Hackerspacing in Europe: Hack42 in Arnhem!

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That 3-letter word does not even begin to describe the awesomeness that is Hack42. Located in a decommissioned German military base in Arnhem, Hack42 is one of the largest, and as far as we’ve seen, the most awesome hackerspace yet.

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First, a little backstory into the location. Built in 1942, several of these buildings were put up in Arnhem (The Netherlands), close to the German border. They were disguised as farm houses so they wouldn’t be bombed during the war. Today the entire complex has been turned into a group business area, with studios, the hackerspace, and other businesses residing in the buildings. NATO razor wire still surrounds the facility, and you must enter through a gate.

hack 42

In fact, despite it being decommissioned — it’s been blurred out on Google Maps! How cool is that!

We only had a few hours here, but still managed to take nearly 200 photos. Check out the fully captioned gallery below — otherwise you’ll be scrolling for days. Click any of the images to enter the slideshow mode. Let us know if you like this method of showing tour pictures in the comments.

Thank you Hack42! We had an amazing time visiting your space — your hospitality was incredible!

We were very sorry to hear you’ll have to move out in a year, but we wish you the best of luck finding a new (bigger) space! It’s going to be hard to top this place though!


  1. W4RIS says:

    The “bike” a Sinclair C5 from the maker of the ZX-81 (or Timex-Sinclair 1000 in the US).


  2. BugBlue says:

    WOW :)

  3. betz says:

    That looks awesome!

  4. Indyaner says:

    Dave from the EEVBlog did a teardown on the Sinclair C5 Electric Car:


    • chango says:

      The video leads me to believe that it should have been named “Sinclair C5 Shitty Motorized Tricycle”

      • Stoneshop says:

        Sir Clive is famous for cutting corners. Ever looked at the schematic for a ZX81 or a Spectrum? Corners being cut at every opportunity and with every available cutting instrument starting from an Xacto knife to pneumatic jackhammers.

        You end up with something even cheaper than was thought possible. And shitty.

  5. Red Five says:

    That wasn’t just PacMan, that was PacMan on a NeXT. And that was an axed Cisco switch, not an axed server.

  6. Gio d'Amelio says:

    Holy crap, that place is awesome. I will definitely be visiting when I go to the Netherlands.

  7. Spiderwebz says:

    It was great to have you here! Glad you enjoyed it. :-D

    On a sidenote; I didn’t even know we have a mechanical counter of the hours we were open. Must check it out next time!

  8. Eujean says:

    The alternative text on all the images are a bit bothering, but looks awesome!!!

  9. Benadski says:

    Very nice space indeed! And it’s good to see that the LART has actually been used and survived the OHM2013 festival. :)

  10. Kris Lee says:

    What shelves are you using for computer museum?

  11. boot says:

    Holy moly WOW, love the van wijko liquid cooling system on one of the lasers :-).

  12. Macsimski says:

    Hey James Hobson,

    have you decoded the punchtape we gave you? it contains a message.

  13. See , I told you to go there ! It’s freakin’ awesome =)

  14. Rob says:

    I was so impressed with the “messy” pictures that I dug down to my keyboard to write this comment!

    The “messy” pictures show what skill sets they have and what they like to do.

    I was also impressed with the collection of retro gear, some of which I was able to recognise but most impressive was how much of it they had working.

    Damn, I wouldn’t like to be the one that had to correct the deflections on that old TV array. Perhaps that’s why it wasn’t running?

    I liked the collection of fuses. I used to work in a place that had bus bars that were about 14 Inches by 3/4 inch thick. They were low voltage (48 Volts) but the missing fuse in our fuse collection was the wrist watch.

    I have worked in many workshops some of which I set up for myself. There was one thing that I didn’t like and that is the safety standards kept with things like non-enclosed din rails.

    This issue aside it’s an excellent hacker space.

    • Stoneshop says:

      The non-enclosed DIN rails are strictly low-voltage stuff, the one enclosure which is open in one of the photos was because we were in the process of replacing a wonky GFI

  15. Rob says:

    James: “Click any of the images to enter the slideshow mode. Let us know if you like this method of showing tour pictures in the comments”

    I am using FireFox 24.0 and the image canvass is covering the scroll bar so I can’t scroll down to the other parts of the page.

    I view a lot of images that need to be a specific size like schematics, too small and can’t be read, too large and can’t see the overall design, so I have a browser plugin that allows me to zoom and pan. For some of the images I had to open them as image only in another browser window so I could see more detail with the plug in.

    Some of the images would have benefited from some gamma correction.

    Overall I like the format. It would be nice to have some zoom though.

    Another thing that would be nice is to invite the owners of the hacker space to write some comments on them so we know what they are about.

  16. Sasha says:

    Wow… just… wow. We really need an awesomer space.

  17. j s says:

    An STU-III crypto phone. How did they get a hold of that?

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