Dec. 2009 – Show and Tell

December 9, 2009
An Accomplished Maker With Years of Experience

An Accomplished Maker With Years of Experience - photo by Steven Chau

This guy may be short in stature but he makes up for it with years of experience. He has been a maker since the age of 4. He did a great job running a cordless drill and placing the holes in a random pattern. We’ve offered sessions on building your own holiday lighting projects over the past few weeks.

His dad said the Show and Tell sessions are his least favorite of our Make:KC activities. He thinks they’re boring with all the talk. He likes making things the best.

Animated Lighting Project. - photo by Jason O'Reilly

Animated Lighting Project. - photo by Jason O'Reilly

From robotics to animated lighting, Brian enjoys making things. He and his brother look forward to our build sessions and enjoy bringing their projects out to show. The humanoid Lego robot he brought out is using the new color sensor to accept or reject marbles based on the color.

Humanoid Lego Robot - photo by Steven Chau

Nametag Update

Ed's Name Tag - photo by Jason O'Reilly

Ed's Name Tag - photo by Jason O'Reilly

Our name tag challenge continues with Ed Fagan bringing in these pieces he made. He used some homegrown electroplating techniques to make these tags.

Solar Collector Project

I first heard Randy Childers describing his project as part of the CCCKC (Cowtown Computer Congress) grand opening ceremonies about nine months ago.

Solar Collector Project - original photo by Steven Chau

Solar Collector Project - original photo by Steven Chau

His collector uses a glass vacuum tube much like a lunchbox thermos jug’s glass container. The water gets heated when sunlight travels through the outer wall of the glass tube and into the vacuum region. The inner wall of the glass tube is a black color to increase the heat collection. Copper water pipes fit into the void of the vacuum tube much like soup or coffee gets poured inside a thermos jug. Instead of liquid flooding the interior, the copper pipes form a manifold with the sun heated water sealed inside.

Randy's solar collector parts. Original photo's Steven Chau and Jason O'Reilly

The copper pipe manifold is assembled from off the shelf parts. A key part is the reducing 3/4″ to 1/2″ tee and a little work using a dremel tool to eliminate a lip on the tee’s inside.

The solar collector is part of a stationary heliostat that is created with a compound parabolic shape. The plastic pieces are cut using Craig Berscheidt’s laser cutter for optimum precision. Another version of this collector is in the works. This time increasing the span of the parabolic shape.

Solar Collector - photos Jason O'Reilly

Randy is getting impressive results from his tests and is planning on building a series of these collectors to implement in his house for heat and additional experiments converting heat to power using peltier junctions.

Report By Vince Thompson

Nov. 2009 – Show and Tell

November 20, 2009

Name Tag Challenge

Rob's Nametag

Rob's Name Tag

ROB – Rob Fagan brought in this great name tag. It’s made up with keys from a donor keyboard and LEDs.

Bob's Name Tag

Bob's Name Tag

BOB Spangler enjoys projects with fabrics and did some free stitching on his sewing machine to put his name on this shirt.

Mike's Wave

Mike's Wave

Mike O’Brien got our name tag challenge kicked off. This is Mike’s wave.

BuiltToSpec Name Tag

BuiltToSpec Name Tag

Built-To-Spec. This is Craig’s name tag. It is made from acrylic etched in his laser cutter and housed in a case illuminated by an LED. Craig documents many of his projects on his Built To Spec web site and is a frequent contribuitor to Thingiverse

Desktop Fabrication

Craig keeps coming up with great projects he’s built. He brought in his recently completed MakerBot from parts he cut with his laser cutter and some parts from MakerBot Industries and other suppliers.

Craig's MakerBot

Craig loaded up a design in the computer then instructed the MakerBot to print the design.  He chose to print out a whistle complete with the little ball printed inside. Everything worked, the whistle sounded like one that could have been bought at a store.

Craig's MakerBot Whistle

Craig's MakerBot Whistle

Costume Alterations

Skirt Alterations

Skirt Alterations

Bob brought in this skirt he altered with his sewing machine as part of a costume he’s working on.

Metro Homeschool Robotics Team Update

Metro Homeschool Robotics Team Update

Sharon Mehl showing a slide presentation about the Metro Home Schooler’s robotics projects and the awards they’ve received.

