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!

Last Nights Meetup – 30/04/14

This week was a bit of a lean meetup as a few of the projects have hit a spot of testing and debugging. So i’ve thrown in on our bottling experience from last Saturday during the braai.
Matt received his fpv head gear on Wednesday. He got it all wired up and transmitting. Looked pretty sick.
I removed the temp sensor from the reflow oven as we were getting some bad readings.
Once removed it worked perfectly so we will need to figure out what’s causing the problem when mounted in the oven.
Replaced the relay with one that works with 5v so I no longer need to move it around with a 12v bench power supply.
Lee came around for a chat. showed some cubie boards off. didnt have a screen for him to demo what he’s been working on
I turned beers we had bottled the week before to suspend the the priming sugar particles.
Marcel hacked away at get linuxcnc to connect to the cnc electronics. It seems that the usb port on the controller board is just for show and we will need to connect to it via the parallel port/
Marks nearly finished up soldering his kit board and should light it up next week.
Matt generously donated a pack of hot dogs and some rolls for the evening. more than enough to go around leaving a couple for Einstein to munch.
Bottling of the beer:
Saturday marked the first bottling of the beer. It was really successful and we managed to get 50 clear bottles of beer out of the fermenter.
We kicked the day off by sanitizing 25L of water to sanitize the bottles and caps that will be used for the day.
Matt prepared the peristaltic pump by sterilising the pipe and running a few test fills with the sanitized water.
We then started sanitizing bottles, emptying them and adding priming sugar.

Filling them to 400ml and lining them up on the table ready for capping

The siphon tube place in just deep enough to not suck up the sediment that’s settled at the bottom of the bucket.

We then capped each one with a sterilized cap using the 2 handed capper which can be quite finicky.

Once I had then all capped cleaned up and put them aside to to start their final step before they can be drank, carbonation.

What’s in store for the next meetup:

Working on a pneumatic bottle capper to save time on capping all those bottles.

Reflow oven tests

Marcel will be starting his 3d printer build.

See if we can connect linuxcnc to a pc that has a parallel port.

Till next time…

Happy Hacking!

Last Nights Meetup – 23/04/14

This weeks meetup was pretty productive when looking back at it.
I arrived to a pretty squeaky clean cave. Matt brought his vacuum cleaner and some cleaning products and got the place looking top notch.
A few boxes where moved out of the way to make more room and the desks extended to add extra table space.
Sadly some miscommunication led to the bottling of the american pale ale to Saturday due to lack of sanitizer.
Matt brought some of his home brewed beer. It was a smooth tasting pale corona like beer.

We finally got a consensus on the new name for the space and should announce it in the coming weeks.
We discussed a tool fund. We this will be made possible by making toasted sandwiches instead of ordering pizza every week.
This will reduce the need for members to truck their kit in and out of the space each week.
Marius remembered his printer this week and printed a impressive translucent bottle opener

Mark powered ahead with his soldering on his kit board.

Marcel finished wiring up the electronics for the cnc. We will fire up linuxcnc next week with the electronics connected and see if everything is operational

Matt started on modifications to lighten his quadcopter frame and get it ready for when his fpv goggles arrive from the states.

What’s in store for the next meetup:

We planned out new workspace that will be built up in the coming weeks

Linuxcnc running on a machine and talking to the cnc control board

Connecting up some end stops and a emergency stop button to cnc

Some AVR programming.

More testing on the reflow oven build.

Toasted Sandwiches.

Some board designing

Till next time…

Happy Hacking!

Last Nights Meetup – 16/04/14

So the Easter weekend kind of ran away with this post but its finally here.
I arrived to find the lights off and the rest of the guys trying to prank me. It can be seen at 1:11 in the time lapse video Marcel put together of the meetup.
I brought the missing piece of the cnc frame which Marcel has been putting together

He continued with the wiring and we discussed some of the next steps on what track or rods we would use for the x,y,z axis

Here Mark and Marius get serious, deciding what to get for dinner…

Matt pop riveted a new top and temp sensor holder on the reflow oven

We wired up a relay board to the oven and gave it a test. it all fired up as it should and now we will just need to tweak software side

Mark started brewing his first batch of ale.

Mark started soldered a kit board he had bought awhile back

I rewired my mendel90 after upgrading the x carriage with updated parts. x-carriage runs a lot smoother now. next ill look at putting a optical endstop on the z axis

Marius forgetting his printer, picked a lock instead.

Tasted the current batch of beer. Really coming together and will be ready to be bottled at the next meetup. Looking very clear as well

What’s in store for the next meetup:

Bottling the american pale ale which will then be stored for another month before we start dishing it out.

Finalizing our list of names that we will have a vote on.

Running more tests on the reflow oven.

Time permitting working on a fun mini arduino project.

Till next time…

Happy Hacking!



Meetup – 9 April 2014

So this week we spent most of the meeting reorganising the space to make it easier to move around and prevent people tripping over cables

This included throwing away quite a bit of unused items that was taking up quite a bit of the space
I had a spare carpet that I brought down to the space making it feel a little more friendly.
We also setup a makeshift basin with a water drum so we could wash cups etc.
cleaned up the board and wrote up a wish list of tools and items we want to add to the space
Marcel started putting together the frame for the cnc. We are just missing part of the base so that will be added next week.The motors were wired up and hopefully be able to control the electronics in the next coming weeks so they ready for the frame

matt rewired the toaster oven to bypass the built in temp sensor and timer so we could test the control unit without the oven doing its own thing

I had a bright spark idea to try insulate the oven with a space blanket as I had seen others online doing. I tested a piece of it in my oven at home and it survived the heat.
We covered the inside of the oven with the blanket and fired it, it worked till about 110C when things started to go pear shape as we noticed white spoke coming out of the joints.

We quickly shut it down and had to fan out the room, luckily we didnt need to use the non existent fire extinguisher (I think we need a fire extinguisher on the wish list.

Mark spent the night fighting with MWeb over his server that wouldn’t boot up and thus didn’t brew the new batch of beer this week.
We had a tasted of the beer and you can definitely taste the flavours coming together this week 2 weeks to go till we ready to bottle it.
Whats on the agenda next week?
Matts cutting an aluminium plate for the top of the oven so we can protect the insulation from touching the element.
We will also fabricate a temp sensor holder that will have the temp sensor mounted close to where the boards will be lying in the oven.
Ill be bringing the missing part of the cnc frame and working more on the reflow oven controller.
Mark will be brewing his first batch of beer (Work permitting)
We will be discussing the manifesto in greater detail and hopefully vote on the spaces new name.
Till next week…
Happy Hacking