Monday, April 21, 2014 - 23:41Call for proposals: The 2014 Interactive Show is coming!
Get that Club Mate cold and those soldering irons hot because it’s time for another Interactive Show! We’re putting out the call to hackers around the globe to come show your stuff at our annual party.
This year there’s no theme– it’s a free-for-all! Have something blinking and beautiful? Something that bleeps or bloops? Anything interactive goes!
This year’s show will be June 7th. If you’re interested in being part of a show, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org! Try to get in touch by May 7th so we can make sure there’s space for your project. Hope to hear from you soon!
Props to Olivia Barr for our awesome gif flyer this year!
Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 02:32New Class: “Intro to Mechanisms” (May 10)
Got a shiny new 3D printer, but not quite sure what to do with it? Interested in learning to make your projects move? Sign up for “Intro to Mechanisms” on May 10th and get a gentle introduction to making stuff spin, wobble and reciprocate using things like gears and cams. We’ll also explore more advanced control mechanisms like Geneva Drives and Jacquard-style Punch Card readers, so you can live out your steampunk fantasies and setup your own desktop Dickensian sweatshop! Taught by Chris Fenton (chris on thingiverse).
Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 18:28OpenStack Study Group ( May 21 )
Above is a photo of the building that OpenStack ( nova at least ) was born in. That’s node number 6 on the internet, and the home of E root server. The dishes while no longer in use, used to provide internet to places like scandanavia. I also used to work there, as part of the Nebula Project.
Today the OpenStack foundation released their latest version of the software, code named Icehouse. Named for a street in Hong Kong ( where the last developers summit was held ). Many are just calling it Igloo because it’s easier. Anyways, to celebrate the new release of OpenStack, I’ll be trying to start up an OpenStack study group.
That will be on May 21st starting at 6:00 PM ( 18:00 ).
Read on for more detailed information…
About the event.
This first meeting will be fairly informal. An introduction to the group and the world of developing for OpenStack. If it looks like we’ve got a solid group of folks, I figure we’ll get a better sense of what it is we want to do going forward. For me, I’d like to setup a once a month block of time to hang out with other OpenStack folks and share notes or just hack away on ‘all the things’. I’d love to also maybe setup a show and tell time as well. So that folks who want to show off some code, or some project can do so. But very informal. IE no vendor pitches =P
Who should come?
Please only rsvp if you intend to come and really are interested in getting your hands dirty. This is not a networking event, or a sales pitch, or a recruiting opportunity. This is hackery. Pure and simple.
I figure you’ll need to have at least some rudimentary grasp of python and a pretty solid understanding of Linux operations and networking. I figure most people who would be interested would have exposure to OpenStack or similar software such as CloudStack, Eucalyptus or maybe even Ganeti.
May 21, 2014, 6pm till we get tired ( 9:00 or so I would imagine )
At NYC Resistor. 87 3rd Ave 4th Floor ( no elevator we use stairs ) in Brooklyn NY. This is about three blocks from the Atlantic Pacific street station near the Barclays center.
NYC Resistor is a somewhat famous hackerspace with a focus on learning, making, and sharing.
Monday, April 14, 2014 - 17:21NYC Resistor at Pride of Brooklyn
This past weekend NYC Resistor, for the first time ever, entered a homebrew competition. We went to the Pride of Brooklyn event held at Littlefield in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn ( not far from NYC Resistor ). And it was AWESOME.
Read on for more info about the beer, future events, and other fun stuff.
As I may have mentioned, several NYC Resistor members do occasionally homebrew.
We have several projects in that area developing. Travis and Myself have been very active in trying to get out into the local NYC brewing scene and share ideas. It’s been very enjoyable.
Pride of Brooklyn was a wonderful way to celebrate the onset of some REAL spring weather. It’s been a long winter, and this past weekend was a much welcomed reprieve. The event also happened to occur on April 12th. Yuri’s Night. Which I guess made it that much more special. I hope you all had a terrific Yuri’s Night as well. We certainly did along with 24 other homebrewers.
For the event we entered a Scottish style of beer known as a wee heavy. We named ours ‘weesistor heavy’, because we know that puns are the way to people’s hearts. Our version was somewhat sweet for a beer, with a rich red color, and a smoky peaty aftertaste. We had an OG of 1.064 and an FG of 1.012 resulting in an ABV of about 7% and a very low IBU. It was very well received, and was several people informed us that it was unlike any other beer there. Several folks thought it tasted a bit like a single malt scotch of beers. That was the peated malt steeped in the keg at the end.
