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Paul Campbell

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flew by this morning

This week at Makerspace

We've been having some great evenings recently - unlike last year where we were doing more talking and less making this year we seem to be settling into Thursdays and Saturdays where different people are turning up and working on multiple projects. It's also warmer this year thanks to Brian's heater.

Thanks to Steve for organising dinner on Friday night.

Those who have started PCB boards and get to the point where they thing they're about done please buttonhole me and I can talk you through the last step - it's very easy and not worth a 'night' to talk about it.

Thursday June 7th, 7pm - Open Workshop

Nothing particular organised just come along and make stuff.

Saturday June 9th, 1-5pm - Open Workshop

Our usual Saturday afternoon open workshop.

Thursday June 14th, 7pm - Project Night

Everyone's done something cool in the past year, bring it along and show it off - hold it up, show it working (or almost working), tell us how you did it

This week at Makerspace

Thursday May 24th - Introduction to Solidworks - 7pm onwards

Brian Paavo will be introducing us to using Solidworks for solid modelling.

There are several 3D modelling programmes out there, but there are few
with such widespread user acclaim as Solidworks. Solidworks allows you to create individual parts and assemblies of parts. The ability to
make assemblies is crucial for makerspace folks because it allows us to
create custom parts to mate with existing devices and see how they fit
together. The programme also allows you to make excellent 2D
engineering drawings to export to CNC routers and
laser-profile-cutters. Of course, you can also export 3D object to .igs
and .stl file formats to share with modellers around the world and print
on the Dspace RepRaps. Currently we only have one computer with
Solidworks installed at Dspace so this talk aims to demonstrate the
basic interface, modelling concepts, and the overall procedures for
creating your own small parts for printing on the RepRaps. If someone
has a small simple "thing" of their own, Brian will be available to help
(also available most Saturdays and Thursdays) create that part while we
print out our demonstration piece. Hope to see you there!

Saturday March 26th Open workshop 1pm-5pm

Our usual Saturday open workshop

Thursday May 31st - Eagle routing - 7pm onwards

Last time we started doing schematic capture in Eagle to build circuit boards,
this week we'll focus on how to route boards - if you haven't started, not a
problem we'll also help you start doing schematic capture as well.

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This week at Makerspace

This past week's beginner's soldering class was a great success, I still have more kits of you missed out, they're a fundraiser for the Makerspace, all $$$ go to pay the rent - please drop me a note of you're interested. If you've paid a full year's subscription you get one for free, you can choose either a badge board or one of the new base boards.

If you did build one of the base board kits we discovered there's a bug in the software we're loading into them - it's what causes one of the leds on the badge board to light spuriously (and my robot to occasionally go in circles) - I'll announce a fix asap and we can reload the firmware

Thursday March 17th - Schematic capture 7pm-onwards

Last year I gave a lecture on how to use Eagle - this year a number of people have expressed an interest in doing something a bit more practical - we're going to make PCBs through SeeedStudio's ultra cheap maker's PCB service:

That's right US$10 (plus shipping) for 10 PCBs 5x5cm double sided with plated thru holes/solder mask/etc - amazingly cheap. I've done a couple of boards through them now with great results.

So if you're keen we're going to start with schematic capture on Thursday night - load up a laptop with the free version of Eagle

(or available from your Ubuntu repository) and bring it down.

Before we start please try and figure out what you want to build , have a schematic in mind and we'll start entry. Also figure out whether you want to build surface mount of through hole (or a mix), if you can try and figure out where your major components are going to come from.

This is for people wanting to make their first circuit board, or to learn Eagle

Saturday March 19th Open workshop 1pm-5pm

This week at Makerspace (

A month ago we did some freeform soldering for beginners, this coming week we’re going to repeat the board soldering night for beginners we did last year. Thursday this week May 10th is board soldering night – please bring along a soldering iron of you have one.

Last year we built badges with an Arduino on it that could do blinky LEDs, they were hard to program though without a special cable and used expensive 3v batteries. This year we have a new add-on kit that rectifies those limitations of the badge kit – it includes a USB to serial converter and allows you to power your badge from your computer.

The new “badge base” kit stacks underneath your existing badge and contains a lot of empty component locations ready for you to stuff them with enough other components (not included, but available locally in Dunedin) to build a simple robot

You can find build instructions at

We still have badge kits and if you haven’t built one yet this is the place to start – they’re good for real beginners, bring the kids along. Both badge kits and badge base kits are $20 each, they’ve been donated to the Makerspace so 100% of what you pay goes to pay our rent. If you have paid a full annual Makerspace membership you can claim a free kit as a bonus.

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My complaint to the ASA over Monteith's faux-radler was not upheld - apparently that trademark counts for something

As many of you know we're helping Nathan from Warrington School - they're setting up 10 surplus computers from the Uni, putting Edubuntu on them and sending them to a school in Papua New Guinea.

We're hosting them in the Makerspace and we're going to hold an install fest starting at 6:30 on Monday (the 5th) to load them up with their new software - if you want to come a long and help we'd like a few volunteers.

If you've been wondering if you could install Linux and want to come along and watch, and help, you're also welcome to show up.

We will be short a few monitors (they already have them in PNG) so if you can bring one along for a few hours that would be appreciated.

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This week in Makerspace:

Thursday Sept 1st 7pm
Title: Transformers, speakers, op amps, timers

This is the next session on basic electronics - this is the second in an ongoing series of talks on beginning electronics - this is intended to be electronics with almost no math - last time we talked about resistors, capacitors, inductors and transistors - the talk is available on line here:

and the interactive examples are here:

If you missed the last talk you should still be able to follow along with this one. This week we'll talk about transformers, diodes, power supplies, op amps and timers. Again please bring your laptop if you can so we can play with more circuit examples.


Saturday Sept 3rd, 1-5pm

Open workshop


Note: we're playing host to a program being run by Warrington School - they're arranging for a bunch of computers to be loaded up with Edubuntu and sent to a school in Papua New Guinea - they'll be holding an install fest sometime in the near future, in the mean time if you see a pile of machines in the corner please leave them be.

This week at Makerspace

Thursday August 25th 7pm

Summary: Chris Baxter will do a very hands-on session on setting up a webdev environment.

Hands-on tutorial on how to setup an environment for doing web
development. Chris will go through things like setting up a web server
on your computer (Apache), do a tour of Eclipse, and maybe set up some
frameworks (eg, Ruby on Rails, CakePHP) etc. Aimed at people who want to
learn how to write web pages, but don't really know where to start.
Bring your laptop.


Saturday August 27th 10am-5pm

Open workshop - we're going to be open all day starting at 10 (with maybe a lunch break if not many people show up) - The building we're situated in used to be King Edward Techinical High School (the largest high school in NZ at one point), they're having a high school reunion this weekend and we've been asked to open from 10-12 so that old pupils can come and see the building and how it's put to use these days. Come on in and make something.


Thursday Sept 1st 7pm

Electronics 2 - the second of our basic electronics courses, don't worry if you missed the first one - the notes are on line and you can try out all the on line simulation examples (or read it and come along on Sat if you want to catch up).

This week Transformers, Diodes, Speakers, Op Amps and Timers - more basic analog components

well this round of snow's melting - it rained last night and turned a lot to slush - still can't get the cars out, maybe tomorrow (we live on a steep street high on the hill 2 cars have made it out since Sun) - if we're lucky it will all melt - last time the slush refroze and the street turned to a sheet if ice - more likely though temps will drop below freezing again, we're due for one more day of snow - we may be stuck until Thursday this time
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