240 Pixel WS2812 Array

My friend Scott randomly dropped by the macetech LLC lab up here in Pullman, WA. He brought a cool thing to show off...a big array of 60px/m RGB pixels using the WS2812 LEDs. It's very bright in person and I was impressed with the matchup of the 60px/m LED spacing and the fluorescent lighting louver grid. I've definitely used the grid in a lot of projects, but never made that connection! His controller uses a custom WS2812 library running on a Digilent chipKIT Max32 with plenty of CPU power to spare.

Submitted by Garrett on Sat, 07/19/2014 - 00:11.

Dallas Makerspace

Dallas Makerspace Laser Cutter

In the SF Bay Area, I had access to a number of places (TechShop, Noisebridge, Hacker Dojo) to work on projects that weren't appropriate for my garage or a spare bedroom. Tools like engine lathes and laser cutters are expensive to own, bulky, and require the proper infrastructure. It's also good to have a place to meet with like-minded people and share ideas. I just moved to Dallas and hoped to find something similar.

The nearest TechShop is about three hours away, in Austin. So I decided to check out the local Dallas Makerspace.

They seem to hold a middle ground between a typical hackerspace and a corporate-run workshop like TechShop. Hackerspaces usually attempt to remain completely open to the public, and shy away from creating rules whenever possible. This leads to a more intense environment where amazing things can rise from the chaos, but often leads to conflicts and drama. TechShops have a very strong divide between members and employees, and require adhering to a set of rules and certifications in order to use the equipment. Dallas Makerspace seems to have achieved an interesting midpoint where the feeling of members creating the space is still there, but many problems are forestalled by a small set of rules regarding the space, member behavior, and equipment.

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Submitted by Garrett on Sun, 01/12/2014 - 21:58.

Maker Faire Bay Area 2008

Maker Faire. HID Portal

Ahh, it's that time of year again. Maker Faire Bay Area 2008 is coming up quickly, and I'm in a rush to get my projects done. Worst case, I finish them while at the Faire, which could be interesting too! Above is a photo from last year's Maker Faire here in San Mateo (only a couple miles from where I live and work). My project was a device that makes it easy to send custom keyboard, mouse, or joystick input to a computer over USB. The demo was a model airplane with accelerometers, controlling the same airplane in a flight simulation game. It was really popular, we had people lined up to play the game! Some were actually interested in the hardware behind it.  Read more»

Submitted by Garrett on Sat, 04/26/2008 - 02:03.

Silicon Valley Electronics Flea Market

I took a trip down to De Anza College for the monthly electronics flea market. Lots of interesting parts, gizmos, tools, and random clutter. Click on the photo above to view my Flickr set of the event!

Submitted by Garrett on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 20:25.