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Tuesday April 8, 2014 at Hive13 – DIY as a way of life – Just Do It!

March 26th, 2014 No comments

Join us at Hive13 this Tuesday, April 8, at 7:30pm for an enlightened look into hardcore DIY as way of life. We will be welcoming Robert Inhuman from local electronic punk group Decide Today and Divtech as our “Second-Tuesday-of-the-Month” guest speaker for April.

Do-It-Yourself can be more than just a resourceful activity. DIY can be a life philosophy that affects every aspect of your survival and all of the accessories in your existence. Hear and discuss Robert’s challenging views on the importance of asserting authority over one’s own existence.

Robert is plugged into several local projects, such as the Cincinnati DIY calendar, Soapbox infoshop, etc. These media promote a gathering of all local events and resources focused on “Do-It-Yourself”. These events include arts and music, social activism, politics, food, clothing, transportation, homes, technology, and any kind of how-to’s that are available without exclusivity in our community.

Here are some links for further reading:
* cincydiy
* DecideToday
* Realicide

Members, guests, first-time-walk-ins, and those interested in learning more about this way of life are welcome to come to our meeting and this presentation, Tuesday, April 8, at 7:30pm. (Find Us)

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Cincinnati Maker Faire – Sat. Oct. 19 – Register now to be a Volunteer!

August 29th, 2013 1 comment

OK Folks, when the publicity starts to come together, you know it is getting real!  Above is Jason Langdon’s proof graphics for the first batch of posters that will announce the Cincinnati Mini-Maker Faire to the General Public.  The event will be Saturday, October 19 at Washington Park.  Setup is that morning.  The event opens to the general public from 12:00 noon to 10:00pm and pack-out after that.  Volunteers are needed for all shifts, all day.  This means you and your buddies!  Here is the link to the live volunteer form.

More details to follow, but don’t delay to register to help out and be part of this amazing event!

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MIG Welding 101 at HIVE13 this weekend

August 7th, 2013 2 comments

Ryan 2.0 (a.k.a. Ryan Hesse) will finish his summer co-op term at GE here in Cincinnati and will return to Montana next week.  Before he goes, he will follow through and conduct four MIG welding classes at HIVE13 this weekend.

Friday, August 9 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm (limit 6 hands-on students)

Saturday, August 10 from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm (limit 6 hands-on students)

Saturday, August 10 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm (limit 6 hands-on students)

Sunday, August 11 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm (limit 6 hands-on students)

Classes are $15.00 each for Elite and non-members, and $5.00 for Full and Student members collected at the door.  The fees cover material costs.  Classes are limited to six hands-on participants in each session, first come first served.  An EventBrite (click here) has been created to reserve class seats.  Fees will be collected at the door.

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HIVE13 Exhibits in the LVL1 Booth at the Detroit Maker Faire 2013

July 30th, 2013 1 comment

HIVE13 made its first Maker Faire appearance exhibiting at the Detroit Maker Faire 2013 on Sunday, July 28.  A special thank you goes out to our LVL1 Louisville hackerspace friends, Brad and the gang, who encouraged Jim to display some HIVE works in a corner of their booth on Sunday.

The HIVE banner, Galileo’s Finger, CinD-LOU’s eyeballs, and Jim’s kinematic sculpture ‘Life’ were prominently displayed and drew lots of attention throughout the day.  Mostly it was, “OK, what is this strange thing?”

LVL1′s fire-breathing animated and wheel chair mobile pretty pony Buttercup was still the star of the booth and LVL1 had a wide variety of other exhibits including a playschool pi computer, radiation cloud chamber, and a wack-a-shark game for the kids.  These guys are awesome and an inspiration to the rest of us.

The rain held off and a good time was had by all.  We should do this more often!

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A Magic Blue Smoke Merit Badge Award

July 14th, 2013 1 comment

Member Matt Starbuck bravely displays the “Magic Blue Smoke” merit badge awarded to him for his efforts at HIVE13 yesterday afternoon.

His promotion into the Benevolent Order of the Magic Blue Smoke (BOMBS) was made possible through the ultimate sacrifice of the ATMEGA32U4 chip on the Teensy 2.0 board in the LED persistence of vision staff he was developing.  In his own words, “VCC was not connected to anything, GND was connected, and I put 3.7V or so directly into one of the ADC pins with the Teensy powered off.  That pin is a direct short to ground in powered-down mode.  I failed to add the 4.7Mohm in line with it, which would have prevented the meltdown.”

The release of MBS was confirmed by two full-member eye witnesses at the time of the occurrence. “Yep, smells like MBS to me,” said one.  “I love the smell of MBS in the afternoon,” said the other, with a tear in her eye.

HIVE13 congratulates Matt for the new found knowledge that he has acquired.  In the trial-and-error development world, we all know there is no gain without pain.  We celebrate failures because we learn from them and they are just the stepping stones that come before the final victory.

