A Taste of Tesla

Back in March, our mad scientist friend, Gomez, paid us a visit with his built-from-scratch Tesla coil in tow. Over the years, Gomez has built many, many Tesla coils (in addition to other crazy dangerous toys) but this one – his self-proclaimed heirloom piece – is special. He spent years building this work of art.

So we were thrilled to get just a taste of its very first dress rehearsal.

Here’s a short video of the Tesla coil in action.

 

Thanks, Gomez! That was a totally rad time.

Coming Up in June

Did I not do this for May? How come nobody told me I didn’t do this for May? Hrm. Sorry about that! Well, to make up for it, I’ve got a whopper of a June loaded with goodies for you. Will that make up for my slacker-hacker goodness? Let’s hope so cuz it’s all I got.

Our new SeeMeCNC Rostock Max 3D printer construction in progress

Our new SeeMeCNC Rostock Max 3D printer construction in progress.

June special events / classes:

Friday, 5/31 – Sunday, 6/2: Denver Comic Con! – If you are attending Con, make sure you stop by our fan table just outside the main entrance to the Con. We’ll have one of the 3D printers there and all sorts of fun stuff to look at and people to talk to about what we do.

Saturday, 6/1 – Sunday, 6/2: Open House and BBQ – If you aren’t going to Con, or even if you are but want a break from standing in line, come on up to the space and hang out both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We’ll have the grill fired up cooking meaty snacks and will have people around to answer questions and give tours.

Tuesday, 6/4: Radio Heads, 8 p.m, in the classroom - A group created to explore different aspects of software defined radio. Topics to be addressed include both the reception and transmission of RF signals, the processing of data captured from the ether, cell phone networks, and ham radio. This is a group, not a class. There is no instructor. Just a handful of similarly minded people trying to learn something at roughly the same time. If you have a pet project you think might apply to this group feel free to propose it.  RSVP on Meet Up.

Saturday, 6/8: Intro to Designing with Microcontroller ICs in the Raw w/Th3 D0n, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m, in the classroom - While many folks are getting exposed to embedded applications using Arduino and other embedded platforms, sometimes you want to start a design by selecting and using raw microcontroller chips in order to save cost, reduce device footprints, or just to learn about the microcontrollers at the lowest level. Some topics of the class will be:

- What is a microcontroller?
- Selecting a microcontroller IC
- Hooking it up to the real world (electrical and logical considerations)
- Programming microcontrollers in C

As a real example of a microcontroller project, we will refer to the schematics, circuit, and software developed for the 303/Denhac badge created for last year’s Defcon.

This will mostly be a presentation, with demonstrations using the303/Denhac Defcon badge. As such no materials are mandatory.

However bringing a laptop etc. to access the schematics, GitHub code repository, and other resources Don will show during class can be helpful. RSVP on Meet Up.

Tuesday, 6/11: Locksport, 8 p.m, in the main room – Our monthly gathering of lock enthusiasts led by the infamous Legion. Never picked a lock and afraid to try? If I can do it, you can too! RSVP on Meet Up.

Saturday, 6/15: Learn to Brew with Karpinski, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m, in the classroom -This class will be for beginners and those curious about brewing beer at home. We will be brewing a simple extract based pale ale in class while sampling some tasty homebrew, of course!

* Must be 21 to attend.  RSVP on Meet Up.

Saturday, 6/15: LPFM General Meeting, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. - In October of 2013, the FCC will open up a filing window for the first time in more than a decade to allow nonprofit organizations to apply for low-power FM licenses. Denhac intends to apply for one and we’ve already created teams to build content, manage the engineering, and handle all the administrative requirements/business aspects of running a station. This is our first of several regularly scheduled monthly meetings for everyone to get together and update each other about progress made. This meeting is open to the public and other organizations. If you want to be a part of this exciting opportunity as an individual or respresent a group who would like to collaborate with us on content, please come to this meeting and let us know who you are. No experience in radio is necessary and Denhac membership is not required. RSVP on Meet Up.

Tuesday, 6/18: Radio Heads, 8 p.m, in the classroom - A group created to explore different aspects of software defined radio. Topics to be addressed include both the reception and transmission of RF signals, the processing of data captured from the ether, cell phone networks, and ham radio. This is a group, not a class. There is no instructor. Just a handful of similarly minded people trying to learn something at roughly the same time. If you have a pet project you think might apply to this group feel free to propose it. RSVP on Meet Up.

