A Home for Windsor's Tech Community


Hackforge Weekend at W.A.V.E.S!

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We had a great time this weekend at the w.a.v.e.s festival at the Detroit River. Friday and Saturday evening, the riverfront was lit up from Janette Ave to the Ambassador Bridge with displays, booths, art, food, and music. Hackforge had nonstop visitors to our booth which featured a hand-crank SpokePOV bike, our Makerbot 3D printer, and a cymatics rig. Our highly interactive booth was the source of lots of noise, questions, and discussion on the future of technology.

We also brought together electronic nerds and bike nerds with SpokePOVs. On Friday night, we stopped by Bike Friendly Windsor Essex‘s AGM at City Cyclery and attached the custom display LEDs to three bikes ┬ábefore their Night Lights Ride.

Big props to Chris Deschamps, Nik Steel, Paul Anderson, AmberJoy Kouvalis, Aaron Mavrinac, and Phil Aylesworth for helping out during the festival.

Click below for a Storified breakdown of the weekend!

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Octopus Attack at Nerd Nite!

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Hackforge attended Nerd Nite at Phog Lounge last Thursday, September 18th! We talked about the who, what, why of Hackforge and demonstrated SpokePOV and 3D printing! We also 3D printed this lil’ guy. Big thanks to AmberJoy Kouvalis for bringing her 3D printer for the night and Paul Anderson for helping with the demonstrations.

If you’d like to see 3D printing and SpokePovs for yourself, come check out Hackforge’s booth at this weekend’s w.a.v.e.s festival!

 


SpokePOV Workshop Gets Ready to Light Up w.a.v.e.s

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Saturday, September 20th, Hackforge got together to assemble SpokePOV kits for this weekend’s w.a.v.e.s. festival. The programmed LED lights will be attached to bicycle spokes and ridden around the festival on September 26th and 27th.

We had a dozen people come to the event, including a handful of beginners to soldering. Our Program Coordinator Sarah was on Team Newbie and learned to work on a circuit board. Big thanks to everyone who attended and to those who brought their soldering irons!

We’re excited to show off our hard work this weekend at w.a.v.e.s. Keep an eye out for us – we’ll be so bright, it will be hard to miss us!

Click below for more pictures! Thanks to Hannah Rose for the great shots of the afternoon.

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Sneak Preview: Hackforge Prepares for w.a.v.e.s

Hackforge is busy preparing for the upcoming w.a.v.e.s festival! As part of our participation at the festival, we are marrying art and technology with persistence of vision technology. Check out the amazing work by Hackforgers Paul and Kevin. Stay tuned for more as we get closer to the festival.

Be sure to join us on September 26th and 27th at the Sculpture Garden for w.a.v.e.s!


The 8×8 LED Matrix Project

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For the past couple of months Rob Caruso, one of the ingenious and industrious HF members has been quietly implementing a discrete 8×8 LED Matrix using the pegboard backing of one of the workbenches at the Hackforge.

The goal is to provide an educational platform, not a complete standalone display. The 8×8 LED matrix was chosen simply to utilize the existing pegboard surface. A conscious design aspect was to provide a simple ‘plug and play’ method for breadboarding experiments that utilize typical hobbyist microprocessor such as the Arduino, PIC and the ever popular Raspberry PI. Integrating the display into the existing backboard of the workbench has an inherent appeal for those who equate blank space as wasted potential. For this project Rob has blended 3D printed LED holders (his own design) with standard prototyping PCB boards to create a well-engineered design that will permit novice microprocessor (or RPi) programmers to show off their projects with a minimum of construction.

Rob has extended the utility of the matrix by providing a means of allowing the LED’s to be changed for different colours or replaced easily in the event of ‘design malfunction’. Using the 3D printer at the Hackforge, he designed a holder that snugly fits into the existing 1/4″ holes to secure the LED. A two-pin socket, glued to the back of the holder is fitted into strips of PCB board to provide a common bus for the Anodes(+) and Cathodes(-). What you end up with is 8 wires from the Plus side of the matrix and 8 wires from the Minus side that will fit into convenient plug-in headers. The intrepid experimenter needs only to connect their breadboard via short runs of jumper cables to these sockets, keeping everything in view. It should be noted too that the LED holders contain a plastic clip (part of the 3D composition) that secures the plug from popping out of the hole.

There is still some work to be done before this project can be pronounced ‘done’. In particular the wires running from the back to the sockets at the front need to be secured, and of course the position of the sockets themselves need to be finalized. Two standard 8-pin Arduino headers will likely be used, allowing for simple plugin-in ability from whatever device the experimenter chooses. We believe that simply mounting a typical Arduino UNO R3 board onto the backboard will be the ‘gateway drug’ to future experimentation.

The project can be considered completed, and ready for the enthusiastic hobbyist to develop their version of 8×8 PONG….

Click below for Terry McAlinden’s photo of the work…

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