All posts by devin

Antenna Build Day

Come join Makerlabs on a our antenna skill building day. During the course we will cover basic antenna theory, build and test a high gain 5.8 GHz antenna suitable for FPV analog video. The course will start at 9:00 and we aim to finish at 14:00.
In this course, you will
  • Receive a presentation on basic antenna theory (radio frequency propagation, impedance matching, coupler, filters, radiation patterns, gain etc)
  • Build your own high gain dish mountable 5.8 GHz antenna (ideal for long range analog video) – complete with SMA connector and coax, ready to use (all material supplied as part of the course)
  • Test the performance of your antenna by measuring the reflection and end-to-end transfer using a transmitter/receiver circuit
  • Compare the performance of your antenna with other designs, like a patch and clover leaf antenna
The course will be valuable for FPV pilots and hobbiest who would like to learn more about the dark art of RF and how to maximize the performance of their existing equipment.
Cost: R650 per person
Date & Time: 08 April 2017, starting at 9:00 until 14:00
Venue: Made In Workshop, 65 Maria Street, Fonteinebleau, Randburg


Makerlabs meetup – 14/10/15

Hey All,

Another good meetup with Marius, Marcel, Stephen, Kevin and myself in attendance.

Stephen played around with his some new particle photons

I brought a cnc’ed piece of perspex to show what my cnc has been up too.

Marius brought us some of the ABS parts he has been printing. Looking really good after his tweaks this week.

A video of some of the parts in action

I finished up my 250 quad. gave it a bit of a test flight.

Marius managed to get a video of  some of it.
Till next week.
Happy Hacking

An update on what’s been happening at Makerlabs

We have had some fantastic meetups in the last few weeks its been amazing.  Between the conversations there is a lot of hacking going on. Some of the active projects Ive seen in the space in the last few weeks: electric bike,  ham radio aprs tracking units, quadcopters, 3d printers, a battle bot and some home automation

I would like to say welcome to all our new members who have joined us in the last few weeks.  We have seen a lot of new faces joining in and we look forward to seeing many more. We are a open space and everyone is welcome.

I would like to extend a thank you to our members who have donated tools, funds and their time. The space is really coming together and we are starting to reap the benefits of all the effort put in thus far. If anyone has any spare tools or items you believe would aid the space we love to take them off your hands.

After chatting with the regular members we decided that we would formalize the contributions in to a membership fee. We have been accepting membership fees since Feb and we are starting to see the benefits of these contributions with us filling up the tool board on a weekly basic with everyday tools you would need to hack with. I encourage anyone who cant afford to contribute with money is welcome to speak to Marius or myself about contributing in other way to make the space better.



Last Night’s MeetUp 13/08/14


Due to work and life interfering with our making time, we skipped/missed last week’s wire up. We really do apologise for that, please mail your written complaints to the MLCCSA(MakerLabs Complaints Commission South Africa), and they will get back to you in due time. But in the meantime, please join us next week to voice your complaints and have a brilliantly crafted beer with us.

Back to business then… T’was a good meet last night, with four barrels of beer being prepared for bottling. The o so famous capper machine was working  overtime and Mat’s beer pump, pumped many litres of beer.


Mark received his shipment of Arduino products last week and started playing with the LCD. We all celebrated when he finally got “Hallo World” printed on the screen! Now Mark, how about loading Mac OS on that?


Marius worked on the “gate-opener-2000” that Devin built to get it to version 2, while Lee and Kurt toiled away at a distance sensor and the Nucleo board.


Marcel finally gave power to JackFrost, and behold, no smoke. He is bout two weeks away from his first print… Stephen showed off his printer, BlackJacK, and some of the very nice prints.



99 bottles of beer in the cave, 99 bottles of beer….

Mat will carry on working on his SkyNet swarm of robots next week, and Devin will tackle a card reading machine for cave entry maybe? JF will be closer to a first print and we will have some locally crafted beer.

Cheers vir eers!


Last Night’s Meetup 30/07/2014


What does soldering, chatting, testing and pizza have in common? A super meet up at Maker Labs!

Compared to previous meet ups, last night was a bit lean but fun none the less….

The evening started off with Mark going on with his tin-foil-hat theories and Matthew designed the best looking TFH for Mark


Kurt purchased a Nucleo board recommended by Lee, and brought it along for some testing and playing. The whole team was on hand giving him some tips and advice.



Matthew’s miniature robots is taking shape. Devin brought along some SMD components for the robot swarms, and Matthew had great fun soldering these minute components onto the proto-board.


Black Jack is making awesome progress and is very close to printing it’s first print. Devin shared some expert knowledge on the software and firmware for the printer.


Whilst Jack Frost is about three weeks away from it’s first print.



Marius decided that Franken Printer is not enough, and a Franken Scnner is needed by any maker space. He started playing with an old scanner donated to Maker Labs.


What will we get up to next week? Who knows…. But I know  it’s gonna be another rocking night!

Over and out!

Last Night’s Meetup 23/07/2014


What a meeting last night! Leather working, PCB designing, general chit chat and toasted ham and cheese!

Tom van den Bon from Binary Space joined us. Devin and Tom discussed PCB design and Tom gave some valuable tips and what to do and what to avoid.



