New Space Update Episode V: Electricity Strikes Back

kitchen-window

Early this morning I was greeted by the sight of sunlight streaming through the upper window in the kitchen, illuminating the entire room. No chance of this being covered by suspended ceiling now, it lets an incredible amount of light in, if only for a short period of the day (which most of use are likely to never see…)

Today we began the installation of the electricity – that is, the wiring and sockets that will eventually carry power to tools and computers throughout the space. All the wires in the section completed today lead back to a Workshop distribution board ready to be screwed into terminals connecting them to 3 phase electrons.

A number of E-stop switched sockets are available to power in heavy machinery. A push of one of the four Emergency Stop buttons which will be scattered around the workshop will cut power to the single sockets with a yellow surround by tripping out a high current contactor. Machines will of course have their own No-Volt-Release controls and E-Stops to complement this workshop-wide fail-safe.

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e-stop-switch

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It hasn’t all been wire cutting and stripping though, Andy has been scrubbing the kitchen floor clean of lino adhesive to reveal an attractive tile pattern underneath the grime. The end of the main hack area has also now been boarded off to allow the mounting of the trunking that will run power to the electronics workbench. It’s been screwed into the rather sturdy RSJ, it’s not going anywhere quickly.

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Thanks to everyone who came down today to help out, we got a lot done. Whilst we’ve still got a lot to do on the electricity front, next up is the flooring (screeding the workshop, carpet tiles for the main area) and the RFID controlled front door. Anybody who’s looking for a quick and easy job to do over the next week, paint the new section of MDF wall white! Everything must be white.

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Space Update #3

It is with sadness that we report that Samwise (swwils) is stepping down as a member of the management committee. Never fear, he’s not going anywhere and you will see him around the space.

Now, what else is happening in the space?

  • HackTheSpace happened on Saturday, and things certainly happened. Check out the previous post for a brief overview, or see the changes for yourself when you come down to the space and help paint!
  • We’ve received an MPAN number for our meter at the NewSpace. Harriet is currently gathering quotes from energy suppliers in preparation for the electrical installation.
  • The oscilloscope is here! It’s currently tucked up safely in its box.
  • There’s been a bit of a reorganisation of the Wiki. Check out some of the changes, including a push for useful categorisation. Michael in particular has been tidying up the Electronics section. Want to help to make the wiki better? Ask on the mailing list if you don’t have an account.
  • Better Slack/IRC integration – Slack users can now query the space status using the ?status command that the IRC users have been loving for so long. Slack users can also check the temperature of both new and old spaces using the /temperature command.
  • Inductions – It will soon be easier to get an induction for the laser cutter. Streamlined induction processes and digital forms will help you get access to that sweet, coherent light all the quicker.
  • We’re always looking out for awesome projects – if you have done something cool then please let us know so that we can tweet pictures and videos!
  • That’s all for this instalment. Next up we will be setting a date for the move. We’ll really need as many people as possible, watch this space!

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New Space Update #4 – Paint, paint, paint

Trunking

HackSpace 3.0 is coming along nicely – there is trunking installed ready and waiting for electrical cabling and the Hack The Space day this Saturday was well attended. People picked up job cards and got to work, meaning that we now have (amongst other things) clean and tidy toilet, at least three coats of white paint on the kitchen walls, a few coats of paint on the foyer area and a door handle moved to the correct side. A sincere thanks to everyone who came down to help out, every little helps.

Toilets

The toilet cubicles themselves have also had another coat of paint to bring them all up to the same level. Please don’t try and open the middle cubicle window, it might fall off its hinges! Re-installation of door hardware will be happening this week meaning that we will have three (yes, three) working, individually partitioned toilet cubicles ready for use by the weekend. Nav has installed the mirrors
Andy has built a cupboard in the back of the toilet block – this is where you will find blue roll, toilet paper and eventually the hoover. Importantly, this is also where cleaning products are located.

Back Corridor

Back Wall

If you want to lend a hand but really aren’t sure where to start, simply ask on IRC (#leeds-hack-space on freenode), Slack or the Mailing List and someone will be able to point you in the right direction.

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New Space Update #3 – Wall Edition

Update

Walls have appeared in the new space!

The new partition walls and boarding are a major (£2000) undertaking in the new space – they serve to create the new porch area, workshop which is sound isolated and the divide the kitchen / wetdark room area.

Various items of work are involved in erecting a metal stud wall and help is needed!

Electrics

We’ve started work with both our own electrician member, the landlord and the electricity board to re-enable what looks like a 63A 3 phase supply to the space – this will take time and the existing electric supply we have been using in the newspace is a very temporary arrangement. Avoid items with large draw and inrush currents!

Once the supply is in a better state, design of the phases in order to balance use within the space can be better put into action. – Sources for electrical materials such as sub boxes, dado trunking and fittings are welcome!

Photos

Hackspace 3.0 on 20/07

There is a new shared album with photospheres from the workshop here:

https://goo.gl/photos/jTFKj81AoaCgDZyQA

Other work

The new space is now ready for more hands! Work such as painting, filling, designing, sanding and being handy is starting to pop up so be sure to check it out!