We’d like to thank the wonderful folks at Pride of Brooklyn for putting together the event. It was a blast. And they really went out of their way to make the event memorable for the brewers as well as the folks learning to love results of homebrewed beer. So from us, thanks! We had a blast and it was worth all 5 gallons. I’d also like to give a shout out to all the other homebrewers at the event. Everyone was amazing, and their beers were almost as amazing as they were. Frankly, I’ve never been in one place with that much delicious beer on tap in my life. And I assure you I’ve been around the proverbial block.
We’ll be bringing another beer out shortly, and I’ll post about that too. But look forward to seeing us at the Food and Book Fair’s Pop Up pub at the Wythe hotel in Williamsburg on Sunday April 27th. We expect great things.
The Recipe for the beer is on our GitHub here: Weesistor Heavy
The STL files for 3D printing our keg wrap ( including a blank front plate ) are here:
Thingiverse Thing: 293263
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 04:46Freshly painted floors
Zach was the last Resistor painting and escaped by taking the elevator. We turned off the lights and let the first coat dry overnight. The second coat will be dry in time for Craft Night. So come hack with us on a freshly painted floors!
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 22:29NYCResistor and Brooklyn Ballet
Nick and Sayaka Vermeer, Olivia Barr, and William Ward have been working hard for the past couple weeks on an exciting project with the Brooklyn Ballet. We are transforming the dancers’ costumes into interactive performance pieces. Our contribution consists of six LED snowfall tutus for the ballerinas, one Pexel shirt for Mike “Supreme” Fields and six sparkling LED hair accessories for the young ballerinas. The dancers will be performing the snow scene from the Nutcracker in the Brooklyn Ballet‘s Vectors, Marys, and Snow performance from April 3rd to April 13th. Please support the project through our Kickstarter! There you can also watch an interview with Nick and Lynn Parkerson, founding artistic director and choreographer of Brooklyn Ballet. We’d really appreciate your donation to further our work! All our hardware designs and code are open source, and we hope to see more creative works mixing technology and dance.
Snowfall Tutus: To accomplish the snowfall/glitter efffect we’ve added LED lights, motion sensors, and custom coded/fabricated microcontrollers to the tutus. The sensor we used is called an accelerometer and its placed at the waist of the corset. It reacts with with movement of the dancer by increasing the amount and brightness of the LEDs with more vigorous movement from the dancer. Nick found a remarkably strong ultra flex 36 gauge silicone wire thats perfect for the supple construction of the tutus and its become a standard material at NYC Resistor for wearables. The wire connects 24 neopixels that are broken down into 6 strands of 4 pixels in each tutu. Special thanks to Max Henstell and Adam Mayer for helping in production. Take a look at this amazing video of our twinkling Tutu!
Pexel Shirt: Pexel Shirt is custom made for the dancer Mike “Supreme” Fields and is designed to interact with his pecks and arms. Mike is a popping artist and his dancing incorporates the flexing of muscle groups to create surface movement on his body. The shirt is activated by individual accelerometer sensors placed over his muscles that illuminate the LEDs through a Flora microcontroller. There are four sensors total, one on each peck and each wrist. When he flexes an individual peck it lights up. The lights on his arms are controlled by moving his wrists up/down or right/left. The entire piece is hand sewn including stitches in between individual pixel on the arm strands for optimum elasticity while still being secure. Watch the Mike in action here: Mike “Supreme” Fields
Sparkle Hair Clips: To accent the young ballerina’s costume we designed an LED accent on a hair clip. The clip uses a Gemma microcontroller and a strand of neopixels. The clear acrylic beads on the clip filter the LEDs and sparkle.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 04:01Learn Programming with Python this Saturday
Are you interested in programming and software but have never known where to begin? Some of our most popular classes have been our
introductory programming ones, and I’ll be teaching one this Saturday. The idea is to give students a gentle introduction to software concepts using Python, a very widely-used but accessible language, and practical examples.
I don’t assume any prior programming experience: I’ll teach you everything you need to know to get started. Come and join us!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 04:34Solder:Time Desk Clock
The Spikenzie Labs Solder:Time Desk Clock is a fun through-hole kit to solder together. It includes a snap-together lasercut acrylic case with a really nice red tinted screen that increases the contrast on the 20×7 red LED matrix. Plus it is totally hackable with quite a few unused pins available for expansion (like Holly’s sunrise alarm clock).