Most photo’s provided by Jeremy Darling

Report By Vince Thompson

MakeKC.org is now live on the Internet

October 23, 2009
Make:KC Live

Make:KC Live

Make:KC, Inspired by O’Reilly Media’s Make: magazine, is growing again.

Now its easy to keep up with our activities in one place with an easy to remember web address — MakeKC.org

I want to point out our new tag line: Art and Technology in Kansas City.  This reflects our group’s variety of interests. Our web site will be growing to highlight more member’s projects. You can expect to see work in progress, triumphs, and fantastic failures.

I hope you will come check us out both on the web and in person at our Show and Tell events and other activities.

By Vince Thompson

An Evening For Circuit Bending

October 15, 2009
Circuit Bending

Circuit Bending

A cold and rainy night outside but warm and fun inside. We had all levels of electronics experience with a good opportunity to learn a few things. Circuit bending can be a good way of introducing electronics.

By Vince Thompson

Oct. 2009 – Show and Tell

October 11, 2009
Halloween Jack-In-The-Box Project

Halloween Jack-In-The-Box Project

There was an aire of mystery Tuesday night as we gathered for our October Make:KC Show and Tell session. A  large box shaped object was draped in a blue cover patterned with white stars. This package was not to be opened before its time.

Leading out from the covers was a hose making its way outside, under the garage door. In the parking lot, the line was connected to an air compressor.

Jason O’Reilly was responsible for this mysterious object but before revealing its contents, he showed us a smaller box which looked like a Styrofoam container. Inside this container was dry ice and what looked like an evidence bag. This bag had become part of the local lore after he left it on a friend’s porch with a severed ear inside.

Jason’s latest Halloween project was revealed showing the Jack-In-The Box he’s been working on. Lights, music, and sensors help trigger this air assisted clown popping the lid and jumping up.

Introduction to Circuit Bending

Introduction to Circuit Bending

Introduction to Circuit Bending

We kicked off a new feature with Make:KC tonight, our Project Challenge. We’re introducing a topic of interest and challenging others to build something and bring it for the following month’s Show and Tell. Our Project Challenge topic this time is Circuit Bending.

This is a fun and inexpensive way to begin learning about electronics. Its safe for kids to try because we’re using battery powered musical and talking toys. You can often find these toys at thrift stores and garage sales for a couple of dollars. Usually the only tool needed is a screw driver to open the toy’s case revealing the electronics and circuitry. The rest is poking around to find spots that change the way the toy speaks or sounds.

In the picture, above left, Bob Spangler is showing off a Furby he disassembled and short circuiting it by placing a screwdriver blade across some contact points. This causes glitches in his Furby from sounding and speaking funny to erratic movement behavior. In the picture, above right, Paul Vittorino is showing his musical keyboard. It has multiple keys arranged in banks which have separate electronic controls.

So the challenge is on, find a toy, take it apart and see what you can cause it to do differently. This is a great way for a parent to spend time with their child and begin exploring electronics.

We are offering a special night to work on these projects. Tuesday Oct. 13 at the HMS Beagle store from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

A Success Story

Mikes Soldering Projects.

Mike's Soldering Projects.

Mike O’Brien brought a couple of his projects to show. He decided to try his hand at soldering and electronics project so last month he bought one of the soldering kits at the HMS Beagle. The kit came with enough soldering tools to get him started. He built the projects flashing light and siren circuitry.

After finishing the kit it gave him the encouragement to try another project. He chose to build a solar powered robot that moves around the room when a bright light is shined on it.

There is something special about learning to solder. I’ve heard several people excited about getting their projects working and feeling a sense of empowerment with this new skill. Congratulations to Mike.

Mike also wanted to offer a challenge. He is suggesting we get creative and make our own name tags that reflect the types of activities we’re interested in. So, start thinking about what your name tag will look like. I’m already working on some ideas of my own.

Christmas in October

Randall Jessee brought in several boxes of junk priceless treasures that he was cleaning out of his house.

Parts and Treasures

Parts and Treasures

He was able to consolidate some of the boxes but ended up taking more than he hoped back home. Some of the finds in his stash were good candidates for circuit bending projects and many other things to keep a Maker busy and amused. Thanks for bringing this in.

He also gave us an update on the Rocked Day held at the HMS Beagle as part of their October Skies celebration. There were over 90 participants who brought rockets to be fired. He estimated somewhere close to 200 rocket launches were made.

