions to ensure that a queen wouldn’t escape.

We are trying to get a camera up and running so we can make some time lapse videos of the ants as they work.  In the meantime, stop by open house and check them out for yourself!

 

The ants are settling in and have begun making tunnels.

 

 

Our original plans. The actual farm size is 16.0″x26.9″x2.25″. We went with box dimensions that were in proportion to the golden ratio for ascetics.

 

Hydroponics Update

Spinach about a week after nutrients added.

 The spinach I was growing managed to complete most of its life cycle. Around a week after my last post I added the nutrient solution to the plants’ water, thats when they really started to take off.  I had one hiccup during the test run where I didn’t properly sent the flow rate of one the IV bags and half the nutrient solution was lost. If I was a little less… well lazy that day… I would have replaced it , but I didn’t.  So the IV bag ran out of nutrient solution and some of the plants died before they reached maturity.  Luckily, the rest of the plants managed to reach their flowering stage.  So overall, the IV bags were incredible useful. Thanks Jordan for the idea!

 Seeing how classes are starting to pick up, I figure now is a good time to stop the experiment and take some time to look over my notes.  But, I hope to have another prototype built by the end of next month. ( Btw, sorry for not being around open house lately to discuss hydroponics, I have a night class that meets at the same time this semester).

Speaking of which, a friend of mine who frequently stops by open house, Ian, has taken the plans of the hydroponic garden I built two years ago and built one of his own at home.  Suffice to say, the plants have grown wild and are firmly in control of his bedroom. Given how successful his garden has been, he’s inspired me to dust of my old plans and think about building another, LARGER, set up for just for show (the hydro setup currently at Hive is mainly for experimentation).  That’s all for now…

Spinach reaching maturity.

 

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