Full disclosure and shameless plug – HIVE13 acquired a seed quantity of MBS merit badges via a grant marketing initiative by our friends at Adafruit (link), where you can also get more Teensy boards.  Imagine that.

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HIVE13 Brew Crew Brewout this Saturday, July 13 from 12:00 noon to 5:00pm

July 11th, 2013 No comments
This Saturday, July 13th, married members Michael and (recent Bock Fest Moerlein Special Release award-winning brewer) Tiffany Bell-Horwath will host an all-grain brewout at the HIVE! Plans include brewing a 10 gallon batch of a brown ale (a clone of the beer moosedrool if anyone has had it).
You are invited to join the Brew Crew at HIVE13 to learn and share brewing skills.  The event will get started around noon, and it will likely go till around 5:00pm.  Feel free to stop in at any point.
Active brewers are encouraged to bring some homebrew for folks to sample and enjoy.  So far, this will include a  bourbon barrel aged vanilla been Russian imperial stout and a cream ale.  With some interest, a root beer could be made and available on tap as well.  At some point we may all chip-in to order a pizza or something of that nature.  Bonus points will be awarded to those who bring some pot-luck munchies to share.
All who are interested in brewing are welcome.  Consider to bring your setup and equipment for the show-and-tell.  Bring your dreams and schemes and make plans to implement the makers’ beer garden show-and-tell at the upcoming Cincinnati mini-maker faire to be in Washington Park on October 19.
We are looking forward to this brewday and hope to see you there!  (Find Us)

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HIVE13 has procured a brand-new MIG welder

July 10th, 2013 3 comments

It’s like Christmas in July!  The HIVE’s new MIG welder has arrived.  DaveB trucked it over and set it up on the cart just today.

HIVE13 is the proud owner of  a brand-new Millermatic 211 Auto-Set w/MVP (link) with the M-100 Gun (link).

This is serious equipment.  Electric shock can kill.  Hot parts can burn.  Fumes and gases can be hazardous.  Arc rays can burn eyes and skin.  Welding can cause fire or explosion.  Flying metal or dirt can injure eyes.  Build-up of gas can injure or kill.  Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) can affect implanted medical devices.  Noise can damage hearing.  Cylinders can explode if damaged, etc.   Only qualified persons should install, operate, maintain, and repair this unit.

Does this new tool sound like as much fun to you as it does to us?

Stay tuned and drop by to see developments progress as the experienced HIVE welders and prudently cautious implementers make preparations to enable eager newbies to learn to weld safely with appropriate precautions.

HIVE13 is the place to join to learn new skills and use new equipment to make things.

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Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire – Saturday, October 19, Noon-10pm

May 29th, 2013 No comments

It’s official.  Here’s your chance to get your INNER GEEK ON and ROCK the ‘NATI.  Hive13 is collaborating with organizer Jason Langdon (associate creative director at Possible) and the West side art collective, Broadhope to host the first annual Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, October 19, noon to 10pm.

Get involved by becoming a volunteer (you may get a cool event STAFF T-shirt for your efforts) and/or sign-up to have a MAKER display to show off your creations.

First event publicity on SoapBox (link)

Call for Makers (link) Hurry, the deadline is July 1.

Cincinnati’s  Washington Park venue (link)

Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire Social Media sites:

Facebook (link) This will be maintained as the most active and up-to-date info page.

Google Plus (link)  Key milestones and big announcements are published here.

Twitter (link) Key milestones and big announcement are also announced here.

Stay tuned for further details and announcements.

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LED table placecards

October 15th, 2011 2 comments

Inspired by this Instructables post, a friend of mine decided to create something similar for his wedding.

The bases were a bit more advanced than the suggestion, and all were created by a friend of the groom. They consist of a block of wood, a battery holder and 3 red LEDs.

basetop basebottom

The plates were etched & cut on our laser over a period of about 15 hours. It was about one hour per plate, 12 of which we used, 3 were used to perfect the process. This video shows a time lapse of the process.  We had some trouble initially with clouding on the plate, especially around the letter “o”.  We fixed this by adjusting the power and speed of the laser and refining our post etching cleaning process.

After the plates were etched and cut they were soaked in water & simple green for about 30 seconds, then wiped off with a microfiber cloth.

The cards were then set up at the reception hall prior to the wedding, and remained lit throughout the evening.


The wedding party:
We didn’t have the names of all of the dates guests were bringing, so some people got their very own +1.



And of course we had to create a bonus plate for the Hive:

The Bride & Groom were pleased with the results as were we.  While it was a lot of work, the project resulted in a unique keepsake for each wedding guest and the wedding party.



