Archive for the ‘hackathon’ Category

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!

LVL1 / GE Hackathon Recap



This past weekend a big group from the LVL1 community and GE Appliances engineers teamed up for an appliance hackathon at WaterStep.

Everyone had a great time tearing up appliances and bending them to our will. LVL1 team LineCook brought home the gold for “Best User Experience” for our UPC / QR-code reading, auto-temperature profiling Knight Riderish oven. FOR THE GLORY OF LVL1! Best of all, we got to keep the oven! Hopefully we’ll get some 240V run soon at the space to hook it up. The next step will be adding a KITT soundboard :-).

Thanks to GE and Waterstep for hosting this event! Insider Louisville provided a great write-up of the event if you want more details.

LVL1 2012 Boneyard Hackathon Recap


A big personal thanks to everyone who came out to the 2012 LVL1 Boneyard Hackathon.  We had 9 teams consisting of 54 hackers compete for 24 hours straight, putting to the test their technical capabilities, endurance, and creativity.  We had 9 great projects, and everyone had a lot of fun!  Our youngest competitors were only 11 years old! Everyone here already looks forward to the next event.

Thanks to Jon for recording a summary of the projects at the hackathon.  I’ll upload a full video of the project showcase soon!


Team Bloominglabs made an incredible 3 musical instruments, a mixer for them all, and a bunch of LED blinky stuff! They brought 9 hackers to bring this all together, and were a flurry of activity throughout the hackathon.


The Raging Narwhals, a team from the Triangle Fraternity at LVL1, made a floppy drive keyboard. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite working by the end, but it was an impressive effort, and they plan to come back to finish it up. They brought a huge team, and almost all of them stayed through the night!


The LVL1 Stonecutters managed to make a 3-D Scanner and Animated Gif Maker using the parts in the boneyard!


Team Rainbow Unicorn built a first place trophy, so even if they failed, they would win.


The Dirty Cheaters put together an incredibly impressive Rock ’em, Sock ’em robots kit, which included rack and pinion steering, and no microcontrollers.


Destined for Failure built a looping synthesizer controlled by a PS2 mouse. Very impressive, especially consdiering this was the group’s first foray into Arduino progrmaming!


Team Polar Bear build a laser pong game, complete with scorekeeping, 8 bit sound effects, and varying difficulty levels. Superb engineering, guys!


The Noobs were our youngest team, and they put together a custom computer using parts from the basement, including custom LED signs.


Finally, Bob the Bodybuilder built a very loud keypad controlled synthesizer. They even devised a means to convert sheet music to keypad tablature.


I owe a huge thanks to everyone involved. Thanks to FoodCalc Inc. ( for supplying libation for the event. Thanks to Joe L. for helping out throughout the event. Thanks to Gary F. for being a trooper, staying way later than he meant to, and helping out almost every team here. Thanks to Jose C. for taking way more crap than he deserved. Thanks to Lauren, Jynn, and Steph for acting as team breakfast, and keeping us all from starving.

Plenty more photos on the flickr stream. Peruse through, and if this interest you, come to our space! Links above and to the right will help you find us.

LVL1 Hackerspace
1205 E. Washington St.
Louisville, KY 40206