Open Beacon or was that Open Bacon?

We have an Open Beacon install currently running at Hive for the next month or so. We are doing some testing and research on what the platform can offer just for the fun of it.

As part of this, we are trying to do some tracking. It turns out that our test setup is compatible with badges from The Last HOPE. If you are in the Philly area and want to play with OpenBeacon, or if you have a badge from The Last HOPE you can lend us, we’d appreciate the help!

(Photo is Creative Commons from Pedro Moura Pinheiro)

Trenton Ave Arts Festival

2009 Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby (51)
With all of the excitement and planning taking place in preparation for the Trenton Ave Arts Festival, we forgot to post about it…

Our bad!

So, without further delay, I’d like to announce that Hive76 is going to be representin’ at our first all-day event, this Saturday, May 22nd!

“But what can I expect to see at booth #73?”

For starters, we’ll be teaching folks a little bit about electronic circuits and how to solder, so they can walk away with their very own, custom made in Philly, bike odometer/safety light!

“Seriously? Can it get any better?”

We’re Hive76. Of course it can! If the bike odometer isn’t your thing, how about a not-so-plain safety light? We’ll have an assortment of LED colors on hand to choose from to make a light that blinks at a rate related to how fast your riding!

“Cool! But I don’t like soldering irons, or batteries. What can I do?”

We’re going to have the amazing, vinyl-cutting Craft Robo! Custom cut vinyl stickers to make your sweet ride even sweeter?? Sweet! You’ll even have an assortment of colors to choose from!

“You all must really like bikes. Are you going to buy a 6 person bike with all our loot?”

We do like bikes! So much so, that all of the proceeds from this event are going to fund tech-centric bike classes for kids! This June, Hive76 and Neighborhood Bike Works are going to team up to offer cheap or free classes to kids where they will be making their own bike lights.

“Oh yeah? What else is going on?”

Well, there is a little something called the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby that will be right around the corner…

So be sure to come and check out the Hive76 booth this Saturday, May 22nd, at the Trenton Ave Arts Festival! Do it for the kids!

Top S33kert RFID Project

A top s33kret RFID project is going on at Hive76, starting next week.
An RFID tag
What I can tell (in a google search-able place) is that It’s a RFID system based on Open Beacon for an event this summer. We could use some hardware hackers, UI/Web/Software folks, and a server wrangler or two. We are meeting next week (Tuesday Night) at an undisclosed location to do some planning for this, and get started. If you think you can spend some time working on this project, email to get the details and get involved.

Hive76 Management Elections – 2010

Here ye. Here ye.
Let it be known the results of the Hive76 Management Election [so far.]
These positions have incumbents and they will roll on through for 6 more months:
Instigator: Far McKon
CTO: Adam K.
Events Coordinator: Jack Zylkin (This is a kind of a new position.)

But there has been a change in the Secretary where “lame duck” Adam E. has decided not to run again. The candidates were Dan and Chris and Chris was chosen. [and so I get to blog more I guess]

Also, Philip will be taking over for Brian as Bookkeeper and ran unopposed.

Lastly, the voting was a tie for Quartermaster between PJ and Brendan, so we will be re-voting.

Thanks for the hard work past management peeps, and here’s to a good future new management!

Symmetry Design for 3D printing

Printed half-object. Print its mirror image (see instructions above), then glue together.

If you are designing objects for printing on MakerBot, the convention is to not try to print anything with overhangs. Well, what if you really want to? Simple… just cut your object in half, digitally. If you design with symmetry in mind, you can save yourself a whole lot of time and effort. Design and model half of your object. Print it out. Then invert your x or y axis, and print again. Bang, you get the exact mirror image of the first half-object. You won’t have to do any more modeling, processing, skeining, or converting to .s3g. bonus is that a single .s3g file on your SD card will be able to print both the left and right half-object. you will need to glue them together at the end, but this trick is most useful if your object has a lot of overhangs when trying to print it in one-shot. Just glue or epoxy them together to get a complete object.

This works really well for sphere-like (not quite spherical) objects, such as heads. See here: Symmetry Design — Blender Monkey Suzanne

Symmetric Monkey Head Print

Best of all, editing your hardware settings to flip either the X or Y axis means you can print the same .s3g file twice, once for each “half-face” of the object. Because the gcode is identical, this will always necessarily produce an exact mirror image.

Guitar Effects Workshop – DIY PCB Etching – Monday, May 3rd @ 7:30pm

PCB Toner Transfer

This coming Monday at our monthly Guitar Effects Study Group we will be hosting a workshop on fabricating your own printed circuit boards at home. We will discuss a few of the different ways to transfer a PCB layout to a bare copper-clad board, including the toner transfer method, and show you how to make your own etchant out of chemicals you can find at your local hardware store. We will be providing a few small designs and a blank PCB so you can etch a board to take home with you. If you have a specific board that you would like to make during the workshop, just send us the layout files before the class so we can evaluate the feasibility of etching them with this process. There are a ton of circuit board layouts available for free online, so if you have a specific project in mind, let us know and we can help you find a design that might work for you.

Since we will be working with chemicals, you probably don’t want to wear your best clothes, and try to bring rubber gloves and safety goggles. We normally order pizza about halfway through the night. We would appreciate a $5 donation for materials we are providing for this class, but if you can’t afford that, don’t let that keep you from coming out. There’s plenty of material for everyone. If you have any questions before the class, feel free to email us. See you Monday!

For music-specific circuits, check out the following links: