Our Projects

Projects are the lifeblood of HacDC.  What good would a collaborative space be if there wasn’t something to do?  These projects help provide an outlet for our base of talented people and serve the community at the same time.

Microcontroller Mondays

Bradford Barr
Project Coordinator
Microcontroller Mondays is our most popular event at HacDC, where people come to hang out, show off their microcontroller projects, solder and code, and collaborate. Robotics, music, LEDs, all sorts of projects take shape here. Things kick off around 7PM and can last late into the night. The event, like all HacDC activities, is free and open to the public.

GrindDC Thursday (Biohacking)

Shawn Nock
Project Coordinator
GrindDC is HacDC’s weekly Biohacking SIG. During our weekly meetings folks are developing Biosignal Amplifiers (EEG & EKG), brain simulators (tDCS), and implantable art. There conversations on Quantified Self and DIY neuroscience. 7PM-11PM; Free and open to the public.

{S|Th}oftware Thursdays (formerly NARG)

Project Coordinator
A little incubation time for your software projects that don’t get enough love. Come to share your fun new projects with us, ask questions of other software folks, or just hang out and enjoy the nerdy atmosphere! The event, like all HacDC activities, is free and open to the public.

Amateur Radio

Bill Babson
Project Coordinator
HacDC Amateur Radio Group (W3HAC) hosts regular meetings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays @ 7:30 pm. Our goal is to create interest & increase education in amateur radio. We’ll help you get licensed, collaborate on equipment design, discuss all manner of radio topics including APRS (used to track our space blimp), nanosats (tracking, attitude control system, photography), HF digital modes & beacon systems, spread spectrum, software defined radio, microwave/high power wifi, direction finding & fox hunting, emergency operations.

Space Blimp

Various Members
Project Coordinator
On Aug 7, 2010, we launched our first balloon: HacDC Spaceblimp 1. Its epic journey began well enough, but the antenna came loose somewhere around 60,000 ft and we never heard from it again. Until three months later, when a farmer found it in her field, called up a friend (who happened to be an engineer) and it came back home. The pictures are fantastic, but the telemetry data was lost — it overwrote itself many times over before the batteries finally gave up. Following (what we thought was) the loss of Spaceblimp-1, we scrambled and launched HacDC Spaceblimp 2 on Aug 21. It went flawlessly — fast, light, and with good radio contact the whole way through. It may be the third fastest-ascending amateur radio balloon ever! Then we added more cameras, HD video, more radios, an accelerometer, geiger counter, and a pressure sensor! For HacDC Spaceblimp 5 (launched on July 9, 2011) we bought a yet-bigger balloon to try to get higher, and we reached an astounding 118,533 ft!

HacDC Space Occupancy Sensor

Project Coordinator
A project to build an infrastructure for interfacing electronic devices at the HacDC space to the outside world. The first proof of concept is building an Occupancy Sensor that detects when the HacDC space is occupied and updates Twitter (hacdcdoorman) and the HacDC Occupancy Calendar.

Software and Multi-media Server

HacDC Officers
Project Coordinator
Maintain a server to host software and multi-media projects for the benefit of HacDC members and its friends. The server will host infrastructure software projects as well as experimental software apps, tools, and utilities written by HacDC members. The server also provides an off-site platform for interfacing to the on-site Intranet Server. The server also hosts the forums for each of its hosted software projects, to let members and the public to comment and discuss the software project details.

Grand Microcontroller Networking Platform

Todd Fine and TC
Project Coordinators
We propose to create a grand system for communication between multiple microcontroller projects (i.e., sensors and interesting audio/visual displays) in the space, a computer workstation, and by extension, the HacDC projects server and the Internet writ large (facilitated with a standard messaging protocol). We are still in the process of choosing the technological platforms and we are looking at I2C, RS-485, XBee, and the XMPP messaging protocol. We are currently also learning the XMPPPY library for Python and experimenting with the creation of xmpppy-based bots in the HacDC Jabber conference room.

Proposed projects

Proposed projects are things that members have contemplated doing, but do not currently have the resources, time or talent to pursue. If you can help get these projects going, join us!

POV Laser Display

Eric Michaud
Project Coordinator
A project that I have been wanting to do for a while, interested to see if anyone has interest. If anyone has experience with galvos and/or microcontroller background that would be a plus but not required I already have it designed just procuring parts now. The first version I want to build would be a table top display with a resolution similar to that of a VT100 but eventually scale it up to building size, where it would be integrated with a standard interface that most people would have such as a cell phone.