Mark your calendars, the Omaha Maker Group’s 3rd anniversary (birthday?) get-together is Tuesday, August 20th. As usual, doors open by 6pm. There’ll be food and beverages and even some awards.
Members of OMG recently attended Maker Faire Kansas City. While hopeful that we’d be able to race our latest project “Barbie”–a souped-up power wheel–in the Power Racing Series, several set-backs caused us to withdraw from the event. Team OMGFTW (Omaha Maker Group for the win) may have been knocked out this time around, but we’ve already begun working out Barbie’s kinks, which means one thing–we’re already ahead of the game! Though we didn’t get to race, the Omaha World Herald wrote an article about the trials and tribulations of taking Barbie from a mere girly power wheel toy to a lean mean winning machine. We’re just a group of Racer tech wizards who drive a Barbie, but rely on a cowboy.
If you haven’t heard via the mailing list and meetings, OMG has moved! Our new address is 8410 K St. #5.
Come check it out!
Tonight’s meeting was a great success, thanks in large part to Tom’s Balloon Animals presentation/workshop. Members and visitors were shown, and then guided through making a variety of plants, animals, and inanimate objects.
Additionally, we had a number of visitors, and worked on projects including a Peltier-cooler proof of concept and a grinder stand. We also dusted off an old Teletype, in preparation for it’s impending Twitterification.
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.
Recent photos from our flickr stream.
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 email@example.com.