Switching over to RFID locks at the hackspace.

We are currently changing over our locking system to access the space from mortice and yale locks to RFID cards. The upstairs door has already successfully been installed and we hope to get the downstairs one in place in the next week or two. Can all members who still do not have an RFID card please make themselves known in IRC/ the mailing list/ in person on a Tuesday night. Pbrook has sorted out all the electronics behind it and I am currently installing it all, but I could do with some help installing the lock itself. If anyone is willing and able to lend a hand please again make yourself known on IRC / the mailing list/ on Tuesday night. Thanks.

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AGM 2013 (past tense)

Full table for the 2013 AGMA big thanks to everyone who attended the AGM last night; new, old and non members alike. Big thanks to James for taking minutes, Stanto and Andy for going out for pizza and Paul for making his last non executive decision that the space would pay for it.

Minutes are currently being written up and will be published shortly as will the pretty graphs that didn’t work on the night.

Daniel and Mick remain Directors and are joined by Joe and Paul who both volunteered, were officially nominated and then were voted in unanimously (baring only minor objections from themselves). We greatly welcome them onto the board (=


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AGM! Soon..

We’re holding the AGM on the 1st of October.

It’s a standard Tuesday night, not Tonight, not next Tuesday, but the Tuesday after.

As any Tuesday, all and everyone are welcome.
If there’s anything people think should be on the agenda then please reply.

The space will be open all night as usual, but the AGM should start around 8pm.


c/o Fligg & Mick

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Flying Squirrel

Our 3D printer (a stretched Mendel Max) has recently got to the point where it works. To test this we ended up printing a selection of squirrels (currently posing on our webcam). We started with the medium sized white squirrel, then printed the large (7″) blue one to test the limits of our printer.

I also recently completed a Crazyflie quadcopter. So I decided I needed to combine the two. Unfortunately the Crazyflie wasn’t strong enough to lift it.

The solution was to print a smaller squirrel (in green). This proves our printer can print both large and small things, but more importantly we have a flying squirrrel!

Flying Squirrel

Flying Squirrel

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Vote for Us!

The BeagleBone Black challenge is over and we’ve managed to get the arms moving on the foosball table and track the ball using the BBB, motors, laser cut plastics, bits of wood and electronics!

What we need now, so that we can win and get the Hackspace £500-£1000 is for you to vote on the element14 site. At the moment we’re losing :(

Please vote for us here.
View project write-up here.

Thank you!

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What is Leeds Hackspace?

Presentation by Fligg (Director) and Joe (Member) as part of SuperPosition which are a set of short arty/technical/maker presentations hosted in the PackHorse in Leeds.

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HackerSpace Challenge – Week 3

Cross-posted from: http://bit.ly/12csYLL

So after breaking a BeagleBone Black by putting 5v onto the breakout pin on the P8 side… we were supplied with a new one! (thanks!).

This meant that I could go back to coding for the scoring system. After working out the pinmux, from various confusing (inaccurate) sources and cross-referencing with the technical reference manual(s), for the mode and setting the pin for input, I had something which, when the infra-red beam is broken, turns a green LED on. I’ve created a nice spreadsheet which has the values in, which I’ll post up later. Probably to Google Docs.

Ball Sensor

The transmitter and receiver are a little difficult to see on there and we’re not using any capes or such, just plain breadboard and wires. Funnily I didn’t find any examples of actually using the PRU to receive data on the pins, just output data on them. The simplest way to handle it, has been just to check if a bit has been set on that pin and then behave accordingly.

We also suspect that the Video4Linux drivers were playing havoc, preventing us from capturing high resolution video to do the ball tracking on the BeagleBone Black. Currently it’s pretty low but seems to be sufficient for our image analysis to work, so that we have got nice direction prediction.

Video goodness!

P.S. We found a use for our catalogue…

Farnell supports us!



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Challenge Progress !

As part of the BeagleBoneBlack Challenge set by Element14/Farnell it was requested/a requirement to post a blog update each week. We were informed of this a bit late so I pushed out a short update, then a longer proper ‘week 2′ update later.

I haven’t replicated these here, but you can have a link to week 1 ish and there’s also week 2 sometime this week there’ll be a week 3, then hopefully a push for the final blog post sometime next week on/before the 4th of July when the Challenge ends.

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RGB Backlit Arcade Buttons

*UPDATE*: Code available at https://github.com/pbrook/owled

A couple of months ago we acquired an arcade cabinet from the lovely people at HacMan (it was non-working and surplus to requirements). Since then Martyn has been working on replacing the screen with a flat panel, upgrading the buttons and generally trying to make it a useful addition to our hackspace.

The most recent change was the addition of backlighting to the buttons.

The buttons themselves use standard microswitches but have 2 extra spade terminals for backlighting – either by bulb or LED.  The problem is how to drive an RGB LED over only 2 connections. The solution devised by Paul is to fit an ATTiny into the space for the bulb. It’s powered through its data pins and communication is via pulses on this power supply, allowing PWM control of the RGB elements of the LED to give full colour and brightness control.

The LEDs are controlled by a Minimus 32 which also acts as a joystick interface to the PC in the arcade cabinet allowing easy configuration of the joysticks and buttons within MAME.

The first build is ugly, but functional.


Once this was proven to work a proper PCB layout was developed and a batch of LEDs have been built for all the buttons in our machine.


Final Product

Here’s the end result (Once their addresses are set each LED will be individually addressable, allowing the buttons to be lit as indicators for the game in play):

RGB Arcade Buttons from Jon Stockill on Vimeo.

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£1,000 for Beaglebone Black Challenge!

Edit: fixed Google Group link, oops.

The LeedsHackspace has entered a challenge against Pumping Station 1 thanks to Element14.

We have 4 weeks (less than actually due to various delays, etc.) to get a project going and win a vote on Facebook to get the prize. This is ideally using the device Beaglebone Black which is, effectively, a high spec Raspberry Pi with GPIO connections on it (so like a Raspberry Pi with a PiFace or Arduino integrated).

What’s the project we’ve chosen? If you want to get involved, post on the google group or in irc (room #leeds-hack-space) towards pbrook / stanto / nav.

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