Report by Vince Thompson

Robotic Amber Alert

September 25, 2009

Michael Overstreet is a robotics hobbyist in Kansas City. His humanoid  robot was stolen over the weekend. Last Sunday (Sept 20, 2009) his car was broken into and his robot along with his laptop was stolen.

Over the last year Mike has been active with the CCCKC group. More details are listed on their web site.

http://groups.google.com/group/ccckc…937094f33e6bbd

Please keep an eye out for his robot showing up at pawn shops and such. Here is a recent video of his robot in action.

Vince

Make:KC – September Show and Tell

September 14, 2009
Scientific Glass Blowing Demonstration.

Scientific Glass Blowing Demonstration.

I bought a copy of the Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments book last year. While reading the “Working With Glass Tubing” segment I decided to give glass blowing a try myself. The HMS Beagle store carries glass tubing so John Kuhns set me up with the supplies I needed. He also gave me a demonstration of some glassblowing techniques, prior to opening the Beagle store, John worked as a scientific glass blower and mastered that craft. I asked John if he would give a presentation at our monthly Show and Tell session.

John Kuhns describing scientific glass blowing techniques.

John Kuhns describing scientific glass blowing techniques.

John building a tee connection in two glass tubes.

John building a tee connection in two glass tubes.

Craigs MakerBot Progress Report.

Craig's MakerBot Progress Report.

While I was practicing these techniques I found additional information on the Internet. The Arizona State University has a great Scientific Glass Blowing document.

Other topics of the evening included an update from Craig Berscheidt on his MakerBot project. This evening Craig brought the structural shell of his MakerBot that he cut from his laser cutter.

We announced the next Make:KC Planning Meeting will be held at the Stone Canyon Pizza Company on Tuesday Sept. 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Report by Vince Thompson

Make:KC at the Missouri State Fair

September 4, 2009

This year the Missouri State Fair included a Show Me Robots day. We had a booth there which included exhibits for our Make:KC group, The Kansas City Robotics Society, The Robotic Labyrinth Project, and Kansas City’s Science City.

We had a space to display information about our sponsors, the HMS Beagle Science Store, and Make Magazine. On exhibit there was an Arduino with an LCD display, a Garduino project, and the Labywiinth project.

Miss Missouri attends Show Me Robots Day (photo by Craig Berscheidt)

Miss Missouri (in background) attends Show Me Robots Day (photo by Craig Berscheidt)

The crowd checking out our group from Kansas City Robotics Society, Make:KC, The Labyrinth Project, and Kansas City’s Science City.

Visitors at our booths (photo by Craig Berscheidt)

Visitors at our booths (photo by Craig Berscheidt)

Visitors at the Make:KC exhibit. Displays of an Arduino with an LCD display scrolling messages, a Garduino project a materials provided by Make Magazine.

Make:KC at Show Me Robots

Make:KC at Show Me Robots

Craig Berscheidt created his own blog post about the day at the fair. You can get his full post at his Built to Spec blog site.

Here is a video of the Labyrinth Project exhibit we brought to the fair:

This is a video of our 3D Golf Labyrinth game controlled by a WiiFit balance board and an Arduino. For more on our labyrinth project check out our LabyWiinth web site. Our project has been selected as one of the top 40 coolest Arduino Projects of the Web at #14.

Make:KC August Business Meeting

September 4, 2009

August 18, 2009

At our August 4 meeting we announced holding a meeting on the Third Tuesdays of the month to address Business, Activities Planning, and our desire to have a Workshop/Laboratory for members to work on projects.

Lief was kind enough to take minutes of the meeting and posted them to our MakeKC Google Group.

Make:KC August 4 Meeting

September 4, 2009

Our meeting started out with a show and tell session. Our first presentation was about homemade rocketry.

DIY Rocketry

DIY Rocketry

Our second presentation was by Bob Spangler. He showed off his coffee grinding and roasting equipment. He also showed a small home built burner constructed from aluminum pop cans.

DIY Coffee Grinding, Roasting, and Brewing Equipment

DIY Coffee Grinding, Roasting, and Brewing Equipment

We had some discussions about other projects then started the formal business portion of the meeting.

We have some people who come for the show and tell session then leave when our business session begins.  I suggested that we separate the business meetings from the show and tell and have scheduled a business session for the Third Tuesday of the month.


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