Making instant snow

Posted on March 1, 2018

I've seen this done a few times and thought as its a bit cold outside I'd try for myself. This is boiling water thrown in to the air which is currently -2.8 °C.  

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How to merge text in Inkscape for laser cutting (or vinyl cutting)

Posted on January 22, 2018

One thing a lot of people seem to want to do with the laser cutter at Hack Oldham is to cut out words and letters, Often people want to merge the letters together so that they form one complete shape rather than individual letters.  Below I'll explain how to do this using the free vector drawing program Inkscape. If you don't already have it you can download Inkscape here. Once you have Inkscape installed on your computer, open it up and ...

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The Internet

Posted on January 5, 2018

I've been a fan of the IT Crowd since it first came out, while primarily a comedy many of the ideas it portrayed I had experienced in my life working in IT, So when they showed the internet as being a small black box, I of course decided I needed to make my own. At the time it was just a black box with a blinking LED but when Google released their AIY Kit I decided it was time to upgrade mine and make it more functional.

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Smart Lantern

Posted on December 10, 2017

When we moved into the house there was a rather dated lantern in the porch which you turned on and off from within the house... so about as useful as a chocolate teapot. I decided to put a smart bulb in it to make it a bit more useful, however when I put my bulb of choice a  TP-Link LB110 Smart LED Bulb I discovered by the time you had included the screw in to bayonet adaptor the shade would no longer fit. So off I popped to B&Q to ...

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CheerLights cinema message board

Posted on August 27, 2017

I've had the idea of doing something with CheerLights for quite some time and finally came up with a project to make use of it. For those who don't know CheerLights is an IoT project that synchronises the colour of lights connected to the internet by monitoring twitter for given pre-defined phrases. Simply put if you were to tweet "@cheerlights blue" every light connected to the internet worldwide would turn blue. So back to my build ...

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Tabletop Robot Arena

Posted on August 23, 2017

I've recently been working with Rochdale Youth service delivering a number of workshops where young people have been building Raspberry Pi powered robots using the CamJam 3 Edukit. At the end of the project we plan to have a sumo competition which means we needed a ring of some sort. We've mentioned this a few times at Hack Oldham so I thought it would be worth pushing the boat out. I started looking at various option for cutting large ...

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Installing VirtualBox

Posted on July 7, 2017

VirtualBox is a peice of software that allows you to create virtual computers within your own real computer, this is useful if for example you want to run Windows software on a Mac, or in our case to create a virtual Raspberry Pi. To get started you need to download Virtual box from Oracles website, you'll find packages for windows, Mac, and Linux here. Once downloaded start the installation and work through the steps below. ...

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NASA Space Spanner

Posted on September 2, 2016

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What is a maker?

Posted on June 6, 2016

The other day a random twitter conversation by biglesp, who for quite some time before I met him in meatspace believed was called Big Lesp, got me thinking about what is a maker. You see we came to the conclusion that the closest thing we have to a job title is Maker, but what is a maker? It sounds like we make things, but in my own personal sense of the word its far more wide ...

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