Twitter: lvl1hackerspace

Seeking Instructors and study group leaders

LVL1 is currently seeking instructors and study group leaders for curriculum that would interest the Louisville community.  During the last 3 months of this year, we hope to have a mixture of Classes, Workshops, and Study Groups.  Here are the differences between the 3:

  • Study Group – A free online class from some outstanding universities that are self paced with a video/online instruction.  These are free to the public and will be absolutely free at the space.
  • Workshop – A one night (sometimes two) information session on a topic or an activity.  These normally cost between $10 to $50 depending on the workshop. Price should include any supplies required.
  • Classes – 6 to 8 sessions of 2-3 hours each over a 6 to 8 week period covering a topic in depth which includes course goals and hands on experience.  Target cost is $100 per student, most of which goes to the instructor as compensation.


  For more information, keep reading.
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Get your Game On

Come on down to the space Saturday, September 8th at 8pm and we’ll be talking about gaming, PC style mostly. Bring your rig if you got one, as we will be doing a LAN party with the game Team Fortress 2, which is now free for download. Please install it before you show up as it will take forever to download at the space. GO to to download it.   Never played it before?  No problem, come on down, we will try to have a few extra consoles available.  Click more to see what all we’ll be doing.
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A Makership for U of L Engineering Students


Hackerspaces are starting to change engineering education. Let’s put two University of Louisville Co-op interns in the LVL1 hackerspace! We are exploring how to get students working on hands-on projects sooner in the engineering curriculum.

Check out what our summer Co-ops have been up to!

As a Co-op at LVL1, you can contribute to an ongoing project or even launch your own project. You must be a Speed School student seeking a Fall 2012 Co-op to apply for this program. The deadline is September 4, 2012.

If you’re seeking a Co-op position in Spring 2013 or  Summer 2013, stay tuned! There will be another application session for each of those semesters.


Introducing: Arduino Simple Task Scheduler

Cross-posted from my personal blog:

Get the code here:

Introducing the Arduino Simple Task Scheduler.  This is part of the balloon flight computer code I wrote for White Star, with some more polish. This library allows you to create a schedule queue of functions to be executed at specified times, on specified intervals.  For example, say you’re trying to log some sensor data and update a display in the same program. With the task scheduler, you can simply write a function to gather sensor data, write a function to update the display, add them to your queue, and let the library handle the rest.

This isn’t really useful for blinking LEDs, but it’s great for complex systems. For example, the balloon computer was gathering sensor data, sending short reports, sending long reports, monitoring vertical speed, monitoring GPS Status, monitoring flight state, managing ballast, and managing a backup high-frequency radio at the same time.  Halfway through development, it was obvious that we would need to integrate a watchdog timer to keep other systems from freezing the flight computer.  If all of these tasks had been occurring simultaneously, spread throughout spaghetti code, it would have been very difficult to add watchdog resets in all the right places.  With the task queue, I simply defined another function that reset the watchdog, and put it in the queue.  Two minutes, tops!

You can find extensive documentation and examples in the Github project.  To install, just copy the “Arduino” directory contents to the “Libraries” folder of your Arduino IDE install.  Restart your IDE, and it should pop right up.  Here’s a really simple example program:


 This will print “Hello: X” where X is the number of milliseconds since startup, starting 5 seconds after startup, and repeating every 1 second.
The Arduino library has some limitations, so I’ve also included an AVR “library” (just a couple of source files to include in your project).  This one’s a little easier to tweak to your specific application, and doesn’t suffer some of the same drawbacks as the Arduino library.  That said, the Arduino library will be find for almost every project out there!  The limitations are listed in more detail at the Github site.
If you find any bugs, let me know! Submit a Github issue, fork, fix and submit a pull request, or contact me directly!  If you find this useful, let me know!  It isn’t a lot, but I hope it’s well documented, and easy to use/read/understand.

You’ll find this hackerspace quite operational when your friends arrive…

Our sewage lines have been reconnected and our bathroom facilities are now fully operational.

Contractor crews are still at work pouring cement in our basement to repair the floor. MSD will be continuing work in the alleyway this week, pouring concrete plugs and asphalt where they dug up the alleyway.

Everything is operational, just watch for wet cement.

Meet, greet and eat with Louisville’s tech elite on June 22

The Louisville Digital Association, LVL1, GlowTouch Technologies and Insider Louisville are teaming up to help you rub elbows with the top tech influencers in the Derby City on June 22.

From the mayor’s office to maker garages, from venture capital firms to one-man bootstrap bands, from engineers to end-users to everyone in between — you’re all invited to the 1st Annual Louisville Digital Insiders Outing at Hogan’s Fountain in Cherokee Park from 6-8pm on Friday, June 22. Our organizations are putting on a full court press to get all 39 of the Insider‘s who’s who of Louisville tech present to cross-pollinate ideas and opinions; and we’re throwing in a free meal, too.

If you’re interested in any aspect of the Louisville tech scene — investment, employment, or intellectual curiosity — this is the one social occasion you don’t want to miss. There will be no pitches, no lectures and no strings attached. Just come meet your digital peers for a good, old-fashioned cookout in the heart of Louisville. The food will be excellent, and the conversation extraordinary — or your money back!

Admission is free, but seating is limited and RSVPs are required. Food and beverages will be provided by the Louisville Grind Gourmet Burger Truck. (Yes, there will be vegetarian options; just don’t be fooled by the awesome duckfat fries.) Reservations close at noon on June 20, so act now while supplies last.

