Back in February I started teaching my Raspberry Pi 101 class at The Hack Factory. After the first class I think I had Pi on the brain, I was scheduled for a quick weekend trip out of town with my girlfriend, and she was due to leave her two cats behind. She said that she was going to leave a large bowl of cat food out, and with that I suggested that I build an automated cat feeder for them.
Ya know, so the cats don’t over eat, and maybe have a mixture of food, and it’s super cool! (Did I mention that it’s cool!?) So… five days before leaving town, I purchased the food hopper, and very quickly ran out of time to complete the project before leaving on vacation. So plan B it was, a large bowl of cat food , and water.
However, I did stick with my original plan, and saw the build to completion well before my next trip out of town. In this blog post, I’ll list out the step-by-step (for the most part) process to building your very own Wifi Enabled Raspberry Pi Powered Cat/Human Feeder.
Hey folks! Q4 Clean up is this Saturday January 12th – 10am-3pm
We have moved our Q4 clean up from December to January as we know that many folks have stuff going on over the coming holiday season. This time around we are going to focus on member storage. What does that mean? All items in member/project storage will be removed from the shelves (and the back bathroom/storage). If you have a project that you don’t want us to move, talk with an area or shop manager. We are flexible, but do need to get these cleaned out. The goal is to have space available for active projects. Any item that is not a work in progress or supporting a class function should be taken home. We are trying this first, as we have a lot of stuff that has not been worked on in 6+ months to over a year gathering dust on our project storage shelves. If this continues to be an issue, we will start charging for the use of project storage. We also will be reviewing items bigger then a bread box/small appliance that are not part of an active project or is unavailable for communal use. This review will happen after we have completed the Q4 project storage clean up.
Going forward, we will request that all items in project storage are placed inside a 12-13 gallon “attached lid container” (Max of 24″ D x 16″ W x 12.5″ H). We are going to standardize (more…)
Local members of The Replica Prop Forum will be having a Prop Party on Saturday, January 19 starting at 3PM at The Hack Factory. Ever wanted to see what a “real” raygun, phaser or lightsaber from movies and TV looks like? This is the time to find out! Talk to the builders and collectors of replica movie memoribilia and have your deepest questions answered. Feel free to bring any props, models or costumes of your own that you want to show off.
We are having our annual membership sale/drive this year! What does that mean? If you want to save some $$, and plan to support our community, this is a good alternative to paying for a monthly membership. This sale discounts an annual membership by $180!
Who: Any member or new member can take advantage of this.
What: 2013 annual membership for $480! That’s %27.27 off annual dues. *
When: Only from December 15th, 2012 to January 15th 2013.
Why: Because we like you, and want to give long standing members a discount.
*Memberships purchased during this sale are non-refundable after Jan 16th 2013, this is a one time sale to raise funds for our space, and we need to count on those funds being available over the 2013 year.
Due to an overwhelming number of attempted spambot registrations, registration of new accounts on our forum is temporarily disabled. Also, if you tried to register in the last day or so, your registration may have been lost in the noise. Please try again when registration is re-enabled in a day or so. An update will be posted here when registration is back online. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The Hack Factory will be getting a laser cutter/engraver!
The tool has a 40 watt laser, sufficient for burning and cutting softer materials, but not something that will cut through thick metal. The unit is located in the lower level of the Hack Factory. You must take the class in order to use this guy. The class will be a few hours, and cost $40. When using the laser it’s $1/10 minutes, or $5/hour. We are only asking that you track and pay for the time that the laser is active and burning.
We will need to be careful when using this tool, observing applicable safety rules to prevent damage and personal harm.
Adam Wolf of Wayne and Layne, and Twin Cities Maker Member will be hosting a class on how to solder one of his popular kits the blinky POV.
If you’ve never soldered before, this is the class for you! This course teaches through-hole (90% of electronic kits) soldering and is recommended for the beginner. This is a hands-on class where the students learn techniques to help them solder through-hole components. Soldering can be daunting for the first solder joint, then the 2nd solder joint is not so bad, and by the time you’ve assembled the blinky grid, you will be quite confident and proficient in basic soldering skills.
