Hack a Day visits LVL1 hackerspace in Louisville

We recently had the pleasure of visiting the LVL1  hackerspace in Louisville, Kentucky. Any hackers in the Louisville area who haven’t visited yet are doing themselves a big disservice.  The space recently had its one year anniversary in July, but it’s hard to tell. The space features many of the things you’d only expect in older spaces such as a laser cutter (added while we were visiting), CNC machines, extensive electronics workbenches, and even a section for those who are into music. The best part about the LVL1 hackerspace is it’s members. We’ve all heard horror stories of hacker spaces with drama or overly restricting rules, but the people at LVL1 are extremely friendly and willing to help.

The Micro Colonel (president, if you wanna go that route), [Christopher Cprek], gave us a tour of the space and its current projects. One of the most impressive is the White Star Balloon project, which aims to fly a balloon across the Atlantic. There’s also the Louisville Soundbuilders which meet at the space every other Monday at 8pm to make new instruments. Some other projects include a telepresence robot, a pony that breaths fire, and a power wheels race car for the Detroit Makerfaire. There are also things such as the Kentucky Open Source Society (KYOSS) that meets at the space. Even a few sumobots were scattered around. We were fortunate that at the same time we were visiting [Brandon Gunn], who regularly does video tours of the hackerspaces he visits, was there too; watch his video tour of the space after the break.

The space usually has an open to the public meeting every tuesday at 7:00, but be sure to check out their calendar for more.  If you’ve never been to a hackerspace before you should definitely make an effort. It’s not the tools that make a space, but the people, and LVL1 delivers.

Comments

  1. Dormant Labs says:

    I wish Sioux Falls SD had a hackerspace :|

  2. Aaron says:

    The guy who runs the place calls himself the Micro Colonel?

    Dammit, I wish I lived anywhere near Louisville.

  3. Will says:

    @Aaron – +1 :)

  4. tooth says:

    i didn’t hear him right at first about the white star project. i was mistaken. that place is giant.
    i like the fail board. i could probably fill that thing.:) oh and it reminded me about the game of lose.

  5. Greendrv says:

    Slight correction: the open build sessions are every Tuesday at 8pm, but there will always be people there at 7pm if you want to show up early. Actually, there are people there every night of the week, so feel free to stop by!

  6. Squintz says:

    That is a very impressive space.

  7. Andy says:

    “This is a pony that is being modified to breathe fire”

    so so much awesome.

  8. charliex says:

    very cool, the fail board is awesome we should add that at nullspace.

  9. Jeremy says:

    I live in Louisville and would love to join LVL1 but the cost is ridiculously high (like being a member of IEEE).

  10. Brad says:

    @Jeremy: Then don’t join, just come and hang out. We’re more than happy to welcome anyone that wants to come by and work on projects/hang out/share knowledge/whatever. Some of the nicest, most productive members of our community aren’t members (or weren’t members for many months before they were able to join).

    Unlike some hackerspaces, we’re not just open on Open Build nights. Basically, if you knock on the door and someone recognizes you, you’re let in. Come to the open builds to make some friends, and stop by as often as you would like.

  11. @Jeremy
    I don’t think it’s really that bad. You can spend the money it takes to be a member on some really stupid stuff in a month without even realizing (and definitely without getting as much return on investment).

  12. fred says:

    @Jeremy

    It is not ridiculously high if you consider you get access to a 40W laser cutter, makerbot, oscilloscopes plus all the other stuff they have there.

    Our hackerspace is just getting started and it’s $40/mo without all that cool stuff. Hopefully we will get to where LVL1 is.

  13. Jason Dodd says:

    I’m not a member but I can tell this lot is top notch and goes out of it’s way to make nonmembers like me welcome. If I had time to use the space I’d definitely join. Considering what you have access to, membership is a bargain.

  14. Bob says:

    Heyy, I used to live within walking distance of there. Now I’m down bardstown road a ways, I’ll have to stop by.

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