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Projects

We’ve Moved!

by on Sep.28, 2014, under Announcements, Events, Projects, Running a Hacker Space, Unpatched Tuesdays, Workshops

Hacklab has moved!

Come visit us at Hacklab 2.0, now located in Parkdale! (1266 Queen Street West) We’re open every Tuesday night (Including this Sept 30!)

New lab!

New lab!

 

Classroom

Hacklab’s new classroom and large hacking area

More photos of the process here.

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Hackaday and Retro Populator

by on Sep.07, 2014, under 3D Printing, Projects

Collaboration on the Retro Populator is still on going and some new progress photos can be found below. We have a new needle assembly, and have been doing minimum pressure testing to pick up components.
Additional news is that the Retro Populator has been announced as an semifinalist 1 of 50 top projects. In addition I learned earlier this week, that Hackaday.com featured the Retro Populator in an article post on there website.  Eric, Charles, Rob, myself, as well as Hacklab Toronto was mentioned in this post. Unfortunately Hackaday did not mention The Ultimate workshop and I hope they fix this issue soon. The Retro Populator is a collaboration and joint creative adventure between both Hacklab Toronto and The Ultimate Workshop. Both sharing resources, knowledge, and skills to create something that we hope others in turn will create there own enhancements for, and use it to create new technologies.

 

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Photo of the week; Break out for a surface mount IC .

by on Aug.07, 2014, under Projects

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Cross talk; Ultimate workshop + Retropopulator.

by on Jul.21, 2014, under Projects

Every Project has a story.

Every Project has a story.

This post could be a run on sentence if it were possible to do so with photos. Today I will be doing a double photo feature, about an ongoing collaboration between the Ultimate Workshop and HackLab Toronto, and one regarding what you will find at the Ultimate Workshop.

This on going collaboration between the two spaces is called the Retropopulator. The Retropopulator gets it name from its function and purpose. Retro is short for Retrofit, in this case we are re-purposing a 3D printer. While Populator is what happens when the 3D printer now is able to place components onto PCBs. The Retropopulator is intended to be a simple way of using older 3D printers as a pick and place. This project was born out of a response to Hackaday’s contest for the next new thing. To take a look at the Retropopulator on Hackaday.

For more photos of the build look below for (continue reading…) below.

(continue reading…)

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Cross talk;

by on Jun.25, 2014, under Events, Projects, Running a Hacker Space, Unpatched Tuesdays

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Todays post is not quite what you think it is about, but the chosen title will make more sense as you read along. Hacklab has been around for a while on the maker/hacker/creator/incubator scene and could be seen as one of the original terminals that now make up part of the Mesh network that is our community in Toronto.  As I have witnessed over the few years I have been visiting, making, and working within the community. I have seen how those who come to explore discover us or other parts of the community, and bounce around absorbing and finding the right fit. Many times those who are new to the community or those who are well versed in the community, have multiple links to the Mesh network by frequenting many of the other spaces beyond Hacklab’s walls. This is where I should note at times Hacklab has played host to other new groups in the community, be it the Haskell Users group, or the occasional DIY Bio group.  I hope that Hacklab and other spaces in the community will play host to other groups that will ever increase the diversity of the community Mesh. The cross talk between each space informs one another through the sharing of ideas and others being partially mixed into others creating a noise of ideas and thought, spawning new projects that use the resources available at times of multiple spaces, and memberships.      To get a better idea of the diverse community that has flourished within Toronto, I would like to draw your attention to a side project entitled Hacking-the-city, of mine that has been slowly creating an larger picture of the community, and those which influence and flow into others within the Hacker community.  I have used pinterest simply to keep it semi organized and to attempt to create a visual idea of the community, as well as small description of the organization. If you as the reader can think of an organization, group, or other part of the community that I have not mentioned please tell me so I can pin them to the board. Cross talk may take some time to get really going, the intention is to visit other spaces with members of the community that frequent the lab and to get a sense of the other parts of the community threw photography. This I envision being a little difficult and taking time due to how does one accurately depict a community, or project via a lens. This is a constant challenge at Hacklab due to some projects are not easily conveyed. How does one take a photo of someone programming and convey what it is they are doing, or what the program is? To stage a photo or to shoot candid, which method is the more truthful and accurate? I look forward to this project and hope to share what I capture with you all soon. This past weekend the folks at The Ultimate Workshop, played host to some Hacklab members to work on a joint project.  See below for a sneak peak at an upcoming blog post on the Retropopulator.

 

 

 

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Photo of the week; Hack out of necessity

by on Jun.17, 2014, under Projects, Unpatched Tuesdays

Hardwood peddle.

Hardwood pedal.

