Category Archives: Micro Electronics

Realtime Superman Pictures!

You can view some real time images from superman here being transmitted at http://ssdv.habhub.org/ you can also follow live tweets on https://twitter.com/RDGhack from Matt at @RDGHack

 

PCB’s

pcbs

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.
balloon

The ground video available on

From the launch site:

http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi

From the chase car:

http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi_chase

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

http://habitat.habhub.org/mobile-tracker/

or

http://spacenear.us/tracker/

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

 

 

High altitude balloon project

Here is  a quick preview of the board we have been working on for our high altitude balloon project. We will talk about this at an up and coming workshop.
The board has a GPS receiver and a 434MHz telemetry transmitter which are good for 40Km high and 500+km  distance. Running from a single AA battery which should be OK for over 20 hours.
It’s a dev. board right now and  a bit big. It uses the ATXmega which offers some significant advantages over the standard Arduino in performance, programming, peripherals and power management.

RLab – Interactive!

Simon Green has put together some amazing interactive shots of our facilities (although they are still a work in process!). Simon backed the Galileo Kickstarter and was after quite a while delivered one of these amazing devices that took the views you can see embedded below.

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Community Room

Here we have our community room, this is where we hang out on Wednesdays and work on projects from software and hardware development. As you can see there is a whole host of electronic scopes, soldering stations, wires, cables, components and desktop PC’s.

Machine room

In our machine room members have access to laser cutters, CNC machine, vinyl cutter and multiple 3D printers.

Downstairs Workshop

Our downstairs workshop with tons of room has equipment for woodwork and metal work with chop saws, a Harrison Lathe, pillar drills, band saws, bench grinders… you name it and it’s probably here – if it’s not post on our mailing list and a member can usually find you it!

Monitoring laser usage

We have had a good few spendy problems with our laser cutter over the past few months and it’s one of our most heavily used tools. We need to build up a bit of a kitty to make sure we can replace laser tubes (like this) and power supplies (like we had to recently) as well as mirrors and other consumables.

Step up Andrew Jacobs who built a PIC based monitoring solution, it monitors a pull up on the laser cutter PCB which pulls 8ve when the laser is firing. Andrews design monitors this and keeps a log in the eprom whilst displaying the session usage and overall usage so that members know how much to put in the pot after using the machine.

Simon Green designed and made the case which looks particularly good :)

The next stage will be to tie the system up to our member RFID cards so we can manage the tabs!

Re-purposing a LED display board from an arcade machine

Andrew Jacobs has been re-purposing a LED display board from an arcade machine for the  hackspace. He built a new controller board for it late last year and spent sometime over Christmas writing some firmware to control it. This video shows the current state of play.

In the final version the small characters at the start will scroll in from the top and bottom of the display rather than sideways. He also need to make the characters proportional.

IMG_0916.MOV

Arduino Intro Course Day

This weekend we ran our first micro electronics course based on the popular Arduino learning platform and we were very well subscribed. We had some great kit to demo on the day and during the session guests managed to work out how to:

  • about the differing Arduino board/options
  • basic communication protocols
  • differences between analog and digital pins
  • how to install the drivers and IDE
  • upload code to the microprocessor
  • layout some circuits and troubleshoot
  • get everything hooked up and working

On top of that the attendees made:

  • a working night light
  • a heating/cooling system

I’m pretty sure everyone had a fab day and we’ve now accumulated some great kit and we hope to have a follow up programming course too soon.

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Robot workshop – What your missing out on today!

Some super fun robot stuff going on at the rLab Robot Workshop today, we’ve had a morning of demos and now parts of the group are working on computer vision, controlling robot arms, micro electronics, Pi camera pan and tilts and other paraphernalia it’s been a busy fun and productive day.

RLab Robots CartWheel

 

This Terminator head was made by hand using a couple of different methods including lost foam casting with aluminum and was a real treat to see in person!

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Horniman Museum and Gardens Hackathon

On Saturday 21st September after months of planning and support we finally pulled the day off, about 30 Hackers turned up and I think we achieved some 3 months work in a single day! We’ll have a more official update soon but here’s some pics to get started!

Huge thanks to everyone involved and for making it a great day!