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 05:06Laser cut Voronoi boxes
Given a set of points, the Voronoi tessellation creates a set of convex polygons that each contain one point. They can also be used to randomly generate unique art pieces that cast shifting, lace-like shadows. This one was really quite beautiful until the candle burned through…
Read on for some scripts to make your own and tips for laser cutting them.
Making the box outline
The outline of the boxes can be generated with an online tool like MakerCase or my boxer script. For instance, to generate the above 40x40x40mm box (thing:39415) with 3mm thick plywood, using a laser kerf of 1/8mm:
./boxer --thickness 3 --width 40 --height 40 --length 40 --kerf 0.125 > box-40mm.svg
Larger parameters for --kerf make for a tighter fit. I recommend cutting a small box to verify the kerf settings for your laser cutter and material.
Creating the lace patterns
The technique scales from small boxes up to fairly large ones, although the parameters to lace-maker will need to be tweaked to ensure good density of points. Also be sure to keep in mind that the tabs from the other faces will intrude into each face, so the lace pattern can’t go all the way from edge to edge. In general I’ve found that leaving the thickness of the material plus 2 to 5mm of space on each side gives good results — this allows clearance for the tab material and some material for the structural edge. The sample box was 40mm on a side, so the lace pattern here is 40-6*2=28mm square.
./lace-maker -x 28 -y 28 -w 1 -n 20 > lace1.svg
The -w parameter is the trace thicnkess in mm — for wood I’ve typically used a minimum width of 1 to 2mm for the traces. Acrylic seems to be ok with thiner traces if you desire it, although it does become quite weak and flexible.
You’ll need to generate six lace svg files if you want each face to be unique. If you’re making a rectangular shape, be sure to generate two of each of the combination of edge lengths.
Sometimes you will get an error message “Bad polygons?“. If so, try reducing the number of polygons (the -n parameter) or re-running. Since the points are randomly chosen each run there is a chance that the current set might not be possible to fit with the current trace width.
If you prefer other space filling tesslations, I’ve also written circle-maker. It is a very different feel from the convex polygons.
Arrange and laser cut
Finally, load the box outline into Inkscape or Illustrator and then import each of the six lace files. Place them in the center of the faces and if you can designate a cut-order for the vectors, set it to cut the interior polygons first and then cut the box outline.
Be sure to use enough power to cut through — the lace panels aren’t very strong and you might snap them if you need to use force to finish the job. After a successful cut there will be a huge number of small voronoi polygons on the laser bed. Don’t forget to to vacuum up the detritus before you post photos of your awesome art projects!
If you need to learn how to use the laser, NYC Resistor offers classes on operating the laser cutter. Once you’ve taken the class you can come by on our open nights to work on your own projects.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 16:38Fragments
Once there was a box. Inside the box was a board, and inside the board was a chip. Inside the chip was a carrier, and on that carrier was a die. And when the die came off the carrier it broke, and the pieces looked like this:
More pretty pictures below.
The box was a 1983 IBM 5291 Display Terminal. It’s a block display terminal for interacting with System/36 machines over twinax. It’s pretty useless as is.
The board is the logic board from the terminal, and the chip is unidentifiable. IBM insisted on putting its own internal part numbers on every component on the board (if you happen to know why, please leave a comment!), so even the basic logic on the board is tricky to figure out.
The chip is a 72-pin PGA package, a sort of through-hole precursor to the BGA packages you see everywhere nowadays.
Popping the top off of the aluminum chip reveals the carrier board. The die appears featureless because it’s face-down– it’s a flip-chip. The bonding pads on the die have little solder balls on them which are reflowed onto the carrier. Basically, the whole package is a breakout board for a very tiny BGA chip.
Here’s a shot of a similar chip I dismantled; you can see the solder balls clearly.
Unfortunately, there’s also often a little epoxy or other bonding agent added underneath the die after the reflow step, so it’s tricky to remove the dies cleanly. I shattered this one as I took it off the carrier.
You can get a sense of how thick the silicon is compared to the active regions on these old chips. Still, these are tiny fragments– a sneeze can send them flying. Up close, though, they remind me of fragments left behind by another civilization: a teensy Rosetta Stone.
In case you’re wondering: I still have no idea what this chip was.