Retro Gaming Day –

Hey everyone! We’re running a retro gaming day on Sunday and you should come!

When: Sun, September 25, 11:30am – 7:00pm
Where: think|haus, 25 Dundurn St N, Hamilton ON (map)Description: Come play retro and not so retro games, eat sugar cereal, and relive your childhood days. We will have the following game systems on hand:
* Nintendo 64
* Atari 2600 flashback
* NES
* dosbox with Carmen Sandiego
* Xbox 360
We have one big teevee, a projector, and a bunch of monitors. Bring yourself, your games, your system, and maybe your pjs? Come hang out and play games just like the good old days.

$5 entry – everyone welcome

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Cable Chain for the Laser

We have wanted to add some features to the laser like Air Assist and possibly aiming sites for the laser to assist in seeing where the laser is going to cut.  Recently George has been printing a cable chain, using a design from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10946 that he enlarged a bit, for it.  A cable chain is special in that it can curl in one direction but will remain straight in the opposite direction.  At the same time it is hollow inside to allow, as in our case, for wires and tubes to safely run inside it.

MakerBot CupCake

We are going to have to print two chains, one to go along the x-axis and another for along the y-axis, but we are going along well.  There is more than enough room within the cable chain for everything we want.

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2x success!

So I’ve been experimenting with a new feature I’m adding to the Inkscape plugin – basically it allows for assisted double-sided cutting with the laser. You can run the laser at less power (or higher speed) by cutting halfway through one side, flipping over the material, and cutting through the other half. Read the rest of this entry »

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Laser update

So from time to time bad things can happen with the laser, usually in the form of things burning and/or breaking. These past couple of weeks I’ve been building a box to monitor various status conditions of the laser. Initially this will be coolant flow rate and temperature, but could eventually include an air flow sensor, tube temperature, power consumption, etc. Basically this box will be an independent system for checking the overall health of the laser system, and signal to the user when things look wonky. Possible actions include audible alarm, triggering an estop, or praying to a preprogrammed god of your choice.

Anyhow, here are some progress photos:

The box is laser cut hardboard (designed in Inkscape). The charring gives a smart border. Inside is an Arduino, Nokia 3310 LCD screen and some connectors for interfacing with sensors. The temperature sensor is a simple thermistor, and the flow sensor is a FS-4400H. I’ll be posting source code, schematics and designs when I’m closer to finishing.

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MiniMakerFaireToronto == Awesome

think|haus members spent the last couple of days representing Hamilton’s hackerspace at the MiniMakerFaire in Toronto and had an absolute blast. If you’re in the GTA and you missed it… well, you missed a whole lot! Plan on being there next year I guess.

Here’s a bunch of pictures from the weekend.

If you think MakerFaire is cool, keep your eyes peeled for SoOnCon2011 this fall and SoOnCamp2012 next summer.

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think|haus is going to Toronto Maker Faire

You should join us this weekend at the Toronto Maker Faire

http://makerfairetoronto.ca/

Toronto Mini Maker Faire is the ultimate celebration of making, crafting, DIY-ing, tinkering, hacking and sharing. It’s a weekend where makers of all kinds will show off their projects and hold how-to workshops, with hands-on activities for all ages. Exhibits on display will include robots, laser cutting, letterpress printing, a 3D print gallery and kinetic sculptures.

Here’s what we’re bringing…

Think|Haus is Hamilton’s shared work space / social space and collective all about hacking, crafting, DIY and doing awesome stuff. The history of Hamilton is intertwined in the “make it happen” ethos of the DIY mechanic, the basement engineer, the warranty violator, the patent ignorer.

Members of Think|Haus will be on hand at Toronto’s Mini Maker Faire to soak in all the maker goodness, and to show off some of their own projects. Come see their entry into the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge, a CNC egg decorating machine, some robots, an ornery do-nothing box, a magic mirror, and other great stuff. They’ll also have an operating ham radio station, where they’ll be talking and texting people around the world, using HF radio waves and amateur satellites. And if we’re really lucky, they may even make a radio contact with the International Space Station.

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GGHC2011 – think|tubes Demo Video

This is the final video documentation in the Element14 sponsored Great Global Hackerspace Challenge of 2011.

TH-GGHC2011 think|tubes Demo Video from Think Haus on Vimeo.

think|tubes by think|haus

Our concept for think|tubes was to make an expandable, modular system which allows the measurement and recording of various physical phenomena. We’ve built some sample exercises, such as a device to measure how hard someone can punch. This fun activity engages students, while teaching concepts of levers, acceleration, and force. Other sensors, such as light, temperature, barometric pressure, etc. are easily added to the think|tubes, allowing for customized usage. Any lesson plan that would benefit from experimentation and measurement can use think|tubes.

Beyond measurement in the classroom, however, think|tubes can be used throughout the school. An applause meter at a school talent show, a game show buzzer system for fun quizzes, or a timing system for track and field – all of these uses are easy to add to think|tubes due to its modular design, standard Arduino hardware, and the bus which allows communications between modules.

think|tubes make learning tangible. They provide a hands on way to interact with the physical world. Think it, do it, measure it, learn it. With think|tubes.

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GGHC2011 – think|tubes by think|haus

The think|haus entry into the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge sponsored by Element14 is finished. Mostly.

think|tubes are an educational tool for use in a K-12 school setting. They function as a multimeter for the real world. Learning concepts such as mechanical advantage is much easier if students can see and measure the effects of gears, levers, pulleys, etc. Other concepts are difficult because processes occur over time, and are not easily observable. Data logging allows long term observation, making time elapsed changes visible and measurable.

Our concept for think|tubes was to make an expandable, modular system which allows the measurement and recording of various physical phenomena. We’ve built some sample exercises, such as a device to measure how hard someone can punch. This fun activity engages students, while teaching concepts of levers, acceleration, and force. Other sensors, such as light, temperature, barometric pressure, etc. are easily added to the think|tubes, allowing for customized usage. Any lesson plan that would benefit from experimentation and measurement can use think|tubes.

Beyond measurement in the classroom, however, think|tubes can be used throughout the school. An applause meter at a school talent show, a game show buzzer system for fun quizzes, or a timing system for track and field – all of these uses are easy to add to think|tubes due to its modular design, standard Arduino hardware, and the bus which allows communications between modules.

One of the great strengths of the think|tubes system is its flexibility. It can be used by anyone – no technical knowledge is required. The various measurement tasks are menu driven, and can be operated by staff or students at all levels without any specialized training. However, for those more technically inclined, the system has limitless possibilities. Additional sensors can be added, new code can be written to accommodate almost anything educators and their students can dream up.

think|tubes make learning tangible. They provide a hands on way to interact with the physical world. Think it, do it, measure it, learn it. With think|tubes.

Project Details on the think|haus wiki and videos on the think|haus vimeo site.

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GGHC2011 – Update #4

It’s not a panic… yet.

We’ve got about 5 hours to go at this point… forgot to upload the video once it was done!

TH-GGHC2011 – Update The Fourth from Think Haus on Vimeo.

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GGHC2011 – Update #3

Off the rails…

Sorry folks, things got a little bit out of hand there.

We’re back, we’ve got work underway and it’s going to be alright.

Watch the video and you’ll better understand.

GGHC2011 – Update Video #3 from Think Haus on Vimeo.

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