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Annual General Meeting 2017

The AGM for Lancaster and Morecambe Makers will take place on Monday 27th February 2017 at 19:00 GMT   at the Space

 

Please could all Members make the effort to attend this meeting, if you cannot attend we will require proxy votes beforehand

 

If you would like to raise anything please let one of the directors know by the 19th February, so that we can add it to the agenda. The agenda will be circulated before the meeting to allow time for Proxy votes

 

In accordance with our Articles of association two of the directors will stand down at the AGM to allow others to become directors.

If anybody wishes to nominate or be nominated to the board please let us know before the 13th February 19:00 GMT.

Please submit in writing  a statement with the intention to propose the appointment of a person as a director; contains the details that, if the person were to be appointed, the association would have to file at Companies House; and is signed by the person who is to be proposed to show his or her willingness to be appointed.

Please submit any point, proxy votes or  nominations to lamm.space@gmail.com

The two directors who will be standing down this time will be:

Ian Norton and Claire L Jackson
Thank you

Presence sensors revisited

In my previous post I talked about 24v presence sensors for Loxone home automation:

Is there anybody there? Click once for yes!

Shout out to Malc Crook (https://hackaday.io/mal8837) and Adam (https://hackaday.io/Bobbsta10) who both contacted me to say that the PIR linked to in the original post is no longer the one you get when you order the same item from the same seller 🙁

Fear not, for I have hacked the new one this evening and it’s pretty straight forward 🙂

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Well that mostly looks similar…

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Still looks similar…

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Well that’s different. The two boards are fixed together and the front board has to come away from the plastic shafts for altering the time and lux level

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Those are really annoying to get back in but I’ll come back to that.

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Different AC supply board this time around. Let’s take a look see what’s going on..

pir-ac-board-layout

So capacative dropper is driving an actual bridge rectifier this time rather than four discrete diodes. Seems like there’s a lot here we don’t need….

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I always end up with spare bits when I take things apart….

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Right, so now we look like:

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So having removed all but the diodes for protection and the capacitor for smoothing the supply, we’re left with +24v going in and a working automation PIR! I put the front board in place without screwing it in and put the spacers on the back board as it came but without the screws. We’re no longer dealing with mains voltage and the spacers keep everything sensibly… well… spaced… Best update the labelling…

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That’s a bit neater than the previous scribblings with a sharpie… 🙂

I’m hoping that step by step pictures and the diagram will make it clear how this change works. The PIR module is 24v all along, all we did was remove the AC components and drive it directly.

There doesn’t seem to be an LED on this model. The relay is triggered by dropping the signal line from the front board to 0v. It floats at +24 otherwise so technically we could lose the relay completely and drive that back to an input. I’ve not tested that so your mileage may vary.

Hopefully that update will be useful to people!

Keep hacking, Ian.

Why make when you can bake

The upcoming open Saturday (Saturday 17th September) will see a change to the hackspace.  While we busy ourselves with preparation for the Lancaster Fun Palace (October 1st and 2nd), there will be something spongy, crispy, something with a lovely crumb or maybe a good snap. Yes that’s right we will be holding an informal bake off.chocolate-cake-1576494_640

If you watch the BBC, you’ll be no stranger to The Great British Bake Off which started back on the telly last week. Quite a few of us seem to be keen bakers, so for a bit of fun we’ll be taking our best bakes into the space for a bit of a competition.

There will be three prize wining classes

  1.  Biscuits or Cookies
  2. Bread
  3. Cake

Please feel free to bring your best bakes and join in

Prizes will be given for the best in each class chosen by those there.

(Please note we will NOT be baking in the space)

Okay so that’s the fun part.

We do need peoples help to prepare for the Fun Palace and there are, as always, jobs to be done around the space.

LAMM Membership

Hey All,

This is not going to be a short message, however I will get straight to the point: We need more members. Without any more members, then there is a strong possibility that we will not be here in the next few months. So, if you are already a paying member, well done! Continue being awesome. If you are not a paying member, or know someone who would like to become a member, then please join up here: LAMM Membership Request

We have two payment levels, which depend on your circumstances.

The first one is the Standard Membership – this is £25 a month, and will get you full access to the space, meaning you can come and go as you want to work on your own projects.

The second one is for the following:

  • Young Members  – for those under 16, and will require a guardian present.
  • Student Members – those who are still in full time Education, at University, College, or another education establishment.
  • Supporting Members – for those who want to support the space.

This payment level is £10 a month, and in the case of the Young or Student member, will get you full access to the space as you would in the Standard Membership. The Supporting Member is meant for people who are not close enough to Lancaster to make use of the space, but would like to support us to allow us to keep doing awesome things.

To join, please go and fill in the following form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible with payment details!

LAMM Membership Request

Thanks,

Tom and all the Board at LAMM.

