Upcoming events, neat things happening at the space, and more!
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Nottingham Hackspace

Hi everyone!

We hope you had a fantastic February and are looking forward to a madcap March!

We have a lot of new things happening around the space, and there's plenty for you to get involved in this month - everything from sewing to Arduino to music to photography and so much more!


As part of our planned upgrade of power in the workshop, the space's main power distribution boards are being replaced. This work is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 8 March, from 9am to 4pm, approximately.

This means there will be no power in the space at that time, including Internet access, lighting, tools, and the magnetic lock on the door.

Could you help out at the space?

Being a place run by members means that every second of time you can spare helps make the space better. And we need your help!

Cleaning Tuesday!

On Tuesday, 11 March, it's Cleaning Tuesday - our chance to get down and dirty to make the space shine. It starts at 7, and everyone gets together, grabs some mops, and helps make the space bright and sparkling.

If you don't know where to start, just look around you - there'll be something that needs cleaning!

Join A Team!

We've also recently started organising the running of the space into teams - hopefully making it easier for all of us to find exactly where we want to help.

There are currently six teams - Tools, Resources, Communications, Software, Membership, and Safety - and there will be more on the way. All the teams need new members, so if you can help out in a particular way, look at the Wiki page and find out more about joining and how you can help.

Members' Meeting!

And most importantly, the first Wednesday of every month is our monthly members' meeting. Starting at 8pm, we get updates from the teams and the latest on our current financial status. A lot of discussion happens at these meetings, and a lot of big decisions are made here.

Everyone is welcome, and our next meeting is this Wednesday, 5th March! Just be in the Blue Room at 8pm, and have your say in how the space is run!

Don't Forget to Hack the Space!

The first Sunday of every month - including tomorrow, 2 March - is Hack the Space Day, and we need volunteers!

Along with volunteers to turn up and help with our restructuring and organising of the space, we also need volunteers to run the Hack the Space Days.

At our last Members' Meeting, we agreed that there should be a budget for all Hack the Space Days, so that big developments could be easily sorted out - including building walls, buying storage containers, and more.

If you think there's an area of the space that could definitely do with some attention, now is the time for you to step up and take charge!

Just send an email to trustees@nottinghack.org.uk, and they'll work with you on a date and how to access the budget you need.

Nottingham Hackspace Photographers' Group

We've started a new Photographers' Group at the space - entirely free and open to everyone.

Designed for anyone with an interest in photography or interested in getting more involved with photography, this is a skill-sharing group, where it doesn't matter what camera you use or your skill level.

The evening starts at 7:30pm, and Jake Howe, Hackspace member, will be giving a talk entitled "Less worry, more photos", which will be an introduction to the ethos of the group alongside some inspirational words. The group will also be reviewing photos taken by members.

All you need to bring the group is a photo you've taken recently. If you can't print one out, let Jake know on the Google Group thread, and he'll sort it out for you. And if you're coming, sign up on the Facebook event!

Everything's Coming Up Arduino!

The Arduino system is a microcontroller board and software designed for extreme ease-of-use and learning, and has been wildly successful all over the world – not just in electronics, but for all sorts of maker projects. And we here at the space love to use them!

Introduction to Arduino Workshop - 12 April

We're happy to host another of James Fowkes's & Ian Dickinson's extremely popular Introduction to Arduino workshops on Saturday, 12 April. If you want to learn how to incorporate electronic control into your projects, this is definitely the workshop for you.

Aimed for complete beginners, this workshop doesn’t require you to have written a single line of code, switched on a soldering iron or even own an Arduino to take part. All the electronics equipment, including Arduino boards, will be provided on the day, but you will need to bring a laptop to program the Arduino with. It would also help if you installed the Arduino software onto your laptop before the workshop.

This workshop will run from 11am to 4pm, with a break for lunch at 1pm, and will cost £15, which includes use of all tools, boards and components, and free tea or coffee.

Arduino boards and kits will also be on sale for further exploration of this fantastic system.

Tickets are extremely limited, so be sure to book yours now!

The new Arduino Evenings!

Following the success of the Introduction workshops, James Fowkes will also be running a new series of regular Arduino evenings, looking at specific aspects of the Arduino platform. Great for anyone who's been on the Introduction workshop and wants to play around more with this system, the first evening is on Thursday, 20 March, from 7:30 to 9:30.

This evening will focus on motor control, with James giving a short talk on the major kinds of motors you're likely to encounter in your Arduino projects, including simple DC, brushless DC (BLDC), steppers, and servos, and how each one is driven. Then it's time to get stuck into making things move!

You can bring your own Arduino and laptop if you want some hands-on experience, or you can watch and listen. Either way, you'll learn a lot about motors and how to make your next project move!

Tickets are £5, and you can buy them now. Spaces are limited!

Learn How to Make a T-Shirt!

The fortnightly Sewing Group meets next on Thursday, 6 March, from 7pm. After the successful clothes cover workshops, the next two sessions, including 20 March, will look at making t-shirts using an old t-shirt as a pattern.

Anyone is welcome to join in - just bring your old T-shirt and some fabric! Michelle Strickland, the Sewing Group organiser, will also have fabric available to buy.

Marble Madness at Science in the Park!

