Open house at the Hack Factory October 26th Style

October 27th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Pictures from the shenanigans that occur weekly at the Hack Factory of Minnesota, including but not limited to, robot, welding, (unfortunately not pictures of a robot welding)  pumpkin carving, paracord watches, crystal oscillator testers, people talking in a hallway, archery, and a smiley face drawn in Hack Factory dust.

Every Wednesday Twin Cities Maker opens it’s doors to the public, stop by and meet the makers of Minnesota. Congrats to the new members that signed up as well! We are still in need of about ~15 to 20 members to make this work into the future, so if you are interested is seeing Twin Cities Maker exist in the future it’s worth becoming a member.



Arduino for English Majors

October 27th, 2011 by danbackslide

Arduino microcontroller

We meet a lot of people who want to play with the Arduino, but they don’t know where to start. Back when I was getting started with the Arduino I was in the same boat. I’m an English major. I had no electronics knowledge to speak of, and nothing like Twin Cities Maker to turn to for help. It would have been so much easier if there had been a friendly makerspace offering a class…

Good news, everyone!

Arduino for English Majors is a two-night class in the basics of the Arduino and electronics. It’s designed for people with no background in electronics or programming. Taught by an actual English major (with help from someone who actually knows electricy stuff), Arduino for English Majors will get you started down the path of microcontroller-y goodness.

Students will need to provide their own Arduino board, and a laptop for running the software. The class is on 11/10 and 11/17 (Thursday nights), from 7.00pm to 9.30pm. Details and prices are on the course registration page.

Pumpkin Hacking – Tonight 10/26 7pm

October 26th, 2011 by pyrodogg

Photo By Bre Pettis

Bring a pumpkin to open house and join the pumpkin hacking party! We will have some tools on hand but feel free to bring your own.

Women’s Night – Tonight 10/25 at 6pm

October 25th, 2011 by pyrodogg

What: Women’s Night
Where: Hack Factory
When: Tonight, Tues. Oct 25th form 6pm to 9pm
Why: Tonight we will be offering a crochet lesson and an intro to mig welding class at 7pm


The last Tuesday of every month we will holding an open night for women only. We would like to open the Hack Factory to all women in our community and showcase what we can offer. We believe everyone should have access to our resources and open exchange of information.

E-Hack Night – 7pm Tonight!

October 24th, 2011 by pyrodogg

Come out to the Hack Factory this evening for a few hours of electronic hackery.

  • Have questions on an electronics project or looking for inspiration?
  • Need help getting something soldered together?
  • Need fresh eyes on a problem that’s been driving you nuts?
  • Just looking to get things done along with other electronics folks?

Then this night is for you!

We’ll be set-up in the classroom between 7pm and 10pm. Come on out and explore your electronic hacking skills.


October 21st, 2011 by wammie

I love playing with words and I think I’ve come up with a new, original wordplay idea: HACKRONYMS. I’ve Googled this and not found an instance, so maybe my claim of originality is legit.

Here’s the idea.

Definition of HACKRONYM: a hacked acronym (e.g., butchered, baked, maked) from a commonly known acronym, for its appeal to the hacker and maker communities.

Especially good HACKRONYMS would bear a definition (or definitions) related to the acronym from which it originated, strike immediate accord with the hacker/maker experience, lingo, and ethic, and embrace irony or humor. They would also not be generated from special acronyms already well established in the communities, lest they cause confusion in use.


FBI – Fixed, But Inscrutable
NASA – Needs A Space Assessment
IRS – Is Really Sucky
PBJ – Pretty Badly Jammed
UFO – Unidentified “Fixed” Object
BTW – Better This Way
AM – Ante Make
PM – Post Make
TBA – To Be Attacked
TGIF – Thank God It’s Finished

Can you come up with some good HACKRONYMS?

There is a discussion thread on HACKRONYMS in our forum.

Oct 19th Open Hack Night

October 21st, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Pictures and video from 10/19/2011’s Open Hack night at the one an only Hack Factory in Minneapolis. Lots of interesting and weird stuff going on. Enjoy.

Board Game Night!

