Workshop Ideas

Workshops can be many things.  A software tutorial, a group build, teaching a specific technique, or even an excuse to do that group project you needed to get people for.  If you'd like to lead or attend a workshop of some sort related to the theme of people doing strange things with electricity, please add you ideas here (if you're interested in leading a workshop, please add a note saying so):

  • three.js class
  • Servo class (use them to drive automata?  use them for other silly stuff?)
  • Soldering tutorial (through hole & SMT)
  • PCB etching tutorial
  • Designing PCBs with Eagle/KiCAD
  • Working with microcontrollers (could focus on an individual family or have a general intro to various uCs).
  • Circuit bending
  • Creative hack-a-thon (bring parts/surplus, repurpose it either improv style or toward a concept).
  • Build a musical instrument
  • Using open source software for art
  • PureData tutorial (we should get Jason to lead this one ;~)
  • LEDs - Series vs Parallel, Calculating Power req, hard/soft PWM, controllers, 7 segments, cubes

See the main workshop page here.

Wed, 2007-10-03 12:03    [Permalink]


It's simple: we do a group buy, get together with a bunch of soldering irons and everybody builds an Arduino board from Lady Ada, Bare Bones, or whatever. We help each other debug any problems and write a few simple programs to make sure they work. The Arduino is used in later workshops. For people who already have an arduino, we can get shield boards (prototype, motor control, etc.) for them to build. Or, people can just bring whatever they are working on and join the fun. Participants either bring their own laptop and load the Arduino IDE or we use in-workshop computers (Free Geek Linux boxes?) to do a quick introduction to the programming environment and test out the built devices. Participant cost – depends on group buy, but we can probably come in under $25 each. I can teach construction, installation and programming, but it would be more fun to team teach with others. We'll need soldering irons and tools to share for people who have never done this sort of thing before.

I ran one of these last month and it was remarkably successful. I will be doing a second induction next Sunday. We have started doing group orders on a biweekly basis and have put together a kit (based on an initial q100 purchase) and will have our own arduino derivative called the dorkboard. We have some soldering irons from Jason's circuit bending workshop. I plan to do an I/O workshop as a follow up to the inductions. Would love to have some help with this.

Fri, 2007-09-28 14:55    [Permalink]


In this workshop, participants will learn how to tear down an old surplus pressure gauge, figure out how to retrofit it with a miniature servo, and write some simple software to control the gauge from an Arduino. You can use the gauge on your next steampunk project, or use the techniques you learn to servo-control any other physical thing you may have. I'll describe the process I went through with examples and pictures, and then participants can do the same thing themselves with one of a selection of surplus gauges we'll have available. Software will be provided, but everybody will need to figure out how to do the servo linkages and the conversion factors that make their particular gauge act the way they want. How much you pay for materials depends on what you bring. We'll have stuff you can use. Materials: ---- * Arduino ($10-$30, depending on source) * Surplus gauge ($0 if we scrounge them up to $20 from American Surplus and Supply) * HS-55 miniature servo ($15 from Tammy's; cheaper online) * Paper clip * Double-sided foam tape * Heat-shrink tubing * Servo connectors & hookup wire Tools ---- You'll need a computer with the free Arduino IDE installed. We'll have a few on site you can use. Bring your own and we'll help you do the install and get things working. You will need to bring simple tools (screwdriver, needle nose pliers, etc.). We'll give you a list beforehand. More esoteric tools (soldering station, bench power supply, butane torch, drill press, Dremel tool, oscilloscope, multi-meter) will be available to share during the workshop.

Fri, 2007-09-28 19:17    [Permalink]


I like both these ideas. Seems like maybe one could follow the other. Build the arduinos, then come back for more next time. I'm sure we could have a long series of projects based around that.

Sun, 2008-02-03 15:39    [Permalink]


I was just wondering if we could setup a workshop at the ITT Campus in Portland sometime relatively soon. I know there are alot of students there that would love to get involved on something like this. There are quite a few people that are working on projects for school and having input from someone, other than our teachers, who does this all the time would be great. I am currently working on building a Tesla coil, as well as a few other projects, and would value some input from people who have built one, or have attempted to build one. Thanks! Lord Tater "Try not. Do or do not. There is no try!"

Well, in theory this is a great idea. There are a couple problems. First, putting on the workshops takes a lot of work and resources. Therefore, if we're going to do them, we'd like to have them somewhere as accessible to as many people as possible. That's why PNCA worked so well for the first workshop (Haywire) -- it's central and easy to get to. Also, we'd really need to be invited by someone at ITT in order to use the facilities. I don't know anyone there and no one else has mentioned anything about it. If you do know anyone, feel free to send them my way and we can discuss the possibility (tlockney AT gmail DOT com). Also, you might want to send this suggestion to the mailing list. There's a better chance of it reaching someone who might be able to make this happen.

I'd be happy to conduct a workshop on how to create a MIDI encoder using a Teensy 3.1. I've created one for 64 keys with shift registers, which makes them piggybackable (yeah, I said that).