Mrs. Penny’s Driving School — Hardware Workshop in Dallas

In case you haven’t noticed, the Hackaday community is making more of an effort to be a community AFK. We’re at VCF East this weekend, have the Hackaday World Create Day quickly approaching, Hackaday | Belgrade a few days ago, and Hackaday Toronto next week just to name a few in close proximity to this post.

As promised, or threatened, depending on which end of the stick you’re on I will be teaching an electronics class at the Dallas Makerspace every 3rd Saturday of the month. The goal of these classes is to help you overcome the barrier between a hardware idea and having that hardware in your hand. I’m not an expert in PCB design or layout, but I’ve found more ways to do it wrong than I’d probably admit too and this is my way of sharing what I’ve painfully learned through trial and error. At the time of writing this article there are still a few spots available in the first class, follow the above link for tickets.

Images of my failed hopes and dreams wonderfully captured courtesy of [Krissy Heishman]

Class 1

In our first 6 hour session we’ll take a basic, high-level idea and work our way down. For example: our first project will be an AVR development board. This is something common enough that everyone will know what it is (an Arduino is an AVR development board, just in case my mom is reading this). We won’t be making an Arduino clone part-for-part but taking the Arduino idea and making it our own custom board. Maybe we add some terminal blocks instead of DuPont headers or perhaps we want a real time clock and a slide potentiometer on the board. We can do that if we want, you can’t stop us.

So class number 1 is a crash course in Eagle schematic capture and PCB layout. Since this is only 6 hours worth of class time and we need to have boards and parts ordered when we leave we won’t be getting too complicated with our design.

Class 2

By the time we meet for our second session we should have taken delivery of our shiny new PCBs and our parts order should have long since been delivered from the distributor (Mouser is more or less an hour drive from the Dallas Makerspace, not that we’ll pick the parts up at will-call for this project, but it’s nice to have the option). We will spend the second 6 hour session assembling and testing our boards. If we need to make changes to our boards we can talk about that as a part of the design process. Depending on how long assembly takes we can brainstorm some ideas for the next round of Mrs. Penny’s Driving School classes which will continue the following 3rd Saturday of the month.

Amazing Workshops of the SuperCon

We have been amazed by all of the talented people who submitted workshop proposals for the Hackaday SuperConference. With proposals made, and invitations accepted it’s time to announce the full slate of workshops you’ll find at this epic event.

For those just tuning in, Hackaday will host the hardware con you’ve been waiting for on November 14th and 15th at DogPatch Studios in San Francisco. The gorgeous venue will be packed with amazing people, both presenters and attendees. A single talk track will run the entire weekend while multiple workshops run on a different floor.

Put yourself in the middle of it all and be amazed by all we have in store. Apply for your ticket now!

Continue reading “Amazing Workshops of the SuperCon”

Why You Need to Be at the Hackaday SuperConference

Hackaday’s first ever SuperConference is November 14th and 15th. Imagine a hardware conference that’s actually about hardware creation, packed with the most talented people – both as attendees and presenters. We are taking over Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco for the event that’s sure to change your engineering life. Apply Now for your tickets.

This isn’t hype. Our excitement is well founded, and especially so in this case. Here’s why:

Continue reading “Why You Need to Be at the Hackaday SuperConference”

SuperCon Presenters Revealed

When we announced the Hackaday SuperConference earlier this week we weren’t able to mention any presenters; the call for proposals to this epic hardware conference was still open. Now that the proposals are in we have been poring over them and starting to send acceptance notifications. Just a few of the notable presenters who have already confirmed are listed below. This is more than enough to get the excitement started but we will of course announce more in the coming days.

Check out the amazing space we’ve booked at Dogpatch Studios. It is perfect for the non-stop, high-throughput schedule that has been assembled. There will be one speaking track for talks that spans the entire weekend, while multiple concurrent workshops are held on the other floor of the venue. The evening party will kick off with the announcement of the 2015 Hackaday Prize winner, and the winner of Best Product.

Head over and apply now to attend the two-day SuperCon in San Francisco on November 14th and 15th. This list of amazing people and topics is just a taste of over thirty talks and workshops going on at the hardware conference you’ve been waiting for.

Shanni R. Prutchi  | Construction of an Entangled Photon Source for Experimenting with Quantum Technologies

Sprite_TM | Implementing the Tamagotchi Singularity

Michael Ossmann | Simple RF Circuit Design Workshop

Fran Blanche | Fun and Relevance of Antiquated Technology

Paul Stoffregen | Advanced Microcontroller-Based Audio Workshop

Noah Feehan | Making in Public

Sarah Petkus | NoodleFeet: Building a Robot as Art

Minas Liarokapis | OpenBionics

Luke Iseman | Starting a Hardware Startup

Dozens more to come.


Download the SuperCon poster and hang it everywhere. Share the @hackaday #SuperCon.  Do it now.

Hackaday’s DC Meetup and Workshops

Washington DC has a vibrant hardware hacking community and it was out in force on Saturday night. We had over one hundred people through the door at Nova Labs in Reston, Virginia (DC metro area). This sleek and spacious hackerspace opened their doors for a Hackaday Meetup as part of a weekend packed full of activities.

The building that Nova Labs moved into not too long ago is a really well-suited area for a Hackerspace. The front half of the building includes a huge open space which has plenty of room for people to set up the hardware they wanted to show off. The back has a full woodshop, machine shop, and more, with classrooms and conference rooms in between.

Above are a set of hats with addressible LED strings wrapped around them which [ArsenioDev] brought along with him. Several members of the Wyolum team are involved with Nova Labs and they were showing off some LED matrix-based projects like the marquee cube and a 3-player reaction time game. And clacking away all night long is a vintage teletype machine that [Bob Coggeshall] fixed and connected to a Raspberry Pi.

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Defcon 19 Call for Workshops

defcon

The crew at Defcon is hard at work getting things ready for this year’s event, taking place over the first weekend in August. While the typical call for papers has been out for almost two months now, the extra space afforded by the RIO hotel has given the organizers a chance to shake things up a bit and try something new.

Along side the call for papers, they have issued a call for workshops. Since they have about 8 spare rooms on hand, they have decided to allow people who consider themselves a leader, ‘leet hacker, or ninja in their particular field to share their knowledge in a small (30 person) workshop setting.

The organizers are not strict on content, though it should be compelling. They cite examples such as teaching people to build an impenetrable Linux installation, PS3 hacking, or even helping people prep for a Ham radio license exam.

If you have something interesting to share with the community, be sure to swing by the Defcon site and get your application started!