Hackerspace Tour: EG MakerSpace in Victoria, Australia

EG MakerSpace

We’ve just heard word that the East Gippsland MakerSpace, located in Bairnsdale, Australia needs more members! They sent us a wonderful tour video, and their place looks simply awesome.

It’s a very large facility (looks like an old school) that might even rival some of the biggest hackerspaces we saw during our Hackerspacing in Europe tour — seriously they have a room for everything!

They have all of the basic stuff like an electronics lab, a woodworking area, a community lounge, the kitchen, a metal working area, a general arts and crafts area. But then they also have a sound booth (in progress), an aromatherapy and massage room, a pottery room, a sculpture room, a multi-purpose hacking room, the network server room, a retro arcade and computer training lab, and loads of storage!

Stick around for an official walk-through tour by the founder [Scott Lamshed]!

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Solderless Noise-o-Tron Kit Makes Noise at Chicago Makerfaire

Noise-o-Tron

Anyone who’s manned a hackerspace booth at an event knows how difficult it can be to describe to people what a hackerspace is. No matter what words you use to describe it, nothing really seems to do it justice. You simply can’t use words to make someone feel that sense of accomplishment and fun that you get when you learn something new and build something that actually works.

[Derek] had this same problem and decided to do something about it. He realized that in order to really share the experience of a hackerspace, he would have to bring a piece of the hackerspace to the people.  That meant getting people to build something simple, but fun. [Derek's] design had to be easy enough for anyone to put together, and inexpensive enough that it can be produced in moderate quantities without breaking the bank.

[Derek] ended up building a simple “optical theremin”. The heart of this simple circuit is an ATTiny45. Arduino libraries have already been ported to this chip, so all [Derek] had to do was write a few simple lines of code and he was up and running. The chip is connected to a photocell so the pitch will vary with the amount of light that reaches the cell. The user can then change the pitch by moving their hand closer or further away, achieving a similar effect to a theremin.

[Derek] designed a simple “pcb” out of acrylic, with laser cut holes for all of the components. If you don’t have access to a laser cutter to cut the acrylic sheets, you could always build your own. The electronic components are placed into the holes and the leads are simply twisted together. This allows even an inexperienced builder to complete the project in just five to ten minutes with no complicated tools. The end result of his hard work was a crowded booth at a lot of happy new makers. All of [Derek's] plans are available on github, and he hopes his project will find use at Makerfaires and hackerspace events all over the world.

Dallas Makerspace Tour

dallasMakerspace

[Paul] sent us this video tour of the Dallas Makerspace made by member [Andrew Floyd], who walks us around and provides narration for a very impressive space. Once inside the 6000 sq ft facility, he takes us past the entrance lounge and into the electronics room, which has more electronics component storage than visible wall space, and down the hall to show off some laser-cut and 3d-printed creations.

Every makerspace has its specialties, and the Dallas gang shows off their awesome darkroom (complete with creepy, lurking Nic Cage) and blacksmith/forge work areas. They even have bi-weekly blacksmithing classes from a local master blacksmith. The space has since expanded, conquering their next-door-neighbors to expand project storage, add a biolab, a second classroom, a conference room, and more.

Enjoy the video after the break, and then head over to their website for more info: dallasmakerspace.org.

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Hackerspace intro: Greenville Makers in Greenville, South Carolina

greenville-makers

If you happen to live in the Upstate of South Carolina, and your New Year’s resolution was to get involved with a hackerspace, the [Greenville Makers] are definitely worth checking out. Right now they have several projects their members are working on, including a VoIP payphone (work in progress), and of course several 3D printers and various electronics projects.

They meet at 6:00 on Mondays to discuss projects and group goals at their current location at [CoWork Greenville], and have a dedicated space to keep tools and work in progress. They’re actively recruiting new members, so if you’re a hacker, artist, or just like observing other people’s projects, you should definitely give them a look. Alternatively, you can check out their forum to introduce yourself.

Special shout out to [Chris] for getting things together originally, as well as [CoWork] for helping establish an initial space to work and meet in. We look forward to some great [HAD] material coming out of [GMG] in the future!

Hackerspace Intro: Chatt*Lab in Chattanooga TN

During our trip through Tennessee, we were able to get a sneak peak into a hackerspace that hasn’t quite opened its doors yet. Chatt*Lab in Chattanooga has just acquired a space and begun putting equipment in. Chattanooga, once called “the dynamo of the south” due to the amazing amount of industry located there, has been in need of a gathering place for like minded hackers for a while. They’ve been conversing through various means on the web for some time, but have finally found a space that suits their needs.

[Tim Youngblood] gave us a tour of what they currently have and shared a little bit of their plans for the future. As you can see in the video, there’s not a whole lot of stuff there yet. There are a handful of nice tools and a very nice looking and rather large CNC machine. However, they have solid plans and determined people, so we expect this to expand soon. On the subject of expansion, this space may seem tiny but that’s only because we shared the active space. The rest of the facility is vacant and available for them to expand into as they grow!

Let this act as a reminder, we don’t care how big or small your hackerspace is, send us a tour and we’ll publish a story on it. On almost every single hackerspace intro, we’ve seen comments where people had no idea there was a hackerspace in their immediate vicinity.

Hackerspace Introduction: 7hills makerspace in Rome Georgia

This place served as a very strong reminder that not all hackerspaces are the same. Housed in a masonic temple, 7hills makerspace is quite different. They are fairly new, having just built out the location in January. I didn’t have a visit planned, and just happened to get lucky enough to catch [John Grout] there doing some screen printing. He agreed to give us a tour on the spot, and I think he did a fantastic job.

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Hackerspace Intro: STGO Makerspace in Santiago, Chile

[Roy MacDonald] sent in a few links to all the cool stuff his home base – the StgoMakerSpace (Google translation) in Santiago, Chile – is putting together. They’re a new hackerspace that’s only been open for two months or so, but already they’re put together a great assemblage of tools, hosted a few awesome workshops, and even gotten a good bit of local media exposure.

The StgoMakerSpace found its first bit of fame with a very in-depth article in Qué Pasa, a Chilean magazine (Google Translate). There’s a lot of very, very talented people at StgoMakerSpace that includes [macapola], an industrial designer who spent a year in China learning all about modern, global  manufacturing processes.

StgoMakerSpace has a few workshops coming up, including a Kinect hacking workshop, and Arduino workshop, and a welding workshop. If you’re around Santiago, it’s worth checking out. In addition to very, very smart people and a whole bunch of tools, StgoMakerSpace also has a retro video game museum and FREE BEER brewed in-house.

As a small aside, [Roy] tells us the word ‘hacker’ has a negative connotation in Spanish, and it immediately associated with cybercrime; that’s the reason it’s the Santiago Makerspace. In our experience, the same connotation sometimes applies in English, something that hasn’t stopped all the Hackerspaces around the US.