A big weekend

Its looking like the 23rd and 24th will become a BIG weekend at the newspace – add to your calendars if you are able to help out.

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Scrap material setting gauge

Cutting off material with the power hacksaw

When doing repetitive jobs on the lathe it is helpful to have a way to easily measure and preset the length of material protruding from the chuck. This gauge assists in doing just that and is made from a length of printer rod and some brass from the scrap material drawer at the Hackspace.

A ruler will do the job, but this is fancier!

Facing the brass in the lathe, held in a collet

Brass parted off and test fitted to rod

Finished gauge, with aluminium blanks

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New Space Update #2

Update

Things are progressing with the new space and the general feeling is that we are now ready to press on the accelerator and speed towards the grand opening!

Most of the major work projects have been identified and measured ready to go, including:

  • Self level the workshop area floor (and possibly beyond!)
  • Make ready the rest of floor for rent-o-sander and carpet tiles
  • Build the stud walls throughout the space, some of which are acoustic.
  • Make good the skylight well areas
  • Make good the exisiting walls in the space
  • The new front door and RFID lock system
  • Electrical planning and dado
  • Lighting
  • Fire alarm system
  • Decoration
  • Item moving

Survey Results

Results have come back and are available to view; as a summary asbestos was found in some materials in the back bathroom floor and the workshop-area floor – So absolutely NO drilling, scraping, sanding these areas of floor.

If you are at the new space there is information on the walls with regards to any work that is going on.

We now know about these materials and will be managing them into the future!

Photos

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Hackspace 3.0 on 03/07

There is a new shared album with the latest photosphere here:

https://goo.gl/photos/7dkAkvpBRkG3SaZB9

Call to Arms

The space now has a mighty amount of labour work to be done! Paint needs stripping, holes need filling and we are requesting that people with time and a drive to help out step forward to help get Hackspace 3.0 ready! – Talk to your nearest friendly director to get cracking as these can be taken on alongside many other parts of work.

 

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New Keypad for the New Space

Keypad and LED mounted

We need a new keypad for the new space, and a custom made enclosure seems just the ticket. The current wood-and-hot-glue RFID reader has served us very well over the years but it’s looking likely it will stay where it is when we move out. We’re working out some kinks with the CNC at the moment so the outer edges aren’t the prettiest but the functional surfaces work perfectly.

There are two pockets – one front and one back which contain the electronics. The back pocket brings the RFID reading ciruit close to the circuit so it can read access cards reliably and the front pocket will hold the port expander and LED circuitry.

RFID backplate and components

Nutserts

Melting in a nutsert

The front panel is held on by four “security” torx screws which thread into plastic “nutserts”. These brass widgets are melted into an undersized hole and provide a very sturdy tapped thread for repeated fastening and un-fastening. They are melted into place very simply using a rubbish soldering iron grabbed from the shelf in the Space. A generous counter-sink lets the ejected plastic sit below the surface – any excess can be easily trimmed off with a craft knife.

Don’t tighten the screws too hard, or the insert will spin instead of letting the screw undo. A torque setting of “7” or “8” on a cordless drill is plenty powerful enough. “14” is far too strong, don’t ask how I know that.

Next up is the electronic hardware.

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New Space Update #1

Update

After gaining access to the new space we set about actively working out the floor layout using ticker tape.

The overall impression is that the new space is large and to allow for growth the area of the workshop has been increased, the workshop also needs to be separated fully from the space (due to noise, dust, etc).

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Proposed layout of new space

The other areas of the space are aiming to be more open plan and adaptable unless they have a dedicated function – we are looking as much as possible to incorporate storage into the design of the place – a tidy space is a functional space, get your thinking hats on for any creative options!

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My rough idea for the workshop partition wall – windows + storage bits.

We are hoping that members will contribute as much as possible to the design and renovation of the new space so feel free to start drumming up ideas for sub projects that could be executed. I.e. Have a great idea for that dividing wall? Own the project! Start a google group thread or setup a time to meet and discuss it with other interested people!

Hopefully these sub projects can then pool materials and transport requests with other projects, getting many elements of the build going with less waste.

Phil’s blog over at http://stuffphilmade.tumblr.com/ covers most of the particulars so far in the new space very well. Thanks Phil et al.!

Next steps

We are still working on making the new space ‘safe’ for members to visit more regularly, this includes:

  • Security / access – changing the doors and access to the space from keys to RFID. We have to work out a mechanism to allow this to happen on the metal gate bars which would be a shame (and risky!) to remove.
  • Fire exits and signage (requires communication with enterprise next door)
  • Asbestos register update – we’re going to get someone in before any major works to check out the new space as part of the regulations for refurbishments.
  • The big decide – should we make good the ceiling space above the suspended ceiling? Its a large job but its one of the very few that could only reasonably be done now without disruption.
  • The electricals – immediately identified as something that will have a big finance weight behind it, but we really are committed to getting away from extensions in extensions. Currently the state of the electricals are enough for the build, but nothing else. The progress on the layout plans has made planning the install simpler (leaning towards surrounding the space with dado with some separate breakers for areas that need it). There also is 3 phase into our unit already.
  • Project Management moving forward – ideally going to get everything tasked into sub-projects that can be OK’ed and be given materials centrally; this should help with clearing communications up a bit and getting the ball rolling in various areas in the right order.