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Context Free

August 29th, 2011 No comments

This is another copy of another post from my own blog, a continuation of the last… Also, fans of the laser cutter, note that Context Free happily generates SVG files just as easily as it does raster images.

My last post mentioned a program called Context Free that I came across via the Syntopia blog as his program Structure Synth was modeled after it. (Also, Make Magazine mentioned it in Issue 17.)

I’ve heard of context-free grammars before but my understanding of them is pretty vague. This program is based around them and the documentation expresses their limitations; what I grasped from this is that no entity can have any “awareness” of the context in which it’s drawn, i.e. any part of the rest of the scene or even where in the scene it is. A perusal of the site’s gallery shows how much those limitations don’t really matter.

I downloaded the program, started it, and their welcome image (with the relatively short source code right beside it) greeted me, rendered on-the-spot:

The program was very easy to work with. Their quick reference card was terse but only needed a handful of examples and a few pages of documentation to fill in the gaps. After about 15 minutes, I’d put together this:

Sure, it’s mathematical and simple, but I think being able to put it together in 15 minutes in a general program (i.e. not a silly ad-hoc program) that I didn’t know how to use shows its potential pretty well. The source is this:

startshape MAIN
background { b -1 }
rule MAIN {
   TRAIL { }
rule TRAIL {
   20 * { r 11 a -0.6 s 0.8 } COLORED { }
rule COLORED {
   BASE { b 0.75 sat 0.1 }
rule BASE {
   SQUARE1 { }
   SQUARE1 { r 90 }
   SQUARE1 { r 180 }
   SQUARE1 { r 270 }
rule SQUARE1 {
   SQUARE { }
   SQUARE1 { h 2 sat 0.3 x 0.93 y 0.93 r 10 s 0.93 }

I worked with it some more the next day and had some things like this:

I’m not sure what it is. It looks sort of like a tree made of lightning. Some Hive13 people said it looks like a lockpick from hell. The source is some variant of this:

startshape MAIN
background { b -1 }
rule MAIN {
    BRANCH { r 180 }
rule BRANCH 0.25 {
    box { }
    BRANCH { y -1 s 0.9 }
rule BRANCH 0.25{
    box { }
    BRANCH { y -1 s 0.3 }
    BRANCH { y -1 s 0.7  r 52 }
rule BRANCH 0.25 {
    box { }
    BRANCH { y -1 s 0.3 }
    BRANCH { y -1 s 0.7  r -55 }
path box {
    LINEREL{x 0 y -1}
    STROKE{p roundcap b 1 }

The program is very elegant in its simplicity. At the same time, it’s a really powerful program. Translating something written in Context Free into another programming language would in most cases not be difficult at all – you need just a handful of 2D drawing primitives, a couple basic operations for color space and geometry, the ability to recurse (and to stop recursing when it’s pointless). But that representation, though it might be capable of a lot of things that Context Free can’t do on its own, probably would be a lot clumsier.

This is basically what some of my OpenFrameworks sketches were doing in a much less disciplined way (although with the benefit of animation and GPU-accelerated primitives) but I didn’t realize that what I was doing could be expressed so easily and so compactly in a context-free grammar.

It’s appealing, though, in the same way as the functions discussed in the last post (i.e. those for procedural texturing). It’s a similarly compact representation of an image – this time, a vector image rather than a spatially continuous image, which has some benefits of its own. It’s an algorithm – so now it can be parametrized. (Want to see one reason why parametrized vector things are awesome? Look at Magic Box. [Or, for another well-known one, especially in Hive13, the venerable OpenSCAD.]) And once it’s parametrized, animation and realtime user control are not far away, provided you can render quickly enough.

(And as @codersandy observed after reading this, POV-Ray is in much the same category too. I’m not sure if he meant it in the same way I do, but POV-Ray is a fully Turing-complete language and it permits you to generate your whole scene procedurally if you wish, which is great – but Context Free is indeed far simpler than this, besides only being 2D. It will be interesting to see how Structure Synth compares, given that it generates 3D scenes and has a built-in raytracer.)

My next step is probably to play around with Structure Synth (and like Fragmentarium it’s built with Qt, a library I actually am familiar with). I also might try to create a JavaScript implementation of Context Free and conquer my total ignorance of all things JavaScript. Perhaps a realtime OpenFrameworks version is in the works too, considering this is a wheel I already tried to reinvent once (and badly) in OpenFrameworks.

Also in the queue to look at:

  • NodeBox, “a Mac OS X application that lets you create 2D visuals (static, animated or interactive) using Python programming code…”
  • jsfiddle, a sort of JavaScript/HTML/CSS sandbox for testing. (anarkavre showed me a neat sketch he put together here)
  • Paper.js, “an open source vector graphics scripting framework that runs on top of the HTML5 Canvas.”
  • Reading generative art by Matt Pearson which I just picked up on a whim.

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