Smartphone-ography, €30, September 20 from 10am-4pm:
The first workshop by Mark Grealish will dive into quick-draw photography: The rules of how to compose a photographic scene, mindfulness in taking a picture, awareness of your surroundings, and how to quickly draw, snap, and put away. We will also cover workflows for getting the best finish out of an image on mobile devices and archiving images.
Soldering, €50, September 27 from 10am-6pm:
All of the software services that you enjoy in the real world-the applications on your smartphone, your tablet and favourite websites-begin at the bare metal circuit board. Come along and learn from Alanna Kelly how circuits work, how to solder your own kit, and repair electronics.
A few of our members recently made a buswalkingbus walking trip out to Maplin Electronics here in Galway to source some electronics. A few months ago I purchased a Velleman solder-it-yourself clapper kit, which I subsequently plugged into an Arduino and had some fun with. After picking up some resistors, piezos and other bits n’ bobs, I took another look at the solder-it-yourself section for some inspiration. I came across something which tickled my hackery-fancy, an “IR Light Barrier”, again from Velleman.
The basic principle is the following: Two PCBs, one with the sole purpose of illuminating two IR LEDs, the other having a photo transistor and a fairly large buzzer. Place the two boards across from each other, break the IR “beam” between the IR LEDs and photo transistor and the deafening buzzer starts sounding. Belated apologies to those across the road in John Mulholland.
So in a typical maker reaction, my thoughts were, “Well that sucks”. So I ripped out the buzzer, placed two wires on the PCB contacts and plugged them into my Arduino microcontroller:
What I now have is a brilliantly useful and marvellously simple security system. My next step is to hook up the Arduino code to the Twitter API and have it tweet a message every time the beam is crossed.
Joe Desbonnet is currently giving his great, fascinating talk on hacking household electronics so as to add a PC-compatible output, then taking the resulting data and mining it for valuable information. The specific foci of his talk is adapting an off-the-shelf blood pressure cuff (pictured, above) to take continuous readings at 20-60 preprogrammed minute intervals.
Two words: Fantastic turnout! We have over 20 people here tonight, including a group of new faces that I sincerely hope to see here again.
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