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.
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.
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.
They told us we would recognize them at the airport. Yep!
Even the car had our sign on it!
This is it. Our excitement was starting to build.
Apparently, some of the members were excited too! We received a royal lab coat welcome from almost a dozen of the key members of Hack42!
A handy fuse chart.
The place is covered in retro phones — and they all work.
What’s a hackerspace without a pinball machine?
They have one of the largest selections of beverages available at any hackerspace — something like 80+ drink varieties if my memory serves me right…
And a vending machine!
This is the Retro Space! Almost all video game consoles live here — hooked up to age appropriate TV sets no less!
They also have a CRT video wall!
We could spend some serious time in this room with all the nostalgia.
If you recognize this, you’ll be impressed.
So many cool relics.
The boiler room
The biological fridge… Guess what they are brewing.
Full size kitchen for whatever they need!
Main electrical room — all the sealed boxes are new and added by Hack42.
And more Club-Mate.
They have label makers.
One of the lounges with a projector screen.
Say what you want, but computer design in the 80’s was great. Why buy a desk AND a computer? Why not both together!?
3D printer #1
3D printer #8
3D printer #27… Okay just kidding, but they do have a lot of 3D printers.
They also have a computer museum.
We’re not even going to try and explain all these relics. Enjoy
It’s an impressive collection.
Our favorite: Pickled Mouseballs.
Nixe tube love.
Ribbon punch code to typewriter
Magnetic tapes anyone?
This image is made up of more data than this hard disk can hold.
Portable! … kind of
Absolutely incredible collection!
480V 3-phase to garden hose adapter.
The storage room
One shelf is junk (anyone can use) other one is labeled. Member’s lockers in the back.
Uniform hard hats.
The “dirty” room!
Nice variety of tools for larger projects.
Oscilloscopes. All the oscilloscopes!
This computer works.
Working 480V 3-Phase to USB power adapter. I’ve always needed one of those…
The 50kg axe of doom!
In case of zombies.
Not sure anymore…
Hours Hack42 has been open.
The photography room!
A museum of it’s own sort.
Complete with a collection of film to use!
How’s this for a mini spy camera!
Check out that lense!
The flash is bigger than the camera.
Classic spy cameras
THE BUG ZAPPER! Powered by a microwave.
This microwave. It has a 500W halogen lamp inside.
Home built CNC
The specs for it
We’re excited already!
Oh boy oh boy oh boy!
Modified chinese laser engraver
Upgraded electronics and cooling system
Ammeter for the laser
More professional but older laser engraver
Key copying machines
They’ve used these to copy keys from images off the internet. Managed to copy Amsterdam’s key once!
It laser engraves cookies.
Not sure what this is, but there’s a second.
They would be fun to race.
One of the member’s projects is building a display… out of CD-rom drives. We can’t wait to see this one complete!
It even came with a green screen room!
One of the lesser used rooms.
A tidy server rack.
All red outlets have UPS backup.
Another empty room upstairs.
The awesome stairs
Some burnt documents from an unknown location…
They also have a computer lab sponsored by FOX IT
Not bad! They hold classes here.
An “axed” server”
One of their banners used at public events
Lots of them. They have been used in some pretty cool giant projection hacks.
Even old ones!
The dark room!
The outdoor spiral staircase
Wood to last them a cold winter!
This phone also works. Or it did.
Nice view of the building
NATO razor wire still surrounds the complex
Trees have grown through it!
Another view of the building.
They also have a few ponds!
Entrance to the lounge area
They love their warning labels.
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!