Hackerspace introduction: Makers Local 256 in Huntsville Alabama

When I announced I would be traveling through Alabama and Georgia this summer, [Tim] from Makers Local 256 emailed me pretty quickly and asked if I’d like to swing by for a visit. Since I was planning to take my kids to the space center in Huntsville anyway, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to tour another hackerspace.

Makers Local 256 was started after being inspired by the tech shop in San Fransisco. Their first meeting was in 2006 and they’ve grown considerably since then. They started out in a space of about 900 square feet and now have a facility with over 2500 square feet. ¬†As you can see in the video, they are very active, there are projects everywhere. It was quite difficult for me just to walk around and look, then leave. I really wanted to tear into some of the projects going on.

While we were walking around, we found [Jennifer] working in an office to construct a rather impressive looking LED cube. I asked her to explain the project in the video below. It looks like it will be pretty cool.

As I said before, there were tons of things to look at and play with there. There was a life sized Dalek, giant model rockets, a Jacob’s ladder, a couple motorized scooters welded together, gutted pinball machines. All kinds of fun. We even played frisbee with a 100% duct tape Captain America shield.

23 thoughts on “Hackerspace introduction: Makers Local 256 in Huntsville Alabama

    1. It’s a mold, likely for a helmet from some movie/comicbook. A couple of the members do movie prop making.

      1. strages…. you had better bring one of those daft punk helmets to phreaknic this year… and be sure to bring some of that wifi mesh awesomeness too… just be sure to go to the correct hotel since they moved the location.

  1. Wow, Alabama folks coming out of the woods. Ive been looking for almost a year to find someone who can make something from me, and settled on a guy from France. Now there are folks just a short drive away?

    1. People can reach me at 334-491-0158. I am just getting into electronics but would love to have some local folks I can work through stuff when I get stuck.

  2. I’m in Birmingham. It would be a perfect place for a hacker/maker club. We have ton of unused industrial places and mothballed equipment laying around the town. Anyone up for getting this going?

    1. I am a local inventor in Birmingham. I am willing to help with anyone interested in starting a hacker space somewhere in Birmingham.

      1. I just recently moved right outside of Birmingham. In college, I had an open door policy with the rest of the EEs for use of my shop, trying to get something drummed up there, but it didn’t grow. All of my techs(I own a small music company) are working from home now, back in Mississippi, but I’m tired of developing in the guest bedroom here and would love to see something get going. Hit me up at thejulietcollective @ gmail if you’re around and want to talk about really putting legs to this.

    1. start at hackerspaces.org – read the blogs. use the links to hacker spaces and read their rules – everybody does it differently, but there are common themes (such as all need to be paid members, visitors are free or pay a nominal fee after the first visit, etc).

      you will need a core of 4..5 dedicated folks at the start. They may need to put up $1k each to get a space if a member does not have a good space (ie a good barn). Advertise. Work with other groups, like Ignite. Work with your city Economic Growth Office.

      see

      http://lifehacker.com/5912598/how-to-find-and-get-involved-with-a-hackerspace-in-your-community

      to also get a good idea. Talk to the Space Federation

      http://schoolfactory.org/content/space-federation-overview

      http://schoolfactory.org/spacefed

      Passion is a critical key. Doing more than talking.

      Success to you!

    2. That’s a question I asked over at the hackaday forums http://forums.hackaday.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1731&hilit=hackerspaces I have to believe the first step is to try to judge any local interest if any Personally I’m still trying to create an online document about it that I can’t direct other to. For example local recreational commission offices & other community leaders who have an interest in trying to ensure their/ our community can serve a broad range of people, and interest as possible. The reason I making this comment so long ofter this post is that I’m reviewing Caleb’s hackerspace visit video’s for things I may have missed or comments made since my first ho through In the event the response isn’t positive to my inquiries now, I’m not going to let that indicate future interest and not revisit the topic again locally.

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