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HIVE13 has procured a brand-new MIG welder

July 10th, 2013 1 comment

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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Categories: Meta, Press Release, Project, Tools, Uncategorized Tags:

Project Spotlight: Electric Motorcycle

May 23rd, 2012 3 comments

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Last week, Hive13 member Rick showed off a rather impressive project: An electric motorcycle he’s building. He started it near the end of 2011, inspired by his father who started building an electric car years back but due to funding issues could not complete it. A lot of online resources helped greatly by providing information on what people had tried, what worked, what did not, what parts they were using, and so on. (Did I really need to mention that part? This is a blog for a hackerspace.)

Whatever its stage of completion, he says he has about 100+ miles on it so far and it can do 54 mph. (Update: This doesn’t mean the bike has a range of 100+ miles, but that he has ridden about 100+ miles on it so far. Actual range is more like 20 miles. Sorry, Hackaday.)

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The frame of the bike is a 1989 Honda VTR 250 he had around for spare parts for other bikes. To replace the Honda’s 24 HP gas motor, he used a common golf cart permanent magnet DC motor, 24 V – 72 V, driving it with a fairly standard 48 V electric controller. Four Optima Deep Cycle Yellow Top 12V batteries power it (two of them are visible in the top photo), and he added a 48 V charger to manage them. (Update: Batteries are AGM [Absorbed Glass Mat], not lead acid, for the record.)

Headlights, taillights, turn signals, and other accessories run from 12 V that a DC-DC converter provides. (I think this also included the ridiculously loud horn, strictly for safety reasons because the bike makes practically no noise otherwise. He says he’s only had to use it twice so far…)

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Rick estimated the total cost at about $2800, and that was using mostly new parts with warranties rather than used ones from Ebay. In addition to this, he purposely built it with a removable battery rack if we wishes to swap in a different battery type later on – he mentions LiFeMnPO4 batteries and a new controller & charger that would have added $1500 to the price, but would have increased the bike’s range and reduced its weight. (He put its current weight at about 400 lb total.)

Actual problems seemed pretty minimal. He made a mistake in the math when choosing the motor’s drive sprocket; a recent change in this brought the top speed from 35 up to 54 mph. The website from which he bought the battery charger advertised it as weatherproof, and he discovered it was not. He has some concerns about the motor getting too hot on hills or longer runs, and intends to add a temperature gauge and a fan.

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I also felt I had to ask a token stupid question, “What is it like to ride a motorcycle where you can’t rev the engine?” but received a fairly serious answer: “It’s weird not having a gas motor. The rev thing isn’t as weird as not having any kind of engine brake when you’re going down hills.”

The Flickr album of pictures is here (first 5 are courtesy of Dave Myers; remainder are my own until the last 5, which are Rick’s). Rick also provided some photos and videos of the initial tear-down, assembly, and first rides:

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(Disclaimer: Neither Hive13 nor Rick advocates riding without protective gear. The only reason this is absent in the pictures is that these were very short test runs.)

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New Pinning Tray

February 20th, 2012 No comments

Hot off the presses!  Er, well, laser cutter!  We bring you the new pinning tray.  This tray is more portable than before.  The other one was small but the square shape often made it hard to fit into some carrying cases with your other tools.  This new design by Brian keeps the tray small but adds length to better go with the tools you normally carry.

And that’s not all!  With this new design you can use the holes on the side and a lid to secure your pins for further storage.  By placing a lid on top and using some small screws you can fasten the lid down and store the pins for later use.  This is ideal if you are working on a progressive lock and need a place to store your the extra pins until you work your way up.  It can also be used to keep some extra security pins grouped together or  potentially for storing the pins from control locks used in lock forensics.

We are still testing out the design but once we finalize it we will have some available if anybody wants one.

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LED table placecards

October 15th, 2011 1 comment

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.

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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.

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

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And of course we had to create a bonus plate for the Hive:
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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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Glass Block LED Matrix, controlled outdoors via tablet

October 13th, 2011 1 comment

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Short version: Using an Android tablet, you can draw things on our Glass Block LED Matrix from the street, and it’s pretty awesome. Video here, photos here.

Long version:

Things have progressed recently on the Glass Block LED Matrix which Chris Davis and Paul Vincent started. For a couple weeks, the code was already in place to let Processing talk to it via simple serial commands to the Arduino & ShiftBrite shield. We wanted to use the tools from Project Blinkenlights to control things over the network; while this didn’t entirely work as planned, the project offered a lot of ideas and inspiration.

The most recent addition I made was the inclusion of oscP5 to the Processing sketch to let it listen for OSC (Open Sound Control) messages. As it happens, a brilliant piece of free software already exists (Control from Charlie Roberts) which turns Android/iOS devices into control surfaces that send out OSC messages. On top of this, Control comes with a handful of example UIs, one of them being “Multibutton Demo” which provides a UI with an 8×8 button grid, sort of like a monome. (The tablet in all of the photos is running Control with that Multibutton Demo UI.)

As our LED matrix is 7×8, this UI was a good initial match. I set Control’s destination URL/port to the backend machine that was running Processing, set the sketch to parse the pretty simple OSC messages Control would send out at every button toggle, and then I was able to control what was on the LED matrix by drawing on that 8×8 grid on my tablet.

I finally got to show it off outside on Tuesday evening when it was dark, and it’s working pretty well, as the video shows.

Next steps:

  • Making a Control UI that allows for color control. These are RGB LEDs, after all – we can control intensity and color, not just whether they’re on or off.
  • Making this web-enabled. I think Control allows this?
  • Fixing the glitchiness that I didn’t show in the video; something cryptic is going on on the Arduino side.

Check out the github project here and the project wiki page here.

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