Classes take place at The Hack Factory. We provide all the tools, irons, solder, parts, and seats for up to 8 students.
There is a minimum age requirement of 8 years old, but other than that, anyone is encouraged to sign up. We teach people all the time with no previous soldering experience! You do not need to be a member of Twin Cities Maker to attend.
The class is expected to take around 1.5 hour to complete, there is a buffer built in in case we go a bit longer.
Prerequisites: None! Just bring yourself. The class price includes the cost of the blinky POV kit.
What to bring: TC Maker will provide all the tools, irons and solder.
Proceeds above will go to help keep TC Maker, support the space.
Time and Place: Tuesday Feb 7th 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Hack Factory
Cost: $16 (This is a great deal, the retail price is also $16, but with out the hack factory to solder at, and no Adam to be taught by.)
This is a reminder to everyone that the billing system has been updated to new prices but some automated payments are still at the old price. Please update your paypal subscriptions or bank bill pay to the new fees. For more information the updated dues please read the details HERE.
The updated membership options are:
$75 / month – Rockstar member ship you really love us!
$55 / month – Regular membership
$30 / month for students or unemployed
Links to update your paypal subscription can be found at our membership page.
John Baicthal and Adam Wolf wrote a few articles for Make:28, they are not online so you will need to pick up a physical copy. They wrote about making a Van de Graaff generator from a soda can making a wireless arcade-quality joystick-and-button-panel for playing video games.
We are also featured in John Baicthal’s Hack This! Yep, that is Twin Cities Maker is on the cover. John also has another book out Cult of LEGO, featured in the print edition of Wired!, and if rumors are true it will be on one of those in flight magazines on one of the major airlines, so look out for that.
Join today’s new revolution in creativity and community: hackerspaces. Stop letting other people build everything for you: Do it yourself. Explore, grab the tools, get hands-on, get dirty…and create things you never imagined you could. Hack This is your glorious, full-color passport to the world of hackerspaces: your invitation to share knowledge, master tools, work together, build amazing stuff–and have a flat-out blast doing it.
Twin Cities Maker co-founder John Baichtal explains it all: what hackerspaces are, how they work, who runs them, what they’re building—and how you can join (or start!) one. Next, he walks you through 24 of today’s best hackerspace projects…everything from robotic grilled-cheese sandwich-makers to devices that make music with zaps of electricity. Every project’s packed with color photos, explanations, lists of resources and tools, and instructions for getting started on your own similar project so you can DIY!
- from Amazon.com
Notropic Design, the other favorite open source manufacture of Twin Cites Maker, pushed out a new design, the defusable clock and has gotten an pretty amazing response so far, above is the Christmas Advert.
Matt Mackall, of Twin Cities Maker’s favorite open source code management tool Mercurial, is in the process of getting an Art Shanty built in the space. More on the Art Shanty project here.
And finally here is a short video of Twin Cities Makers Learn Arduino class performing on thier new noise machines.
The Hack Factory and Twin Cities Maker are announcing an updated dues schedule.
The great news is that we’ve experienced a blossoming of membership numbers over the past two years, and we want to keep the space going strong!
Over the last two years, the organization has been absorbing the cost of sales tax for all membership dues. What we need to do is recover that cost so we can more accurately budget our finances and our member needs.
Going forward, we are going to increase the dues by $5 per month.
Effective January 1st, 2012:
Regular membership dues will be $55/month
Student memberships dues will be $30/month
For the month of January, 2012 we are going to have a membership special, giving a chance for folks to save on dues:
One year membership for $550 – this includes two free classes. This is a savings of $110 to $250.
Six month membership for $275 – This is savings of $55.
TC Maker is offering these deals so we can help to increase our membership and have a stronger cash flow. We need your help in spreading the word about TC Maker, and recruit new members.
All memberships are deemed non-refundable, and are kept by the organization.
For the classes, if the materials fees exceed $25, we may ask that you pay the difference that would apply to materials fees.
