Amateur Radio at the Hack Factory

July 30th, 2011 by jrsphoto

We realize that many of our members are licensed amateur radio operators.  It has been the desire for some time to have a station at the Hack Factory where our licensed operators would be able to enjoy the hobby.  Recently, one of our members has loaned us a complete HF station for just this purpose, complete with computer for logging and digital mode fun.  The station is small for now but we are planning on expanding the station, getting a club license, and teaching some classes to get new people into this wonderful hobby.    In addition to the HF station, we also have a Icom VHF radio for local 2m repeater access.  These radios are available to all FCC Licensed – TCMaker members.

We would love you to come and be a part of the fun..  For more detailed information on the station, see our wiki page or contact jrsphoto for more information.


Digi-Key sent us One-Day passes to Maker Faire Detroit & SWAG!!!

July 26th, 2011 by videoman

Maker Faire
The awesome folks at Digi-Key send us a box of T-Shirts and Maker Faire Detroit one day passes to give out. So if your going and want a free pass, follow @tcmaker and @digikey on twitter and post a pic of a project that you have made. Doesn’t have to be Digikey purchased parts, but it would help. Project posts will get choice of a Digi-Key T-Shirt and Tickets.

When tweeting, include @tcmaker and @digikey in the tweet so we can track them, thanks and good luck!


-David (@_videoman_)

Reminder: Introduction to Wood Joinery this Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 21st, 2011 by jrsphoto

Just a reminder that this Saturday, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm at the Hack Factory, is a Introduction to Wood Joinery course led by Christopher Odegard

There is still space available for people so check this class out.  It a good chance to get an introduction to wood jointer and why/where to use specific joint types.  Below is the class description.  See you there…

The various styles and traditions of wood joinery can be used to make a structure stronger, more durable, and more aesthetically pleasing. The purpose of this class will be to introduce students to some of the basic and common variant styles and terminology of joinery. This will include considerations for deciding how two (or more) pieces of wood will be joined when creating an initial project plan. Techniques for lap joints, tongue and groove joints, box and dovetail interlocking joints, mortise-and-tenon joints, and some more specific styles of joinery will be discussed. There also will be demonstration of how to build a few useful jigs, and how to mark and cut a variety of joints, including dovetails and mortise joints, using both hand and machine tools. Students are encouraged to bring questions, example plans, tools, jigs, or reference material to enrich the discussion.

There is a small fee of $15 for members, $25 for non-members; no additional shop or materials fees apply

Preregister at:
contact if you have any questions.

Got a nice Rack?, Willing to share?

July 16th, 2011 by otto_pjm

As you may know the Hack Factory is expanding, and as such is in need of some storage racking, and key shop tools. The intention is to shop auctions for the best values on these items.

We hope to fund these items from donations as the organizations funds are committed to covering expansion related costs. So here’s where you come in. If you have any of the items Twin Cities Maker needs, and are willing to donate them that’s fantastic. please see the list of needs, at the details link, and fill in the form outlining what you have, and the logistics help needed to deliver or pickup the items.

If you are willing and able to donate funds to support purchasing these items please use the donation form in the details link

This expansion equipment drive is a targeted event to collect infrastructural equipment to support the expansion, it is not intended to equip the Hack Factory with a full set of tools but rather to pave the way for a variety of tools and activities. Think of this as the roads, gas and electrical infrastructure of a town, you need these first so that people can setup shop and get to work.

Adopt a tool details and donation page

Wednesday Night Roundup 7/13/11

July 14th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Pictures from 7/13/11 Open Hack at the Hack Factory.

Two post from TCMakers went up on Make:Blog which is always fun to see.

Our very own Sunsh1ne was interviewed along with a few others on Women in Hackerspaces! The full article is up on Make:Blog.

Paul Sobczak’s video showing a prototype of a sound based led switch that he was working on last during last weeks open hack video below.

Arduino PD LED Adudio Thing from paul sobczak on Vimeo.

Maker Faire Detroit!

July 11th, 2011 by videoman

Just got an email from Maker Faire Detroit that we have been accepted, and will be exibiting at this years event! Hurray!
Maker Faire

For those who don’t know what Maker Faire is about, it’s a great time to see other people projects, and network with really awesome people! Visit their web site for more information:

Power Wheels FTW
They are also having power wheel races this year at the Faire, and it would be super cool to see if we could come up with a car in the next 2 weeks. For more info on that event, check out, and send Dave a message on twitter- @_videoman_ if you want to help.

TC Maker @ Bastille Day Block Party, Sunday July 17, 2011

July 10th, 2011 by wammie

Hey, it’s party time at the Bastille Day Block Party on Sunday, July 17, and TC Maker will be there! Join the fun and see our table near Barbette Restaurant at Irving and Lagoon Avenues in Minneapolis!

Bastille Day 2011 Poster

Handmade Music Minneapolis Number Eight

July 7th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

It’s time for another round of Handmade Music!

Number 8 will be held on July 25 9pm at the Hack Factory.

  • Rifflord is gonna play heavy music on Handmade gear.
  • Mike Hutchins is gonna talk about that gear.
  • Adam Loper is gonna play his modified organ and leslie cabinet.
  • Dust Buns is gonna freak out the squares

Bring your ears and toys. The event is free and open to the public.

Handmade Music Minneapolis Blog

Join the Facebook event and pass it on to your friends!

Open Hack Night 7/6/11

July 7th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak




Pictures and videos from the 7/6/11 Open Hack at the Hack Factory.

Twin Cities Maker operates an open house every Wednesday from 7:00pm till late, and it’s open to the public! If you are interested in getting to know what TCMaker is about, or just want something to do on a Wednesday night stop by and say hello. Bring a project if you’re working one, or a problem if you need something fixed, we might be able to help.

We now have over 2,000 images in the Twin Cities Maker Flickr pool too!

Rewinding a transformer, and how not to.

July 4th, 2011 by otto_pjm

I am swapping out the driver boards on my CNC Router, and my existing power supply of 42 VDC is too high for the new drivers which include voltage regulators with a maximum voltage of 36 Volts. I rather liked my supply, just a big transformer, a bridge and a capacitor with bleed resistor, so I decided to try and keep it.

I started by seeing which of the windings I could get at easily, turned out none, was the answer. The Transformer is built with hundreds of “E” shaped plates that are fit together from opposite directions to form the transformers core, so with a bit a trepidation I removed the bolts and began to remove the “E” plates in search of a winding I could easily access.

After quite a bit of plate removal I was able to access the input (120V) windings, and after an poorly thought out whiteboard session I decided that was what I needed, reduce the input windings to bring the final voltage down.







Read the rest of this entry »