Friday, 6/21: dc303, 7 p.m, in the classroom – The local defcon group for Denver. I dunno exactly what they do. They’re very serious. They kinda scare me. Naw, they’re good guys. Uh…I think. Mostly. Tilver’s nice in any event. So if you’re interested in Capture The Flag (CTF) type stuff, stop by. I’m fairly certain no one there has eaten a human liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. Uh…fairly certain. Please note: I may have the date wrong on this as Tilver mentioned that qualifying for Defcon 21 is June 14-16. Stay tuned.

Thursday, 6/20: David W/SFS and Denhac Present: So you want to be a puppeteer? – aka Puppet configuration management, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m, in the classroom – David Willson is back by popular demand to teach us all about Puppet configuration management. David is a systems engineer, IT teacher, and freedom zealot. The SFS is a school he’s building with his friends. SFS probably stands for Software Freedom School.  RSVP on Meet Up.

Saturday, 6/29: Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m, in the classroom - What is Bitcoin and how does it work? Why should you care? What is it good for? How can you buy, mine, sell, trade and otherwise participate? What are Litecoin, namecoin and other altcoins? Chris Hansen is here to tell you. Please bring a laptop or smartphone with you. RSVP on Meet Up.

Tuesday, 7/2: Monthly Denhac Board Meeting, 7 p.m, in the classroom - The monthly board meeting where we make business decisions and try not to talk over the top of each other. Due to several scheduling and travelling conflicts, the June board meeting will be at the beginning of July (just this once). Open to the public.

As usual, the calendar is subject to change. There are nearly always additions throughout the month and we’ll be updating the calendar and the website with more information as it becomes available so be sure to check back each week for new announcements.

Weekly events:

Every Tuesday: Open House. A night for members and non-members alike to come hang out with like-minded folk, take a tour, and find out what Denhac is all about.

Every Thursday: Work from Denhac Day. Do you work from home and need a break from your partner, your kid, your cat, and/or the deep, dark recesses of your idle mind? Come work at Denhac where there’s a water cooler and company but no cubicles or cats.

Every Saturday afternoon: Open House. Another opportunity for members and non-members to come hang out with like-minded folk, take a tour, and find out what Denhac is all about. Plus, every Saturday through the warm months, we’ll be throwing open the bay door and firing up the grill through the afternoon.

If you want to stay abreast of all things Denhac, consider liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, joining us on Meet Up, or circling us on Google +.

This Week at Denhac (May 27 – June 2)

Or, you know, what’s left of it. Sorry, Folks! I got a little sidetracked over the long weekend. So here’s what we’ve got for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, May 28, 7 p.mBoard Meeting – Our regularly scheduled board meeting. It was a good meeting. We started and ended on time even. Shout out to Hoopes for making it so!

Tuesday, May 28, 8 p.m:  Weekly Open House. Hopefully you already know Tuesday is a great night to come hang out and came down anyway.

Thursday, May 30, 9 a.m. – 4 p.mWork from Denhac Day - Work remotely? Need a little human interaction? Grab your laptop and join us for Work from denhac days. RSVP on Meet Up.

Friday, May 31 – Sunday, June 2Denver Comic Con! If you’re planning on attending the con, make sure to stop by our fan table just outside the main entrance to the exhibit hall. We will either have the Lulzbot or the new Rostock Max 3D printer and all sorts of other cool stuff to show off.

Saturday, June 1, Noon – 5 p.m: Open House and BBQ. Everyone welcome!

Sunday, June 2, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m: Kids Coder Dojo. The Kids Coder Dojo at Denhac is a weekly computer programming class designed for elementary through high school-aged kids. Students will begin by using a free and open source visual programming language called Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu/, available on Windows, MacOSX and Linux), and will be able to move on to more advanced languages as they progress at their own pace.

Attendees under the age of 13 are required to be accompanied by a designated guardian (though guardians are encouraged to attend for all ages). Attendees should bring a laptop or netbook for each student they bring if they can (and you are encouraged to bring extras if possible for those without access to a computer).  RSVP on Meet Up.

