Workshop Win: LED Cuffs

00015We had a fantastic turnout at Tuesday’s LED Cuff workshop, the first in what may be a series of soft circuit workshops. We’re thrilled that so many people—many of whom were new to HacDC—came.

For those of you interested in conductive thread, Syuzi Pakhchyan (author of the tutorial we followed) wrote up a nice conductive thread overview; in this workshop we used the conductive thread from Lamé Lifesaver profiled there. I bought the conductive velcro from LessEMF, where you can also buy all sorts of conductive fabrics.

There are a few things I would do differently with this workshop in the future, so I started a Lessons Learned wiki page. Please feel free to contribute your thoughts to it. Much thanks to Ash (see photo) for the impromptu help explaining how the circuit works as well as assisting workshop participants.

What soft circuit would you like to build next? Personally I’d love to transform a WMATA SmarTrip card into a wearable cuff—I’ve already extracted the RFID chip from one—so figuring out how a suitable antenna could be constructed is the next step.

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Soft Circuits: LED Cuff Workshop

When: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM (ET)
Where: HacDC, 1525 Newton St. NW, Washington, DC 20010

Join HacDC for a workshop in which we’ll construct a simple soft circuit — in this case, a unisex fabric cuff with an LED that lights up when you’re wearing it. We’re charging a $10 fee to cover the cost of the materials, including the fabric, conductive thread and velcro, LEDs, batteries, and resistor. To participate in this workshop, you do not need to have any prior experience with electronics; this workshop is suitable for all ages (small children should be accompanied by an adult, though). We’ll be using a tutorial by SparkLab‘s Syuzi Pakhchyan, a media designer and tinkerer who weaves electronic circuitry with craft.

Register at or below:


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Hackerspaces and NASA

Rolando Quintanilla on how hackerspaces can help NASA:

In order for space exploration to prosper and become cost-effective robotic technology will need to be created and adapted to develop infrastructure that is necessary for human space exploration and industrial exploration. Concepts like those behind the RepRap, will be required to be further developed so that it is possible to automatically manufacture goods as needed in space. The RepRap technology in part has driven the conception of a previous future technology I proposed in “Future Tech: Spider-bots dial Home”. I imagine developing Spider-bots that can manufacture themselves, manufacture other things and can also be used for surveillance and exploration. Now if the technology required to do space exploration is developed in open-source/Creative Commons type methodologies, then groups of people will be able to work together in Hackerspaces, Universities and Industry to propel innovations forward that are created at NASA making space exploration cheaper.

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August 21 Movie Night: Arthur Ganson’s Machines

Join us for another HacDC movie night!

When: 8 p.m. on Friday, 21 August 2009
Where: 1525 Newton St. NW, Washington, DC 20010
As always, this event is free and open to the public.

Arthur Ganson presents a few Machines

This DVD documents 36 machines, an animation machine sequences (3 short funny movies presented on my animation machine), a sequence showing how my wire gears are bent and soldered….and a few general scrolling text thoughts about the machines and the process. It is a straightforward documentation of the work which gives overall views of the pieces as well as many close-ups. The audio is strictly the sound of the machines themselves, except for Machine with Chair which is accompanied by a classical guitar piece which I wrote and perform.

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