October 18th, 2011 by karinf22

This Thursday, Oct 20, 2011 7:00 – 11:00 PM

Come out to the hack factory to enjoy an evening of tabletop gaming. Please bring a game, a snack to share and a couple dollars if you would like pizza.  Event itself is free and open to all ages.  Bring friends and family and enjoy some great social time.

Open Hack Night October 12th 2011

October 12th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Pictures from October 12th’s Open House @ the Hack Factory (every Wednesday) and some photos from the E Hack nights (every Monday).

New estimates from the board put us around 90-100 members to be in the black, that meaning we need ~100 to make rent, pay our other bills, and fund some of the routine things the board needs to do. This new estimate takes into account the more than expected amount of members at the student/unemployed rate. Last month we had 71, so we are close but we have a way to go.

If you have been looking at TC Maker for awhile or just found us and are interested, as always, we recommenced you to stop by our Wednesday night open houses, if that doesn’t work shoot the board an email and they can usually give you some good advise on when to stop by. They are @

Twin Cities Maker would also like to welcome 3 new members that signed up tonight, welcome!

Here also is a short video that Steve put together for a community access show that may or may not happen, but the intro is made, and here for your viewing pleasure.

and we are on a map!

Upcoming Events @ The Hack Factory

October 6th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

A brief list of some of the upcoming events at The Hack Factory, check the calendar for a full list of upcoming events.

Handmade music 10 (10/7/11)the Stella amp build night still has a few seats open if you want to build your own music amplifier.

Riley’s bow making class (10/8/11) is almost filled up, but there are spots open. Due to demand he is offering an additional class bow making course on (10/22/11)

Pumpkin Hacking (10/26/11)  Bring a pumpkin to open house and join the pumpkin hacking party!

Barcamp 6 in Milwaukee = WIN

October 2nd, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Got back today from attending Barcamp 6 in Milwaukee. Basically it was a 36 hour (straight through the night) of talks/hacking/demoing/learning. The conference is set up to not be a bunch of big wig speakers, but passionate attendees that share their knowledge to the group. I was kinda of unsure how well this would work, but I have to say now, that I AM A FAN!

First off we sent a microphone around the room of 100+ people with the purpose of getting a name and what that person wanted to teach and what they wanted to learn. So that right there changed what was being presented that day, as someone wanting to learn X, inspire someone else to teach X as we went around the room.

Needless to say we need to send more people to this barcamp. The Milwaukee barcamp is very hackerspace focused, and the ideas presented were fresh and fun. I am planning to go back next year.logo

Interview on EEweb

October 1st, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Mike Hord previous president of Twin Cities Maker and former member (he moved to Colorado) is one of the featured engineers on EEWeb.

Michael Hord

Michael Hord – Electrical Engineer, SparkFun Electronics

How did you get into electronics/engineering and when did you start?

I came to electronics fairly late in the game. It was my senior year of high school before it occurred to me that I could make a career out of it. My high school physics teacher told us some stories about the fun stuff the electrical engineering students he knew in college had made, and that sealed the deal. That is not to say I didn’t have interest in it in the past—as a child I took apart a ridiculous number of electronic gadgets, some of which my parents would rather I hadn’t.

After high school I went on to study engineering at North Dakota State University. For me it was a great decision because of its engineering program, which is very well-respected especially in the Upper Midwest region.

What are your favorite hardware tools that you use?

My senses. I start out every troubleshooting session with four of my senses: does anything look wrong (size, shape, color), does anything feel wrong (hotter or colder than expected), does anything sound wrong (clicking, buzzing, whining), and what about smell (burning, unnatural odors)?

The best part is that setup and calibration time for these tools is zero. I always know where they are, and they’re pretty easy to use.

Full Interview

Mike was one of the members who worked on the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge that we entered and recently received our soldering irons from, thanks elemment 14!

Here is a video explaining the entry into the Hackerspace challenge

In another note if you look in the bottom left hand section of the photo above from the eeweb site you will a stack of plastic corrugated boxes, Mike is the one who was so kind as to donate hundreds of them to TC Maker when we first got our space, thanks Mike!