We have been talking about a leather working course @makerlabs for a  while now, seems like we ill have that very soon. Johan brought through some of his tools and sample leather. Devin and Johan discussed in great detail what an how the course ill work. Watch this space.



Kevin and Marcel made good progress with the two Jacks. Marcel re-mounted his electronics and added the power cable while Kevin managed to insert the linear bearings, not without some difficulty. Stephen could not make it, as he had to study for exams.


Kevin showed off Stephen’s work to a new member and Einstein decided to take a nap with Mark coding away.


So all in all, not a bad way to spend 3 hours!

See you all next week….

Last Night’s Meetup 16/7/14

We had great fun last night, with some new faces and some new hacks at #makerlabs


Jan told his car that the Arduino is a CD Shuttle, and this way he can connect bluetooth and other devices.


Marcel and Steven worked very hard on their 3D printers and making some good progress. Marcel started mounting electronics and cleaned some wiring and Steven received some parts from Devin and started wiring of the mega.
Marcel’s printer was nicknamed JackFrost a few months ago by friends of his, and so last night, Steven’s printer was name – BlackJack


Matthew started working on his robot swarm, collecting a vibrating motor from an old cellphone…
Keeping his work space very tidy!


Marius brought along local resident, Franken Printer and showed off some of the toys he has printed.


Mark worked on his Pi and and code. He also had a chat with Marcel about some gam development in the near future. But his main contribution to the evening was the preparation of the toaster….
Thx Mark!


Next week?

More building, tweeting, and eating!
Come join us…

Till next time, happy making!

Last Nights Meetup – 21/05/14

This week we had a new member join us. Welcome Noto.

Johan bought us a fire extinguisher which some how did not get its picture taken

Franken printer has a new personality, Marius updating its firmware to marlin.

Marcel worked hard and getting the mendel90 y carriage build. Dont be alarmed he is just cutting the bolts shorter

We bottle the Marks real ale.

First had to figure out why the pump wouldn’t work. It was a loose wire which came loose from the arduino

We had Mark and Noto doing the capping while I filled the bottles. (Below the unbottled ale in the fermenter)

Lining up the beer for the bottle-ageing process

Did a quick test with the think pink but it seemed that something was shorting and kept resetting the arduino. Will need to investigate

Marcel started to put together a fume extractor for the space.

What’s in store for the next meetup:
Marcel will be putting the x and z axis together on his 3d printer
Johan will hopefully measure up for the desks and shelving (if one of us can remember a 5m tape measure)
Pressure testing the bottle washer/sanitizer to work out what size pump we need
Draw out the bottle carousel.
Discuss more group based makerlabs projects
Till next time…

Happy Hacking!

Last Nights Meetup – 15/05/14

This weeks meeting went down well. We discussed a lot of project ideas that need to be document them so we can prioritise them.
Marcel 3d printer electronics arrived gadgets 3d. Best value for money 3d electronics kit around

Marcel started to put together his printer. the Mendel90 made from 16mm mdf.

Johan gave us a visit and help give some ideas on the cnc project. We also discussed putting in some shelving and some additional desk space

Mark finished soldering his project board. didnt manage to get it to light up so we will need to fault find next week

I worked on the bottle capper. put the frame together to see how it all fits together. will need to organise the pnematic fittings, mill out a capping tool and strengthen the frame.

tried booting up the cnc’s laptop with ubuntu but had no luck. Mark will take a look at it next week and see if he can put his ubuntu skills to work
Marcel donated a drill to space:)
What’s in store for the next meetup:
Marcel will continue with his 3d printer build.
We will be bottling Marks ale. 2 or 3 people capping beers this time will make it a painless experiencee
Johan is bringing some insulation and a fire extinguisher for the reflow oven. Hoping to finalise this
Measuring up the space for the shelving and desks.
assembling parts for the bottle sanitizer
Till next time…

Happy Hacking!

Last Nights Meetup – 07/05/14

This week we met up after voting and put in a fair share of work on some of the projects we are working on.
Matt decided to brew up a batch of Indian Pale ale

We forgot the large brewing spoon so we had to use the tiny one on the left.

Matt improvising. There was too much foam to close up the fermenter

Marcel started work on his mendel90. I brought through 90% of the parts there is just a few printed parts and some 8mm rods needed to put it together.

I wired up the new relay board to the reflow oven and gave it a test run. We’re still not getting the ideal heating times yet though.

Matt Got a awesome new shiny soldering station for his birthday. He brought it around to give it a test drive.

Matt soldered up a attiny on to a pieces of bread board and ran a blink example off it. Worked well so it will be the start of many attiny projects to come.

We gave the first Pale Ale a taste as its been ageing for a week and half. Really maturing nicely. gets better with every week that goes by.

Worked on a couple ideas for the bottling line we are building for beer.
There will be a small carousel to move the bottles between the filling and capping stations.

We will also be building a sanitizer that will take 12 bottles at a time.

What’s in store for the next meetup:
Next week the new mendel90 mechanically put together.
Put together a prototype of the beer carousel.
Assemble the beer capper.
Till next time…

Happy Hacking!