Hackaday Invades Toronto

Next Wednesday, April 20th, Hackaday will invade Toronto.

[Sophi Kravitz] and [Michael Guilfoil] are heading north of the border to meet up with our friends at HacklabTO. They’ll be hosting a Bring A Hack meetup with drinks, snacks, and swag.

Since this is a Bring A Hack, attendees are encouraged to bring whatever project you’re working on and show it off, give a lightning talk, and pitch it to the community. [Sophi]’s last visit to Toronto brought some crazy hardware to the meetup, including a gaming glove for a Commodore 64, a demonstration of Ontario’s power plants, testing hamburgers for anything that is not beef with PCR, and analog synthesizers.

Since the Hackaday Prize is in full swing, this is an excellent opportunity to team up with fellow Torontonians for a great Prize entry, or just bounce a few ideas off people to see if your idea is feasible.

The meet and greet at the Hacklab is free, but we would request that you RSVP for the event. The event is also on Hackaday.io, just in case you’d like to chat with [Sophi] or other attendees.

The HackadayPrize2016 is Sponsored by:

Screw Drive Tractor Hasn’t Conquered Canada Yet

[REDNIC79] lives somewhere in Canada where key terrain features include mud and snow. Half pontoon boat, half auger, screw-propelled vehicles excel in this kind of terrain as long as you’re okay with going really slow.

In his 11-and-counting part video series, [REDNIC79] goes through the conversion of a lawn tractor into a slow, theoretically unstoppable, Canadian screw-propelled tractor. He welds a frame, plonks some beefy chains on it, and throws a few hefty looking bearing mounts on there to boot. Then he makes some screws out of gas tanks; which was an enormous amount of work.

It was time to fire up the tractor. On the first muddy incline encountered, the tractor ceased to move. The culprit? A cracked transmission housing. Ouch. The end of the shaft holding the chain for the right screw was unsupported. When the shaft turned, it imparted its rotational force, but there was also an unconsidered down force on the end of the shaft, which resulted in a moment the bell housing wasn’t designed for.

Undeterred, [REDNIC79] welded the housing back together and threw a bearing on the end of the offending shaft to balance the moments. He fired it up, engaged the transmission, and the right screw bearing pillow block completely shattered. Ouch again. We can safely begin to assume that screw-propelled vehicles see a lot of forces.

[REDNIC79] hasn’t shelved the project yet. His next plan is to beef up the supports and build a much larger set of screws with smaller blades out of some propane tanks. This should reduce the force the power house needs to put out. Video of the first fail after the break. Continue reading “Screw Drive Tractor Hasn’t Conquered Canada Yet”

Hackaday Prize Worldwide: Toronto

Tomorrow, April 15th at 7pm, join Hackaday at the Toronto HackLab.

Our own Mythical Creature, [Sophi Kravitz] is headed North of the border to talk about all things hardware hacking! As always, we love to see what people are working on in their labs, basements, garages, and workplaces. Make sure to bring your builds with you to show off to the rest of the crowd. [Sophi] will have her Breathe project on hand. Solenoids, balloons, compressed air, and visualizations are the secret sauce behind this clever interactive build.

Since there will be snacks, hacks, drinks, and swag we’d appreciate a quick RSVP (use the link at the top of this post) just so we know you’re incoming. Apart from seeing a slew of cool builds there will be lightning talks, some information about the 2015 Hackaday Prize, and if you haven’t been to the Hacklab before this is the perfect time for your first tour. We know there’s a lot of awesome to be seen there!


The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

Four Cable Drawing Machine Pulls Our Strings

sandplotter

[David] has created a four cable drawing machine for the Telus Spark Science Centre in Canada. Hackaday has featured [David’s] unconventional drawing contraptions before, specifically his center pivot pen plotter. The drawing machine is a new take on a drawbot, and could be considered to be close cousins with [Dan’s] SkyCam. The premise is simple: A stepper motor with a reel of string is placed at each corner of a square. The strings for all four motors come together at a center weight. When all four strings are taut, the weight is lifted off the drawing surface. When a bit of slack is added into the strings, gravity pulls the weight down to touch the sand.

It’s at this point that a simple premise becomes a complex implementation. Moving the weight in one direction is a matter of reeling out string on one motor, and reeling in string on the other. But what about the two “un driven” strings? They have to be slack enough to allow movement in the driven direction, but not so slack that the weight can dig in and tumble on the sand, causing a tangle. To handle some of these questions, [David] called on [Kevin] to write some software. [Kevin] created a custom kinematics module for LinuxCNC to control the drawing machine. The drawing machine runs on Gerber Code, similar to a CNC. Simply feed the machine Cartesian coordinates, and [Kevin’s] module converts to steps.

Continue reading “Four Cable Drawing Machine Pulls Our Strings”

Hackerspace intro: Skullspace and AssentWorks in Winnipeg

The signs on the front door might be a little small, but the space which AssentWorks and Skullspace inhabit is anything but. [Matt] takes us on a tour of the Winnipeg, Canada makerspace and hackerspace.

The two spaces occupy one floor of the building but are partitioned for different purposes. AssentWorks, which is called a makerspace, is a business incubator. The tour shows it as a large and tidy area where small businesses can pool resources to maintain and stock the various shop and work areas. We can’t help but think of it as an OSB jungle as it seems all the interior walls have been built from Oriented Strand Board.

The second part of the video shows off the hackerspace: Skullspace. This is much less polished, but shows a lot of promise. There are several work spaces for electronics, machining, and woodworking. There is also an arcade room, a classroom, and a few other offerings. All in all there’s 8350 square feet of space between the two.

You can see the ten-minute tour embedded after the break. Continue reading “Hackerspace intro: Skullspace and AssentWorks in Winnipeg”

E-bike across Canada for $10

Justin Lemire-Elmore E-bike

[Justin Lemire-Elmore] spent one month riding his electric bike across Canada last summer. He made the journey from Vancouver to Halifax in 30 days using a mere $10 worth of electricity to recharge his bike. He put together a rather bizarre looking semi-recumbent bicycle to hold all of his gear. The motor controller, charge controller, battery packs, and lighting system were all his own design. He has a captivating 2 hour presentation embedded below in which he describes all the problems he had with his equipment during the trip as well as all the great experiences the journey offered. Continue reading “E-bike across Canada for $10”

CrossCanada: a biking documentary

bike_arm

[Mike] was going to be biking across Canada. He really wanted to document the trip, so he began planning ways to get still images taken at intervals along the way. After a bit of brainstorming, he ended up setting his goals a bit higher. He was going to film the entire trip. He really didn’t want a simple helmet cam, he wanted himself and the entire bike in the frame. To do this he had to build a long arm on which he mounted a bullet cam. On his handlebars, he has a simple control where he can turn the system on and off as well as initiate recording.

No single piece of this project was too complicated, but taken all together, the final result is quite nice. You can watch the video for yourself after the break.

Continue reading “CrossCanada: a biking documentary”