Monday Roundup

Another week has come to an end. Or, it ended yesterday. But who’s counting?

The space had extended opening hours thanks to mikael popping by around 8-16 most of the week. There was more welding practice done, and MMN-o is working on computer workstations in the lab. We’ve also started on a little collaborative project that will get a blog post when it’s done.

Sunday Roundup 8

Late update this time due to sickness.

We had a productive meeting on Thursday about how we can secure better financing and larger premises, which we’ll have to act toward in the coming weeks. It turns out we’re not the only ones in town with aspirations for an open workshop of sorts.

Small progress on recluster: Mikael concluded that his simple aluminium profile + hook solution should work well for hanging up motherboards.

More things were moved into the electronics lab, including lots of power supplies+cables, larger capacitors, transformers and a rather large 24 V motor.

Finally, some more welding practice was done (by me).

Vi söker ny lokal

Detta är ett officiellt “hej, vi är på jakt efter en större lokal”-inlägg. Om du som läser detta känner till en ledig industri-aktig lokal i Umeå som inte ligger allt för avsides, hör gärna av dig till oss via mail: info [snabel-a] umeahackerspace [punkt] se, eller IRC: #uhck @ irc.hethane.se

Mer exakt är vi ute efter en lokal som har gott om plats för trä- och metall-mek, plats att upprätta arbetsstationer för datorer och elektronik samt bra bussförbindelser. Bonuspoäng om det finns kök och mötesrum :-)

Sunday Roundup 7

Yet another week has passed. This week we’ve gotten some welding practice done by joining random bits of metal together into a little collective piece.

Welding practice creation

Behold our metal creation!

The space was open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with fairly good attendance. Among the visitors were a delegation from Hikikomori Umeå with a few potential new members :-)

We’re also in the process of modifying the kitchen. The plan so far includes moving the stove fan up a bit, building a spice rack and moving one of the tables from the workshop to serve as a sort of counter. The broken refrigerator will be torn out and the empty space turned into a cupboard.

Finally I did a quick pass on the welding corner in the workshop, !putting away metal scrap and raising the issue of what to do with the variable transformers that are taking up quite a bit of space. The plan is to have them semi-attached to the wall, but possible to take elsewhere if there’s a need.

That’s all for now. Next update next Sunday!

Sunday Roundup 6

Not much has happened in the space itself this week – we’ve mostly been “playing outside”. A few of us were at Tvspelsjam, playing games and proselytizing a new game developer förening that Mika is setting up. Others were at Gräv 2014, informing and helping journalists with data security stuff so they can better protect their sources (as mandated by the Swedish grundlag).

We have been appreciating the new fridge which is considerably larger than the old one, allowing us to have ingredients around for impromptu meals.

Umeå Hackerspace @ Gräv2014

Jag (pettter) och MMN-o besöker i skrivande stund Föreningen Grävande Journalisters årliga seminarium Gräv. Gårdagens begivelser bestod i en gemensam föreläsning tillsammans med Sus Andersson (tack!), där vi pratade om källskydd och allmän datasäkerhet för journalister. Bland annat demonstrerades hur lätt fysisk access till en dator kan översättas till total kontroll, och att TLS-säkrade uppkopplingar inte nödvändigtvis är säkra.

Under dagen kommer vi att fortsätta finnas i lokalen Oden, och hjälpa journalister och andra att förstå och använda kryptering. Om du är på Gräv: Välkommen!

Sunday Roundup 5

Sunday roundup on a Monday, breaking my posting-on-the-proper-day streak (noo!)

First up recluster: lectus soldered a copper manifold for distributing water for cooling. The water cooling is important because server fans make too much noise for the cluster rack to be able to sit in a place where people actually work on stuff.

The chemical fridge has been moved from the kitchen to the lab – a huge win for food safety!

A crossed over "dangerous chemical" skull-and-crossbones warning symbol

Less skulls and crossbones, more food safety!