TC Maker will also be offering Rock Star memberships of $75/month. What does this give you? A warm place in our heart, and a listing on our Rock Star page.
Want to do a prepaid membership? Send an email to treasurer[-at]tcmaker.org.
If you have questions or comments about these changes, please send an email to info[-at-]tcmaker.org.
Thank you for your continued support and membership in TC Maker. Have a wonderful, productive, and Makerly New Year!
Twin Cities Maker’s Hack Factory is open for visitors during the Seward Arts Fest and Frankin Frolic!
Come see some of the art and fun things that are built here at the Hack Factory. We’re showing some movie and tv props, costumes, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and of course our ever-popular Spoonapult and Trebfoshay.
We’re welcoming visitors on Friday, Dec. 2 from 5-7 PM and Saturday, Dec. 3 from noon until 5 PM.
As many of you know, Twin Cities Maker is fiscally sponsored by the wonderful folks at Springboard for the Arts. Because of this partnership, physical and capital donations to us can be tax deductible. On the right side of the blog, there’s always a link to our fundraiser page through Give MN , a group that facilitates charitable giving here in Minnesota.
Every year, Give MN sponsors a “Give to the Max” fund-raising drive for charities across Minnesota. Today, Wednesday the 16th, our usual processing fees are waived for all donations received through Give MN. As an extra bonus, each hour all day long, one random donor to GiveMN will get a bonus $1000 added to the first donation they made that hour. So even a small donation can have a chance to help out a lot, and every donation we get increases our odds of getting the bonus cash. Even the most modest donation made by clicking the logo above is quite appreciated.
If you’re pondering giving financially to Twin Cities Maker before the end of the year, today is the day that we will get the most benefit from your generosity. We can always take non-cash and cash donations, but Give to the Max happens once a year. If you’ve got a maker who’s particularly hard to buy a holiday gift for, a donation in their name might be just what they were hoping for.
Membership dues cover our basic operational costs, and previous generous donations have gotten us some major improvements to our space. Help us keep our gears spinning! Your generosity will help to buy tools and equipment, improve the space, and offer even greater services to the maker community in the Twin Cities.
As always, feel free to email “development” at our domain if you’ve got any questions about donations.
The big Mill-er TIG is up and running. And talk about power, this thing has juice to spare. That being said, we are having an orientation class to familiarize members with this machine. The class is mandatory for anyone using the machine. We need to be SURE everyone has been given the proper startup and shutdown procedures to keep from damaging the machine. Also for simplicity sake, we want everyone to use the same collet/tungsten electrode kit rated for this welder, so you will be getting your own kit as part of the orientation materials (dont worry we get a good discount on bulk orders so its cheaper than getting it yourself). Also this unit uses quite a bit of argon. We want to make sure we can keep this thing in gas, so we trying to get a shop sized tank. The rest of the orientation cost goes right back into feeding this beast a steady diet of argon.
This will not be an introduction to welding class. You will need to have had a mig or gas welding class before signing up and be a member in good standing of the Hack Factory. You can also test out of the prerequisite classes by finding either Dave or I and showing off your wicked welding skills.
Videoman testing the big TIG
You can also register in person with Karin (class/events coordinator) up til nov 25th (we need a week to order kits)
550 cord (aka paracord) is strong, relatively inexpensive and versatile. Our “101″ course will teach you to make useful, decorative and interesting things using this material. No prior experience necessary. We’ll use a few basic (and surprisingly simple) knots to tie a variety of bracelets, belts, tool lanyards, handle wraps, key fobs and holsters.
The course will cover the basics of working with cord, design and measurement considerations and pro tips of executing and finishing your projects. Practical “lifehacker” applications for rope and cord and a few extra knots that everyone should know will also be shared. Don’t worry if you can’t even tie your shoes (we’ll teach you a superior knot for that too).
This course is very hands-on. All materials and tools will be provided. We’ll complete several projects in class and students will go home with extra cord and a basic tool kit to continue their exploration of cordcraft.
Jeff “Rigger” Berg will be the instructor. Jeff’s been fooling around with rope for over a decade. His resumé includes a stint as a yacht rigger.