Hackerspace Tour: Syn Shop, Las Vegas

While we were at DEFCON, we had the chance to visit a few places in the area that are of interest to the Hackaday readership. We made it over to Syn Shop, the Las Vegas hackerspace.

Years ago, this area of town was home to the Greyhound bus depot, complete with all the adventures associated with that. Since then, Zappos set up their HQ nearby, massive amounts of money flowed in, and gentrification got a big thumbs up from the decaying casinos in the area. Syn Shop is just down the street from the Denny’s with a bar and the twelve story tall slot machine with a zip line, making this space perfect for the community outreach that is lacking in so many other hackerspaces. In the hour or so I was there, no fewer than two groups of people took a gander through the plate glass asking themselves if this was ‘one of those makerspaces or something’. It’s a far cry from hackerspaces found tucked away in business parks, and something that has worked well for the members of the shop.

[Andrew Bogerri] took me around the space, first showing off the PDP-11/23 which you can drive around with a remote control. Yes, it works. No, not Unix. Yes, the entire stack should weigh about 500 pounds, but the guts of the RL02 drives were replaced with something considerably more modern. Just think of it as a 200 pound remote control car, with the momentum that goes along with that.

Syn Shop has a huge space for classes, and the tutors to go along with it. Classes range from CAM design and CNC operation, to tutorials on how to use the huge ShopBot in the space. There’s also a craft night, plenty of help available for running the laser cutter, and enough electronics paraphernalia to work on anything in the sub-Gigahertz range.

Even though most of the Syn Shop members were away at the Rio getting geared up for the con when I went through, you could still tell the space is constantly buzzing with energy and spurious emissions. I caught up with a few of the other regular members at the Hardware Hacking village at the con, but that’s a subject for another post.

Pics below.

Comments

  1. charliex says:

    neato – such a clean shop!

  2. Waterjet says:

    Awesome. Curious if the types of projects in sin city tend to be a bit… raunchier? Does anybody even do sexy adult maker stuff?

  3. LV B Dirk says:

    One of the SYn Shop members here.
    We schedule a “hack your hackerspace” about once every 6 weeks – or whenever we feel it needs tidying. which is a community come-together for the express purpose of cleaning / maintaining the space and tools.

    We also have the classroom space which also acts as “common area” and over-flow project space. So that stays clean on the regular just due to the fact that we eat, socialize, work on cleaner projects, and teach there.

    We have more than a few folks who do some “adult” themed stuff. Thats not so much a function of the city, but more a function of the individual personalities. I.E. Last night someone who is also involved in the “kink” community was making leather whips in the craft area.

  4. Destate9 says:

    e-Lectronics

  5. krux says:

    Glad you guys could make it down and check out our shop.

    The PDP-11/23 is actually around 400 pounds.. heh.. It would be closer to 600 pounds with the drive internals.

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