If I hadn’t seen this myself, I don’t know that I’d believe it. Last night, we set out to test this Popsci article, and it seems to hold up.
We had 2 locks donated, a generic U-Lock, and a pretty beefy looking keyed padlock. The U-Lock’s steel turned out to be a bit too soft, and just bent a bunch, but the shackle on the padlock failed relatively quickly.
All said, we used 2 cans of air, but quite a bit of that was spent on the first lock. Both the body of the lock and the shackle sustained quite a bit of damage, though the damage to the body was mostly cosmetic and probably not “breaching”.
If I were to try it again, 2 things: 1. Strike the shackle directly, with a chisel or something, instead of the hammer face. 2. More lighting. The high-speed video was too dark to really show anything interesting. I keep forgetting how much light that thing takes..
A while back, we decided that we needed a 24v power source for various “testing” applications. This source needed to be durable enough for daily use by a wide variety of people without becoming damaged. It also needed to protect the device being powered, and be easy to maintain.
Given that tall list, Ben suggested a HobbyKing LiPo pack, 6S, 5Ah. With that start, we decided that it should have volt and amp meters for monitoring, as well as a circuit breaker to provide positive power disconnect, and protect the battery (easily capable of 150A into a dead short).Meters were ordered from Ebay and the breaker was something out of an old UPS.
The blue enclosure is a waterproof storage box from Walmart, modified to pass through various connectors. It’s not waterproof at this point, but we’re more after the durability of the polycarbonate than the waterproof aspect anyhow.
Internally, there’s quite a bit going on. The battery is packed into a foamed-off area, while the other side contains the electronics, including the circuit breaker,ammeter shunt and all the connectors.
Charging is accomplished via a modified ATX connector (which re-presents the balance plug and main power leads), with a fuse to protect against abuse. The idea is that it’s virtually impossible to charge the battery improperly, or to break a relatively fragile balance connector.
Overall, it was a pretty straight-forward build, and cost around $90, including the battery and all the connectors.
Just a reminder, the Omaha Maker Group’s regular meeting on Tuesday, September 4th is an Omaha Creative Week Spark Event. We have several presentations on the docket, including a summary of the Omaha Maker Group (and Making as a whole), as well as a hands-on presentation on manipulating your car’s onboard computer for diagnostics and customization.
Hope to see everyone there! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the recent OMGWTFBBQ festivities9, a contest was held, pitting the forces of gravity against the weight of cold hard cash (pennies, to be specific). The goal of the contest was to use soda straws to support as much currency as possible in as high of a position as possible, thus racking up the most “inch-cents” of score.
As it turns out, we ended up going to “foot-dollars” and using weights that weren’t exactly copper, given the engineering of some of the entries. Check out the results below.
Would you like to learn about lock picking? Come to our meeting Tuesday July 10th @ 7pm.
The meeting will feature a talk from a member of Toool.us (The Open Organization of Lockpickers), Steve Beck.
Steve will cover three topics, two of which are a little more hands on-ish, the first will be a basic lockpicking talk, the second will be a re-keying talk with a demo and the third will be about making your own picks with a demo.
Stick around after the talk for socializing and Makery Shenanigans.
RedBull Creation challenge entry. It’s a brain-wave game. The players stand on opposite sides with wireless headsets that measure brain waves. One of them presses the big red button on the back, and then as they focus the power of their minds, the arm responds to their brain wave readings, and moves back and forth according to who is focusing best. After 10 seconds the Bullduino (visible at the front in the window) checks whether the pointer is in one of the green scoring zones. If it is still in the yellow zone, it’s a tie and it just returns to center. If it is in one of the green zones the player on that side is the loser, and the ball sprays that player.
This past weekend, Dave and Eric and I met up with quite a few Omaha Maker Group members at the KC Maker Faire, and had a blast. We were initially going to have a booth to show off the awesome projects from around the Makery, but had far more people who wanted to go See the Faire instead of Work At the Faire. Somehow, this change was miscommunicated to the Powers that Be, and we ended up with a booth and sign anyhow (notably unmanned).
We definitely got to see some neat stuff, including one of those optical-resin based 3D printers. ArcAttack was pretty awesome as well, if amazingly loud.
Beyond that, it was an excellent a venue to share ideas… Looking through my pictures, I think Eric and I had identified at least 3 or 4 projects we want to try, and dozens of smaller ideas. I saw a few 3d printer innovations, a “bubble printer” (by ArchReactor), a portable whiteboard cart (For the Makery, at Hammerspace); We also a “waterflow table” (aka a Sluice Box) at Science City, where it pumps water down a trough, and you insert dividers to change the flow paths. It seems pretty trivial, but would be one of those “fun to mess with” sorts of things.
I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t more merchandise (specifically Arduino kits and whatnot), although I’m not sure that this was a bad thing, in retrospect.
Overall? Probably one of the more amazing Making experiences I’ve had. I got to see neat things, talk to interesting people and generally have a good time with friends, old and new.
I’ll be back next year, and would seriously consider making the trek to one of the larger Faires on the coasts.
Somewhere, deep in the capital city of Nebraska, is a building. This building is full of smoke, full of mirrors. Inside, birds take flight, machinists grind away in a vast darkened wonderland, and countless scavenged items from around the countryside rest in hulking, sometimes dilapidated heaps, thrown into rows awaiting re-discovery and thrifty sale.
Need to romp in an old grain silo turned on its side? Do you want a 50s era dental xray machine for arcane experiments? Wait, is that a VW Thing? There’s an old jumbo-tron! Think of the possibilities. And oooh look! Fiberglass light fixtures the size of your mom! We could turn these into Death Star replicas! That’s a rather large magnifying glass over there and, ah… wait. Who really needs an Applebee’s sign?
That’s not really the point, people. Stop looking at that sign. This, friends, is the home of something much more special something you might need way more than an Applebee’s sign. The hackers and makers of Lincoln, NE lurk these grounds. They are Lincoln Makerspace, and select members of OMG had the pleasure of meeting them this past week.
This fine group of enterprising guys work out of an old window factory. They currently spend most of their time in a small office space on the second floor, where you can find various works of art, Maker style. There’s an automatic drawing machine, kinetic sculptures, a record player with an ember on top that creates a flaming vortex when lit, and a dapper CNC milled likeness of Einstein, to name a few things that decorate the space.
Beyond that, the picture gets more dirty, more crazy, more awesome. Their small office space is part of a huge building that has pretty much everything a maker would need to have an A team style warmachine creative fit. Professional machine shops aside, the old window factory and Lincoln Makerspace have a 20x10ft CNC to call their very own (incidentally, this is where Einstein came from). That would be impressive enough, were it not for this:
Gosh, what’s that? It looks like a 10ft tall robot arm, fully armed and operational. But what is it for? What…does it do?
Group member interests, when not flinging people around in racing chairs, include bioinformatics, physics, free energy, engines, robots, and art. So far Lincoln Makerspace is a small group, but they pack a big punch and have a very high cool projects to member ratio.
Omaha Maker Group is impressed. If you’d like to get to know the Lincoln Makerspace, you can reach them here. We look forward to working with this great group of guys in the future!