July 19th, 2012 by danbackslide
Get checked out and up to speed to “fire the laser!” (As Dr. Evil Says)
This class will teach the basics on the laser, safety and all sorts of fun things! Graduates of this class will be authorized to use the laser cutter at the Hack Factory. Practice using the laser cutter will be provided.
Two classes are scheduled:
- Monday, July 23, 6:30PM – 8:30PM
- Tuesday, August 14, 6:30PM – 8:30PM
For more background information on the laser cutter see the information on the TC Maker Wiki’s Laser Engraver page, and the TC Maker Forum laser cutter discussion.
Sign up for one of the classes at Eventbrite!
July 19th, 2012 by danbackslide
Learn to make a fully functional american flat bow! Two classes are being offered, on 7/22 and 7/29. The class covers:
- A brief review of the types of traditional wood bows and focus on the American Flatbow, it’s origin and design (This is the type of bow that participants will be making)
- An intro on the types of designs and modifications that can improve the look and performance of an american flatbow.
- Types of wood used for wood bows, and their characteristics
- The pros and cons of working with red oak wood.
- Tools used for bowmaking, including hand tools and power tools
- Each participant will be provided with all the materials and tools needed to make this bow.
- Class materials will include exactly one red oak board per student, of dimensions 1.5″ by .75″ by 6′, selected by the teacher.
The class will include a brief description of what archery “tackle”, or gear, is needed to actually use a bow, including bow strings, arrows, forearm protection (vambraces), finger protection (archery tabs or shooting gloves), quivers, and bow cases. Sign up for the class at Eventbrite!
June 28th, 2012 by danbackslide
It’s time once again to do some concentrated clean-up around the space. We’ll be doing our quarterly cleaning this Saturday, June 30, starting at 10:00 am. This time the focus will be on sweeping up the accumulated cruft behind machines and workbenches, along with the usual straightening up and throwing out. Remember, the more people that show up, the less any one of those people will have to do!
After cleaning up, the grill will be fired up and the goofing off will commence. See you Saturday!
March 4th, 2012 by danbackslide
Lots of people have been asking when we’re doing our next Arduino class. The answer is soon! Arduino 101 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. This class should get you moving down the road to microcontroller nirvana!
The cost includes a nice little parts kit, some of which we’ll be using in class.
There are two classes scheduled:
- Session 1: March 15 and March 22, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
- Session 2: April 19 and April 26, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Both sessions are listed on the registration page, so make sure you only sign up for one. (Unless you really want to take the class twice. We’d be more than happy to see you at both sessions!)
Students will need to provide their own Arduino board, and a laptop for running the software. Details and prices are on the course registration page.
October 27th, 2011 by danbackslide
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.
February 6th, 2011 by danbackslide
If you have a background in science, math, biology, engineering, or any other technical background, the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair would love to have you as a judge.
The science fair runs Friday, February 25th and Saturday, February 26th at the University of Minnesota Field House. About 400 students will need to have at least 3 judges evaluate their projects on Friday, between 4.00PM and about 9.30PM. It takes 10 – 15 minutes to judge a project — if you do the math, that means they need lots of judges!
Judges are also needed to evaluate student papers. This is all being done online this year; paper judging is running right now, and will go until Feb. 16th.
TCRSF also needs other volunteers to help with the logistics: Setup and teardown, checking in the kids, scoresheet wrangling, and all sorts of other duties. 400 students, 200 teachers, 1400+ scoring sheets — it all adds up to a huge undertaking.
I know there are plenty of talented technical folks in TCMaker, and I think you’d have a blast doing this. The curiosity and enthusiasm of the kids at TCRSF is amazing, and inspiring. I hope I’ll see some of you there!
January 2nd, 2011 by danbackslide
The TCMaker Wiki has been overhauled! We’ve moved over to DokuWiki, cleaned out the cruft and laid the groundwork for The Future. Work continues, so expect lots of non-existent pages for a bit. More info after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »
May 12th, 2009 by danbackslide
Atwater-Kent Model 20 chassis
This spring I’ve been taking a hands-on class on vintage radio repair at the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting. The first radio I brought in (an RCA 96T1, ca. 1938) I thought would be simple. It turned out to be in pretty bad shape — bad power transformer, bad speaker, almost all the caps need replacing… In short, it’s turned into a major project.
So I switched over to my other radio, a 1925 Atwater-Kent Model 20 “big box.” It’s a lot simpler than the RCA: 5 01A tubes, 3 condensers, a handful of resistors and capacitors. I also thought it’d be simple, and I was again wrong. 3 out of the 5 tubes tested bad. The grid-leak detector had been replaced with a soldered-in fuse in an earlier repair attempt. Thanks to the museum’s massive supply of vintage parts those items were fixed in short order, but when power was applied I found none of it was getting to the RF tubes.
Luckily, this radio was made at a time when manufacturers expected people to repair things. Remove 8 screws from the front plate, and the entire chassis lifts out, revealing all the components. A bit of poking with a multimeter (and a trip to Google for a better schematic) soon revealed a bad solder joint. And a wound wire resistor that’s open, so I have to fix that next. Then I’ll have to build a power supply — did I mention this thing runs off lead-acid batteries?
I keep reminding myself that, with all the troubles I’ve run into, I’m learning a lot….