It’s time to break down the walls between the various factions of the Louisville tech community. Nothing does that better than fresh air, fresh faces and freshly grilled burgers. See you at the Fountain.

Tickets are going fast – register here:

The Power Racing Series needs help.

Jynn Drives like a girl

Last year LVL1 scrapped together a Powerwheel racecar which we fondly named Steve. This year several of us are trying to get another car built that is just as awesome as Steve but also competive in the races. Building these cars takes money. For something that should be built under $500 there is a lot of extra stuff needed to make us successful like battery chargers, safety equipment, and spare batteries.  The Power Racing Series shares that same problem. Tents, tables, power for 20 teams costs a lot, track building materials and safety equipment add to that.


The Power Racing Series has launched an indiegogo campaign to raise $10,000 in funds to stay afloat for the 2012 season. We have three great races scheduled at Maker Faires around the country, but we need your support to make these races possible.

We believe in the power of sharing knowledge, tools, and tech among inspired people of all ages and abilities. The need for a fun, exciting event to present open source technology, research and development to the masses is essential! Through our innovative racing series, we make engineering entertaining and approachable.

PPPRS, the Power Racing Series, began in the Chicago hackerspace, Pumping Station: One, in July 2009. Since its inception, PPPRS has hosted races that draw spectators by the thousands at Maker Faire Detroit and Kansas City Mini-Maker Faire. The last race included over 23 cars from hackerspaces like Sector 67, CCCKC, Milwaukee Makerspace, Omni Corp Detroit and i3 Detroit.

The Power Racing Series is raising funds through June 20th to support the following necessities:

- renting a timing and scoring system for the series
- funding safety equipment for the drivers
- affording the increasing travel and lodging expenses for our racers and volunteers

Reward tiers for the indiegogo campaign include collector-card style stickers of some of the most popular vehicles and racers, two special edition t-shirts, a 2012 PPPRS yearbook and even a Power Wheel from the 2011 season as well as several levels of race and series sponsorship tiers.

The leader of this popular racing series, Pumping Station: One member Jim Burke, is a full time artist and part time balloon baron who enjoys combining the arts with technology. Jim is currently working with Electromagnate Studios on a documentary titled Remade: The Rebirth of the Maker Movement. For more information about the Power Racing Series visit the website: or donate to our indiegogo




LVL1 Boneyard Hackathon 2012

Eventbrite: (one ticket per team)

For 24 hours this June, it’s an all-out hacker brawl to see who can build the coolest thing from a big pile of junk.  Think of it as the home version of Junk Yard Wars.  There are no rules, buy a ticket for your team, show up with your friends, and compete over tools and junk for 24 hours to build something incredible.

Announcing the first annual LVL1 Boneyard Hackathon. This will be a 24 hour, adrenaline-and-caffeine fueled race to create something awesome. Form a team, and you’ll be given an Arduino and a breadboard. You’ll have to do the rest using your brain, and all the resources of LVL1, including tools, boneyard parts, and hookup wire.

What is the Boneyard? The Boneyard is LVL1’s Island of Misfit electronics. A place where the broken and downtrodden collects, and awaits a reawakening. Each and every one of you will be having a hand in the zombificiation of some electronic device. Everything from oil-filled capacitors, to surplus mil-spec electronics lies in the Boneyard, waiting for your tender soldering iron.

The boneyard receives regular infusions of fresh bones, so familiarize yourself with the layout. If you haven’t been by the space before, we always have open meetings on Tuesdays at 8pm.

The event will take place on June 2nd, starting at Noon. 24 hours later, the teams will judge each other, and a winner will be crowned! Cost will be $30 for teams, and all teams must be enrolled by May 26th. Bring extra cash for food and drink.

The vending machine will be fully stocked, and we’ll be making regular food runs, so you can focus 24 hours of effort and attention on building something awesome.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on the list, or directly, at

The prize?  Top 3 teams will win a trophy, and a years worth of bragging rights.  Do you have what it takes?  Sign up at the Eventbrite link below.  Remember: Each team needs only one ticket.


Da Rules:

Teams may not bring in their own parts.

All work must cease at Noon on June 3rd, 2012

White Star Balloon Valve Vacuum Test Video

We have been fairly quiet publicly, but many subsystems are coming to completion rapidly, including the  helium gas overflow vent valve.  Completion of anything flying on a ballon means it’s time to do some science!  Tests must be done, data must be noted, hypotheses checked.  Gary Flispart and I put together a detailed technical video explanation of the vacuum leak test system we’ve made.

ZP Balloon Vent: Testing for Leaks

Stay tuned for more updates at , we are on track to launch in the next month or two!

Dan Bowen
White Star Team Lead

How LVL1 Makes sure the trash goes out.

LVL1 Trash Night Automation

How do you make sure the trash goes outside on trash night?

Simple..   You just create your standard Artificial Intelligence system, which you then connect to an Arduino, a home security system, your google calendar, give it the ability to send email to your google group forum, and finally some quick  scripting to link members latitude gps locations and google talk communication.  Thats all there is to it!

They don’t call me “Johnny Overkill” for nothing.  Actually… they don’t call me that at all,  but I’m hoping it catches on.   Anyways, back to the trash.  Yes it may sound like overkill, but it has been quite effective the past two weeks.  Here’s a break down of the events that occur:

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Upcoming Events


814 East Broadway