Spring PotLock this Saturday. March 21st, noon – 6pm.

New here? What the heck is a potlock?

It’s an i3 tradition, “potluck” because folks bring food, and “lock-in” suggesting an all-night party. Although lately we’ve realized that all-afternoon works better. (Having an official tools-down, pat-each-other-on-the-back time is important.)

It’s also the best way for new members (and non-members) to get more involved and connected! Because a lot of members will be around at once, but NOT debating policy, it’s as socially useful as a meeting, but we actually get physical things done. Potlock is a perfect opportunity to work alongside a bunch of other members, learn where things are and where things go, take some ownership of your favorite zone, and make the space better for yourself and others.

What’s the task-list this time around?

Potlocks traditionally center around the ToDo list in the wiki: https://www.i3detroit.org/wiki/ToDo

Being that this potlock is scheduled for the second day of spring this potlock will likely focus around the things we neglected to do over winter because it was cold out.

How can I help?

Show up and be your awesome self! Seriously, that’s it.

You could also sign up to bring some delicious food here: https://www.i3detroit.org/wiki/Potlock_Menu_Planning

Want more details?

Members can find discussion on the private list here: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/i3detroit/110N5jC0rUI/C02CFhOulqYJ

pre-fab PCB sizing testing

Ready to send a PCB off to the board house, but don’t want to wait two weeks and spend thirty dollars to get back a board that doesn’t fit where it’s supposed to?  Another use for 3D printing emerges!

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Computational Infrastructure Upgrades

i3Detroit has been the fortunate recipient over its existence of several generations of donated enterprise-grade hardware, and has been running a pretty decent network.

The network computers serve several purposes:

  • Running our phones with a VM of Asterisk PBX
  • Managing space infrastructure, like the power meter that helps us split the power bill with our building mates
  • Running tool-specific VMs for various CNC machines around the space

The usual suspects show up: the HP Proliant DL360 G5, the mystery box that probably has Athlons in it, a pile of Cisco green labeled MARS.

This pile of cobbled-together aging hardware has served us well over the years, but in a flurry of failing hardware, the shockingly exponential price curve of DDR and DDR2 RAM, the increasingly-notable power draw of old hardware…it was time for a change.
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i3Detroit: Now available at the speed of light!

Almost a month ago, a few i3 Detroit members decided that the wait was over: we had been talking about it for over two years and we couldn’t wait any longer.  We were ready to reach out and take our place boldly, sharing our thoughts with others through the filter of experience and across the bandwidth of our maker community.

All we needed was a few good people, and our plan started to resonate.

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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.


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:


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.