More ballz

As part of the continuing Manchester MakeFest preparations, and in particular the Amazeballs challenge from Manchester HACMan tonight I completed the next step of my marble (well pinball) run drop.

This is a large version of the version 2 Lammballz. So essentially a Version 3 Lammballs and is 555mm by 300mm made from a combination of perspex and birch.

Big thanks to the ever-wonderful Tom Bloor for help with the setting on the laser cutter, design done as always in Inkscape. Images of the unfinished (needs lots of glue/fixings) version with business card for scale, below.

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I Made a Thing

So last night I made a thing at the hackspace and although it is relatively simple and small I am inordinately proud of the thing that I made.

You may, or may not, have heard that there is a Makers event in Manchester (Manchester MakeFest, I believe this to be a faire or carnival of makers) that is to be held at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) on the 11-12th August. For that event the folks at Manchester HackSpace have created a AmazeBalls challenge and we at LAMM are trying to create something for it.

My small part in this is to create a small pair of ball drops. One of which I am cutting out of wood using the laser cutter and the other I am making from scratch (predominately) using a 3D printer. This challenge is a great way for me to start to play with both Laser and 3D printing.

Last night I designed a simple rail in Inkscape.

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I then took the simple rail and extruded it in OpenSCAD with a lot of patient and generous help from Tom Bloor (who guided this old duffer through the openSCAD way of doing things).

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And then I sliced the resulting stl files in the 3D printer softare.

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Then I printed and played with them as they seem to work 😉

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It was a great achievement, I said it was small, for me and it was another example of how a place like the Lancaster Space can inspire you to create using a variety of tools even if you are new to them or an ‘old duffer’ like me. Thanks all for the pointers and help, a big thanks to Tom for all his gentle tutelage.

Stamp It

There was a small, determined, and succesful combined effort at the Lancaster Space this week.

Stamps

Those of you familiar with the MakerSpaces will know that there is a MakerSpace Passport. This is a copy of a traditional passport with the idea that you fill it with stamps from the various hackspaces you visit.

Hackspaces themselves are encouraged to make stamps for the visitors.

We at LAMM took this into hand and made a collective effort amongst some of the members to make a stamp for the Space and for the LAMM people.

Make It

  • Darren provided us with some laser-ready rubber from which to create the stamps.
  • Claire checked online for the details and did the organising of data and information.
  • Mark designed the logo in Inkscape.
  • Tom designed the handle and performed the Laser and 3D printer duties.
  • Ian drank coffee and cola and made jokes when we forgot to reverse the first cut.

The end result is something we are proud of and also means we have now costed the time, effort, process for creating custom stamps, which is another service we can provide or that we can teach to local people.

The Wonderful Chaps at Andrews and Arnold

andrews_and_arnold_ispStarting a Hackspace is a daunting task, there is the finding of a space itself, the tools, members, and then the inevitable bills to pay. Hackspaces tend to be run as businesses, as such they are liable to pay rates, they usually have rent, there is power and then the associated costs. There is little left over for luxuries such as Internet, which is a shame as the Internet and connectivity is an essential need in the modern world.[1]

We discovered that our budgets would likely suffer if we had to get an internet connection, however we approached some providers for their rates and explained our situation. That’s when those wonderful chaps at Andrews and Arnold came through for us.

Andrews and Arnold are renown in the community as a professional internet provider. They are not the cheapest service, and there is a reason for that, they focus on quality and not cutting corners or reducing customer service or satisfaction. For the Lancaster and Morecambe Makers they have generously agreed to provide us with a year of internet provision to help us establish ourselves.

We at LAMM and the Space in Lancaster are humbled by the generosity and it will help us settle and establish in our first year. We will raise a merry toast to our Internet Sponsors at Andrews and Arnold.

[1] This is especially true if you are trying to be a digital/creative hub and work space.

Bedside lighting

I am new to the whole hacking, making, playing, soldering and generally hands-on construction and so my time at the hackspace is always a steep learning curve.

One of the projects that I have been tinkering with was to take a couple of old, well toys really – but toys for me as an adult, and make them into something new. What i decided to do was build a bedside light with two switches, some ultra-bright LEDs and a blue LED. The toys were a Doctor (model of David Tennant’s doctor) and a TARDIS safe (that had stopped functioning).

I basically ripped the electronic guts out including the microchip board, added a bit of lego and Sugru’d LEGO in the TARDIS and to David’s feet so he would stand upright, and then made a board for the 5 lights in the doorway. A little tinkering with a drill got me the holes for two switches, a push button for the decorative lights and a two stage switch for the main ultra-brights, and we were done.

I have re-used something and made a useful light for my bedside. It is hardly on the same scale as the hacked sensors that have appeared on this blog in the last week, but I am still moderately pleased with the result.