Wrap up

Regular roundups can occur every Tuesday on the open night for people who miss the online communications.

Getting pictures of the build process will always be great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spacey McSpaceface

News

You might have seen that we have recently been looking to move the Hackspace. As of TODAY I can confirm that we have an agreement lined up, it has been signed and Spacey McSpaceface (official name) is a GO!

The new space is bigger, which means that the new rent is higher – but we have tirelessly negotiated a very good deal on a 7 year lease with a breakpoint at 3 years. We also have a generous 3 month free rent period as well as a lease that lets us alter to our hearts content!

However the cherry on the cake is that its not a particularly difficult or far move, as the unit we’ve signed up for is just around the corner!

We are planning to have as little crossover time between the two spaces as possible; but we expect it to be around a month. If you are feeling particularly like you want to obtain your leadership badge we are looking for MOVE COORDINATORS that should roughly align with one area of space activities.

Now onto the FUN STUFF

Address

Unit 14, Sheepscar House, Sheepscar Street South, Leeds, LS7 1AD

Is it a good space?

TL;DR YES.
The new space is within budget (sustainable with 50+ members) We are taking approximately 2100+sq ft of space for £800 pcm. The Landlord has been very proactive pre-agreement to do some work to make the space better, new skylights have been installed and the walls have been made good. The 3 month rent free period allows us to do a lot of improvements to make it a far better standard than the current space. Volunteer now!

Essential stuff in a space

Minimum Viable Product: these are the things that we must have in order to function as a space:

  • Toilet facilities — at present there are two toilet rooms, one will need to be removed and the one at the back needs cleaning to a good state.
  • Running water – the removed toilet will create a wet and kitchen space with access to running water and drainage already in place.
  • Electricity – the distro is in the main room and some electicals are in place. These will do for now whilst we construct any dividing walls and the new space layout – at which point we will then properly balance phases and re-wire the whole space.
  • Ability to fit internet — decent internet lets us do internety things.
  • 24 hour access – a few locks and doors needs replacing to enable this – the current plan is for two door systems will be run in conjunction as soon as the new space is safe for access.
  • Centeral location – its only a few minutes away from the current space.
  • External walls for fume extraction  — The roof is above us and two small external inlets connect all the rooms.
  • Minimum term for lease: 3 years.

Preferred stuff in a space

Make the space better for all. For the space to better we want to consider the following:

  • Disabled access – the new space is ground floor only.
  • Own street door (person sized) – the new space features a double wide front door and separate access shared with enterprise – this is subject to change to improve security.
  • Heating — not yet. We do plan to get electrical panel heating that is zoneable.
  • Insulation — no, however, the drop ceiling could be insulated ‘easily’ and the two sides are enclosed by enterprise with thick walls.
  • Natural light – skylights synergy skylights! As well as some front windows.
  • Car parking – not so much during the day, but evenings should not be an issue. There is plenty of parking around the area if you cant get into the gated compound.

What does it look like now?

Photo Sphere before

What will it look like?

This is all ‘up in the air’ but the general layout idea can be seen here:

Image of Floorplan

The general idea is to increase facilities (both utilities and teaching) and increase workshop-type space to keep projects and working separate from the other areas of the space.

When is it all happening?

We get first access on the 17th June so the official move will be Late June to July. There’s lots do do. Moving will be an enormous task, and will take several weekends (and probably a few weeks worth of time in preparation).

Resources that help us coordinate this will be released soon – most likely on the wiki and in a google sheets.

Planning meeting

A general hype meeting will occur on 14/06/2016 at 8pm – don’t feel bad if you can’t make this its really just a kick off to decide if we have missed anything vital.

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Space Update #2

It’s been over a week since the last update – here’s what’s going on with the Hackspace.

  • We really need your input on the move – please take a look at the mailing list thread covering the latest developments with regards to the contract and negotiations.
  • HSBC has completed the instructions to diversify and secure the access to the bank account. Two signatories are now required to complete major transactions at the bank.
  • There’s a cold drinks vending machine coming! Don’t worry though, nobody will have to carry this 350 kg beast up the stairs. It will be stored securely at ground level while it is waiting for its new RFID compatible heart.
  • Joe has made a run to Makro – all your favourite drinks and snacks are back in stock again. Is there anything missing? Stick an entry on the wiki page if there’s something you’d like to see.
  • Hey what about that CNC Mill? There’s a batch of end mills winging their way from China for use in the CNC mill inductions. We’ve made the machinable wax, we are getting a space set of universal hold downs (so vital!) and now we just have to wait for the state-subsidised postal service to do its thing. More updates to come on this!
  • A total of 100 linear metres of sandpaper has been acquired in 40 and 100 grit, along with a selection of similarly coarse sheets. The finer grades are still going strong from last year!
  • The new design website is moving into the next phase where it should all get tied together and launched; expect alot more member-centric functions where your account on the website will let you place projects for all to see, as well as better clarity on where our information is stored and presented like the wiki, group announcements and documents!
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