That’s Open Shop Friday, the day each week when Metro Detroit’s oldest hackerspace explicitly invites non-members to come visit. (The rest of the time, it’s implicit, but some folks like a direct invitation. This is that.) We’re at 1481 Wordsworth, in Ferndale. Ring the doorbell if it’s not already open!
I hear talk of welding, and Power Wheels bodywork, and who knows what else. — there’s always something unexpected! Any time after 6-ish is probably good, or just wait for that box at the upper right to say “the space is open for guests”.
Also, did you see the photo essay over at MetroMode this week? It’s called “Where Metro Detroit Invents”, and features photos and members of OCD, TechShop, and i3 Detroit. A tip of the hat to our colleagues! (Look closely, and you’ll see that the majority of photos in the series were taken at i3.)
Two bits of Maker Faire news to share. First, it looks like i3 Detroit will be hosting the official Maker Faire afterparty. Details to follow, but the murmurs I hear from the planning team are interesting indeed.
Second, an email went out from Maker Faire yesterday:
The Maker Faire Detroit Call for Makers has been extended to accommodate the tremendous response we have received from groups and individual Makers! You now have until Friday, June 15th to complete your application or start the process.
Thanks to all the Makers that have already completed their applications, we have been accepting applications weekly. We will be sending the Maker Manual with all the information you need as well as the agreement in the next couple of weeks. Once you sign and return that agreement to us, we will place you in the Faire.
All applications must be submitted no later than 5 pm Friday, June 15, 2012. http://www.makerfairedetroit.com/call-for-makers/
Thanks and we’ll see you soon!
The Maker Faire Detroit Team
So if you were previously unaware (as I was) of the closing date, there you have it! Another week to put the finishing touches on the project…
What makes these tiny Linux computers great for hacker projects? The BeagleBoard.org project launched in 2008 and started a revolution in low-cost ARM computers (see Linaro.org). Beyond introducing the world to affordable low-power computers, the BeagleBoard has been the platform-of-choice for demonstrating open innovation on ARM—meaning—you can find real examples of people having tried to build something like what you have in mind, be it a remote drone quadcopter (100% compatible processor), open source handheld gaming system, object recognizing robot, mobile phone, video wall, connected home automation building blocks or remote underwater exploration vehicles.
I’m a co-founder of the project and I’ll be giving a hands-on workshop tonight at i3-Detroit, starting with the BeagleBone 101 presentation and diving into whatever topics attendees are looking to cover for their projects. I’ll leave a couple of boards in the space for people that want to hack on them and will be putting together some larger workshops at the space if there is enough interest. If you have a project you’d like to execute in the hackerspace using the BeagleBone, it’d be really great to work with you on it and help make i3-Detroit the home for advancement of low-power, high-performance embedded processing.
This Wednesday and Thursday 7pm – 10pm we will have the 2 test arenas, and 4 test robots bouncing around at i3Detroit. If you want to play with some arduino or python code or just want to checkout the balloon based carnage stop by either evening.
Also, a big thank you to the folks at the Detroit Night Market and all who helped decorate the RKF truck. Especially Kristine for her photos and machine inspired decorations.
The next event Robot Knife Fight will be sparring at is the annual Detroitnet pink slip party June 21st at Woody’s in Royal Oak. It is a networking event for IT professionals and recruiters. See you there.
At the Hamvention fleamarket, Dustin got an amazing price on a Handheld Products 3800r barcode scanner, probably because the cable wasn’t included. The connector on the bottom of the scanner is a nonstandard 10p10c (aka RJ50), so most folks wouldn’t just be able to make one, but buying a $57 cable for a $1 scanner seemed silly. Further frustrating the situation is that Handheld (acquired by Honeywell) is pretty tight-lipped about certain info. The pinout for the RS232 cable (p/n 42206300) was easy enough to find, but the innards of the USB cable (p/n 42206161 or 42206203) proved elusive.
Luckily for Dustin’s iTrackMine habit, i3′s electronics lab had a set of 10p10c crimpers and a box of connectors (and a resourceful mentor geek), waiting to solve just such a problem. After building a little 10p10c breakout cable and a USB breakout cable, some breadboard jumper wires made it relatively straightforward to investigate every permutation until the device enumerated. (Note that ‘straightforward’ does not equate to ‘quick’.)
For the purpose of saving some hapless future scanner technician some time, the pinout is as follows:
|USB pin number||function||color||10p10c pin number|
Two construction tips:
First, it’s difficult to position the wires in a modular connector if you’re not using every position. Stuffing the unused ones with little stubs of wire made it easy to guide the relevant wires into position.
Second, modular connectors can be reinforced by flooding the back with hot-melt glue. (This works very well on cat-5 patch cords.) Since this build used a flexible, thin USB cable in a giant 10p10c connector, the glue is the only reason it didn’t fall right out.
phone: (248) 906-8473
For tours, just drop in before a meeting (Tuesdays 5-7pm) or any Friday evening (5-9pm).
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