On Saturday, 15 March, we'll be at Science in the Park at Wollaton Hall, and we need you to volunteer!

We'll be running Matt Little's Marble Run, which was a hit at Derby Mini Marker Faire, and will be fun for all ages! If you can spare any time that Saturday, please let us know in the Google Group thread.

I ♥ Hackspace!

Hackspace member Spencer Owen posted this love letter to Hackspace on the Google Group, and we thought we’d share the love here too:

"Just in case anyone didn't realise, I thought I'd email to let you all know what an awesome place Nottinghack is. In particular, the people that donate items. And the people that sort through the donations. And the people that strip down broken donations in to usable components. And the people that sort and store the usable components so they can be easily found and reused. You’re all AWESOME!

"Why this outpouring of hackspace affection (hackfection)?

"Well, at the weekend I was given an old knackered Roomba (robot vacuum cleaner) that was "Not working, probably unfixable but I might get some motors or something out of". After a bit of testing, Googling and complete disassembly, it seems one of the infra red emitters was duff. They're only 54p new, but with post and vat I was looking at £6 and a 2 day wait. It had to be quite a specific shape and size emitter, but I headed over to the hackspace last night, looked in the LED box, found some reclaimed sensors scavenged from an old printer. A quick check, and they were just right. Soldered them up, headed home, rebuilt the Roomba and found it worked perfectly. :-D

"And it’s the little bits like that which reinforce to me what a valuable asset Nottinghack is. THANK YOU."

Awwwwwwwwww! What do you love about Hackspace? The laser cutter? Open Hack Nights? The Usborne Book of the Future wallpaper or photos of WWII Rosie the Riveters in the toilets? Let us know, and we’ll publish it here!

Steampunk Fun at the National Space Centre!

Hackspace member Gareth Howell has recently been involved in making a new exhibition at the National Space Centre in Leicester. Called Professor Clegg's Fantastical Observatorium, it uses an Arduino Leonardo controller to control Stellarium, a night sky viewing program. The controls use a large lever and dial to control zoom and sky views, and a bowling ball to drive an inverted optical mouse.

The entire room is furnished in a classic Steampunk/Decopunk style, and themed with antique optical and navigational tools and prints. It's the perfect resource for mad professors and eccentric explorers, and you can see it now!

Have you created a project you want to tell us about? Let us know!

Let's Discuss Pledge Drives

We recently had a very successful pledge drive to raise money for our new Laser Cutter, and pledge drives have proved to be a great way to get members involved in the development of the space and actively participating in funding the tools we need.

Dominic Morrow's opened a discussion on the Google Group about how pledge drives work and how the process could be improved as we grow. If you have an opinion, or just want to see what people are saying, check out the Google Group!

Laser Cutter Pledge Drive - SUCCESS!

Last month, we announced our pledge driver to get a new A0 laser cutter - with a target of £4,000.

Well, we beat our target, and after we collect all the pledges, we expect to order our brand new A0 (a whopping 1200mm x 900mm) laser cutter in the next week or so!

We're expecting delivery in May, and we've already had a meeting to discuss induction plans (which will be free for everyone who pledged) and a booking system to avoid snarls.

If you pledged, you should have received an email detailling how to pay, but if you haven't, let them know on the Google Group thread.

We still need plenty of help, including setting up the workshop area, providing inductions, and running workshops, so if you'd like to get involved, it's not too late. Keep an eye on the Google Group Thread!

The Great Hackspace Survey

Did you take part in Dominic Morrow's Hackspace Survey? Awesome! Thank you for participating!

He received 61 respondents, which is great for a survey, and the feedback was also very useful when it comes to making a future survey.

Dominic will be publishing the results of the survey soon, and presenting the data from the survey on Tuesday, 25 March, in the Blue Room starting from 7pm. It'll be up for analysis, questions, and debate, and it's open to all members.

And who won the goody bag? Congratulations to Kai Pays!

Our New Ukulele Nights!

Did you know we're hosting regular ukulele nights on Thursdays now? Here's Hackspace member Rob Haywood to tell you all about it!

"Unless you count 'Smoke On the Water' on the bass guitar, I've never really tried a stringed instrument before, and I had never even heard a Ukulele played until the Hackspace Festivus Party last December. I was so taken with it, I went out and bought a soprano ukulele, registered for the "New Year, New Uke" workshop, and spent a few hours with the very dry Absolute Beginners' Ukulele book that came with it. The book was very disheartening, and I soon put it down and waited for the workshop.

"Gareth's teaching style is great, and the print-outs are extremely easy to follow. Best of all we looked at three chords straight away and then got stuck into our first song. By the end of the day my fingers were sore, my arms ached, I knew five chords, and I could play the uke.

"We're continuing this with more Thursday evening workshops - this month on the 13th and the 27th, and although we've been promised new songs - including a "proper rock song" - and a new chord or two, it's not too late to join in, even if you're new to the uke. Everyone's welcome, and we even have a uke or two to use if you haven't got one yet, so there are no excuses not to come down and play!"

Monday music night continues too, a great place to jam and play along. Expect songs about cows, boats and mining! We meet every Monday from 7pm until we drop, and welcome any new players who’d like to drop in and join us!

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