Hacker Space

Create / Destroy / Hack

Learn about the LVL 1 Makership program.
Open the door for local Louisville hackers

Holy Smokes! Hackathon for a Connected Smoke Detector



RSVP today!


Starting Tuesday, November 17, 2015 until Tuesday, November 24, you (and your friends if you want to build a team) will have an opportunity to build a wifi enabled smoke detector that will alert someone or something that smoke has been detected.

Kickoff: 8PM Tuesday, Nov 17 at LVL1

Event Wrap-up & judging: 7PM Tuesday, November 24 at LVL1

RSVP today!

Challenge Overview:

Design a working prototype of a fire/smoke detector that sends a notification of the detected smoke or fire to someone over wifi.

About the placement of the units:

No electricity is available in the final location that the prototype will reside.  Please use battery packs, solar panels, etc. to provide power to the units.  It may also be a good idea to communicate that the battery pack or power source needs to be replaced.



Best overall prototype: $500

Longest lasting: $250

Best aesthetic prototype: $200

Lowest cost per unit (estimated): $200



Three representatives from the fire safety and emergency management industry will judge the best prototypes.

RSVP today!


Q: Does my prototype have to work during the final presentations/demonstrations?

A: No, but your prototype must be demonstrated to work prior to the event by a Holy Smokes! representative


Q: I need supplies that aren’t available at LVL1, how do I get them?

A: Please fill out this form to request items; please allow enough lead time to order & deliver the items.  Locally sourced items can be reimbursed.


Q: Do I get to keep the prototype?

A: Metro Louisville Government would like to test the prototypes


Q: Can I commercialize the prototype?

A: Yes, but Louisville Metro Government will be given a perpetual license of the prototype to use only in Jefferson County, KY.

Q: What do you mean by notification?

A: You can send an email, text, change something on a website as notification — whatever is easier.

Q: What are the Wifi requirements?

A: Use whatever wifi you want, Linksys router, just make sure it connects.  LVL1 will have a wifi network available to you for testing.

Q: Do I have to be present to win?

A: No, but at some time during the week long challenge you must show your working prototype to a Holy Smokes! representative of its working condition.  The judging will happen on Tuesday, November 24 at 7PM and we encourage every entrant to attend to interact with the judges.

Q: Will you provide food?

A: Yes, we will have food delivered to LVL1 throughout the week to keep you energized!


LVL1 will make various supplies like Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, sensors, wires, battery packs, solar panels, and other items available to use.  We request that you these items are returned to LVL1 so we can host additional challenges!

If you need additional supplies, please fill this out request and allow additional time for delivery.

RSVP today!

Join us for a free Thanksgiving Dinner


Once again LVL1 is hosting a free Thanksgiving Dinner at our space for anyone who wishes to attend.  It will be at our space on the 26th and will start around 2 with a plan for dinner around 3 or 4 and general activities and food the entire time (plenty of snacking and desserts before and after).

We recognize that there are those in our community that may not have family nearby, may not have the economic or other means to celebrate, or who may feel like spending their time with fellow nerds in their “adopted” family here at LVL1.

We’d like to encourage you to reach out to *anyone* you know who might like the opportunity to attend; they don’t have to have ever been to LVL1 before or anything (perhaps students who can’t go home or older folks who can’t see family for some reason).  The more the merrier; you don’t need a reason or excuse — just show up!
Want to avoid that Racist Uncle or Awkward Aunt?  We’re a registered 501c3; tell your family you’re selflessly volunteering at a charity dinner and you’ve got a great reason to skip the unpleasantness (just be sure to do a couple of the dishes or sweep up or something).
If you’d like to help out please join the discussion on our mailing list.
Donations are accepted but we’re aiming more for side-dishes and desserts more than cash.  Let us know if you need a tax-reciept.

Arduino 101 Workshop – Nov 7, 12PM – 4PM


Learn the basics of Arduino and how to leverage this embedded platform for your next electronics project. We’ll cover how to control LEDs, motors, and communicate with a variety of sensors using the Arduino IDE. We’ll also cover general electronics topics including voltage and current and basic components like resistors and capacitors. We’ll provide the Arduino and other electrical components, but you cannot take them home with you. If you want a set, I’ll make recommendations at the workshop.

Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/arduino-101-workshop-tickets-18895685504

What you need to do before the workshop:

1. Load your laptop with the latest Arduino IDE installed (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software) and bring it with you\

2. Brush up on C or other programming languages, just enough to be familiar with the big ideas (e.g. variables, loops, if-statements).

3. Get excited, you’re about to learn some really awesome stuff :)

THIS WEEKEND — The Stupid Hackathon!


That’s right, folks!

It’s only days until the Midwest Regional Stupid Sh!t No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon!  

Where:  LVL1 Hackerspace (duh)

When:  Oct. 10-11 (12 pm Saturday to 3pm the following day)

Who:  EVERY ADULT (with a sense of humor)

What:  A hackathon that aims to cleverly solve problems that DON’T exist.

Why:  Because everybody else is taking this stuff WAY too seriously, and it’s time we did something about it.  Something ridiculous.  And fun.

No cost is involved (except maybe your pride).

And for those “useful” people who are unable to think of problems that no one has (like your shoes being too comfortable, for instance), we will have a variety that you can choose front on site that are personally verified stupid by our “resident experts.”

Special awards will also be given out!  They continue to be in development, and more submissions are welcome.

Here is the current list:

“The Disappointment Machine” — for the worst/best failed 3-D print — award: exclusive failed print “art”

“Accidentally Useful” — for the creation that turns out to solve an ACTUAL problem — award: project will be lovingly left as a foundling on the doorstep of FirstBuild, where it can, perhaps, be taken seriously one day

Check out our wiki page (http://goo.gl/mig19z) for more updates as we plummet headlong into this farce of epic proportions…  and see you Saturday!