Do you know what happens when you blow soap bubbles into a cooler full of liquid and gaseous nitrogen? Neither did we, so we found out. It turns out to be pretty cool.
Totally unrelated: This Saturday (9/29), there’ll be a repeat of the “roadside emergency skills for non-greasemonkeys” class, which we’ve run several times. Change a tire, jump a dead battery, that sort of stuff. Please register if you plan to attend.
Speaking of cars: Our Power Wheels car #3 is going to World Maker Faire in NYC! It happens this weekend, so if you happen to be on the east coast as you read this, come say hi!
What’s better than a liquid nitrogen dewar? A liquid nitrogen droid.
Sincerely hoping there’s no regulation against painting these things…
When you’re Yelp, and you’re throwing a big party at the Fillmore, where do you look for entertainment? A bunch of local outfits, including i3 Detroit, of course! We’re bringing the giant Connect Four and beanbag toss (I refuse to call it that other name), and Robot Fight Club, and the Squiggletrike, and maybe even the dangerously fast Power Wheels car #3.
It’s more than just a party, of course: Yelp is raising funds to support a Detroit charity: ”Real Life. My Music. is a nonprofit organization created to provide a musical and artistic outlet to inner city youth in Detroit“. Considering all the education cuts, that sounds like it fills an important gap!
It’s happening this Friday, 9/7. All the details are over at Yelp, and while the shindig is free, you have to RSVP to get in, so just go do that already. Oh, and bring a few bucks for the fundraiser. See you there!
(Can’t make the party but still want to support Real Life. My Music? They’re collecting donations online with Crowdrise, too.)
When Karen (yes, that Karen) decided to host a DIY birthday party, and said that she wanted people to make flowers, my mind went blank. Mario brought casting resin to make plastic flowers, Roger brought color-changing LEDs that got used in a bunch of things. I saw flowers made of yarn, flowers made of vinyl, flowers made of piano keys, flowers made of filter media, flowers made of sheetmetal, flowers made of mylar, and of course, flowers made of Red Bull cans. Still having no ideas, I decided to ignore the party for a bit, and started salvaging some motors from a soon-to-be-recycled CDROM drive.
Then something clicked: At Tuesday’s electronics meetup, we used signal generators and oscilloscopes to display Lissajous curves. With a laser and some mirrors and some motors, I could make Rose curves! Those are flowers, right? Flowers made of light!
The only small mirror available was still much too large, so it got cracked into a bunch of sharp but useful little pieces. With some hot glue, some solder, and a quick trip to the bin of lasers, I had a rudimentary optical path. Joe helped set up a quick-and-dirty pot-and-FET motor speed control (inspired by reading an article about PC PSU testing a few days ago), and with a few more minutes’ work, the whole thing was stuffed into a project box and shooting flowers onto everything within reach, including Karen. Happy Birthday!
(Caution: Laser light emitted from this aperture. Warning: Whirling bits of broken glass within this aperture. Danger: Flowerguns are addictive.)
I3 Power Sports has completed another hugely successful season of PPPRS racing. We fielded two cars this year, and both collected a good number of medals, for 9 total. I3 was represented at all three races: Kansas City MO, Detroit, and Evanston IL. The I3 banner and name were on display, and there was a lot of contact with other maker-spaces and event-coordinators. That contact alone could define this as a successful endeavor for the space, but a big clutch of medals is nice too!
The season began in late June at Kansas City Maker Faire. Car #13, racing as SuperLuminal Racing, made the trip. As a brand new car and team, this was somewhat of a ‘shake-out’ race. Despite that, the car performed well, we qualified second, and we took home two bronze and a silver. It was also discovered that ‘SuperLuminal Racing’ is more syllables than the announcer likes to say, so we adjusted for future races.
The biggest race of the season took place at Detroit Maker Faire in July, and both i3 teams competed. #3 was freshly rebuilt before the Faire, and #13 (now “Tiger Hacker”) was running at half-power due to a controller issue. Despite this, we still represented. Our own Karen “Cannonball” Corbeill, on #3, took gold in the 15-lap races and the endurance race, finishing first for the weekend. Sean on #13 was handicapped on speed but buoyed by reliability, and managed to take bronze in the enduro.
The season finale took place at Evanston IL’s Mini-Maker Faire. Both of our teams made the trip, and the field was again large, with just a few less teams than Detroit’s race. The track was short and tight, which favored both of our teams. Sean was back to full speed on #13, and laid down the fastest qualifying lap. Even after multiple attempts by multiple teams to beat it, the time stood at 14.8 seconds. I3 took 3rd and 4th in the drag races, and then Cannonball cleaned up on #3, taking bronze in the 15-lap heats and gold in the endurance race, earning I3 2nd overall for the series!
Thanks to Jim Burke, Patrick Callahan, and the whole crew at PS:1 for putting on the races. And Thank You to Tom G. from Milwaukee Makerspace for loaning us an awesome controller for #13.
phone: (248) 906-8473
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