Hackerspacing in Europe: HSBXL in Brussels

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Welcome to Hackerspace Brussels.

This place is cool. It’s a 4 story house with a lot of character… and characters! It was one of the first hackerspaces in Belgium and spawned many of the other ones very quickly. We’re on the right left, rocking their cool dude shirts!

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Walking along a quiet street you will come upon house number 40. There’s an old Macintosh mouse on the door. Choose the button wisely…

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Directly inside is the main work bench with a few tools — nothing too impressive but more than enough for most projects.

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Opposite the bench is an old cigarette machine that they are converting to a component dispenser! Above that is the cheque they won from Microsoft for a competition

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A nice library collection of slightly outdated texts…

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Like ACKspace, they also have an automated bar inventory system, also written in Bash.

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Simply scan your chosen product, and leave the cash!

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This is the main lounge area on the first floor. Lots of couches, a projector, and even a hacked together touch screen table!

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The space also has an automated hydroponics set-up, one inside, and one outside.

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They actually have one of the largest backyards on the street, so they have a very nice home-made barbeque set-up and a large garden for hanging out in.

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Lots of green space!

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View back into the first floor, the black tarp on the left is the outdoor hydroponics tank that is filled with fish.

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The second floor is the main electronics lab, and it contains many, many components. All the components! This space lucks out when it comes to donations and dumpster diving. Need a special capacitor? No problem. A high wattage resistor? How high? A speciality LED? Yup.

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This is the main electronics bench, plenty of space, soldering irons, and light. A nice open space which is surprisingly neat and free of clutter!

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On the desk to the left you can just make out one of the test control circuits for the hydroponics set-up outside.

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On the next floor is a floor plan! As you can see the floors get progressively smaller as they go up.

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The third floor is the kitchen, nothing too exciting, but very functional.

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The top floor contains a Hacker Hostel — Unfortunately we weren’t aware of it until after we booked a hostel in Brussels! It would be super handy though for those late nights though!

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Another lounge area, an extra bed, and some more cool projects…

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This is one of the coolest — it’s called the HSBXL ScanBot and it can scan books to PDF fast, easily, and without damaging the original book. Of course they would never abuse this copying ability…

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On the balcony this is the view of the city — there’s a few roofs in the way, but it’s a very nice look out.

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This is the antenna that connects to Belgium’s giant mesh network — more on that in my next post.

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More Club-Mate. It’s a staple in hackerspace drinks — haven’t you noticed?

Hackerspace Brussels has been one of the biggest spaces we have visited so far. Lots of space, lots of members, and lots of hacking. Great people, great times. They also let us know of another hackerspace nearby in Gent that we weren’t aware of, it’s called WhiteSpace and we might go check it out tomorrow!

Comments

  1. jegeva says:

    There we go guys !

  2. Sheldon says:

    “We’re on the right”
    It may have been your right but it’s normally based on the (picture’s) viewer point of view, so you’re actually on the left ;-)

  3. eagle00789 says:

    The link to the ACKspace article isn’t working

    • Mike Szczys says:

      hrmmm…. looks like that post is waiting to be published much later today. We must have swapped these in the publishing order. It’ll work itself out in about seven hours when that article hits the front page. Sorry for the confusion.

  4. Moem says:

    What fun! See you folks tomorrow morning, bright and early.

  5. K!P says:

    wait? an old Macintosh mouse with a button to choose from? That does not sound right.

    Nice hackerspace tho!

  6. askarel says:

    The hacked mouse was a Logitech one.
    We kept the original board with the switches, but removed all components inside, including the ball mechanism.
    We have kept the possibility to use the buttons individually, because there is a strong incentive to use it as a multi-tone doorbell. There is a prototype circuit on the 1st floor bench, 555 based.

    Time to finish the job and write an article. :-)

  7. Chouffe says:

    Come on, guyyyys. Club-mate in a belgian hacker space?
    it’s a shame for the beer country. :)

  8. PPz says:

    Hello Guys from Brussels !
    Vous m’envoyez un pack de rodenbach ?? Je suis en manque…
    belgian exfiltered in Canada (quebec for the beer), I miss the country sometimes :-(

  9. Why all men, not mix with other gender? a lot of smart girls in science field

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