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HacDC’s Summer School 2013 was featured a few days ago in a NPR story by Geoff Brumfiel about the upcoming ArduSat launch. ArduSat is an Arduino-enabled satellite that you can buy time on to run your own Arduino-powered extra-terrestrial experiments that make use of the nanosatellite’s “STANDARD sensor package.” Read more about it and listen here (includes workshop photographs by NPR’s Heather Rousseau):
Tiny Tech Puts Satellites In Hands Of Homebrew Designers
ArduSat image 2013 © NanoSatisfi, Inc
HacDC Summer School 2013 is doing a whiplash, 4-workshop tour of physical computing using Arduino, Processing and Sparkfun’s Danger Shield. A group of curious attendees, many from non-technical backgrounds that range from law and philosophy to the arts, have learned to solder by assembling the Danger Shield (DS). The DS is an ideal learning project and fits in perfectly with the free series’ exploration of physical computing. It has a variety of input/output devices and is well suited for simulating the kind of sensing and control of the physical environment that makers need for their home brewed projects and media art.
The workshops have covered soldering, the basics of Arduino programming and interfacing, a crash course on programming in the astoundingly great environment of Processing, and next week’s closing workshop will tie it all together when they will use the DS via Arduino to manipulate live video capture.
This popular series was designed and developed by a handful of HacDC members and we hope to eventually offer it online. It will complement a curriculum on physical computing with a follow-up workshop series on microcontroller programming and a lead-in series on basic electronics. Join our MeetUp Group to stay informed about future sessions.
Feel free to visit HacDC if you want to learn about all aspects of DIY electronics and programming, or to work on your own projects. We have a range of equipment that can help you make stuff!
Awesome photos by doubly awesome HacDC member, MissionControl! (Licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Longtime active HacDC member and former board member Martin notes that five years ago today is when one of our co-founders announced on our blog that HacDC has “officially organized, filled out the annoying paperwork and found a location in which to conduct our secretly awesome experiments.” It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since that time, and we’re happy to report that our awesome experiments continue! Here are some of the things we’ve done in our half decade of existence:
- held classes and workshops on robotics, AVR microcontrollers, bicycle maintenance, electron tubes, Python, visual communications, LED cubes, Scheme, tea, artificial intelligence, disassembly, and many other topics
- launched—and retrieved!—five high-altitude balloons, a.k.a. spaceblimps, the latest reaching an altitude of 118,533 ft
- acquired 501(c)3 nonprofit status, meaning your donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law, so donate now!
- hosted six rounds of lightning talks
- formed W3HAC, an ARRL-affiliated, FCC-licensed amateur radio club
- set up 3D printers, a CNC mill, a lathe, a drill press, and a fully automatic espresso machine with plans underway to acquire a laser cutter
- hatched GrindDC, a weekly “meatup” where biohackers research topics like materials biocompatibility and neurostimulation
- developed Project Byzantium, a live Linux distribution that delivers easy-to-use, secure, and robust ad-hoc wireless mesh networking
We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to founders Nick Farr, Andrew Righter, Alli Treman, Eric Michaud, et al for creating HacDC back when U.S. hackerspaces were few and far between. And since then we’ve thrived thanks to the support of countless members and friends who’ve given generously of their time, labor, and money to make HacDC an awesome community. Please consider supporting us so we can be around to foster curiosity and creativity in technology for the next five years.