 

Out of necessity one of Hacklab’s members had to replace his pedal due to it literally falling apart leaving a stub, if he did not he would not make it to open house in time.
The new pedals that where picked up were the wrong size, so the only logical thing to do was to build a replacement pedal seeing as the stub of the former pedal was still good.
The new pedal functions fairly well but will need to be replaced or reworked for a smoother usage, and needs a little oil. The final pedal has been finished off with a coating of linseed oil that has been rubbed into it.

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Mixology. A personal bartender.

by on Jun.12, 2014, under Projects, Unpatched Tuesdays

Drink Mixer at your service.

Drink Mixer at your service.

Recently one of our members decided that he would create a personal bartender in a form of a Droid bartender. This handy piece of equipment is functional and makes a great conversation piece. The bar bot is named Luma-Droid and mixes some mean drinks. Not all of these drink need to be alcohol, I am sure this Droid can can mix a mean punch as well. This handy Droid uses 4 different liquid sources to mix from 6 different drinks pre-determined  programmed and dispenses at a push of one of the illuminated buttons. This is actually the second version of this little Droid. The first version did not have the ultra sonic humidifier that creates a further finished and polished look. But not every improvement is merely aesthetic. Many times when creating a project that delves into areas that is a first for anyone,  creates problems and a list of things you would do differently if provided a chance. Well Eric had the chance and in the second version shown in the photos, the ultrasonic humidifier was added, as well as new pumps, reservoir for the humidifier, and for good measure a extra layer of sealing to ensure the water proofing.

Trouble shooting

Trouble shooting

Problem found and fixed.

Problem found and fixed.

Victory, it works!

Victory, it works!



Initial start up.

Initial start up.

Close up.

Close up.

Testing the ultra sonic humidifier.

Testing the ultra sonic humidifier.

Up and running. Look at the RGB LED strips go.

Up and running. Look at the RGB LED strips go.

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Cut and Sew.

by on May.07, 2014, under Projects, Unpatched Tuesdays

Several Months ago, a class mate approached me regarding a class assignment.
This is not an unusual for students to do to each other, but the subject was lasers and cutting services and where to find them.
I provided her with a few resources, and also mentioned work had one.
One thing lead to another and Several weeks later I received some Cad drawings to process for laser cutting.
The project that I assisted her with was a tailoring assignment, cutting fabric for various embellishments.
I do have to note that some photos have been cropped down to a quarter of the original size due to respecting her intellectual property, and artistic property.

Cutting of test patterns on fabric to see how it would react.

Cutting of test patterns on fabric to see how it would react.

Process of cutting the fabric with wet paper towel over top to prevent flame ups.

Process of cutting the fabric with wet paper towel over top to prevent flame ups.

Cutting of the fabric in some cases took enough time to begin to dry out the paper towel.

Cutting of the fabric in some cases took enough time to begin to dry out the paper towel.

Problems arise when the paper towel becomes completely dry. The possibility of flame ups in this case is increased.

Problems arise when the paper towel becomes completely dry. The possibility of flame ups in this case is increased.

Fabric being cut without paper towel.

Fabric being cut without paper towel.

Cut design mounted.

Cut design mounted.

Cut fabric layered over a second fabric.

Cut fabric layered over a second fabric.

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Photo(s) of the week; Lathe

by on Apr.12, 2014, under Projects, Unpatched Tuesdays

Over the last few weeks there has been some rising use of the lathe.
Here are a few photos from some of the work going on.

Aluminium coupler for drive wheel, that was taped to be attached to  motor.

Aluminium coupler for drive wheel, that was taped to be attached to motor.

Threading a rod.

Threading a rod.

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Photo of the week; Out of this world.

by on Mar.09, 2014, under Projects, Running a Hacker Space, Unpatched Tuesdays

Eric wearing a flight suit.

Recently, one of our members surprised us all by showing up to the lab with a flight suit.

As the title of today’s post reads. This post is a little out of this world. Recently, one of lab’s members surprised us all by showing up to the lab with a flight suit he had obtained. We were all a little curious about its origins and the patches upon the suit. It turned out that the Ontario Science Centre had decommissioned this suit and this lucky member had been on a tour of the Science Centre at the right time to receive it. The patches on the uniform are a bit revealing. All of them seem to be authentic and telling as well.

The patch on the right side is from the Challenger Shuttle Mission in 1986.  I think this has been a little gem the Science Centre has had for many years. To include mission badges from such a tragic mission that ended in the loss of the entire crew on a flight suit that was meant to help educate and teach science has been a touching tribute. A tribute that has allowed the ideas of exploration and those who have been lost in its pursuit to be still part of it. Now the flight suit lives on with a member of our own exploration community. I hope that it can still help foster ideas of exploration, learning, curiosity, and education with its new owner.

Challenger Mission badge.

Challenger Mission badge.

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