What to do with Labor Day Leftovers

We have a couple of rocket scientists and many members interested in model rockets, so one of the members threw out the idea of launching rockets and having a BBQ in the local park.  Aside from the usual power line, roof, and tree issues it went off well.  Until it was over.  There were leftovers.  Corn.  Rocket engines.  Other stuff.  But mainly corn and rocket engines.

So one of the rocket scientists suggests boring holes in the corn for engines.

enginIneCorn

We made sure to leave the husks on.  Center of pressure and all that.  We didn’t want unstable ears of corn bombarding the neighborhood after all. Here’s the prep:

enginIneCorn

And here’s the second launch (on YouTube). The first launch didn’t go so well because the corn was a bit heavy. We broke the ears in half for the second launch (actually, one was already broken by the ejection charge in the first launch).
The Launch Video
Oh, and the engine from the ear, er, rocket on the left? It was in the street a block away.

Someone suggested using the ejection charges to make popcorn.  We’ll leave that for a later date.

Yuri’s Night Celebration

yurisNight

Yuri’s Night celebrates the first manned space flight. i3Detroit is hosting a Yuri’s Night event on Saturday April 12th starting at 7PM, open to the public. Come to i3 and join the celebration. We will have demonstrations of planetary dynamics, observation of the night sky, water rocket launches, space themed refreshments, videos, and games!

LAN PARTY – March 1st 7pm

March 1st 7 pm until the sun comes up.

 A LAN party is a temporary gathering of people with computers or compatible game consoles, between which they establish a local area network (LAN), primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer video games.

Come hang out, bring a computer with the games below installed, or bring a console and a few games (Usually some classic systems show up and some mario kart 64 gets going for a few hours) Sega, dreamcast, N64.

SWiT will be demoing an Oculus Rift with a Razer Hydra for Halfelife2 VRMod and the Crashland demo. If you have a Rift bring it and we’ll try some VR deathmatch.

We’ll probably pickup a few pizzas at some point, Pop is always onsite in the fridge $0.50, Energy drinks available too.

Schedule

7:00 Starcraft 2: Warmup Go to https://us.battle.net/account/sc2/starter-edition/ download and install tonight.. It may take a while to install.
7:30 Starcraft 2: All out battles!
9:00 DOTA2
10:30 TF2
00:00(Midnight) Games of choice till dawn

What Really Grinds My Gears: NSA Mass Surveillance

Unless you’ve been hidden under a pretty substantial rock, you know about the recent revelation of the mass data collection program the NSA is running.  If you have been hiding under a rock, it turns out that your paranoia has been justified.  It appears that the NSA has been hoarding records of which rock you have been hiding under.

This program has been bothering me.  If it bothers you too, I invite you to take a minute to follow the simple instructions at https://thedaywefightback.org/ and tell your legislators how you feel about the current policies.

I’m posting this here because I suspect that many readers of this blog will share my concern.  I can’t speak for the membership or any governing body of i3Detroit, but you are welcome to leave comments here.

PCB Mill Dust Collection System

Recently, we discovered that the dust collection vacuum unit for our LPKF Protomat C30/S was leaking powdered fibreglass dust all over the under-desk cabinet in which it lives. This of course being unacceptable from a safety perspective (powdered fibreglass is not a carcinogen, but is a major irritant in general) and from a cleanliness perspective, we took it upon ourselves to figure out what went wrong.

It turns out that the machine had been operated for an indeterminate amount of time without pre-filter bags, and the filter had failed under the load of nearly 3mm of caked-up fibreglass and copper dust. D’oh.

So, a quick Google search yielded exactly zero sources for filters (but LPKF will sell you the bags, $35/5).

In true hacker spirit, this did not phase us at all. After all, how hard can it be to build a dust collection system from scratch?

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