In groups-of-people-sharing-the-space news Ung Pirat Norra had a few pre-meetings for their pre-election-year congress. Lots of fika was had.

The open sign/space status widget in the sidebar was broken and has been removed, meaning visitors currently have to drop by on IRC or look at the physical sign to see its state. The plan is to code a better  widget that displays the state properly, and a simple web service that can be used to GET the same information.

Finally I did some random acts of knolling in the lab. Always Be Knolling!

Sunday Roundup 4

More Sunday, more roundup.

Work on Recluster is moving along, with various pipe parts having arrived this week. I took a stab at fixing the broken bench power supply. There was an obvious problem with a blown capacitor, but sadly just replacing it wasn’t enough to fix the broken channel. I probed a few other suspect parts covered in brown gunk, but nothing stuck out and spending much more time on it is unlikely to be worth it for such a cheap supply.

HP 3330B

In hardware news, we received a donation from Ådén Electronics in the form of an HP 3330B automatic synthesizer! It should be useful for anyone needing a programmable frequency source, compared to the inexact analog signal generator we’ve had so far.

Sunday Roundup 3

New Sunday, new roundup.

The biggest news this week is that Academic Computer Club (ACC) donated some of their old servers for the recluster project. This is around 20 machines and a few disk servers in total. Pictures:

1U rack servers and random motherboards

1U rack servers donated by ACC and a few random motherboards donated by random people

Current state of the cluster rack

Current state of the cluster rack, with jury-rigged water cooling and battery power. Very temporary.

Up2Eleven topbar

The other major piece of news is that one of local cover band Up2Eleven‘s loudspeakers were broken and we offered to help debug and fix it (site down at the moment).

The process itself wasn’t too complicated. After some testing with music and a signal generator we determined that the problem was the middle driver’s diaphragm assembly. After ordering and installing a replacement assembly the speaker worked well again!

Speaker, mixer and amplifier

Speaker, mixer and amplifier

Replacement assembly (left) and broken driver (right)

Replacement assembly (left) and broken driver (right). Repairing simply involved moving the magnet to the new assembly.

Action shot

Action shot. “Work damn you!”

That’s all for this week. Tune in next Sunday for the next instalment!

Sunday Roundup 2

New week, new roundup.

Most of the activity this week revolved around recluster, mikael’s low-cost cluster experiment. It seems powering it from a 12 V lead-acid battery works fine, as does the jury-rigged water cooling. Still plenty more to do on that front though.

Some more tools have been put up on the tool board in the workshop, which should help keep that place more tidy. We still need to fix a bunch of things in there, like getting rid of the TV bench and the mostly unused wardrobe.

We’ve also gotten a couple of new members. Welcome!

Sunday Roundup

This is the first post in a series of posts I plan on writing on Sundays documenting various goings-on in our space.

This week we were open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday,  Thursday and Sunday, and I’d say average turnout was around six per day. We got a new, sturdier workbench for the electronics lab. I fixed up the old table by putting some white primer on it to make it nicer-looking – the hope is that the white helps keep clutter away. More things to do include mounting a florescent worklight, getting an assortment of lab cable, more component drawers and so on.

We’ve also realized we need new computers to turn into workstations, so if anyone has any to spare then this is a public call for donations. One of our members is also interested in building a low-cost cluster, so even just motherboards with working CPUs and RAM are of interest.

Time for some pictures from the inside. This is the current state of the electronics lab:

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Closeup showing the new Rigol DS1052E scope and some older analog tools:

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3D-printer corner:

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Bonus shot of the workshop, which is in need of some tidying:

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Today is The Day We Fight Back

We’ve suddenly collectively remembered that today is The Day We Fight Back, a global anti-surveillance protest event organized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) among others. Umeå Hackerspace will be sending a delegation to the local charter of this protest. Sadly we’ve heard it’s being organized via the greatest panopticon of them all (facebook), but one step at a time I suppose.

Remember Aaron Swartz

uhck me plz