Reading Repair Cafe – this weekend

Reading Repair CaferLab is proud to be hosting Reading Repair Cafe this Sunday, May 17th, between 12:00 and 16:30.

So if you have something that’s broken, or some tools that need sharpening, bring them down to Unit C1, Weldale Street, Reading, RG1 7BX, where the volunteers will be only too pleased to help you.

There will be plenty of expertise in computers, electricals, mending clothes; the right tools to get things fixed; and some cakes and food for sale too!


More details on Reading Repair Cafe’s Facebook page here

Come, create, there’s a bench here waiting for you


There’s now plenty of space for you to bring your ideas to life

Thanks to some hard work led by Ian this weekend, we now have a fantastic set of sturdy, collapsible benches for you to use for your project. The benches are easily strong enough for even the most heavy work, and nobody’s going to mind if you have a mishap with your paint / power-tool. Best of all, they stack neatly away in a large wardrobe ensuring that there’s still plenty of clear floorspace downstairs for larger projects.




Build-Your-Own Quadcopter Workshop

Today there was a build-your-own-quadcopter workshop at rLab. The quadcopters were designed by one of our members (Jon), the main elements of the airframe cut from acrylic with our laser cutter, and all of the parts ordered and assembled into kits in advance.Total price per quadcopter – ~£100!

The build was a great success, with eight out of nine of the quadcopters in flight by 5:30 – the ninth had a faulty motor.

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For the bill of materials and the presentation used for the workshop click the ‘Read More’ button below

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The Great rLab Music Hackathon

Last weekend saw the start of our Music Hackathon – our attempt to build musical instruments from the variety of discarded equipment and materials that have been put on our ‘three week shelves’ for recycling / re-purposing.

Early work focussed on sorting out power supplies, a keyboard and MIDI-controller, with Andy producing the first finished instrument for the rhythm section – a musical soup-can.

MIDI controlled soup can


All hail the new laser cutter!

rLab has recently taken delivery of a new laser cutter. The new machine is significantly more powerful than our existing one, and has a much larger bed, allowing us to cut and engrave much larger pieces.

Test output from the new laser cutter

Test output from our new laser cutter


Installation in the upstairs machine room required a big team effort, a forklift, the temporary removal of a wall, and the installation of a duct to pipe fumes out of the building. But it is now in place, and ready for use by trained members.

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Model Engineer Show 2014

November and December were busy months for fairs this year with TeenTech, Elephant & Castle mini-Maker faire and the Model Engineer Show at Sandown Park. TVRRUG were invited to man a stand in the maker area again and this year we did so jointly with rLab presenting projects and activities from both groups.

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We had two printers going constantly, Gary’s giant printed St Pancras station, the Superman and Fiji project materials on display and a rolling video. The stand was manned by David, Malcolm, Mike, Ryan and Richard, we were busy all the time especially Friday and Saturday. Having at least three of us there this time meant each could go and visit some of the other stands – Gary and Barnaby’s stand in the main hall, Stirling engines, jet engines, Aluminium welding, tools and materials.

Official blog –

More photos after the break……

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What is a hackspace?

Well here’s a great mini documentary about what our Hackspace is about.

Many thanks to No Magnolia who produced this amazing video :)

Documentary series exploring interesting places and communities within the town of Reading…

rLab is a peer run community workshop open for anyone to learn new skills, work on projects and make things.


A No Magnolia Film
Directed & Edited by Tom Greenidge
Produced by Nick Hill

Reading: Between the Lines – Hackspace from No Magnolia Productions on Vimeo.

DIY: Words, Sound & Power Trailer from No Magnolia Productions on Vimeo.

Realtime Superman Pictures!

You can view some real time images from superman here being transmitted at you can also follow live tweets on from Matt at @RDGHack




We wanted to let a few peps at dirtyboards (our China Hack Camp people) who made the battery boards, SeeedStudio who did the trackers and the PCB in the body of Superman was done by PCBTrain! Thanks :)


Todays awesome Superman Launch To Space

superman in space

Following on from our hugely successful rLab telmetry course we are pleased to announce that today is the launch of Superman into space. Originally devised by RS DesignSpark (<-great background on the DesignSpark blog about the project) and Mattell, Richard Ibboston of rLab has developed some tracking boards to track both the capsule and Superman himself as they reach for the stars. David Price helped with the boards and software, with Alex Gibson designing and printing parts for the capsule. The capsule itself was designed and built by Jude Pullen.

You can track his progress by watching Kalel, Lois, OLSEN, LEX and CLARK.

Good luck to all involved! 




Preparing for launch

Had to fix superman – he’s transmitting GSP coords now and being fitted in capsule.

The ground video available on

From the launch site:

From the chase car:

Superman is being sent to space with electronic boards designed at rLab and that’s what you’ll be able to see a live feed from using the details below.


If you want to track the progress you can use


the latter has a Superman logo for the Kalel payload which is transmitting on 434.420MHZ



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