Tinkerfest in Oakland this April

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Tinkerfest will be at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland on Saturday, April 14th:

Tinkerfest is a one-day festival that celebrates the creative, curious, and innovative spirit in all of us. Tinkerfest brings together makers, artists, and tinkerers to showcase their work while inviting attendees of all ages to join in DIY fun.

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During the daylong event, the entire Center will be activated, both interior and exterior spaces, with activities that highlight creativity and curiosity.

A hallmark area of Tinkerfest is the “take apart” zone where tinkerers can see, touch, and learn how something works by assisting in dismantling it. Tinkerfest is geared towards a family audience but intriguing for everyone! The event is a platform for where all ages can experiment and learn together.

Tinkerfest in Oakland this April

NeuroBytes: Electronic Neuron Simulators

From on the Hackaday blog:

Real-Life Electronic Neurons

NeruroBytes is not a strange platform for neural nets. It’s physical neurons, rendered in PCBs and Molex connectors. Now, finally, it’s a Kickstarter project, and one of the more exciting educational electronic projects we’ve ever seen.

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Regular Hackaday readers should be very familiar with NeuroBytes. It began as a project for the Hackaday Prize all the way back in 2015. There, it was recognized as a finalist for the Best Product,

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Since then, the team behind NeuroBytes have received an NHS grant, they’re certified Open Source Hardware through OSHWA, and there are now enough NeuroBytes to recreate the connectome of a flatworm. It’s doubtful the team actually has enough patience to recreate the brain of even the simplest organism, but is already an impressive feat.

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The highlights of the NeuroBytes Kickstarter include seven different types of neurons for different sensory systems, kits to test the patellar reflex, and what is probably most interesting to the Hackaday crowd, a Braitenberg Vehicle chassis, meant to test the ideas set forth in Valentino Braitenberg’s book, Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology. If that book doesn’t sound familiar, BEAM robots probably do; that’s where the idea for BEAM robots came from.

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NeuroBytes: Electronic Neuron Simulators

Learn to Surface Mount Solder with Sean Hodgins

Sean Hodgins has a great tutorial on surface mount soldering:

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Learn to Surface Mount Solder Using an SMD Challenge PCB

I feel like surface mount soldering has a bad reputation. It can seem daunting to someone who has never tried it. Since a lot of my project involve using surface mount components, I thought it would be a good idea to make something to inspire people to try it out (without risking expensive components or their custom project).

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Decide how you want to assemble your SMD Challenge Kit (re, the video) you can choose to use a soldering iron, or a reflow oven. They take about the same amount of time but using the soldering iron can be a little more challenging and doesn’t require a cheap toaster oven. 

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Parts:

Tools:

Learn to Surface Mount Solder with Sean Hodgins

Maker Faire Orlando soldering kit

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We are proud to be a sponsor of this Maker Faire Orlando soldering kit:

Advanced soldering training at Maker Faire Orlando

For the past six years at Maker Faire Orlando, members of FamiLab have taught attendees how to solder with a cool little Makey pin with 2 self-flashing LEDs.  We’ve been asked for more advanced soldering training, and we responded with the addition of a PIC-microcontroller-based board twinkling several LEDs, and with a switch that can be used to change the LED display pattern.

We opted to design the board such that it can be used as a pendant on a necklace (lanyard) or as a keychain (especially for those of you who like large keychains). The design is a scalloped 2.7″ circle with LEDs on the outside circle, and a hole at the top for a keyring. Batteries are on the back of the board.

Resources

Maker Faire Orlando soldering kit

PIDDYBOT: DIY Arduino Balancing Robot

Sean Hodgins designed this open source balancing robot to help teach PID control:

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The PIDDYBOT

The PIDDYBOT is currently using a Atmega32u4 microncontroller. It uses 3 potentiometers that allow you to manually tune the PID loop to get the robot balancing. This allows you to see how each term affects the performance of the system. It is a great teaching tool for the classroom and is currently being used by students at McMaster University.
The design files and source code is available on GitHub:

IdleHandsProject/thePIDDYBOT

PIDDYBOT: DIY Arduino Balancing Robot

Workshop: Assembling the Tinusaur Kit in Varna, Bulgaria

This Saturday, September 2nd, we will have one day workshop for assembling the Tinusaur kits for those who supported our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. It will take place in Varna, Bulgaria, our host will be VarnaLab – the local hackerspace. We will learn the basics of electronic components, microcontrollers – ATtiny85 in particular and, of course, […]

via Workshop: Assembling the Tinusaur Kit in Varna, Bulgaria — The Tinusaur Project

Workshop: Assembling the Tinusaur Kit in Varna, Bulgaria

Apertus SMT workshop at Maker Faire Berlin

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The Apertus° open source cinema team will be running a Surface Mount Technology (SMT) workshop at Maker Faire Berlin this weekend in their AXIOM booth #121:

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Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Workshop

In the course of attending a lot of fairs and exhibitions, we’ve noticed that our cameras and components attract the attention of people from all walks of life. We’ve found that despite our reassurances, people discovering the world of Open Hardware tend to doubt their capabilities where soldering tiny components by hand is concerned.

 

This is why we hold Surface Mount Technology workshops – so that with a little confidence, the right tools and some initial guidance from members of our team, anyone can have great fun learning to make their own PCBs. The workshops are very popular and we have visitors designing pendants and earrings with colour LEDs and blinking patterns – which always creates a buzzing atmosphere.

 

apertus has shared the boards on OSH Park:

ART Base

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Order from OSH Park

ART Tear

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Order from OSH Park

ART Star

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Order from OSH Park

ART Diamond

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Order from OSH Park

 

Apertus SMT workshop at Maker Faire Berlin