Posts Tagged ‘diy’

Solar Panel Fabrication Set Up

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All the necessary equipment to make reliable solar panels is now set up at LVL1.  This includes a custom built oven with a vacuum sealing system capable of making panels up to 15×21 inches, but no worries for bigger projects individual panels can be wired together in series or parallel and with the right framing anything is possible.  A further break down of this oven and the panel making process is coming in the future.  Along with the oven a tile saw has been set up with a 0.015″ thick diamond blade.  This saw can be used to cut scrap or non-scrap of mono or poly crystalline solar cells into usable custom sizes to fit the needs of various projects.  The only other equipment needed to make a panel is a soldering iron, which LVL1 has plenty of.  Only some materials for making solar panels will be available the rest will need to be purchased.  For more info contact Sam Ellis at srelli02@louisville.edu.

The set up:

Example of a solar panel made using the equipment followed by a table of its performance characteristics:

Isc:   0.4485 A

Voc:   16.8 V

PowerMax:  5.1 W

Imax:  0.3845 A

Vmax:  13.28 V

Fill factor:  0.6697

% Efficiency:  12.36%

 

LVL1 2012 Boneyard Hackathon Recap

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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!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1maAoSg6Fdo]

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.

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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!

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

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

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

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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!

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

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

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

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I owe a huge thanks to everyone involved. Thanks to FoodCalc Inc. (http://www.foodcalc.com) 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.

A SOPA you can get behind

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Introducing a useful SOPA- The Stop Online Productivity Avoidance box.

After having an extremely productive day on January 18th, I had a thought: What if every day were January 18th? Well, at the push of a button, now it can!

The button, switch, and display are wired to an Arduino.  The Arduino communicates with a python script running on the router, which controls a Squid3 proxy blacklist.  In SOPA mode, the whole of the internet is my oyster.  In NOPA mode, however, distracting websites like reddit, hacker news, and hackaday are blocked.  This isn’t very useful without a great deal of self control, however.  In weaker instances, nuclear mode must be employed.  Turn the key switch and press the button and all distracting sites are blocked for one hour.  The only recourse is to restart the router, but the router requires 15 minutes to restart, blocking the entirety of the web for the duration.  Overriding nuclear mode is not appealing.

All code is posted online at https://github.com/Zuph/SOPA-Box

A video demonstration and more pictures of construction lie below the break.

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Candy Launching Pumpkin

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After the popularity of Butterscotch I seem to have got a reputation for adding fire to things (even though it was FireTim that did the pyro half of Butterscotch).  So when the Mythbusters posted a link to a fire breathing pumpkin I was bombarded with questions about when I would be building one.  Not being the type to do what others expect me to do I rejected the idea of doing a pyro pumpkin outright.

 

Though I was set on not building a fire breathing pumpkin it did make me think about building other things inside of a pumpkin.   Then it hit me just two days before Halloween. I needed to build a pumpkin that would forcefully deliver candy to Trick-or-Treaters much in the same way they would deliver eggs to my house if I did not provide candy to them.  From that point on I had a mission. Throwing sleep and other responsibilities to the wind I went to the bowels of the LVL1 bone yard to hack together a candy launching pumpkin.

 

After design concessions due to time and help from fellow LVL1ers (thanks FireTim and Jon the Kilted) I was able to defend my house this year.  Although I never saw the pumpkin Mythbusters link and I am sure it is cool I considered this a spite project similar to JAC 101 Micro-Laser Cutter.  I just hope everyone enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

 

I have posted an instructable for this project to help others defend themselves next All Hallows’ Eve… but really, why wait.  Go to that instructable and start defending yourself for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas.  There is nothing like a fruitcake chucking Santa to keep those damn carolers at bay.

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