Sunday, June 2, noon – 5:00 p.m: Open House and BBQ. Everyone welcome! This Sunday is a special open house. We wanted to be open each day of the weekend so that those who hear about us at Denver Comic Con and want to stop by have an opportunity to do so. Even if you aren’t going to con though, please do feel free to come on by and keep me company!

Denhac is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of technology, art, DIY, and craft-related classes for all ages, and survives on donations and membership dues.  As with (almost) all Denhac classes, attendance is free of charge and membership is not required. Donations are strongly encouraged.

Come check us out! We’d love to meet you!

 

Gomez gets ready to test the tesla coil he built while Scott looks on.

Gomez gets ready to test the tesla coil he built while Scott looks on.

This Week at Denhac (May 20 – 26)

It’s that time again for our weekly round up of happenings ’round Denhac. And it seems like there is always something pretty cool going on. In fact, as I write this, several members have descended upon the space and are working frantically to build the newest piece of equipment purchased for use – a fabulous new 3D printer! w00t!

Tuesday, May 21, 8 p.mRadio Heads - Our bi-monthly meet up for everything SDR (software defined radio). Topics include both the reception and transmission of RF signals, the processing of data captured from the ether, cell phone networks, and ham radio. This is a group, not a class. There is no instructor. Just a handful of similarly minded people trying to learn something at roughly the same time. If you have a pet project you think might apply to this group feel free to propose it.  RSVP on Meet Up.

Tuesday, May 21, 8 p.m:  Weekly Open HouseRSVP on Meet Up.

Thursday, May 23, 9 a.m. – 4 p.mWork from Denhac Day - Work remotely? Need a little human interaction? Grab your laptop and join us for Work from denhac days. RSVP on Meet Up.

Saturday, May 25, Noon – 5 p.m: Open House and BBQ. Everyone welcome! Because it’s the Memorial Day holiday weekend, we won’t be holding any classes this weekend. However, because it’s the Memorial Day holiday weekend – the unofficial start to summer and the BBQ season – we’ll still be open to everyone. The grill will be on, the music from denhacradio.org will be pumping, and people will be chilling out, working on projects, and just generally having a good time. There may even be a Magic game running as it seems like the cards are coming out more and more every Saturday.

Sunday, May 26, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m: Kids Coder Dojo. The Kids Coder Dojo at Denhac is a weekly computer programming class designed for elementary through high school-aged kids. Students will begin by using a free and open source visual programming language called Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu/, available on Windows, MacOSX and Linux), and will be able to move on to more advanced languages as they progress at their own pace.

Attendees under the age of 13 are required to be accompanied by a designated guardian (though guardians are encouraged to attend for all ages). Attendees should bring a laptop or netbook for each student they bring if they can (and you are encouraged to bring extras if possible for those without access to a computer).  RSVP on Meet Up.

Denhac is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of technology, art, DIY, and craft-related classes for all ages, and survives on donations and membership dues.  As with (almost) all Denhac classes, attendance is free of charge and membership is not required. Donations are strongly encouraged.

Come check us out! We’d love to meet you!

Scott give a tutorial on setting up and operating an internet radio station

Scott give a tutorial on setting up and operating an internet radio station

Shiny New Thing!

A few weeks back, we were contacted by a crew from SeeMeCNC – a 3D printer and laser cutter company based out of Indiana – letting us know they would be passing through Denver on their way to the Bay Area Maker Faire and asked if they could stop by and hang out with us for a few hours and show us their products.

Of course we said yes because Yay! Look! Shiny stuff! And then we invited all our friends.

Gang's All Here

We’ve got friends!

So Sunday this past, the guys pulled in late afternoon as promised and let us get our paws on equipment we’d never seen before.

Shiny!

Shiny!

And it was SO COOL! We ended up procuring one of their Rostock Max 3D printers for the space.

I KNOW! RIGHT?!

RF Modeling a 3D Printed...um...thing

RF Modeling a 3D Printed…um…thing

The bad news is they sell them in kits so it’s not quite ready for use. However, we’ve assembled a team of members together to work Sundays on this thing until it’s built. Hopefully it’ll be ready to take to Denver Comic Con in a couple of weeks. Regardless, it’ll be ready soon and then even more crazy 3D printing fun shall commence!

If you haven’t come by to check us out yet, perhaps this will be the push you needed to head in our direction.

Here’s a video Scott took of the machine in action.