Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Pirates Vs Ninjas with the ESP8266 - Meeting 27th June 2015

Attending: Mike Hull, Mike Hewitt, Ricky, Joe, James and Arthur

Basement Space Update.

One half of the basement space is tanked and insulated.

The flooring has tongue and groove fittings down the sides and along the ends. All the edge joins are being glued as the floor goes down.

This is the ESP8266 project produced by Arthur

The ESP8266 is programmed to provide a Pirates Vs Ninjas open wireless network. You connect with your phone or Laptop, and are presented with a basic web page with two buttons which you can click on to vote Pirate or Ninja. 
When people start voting, a servo moves the pointer to indicate which is more popular, Pirates or Ninjas.
Arthur takes this along to various events.

James, was the first of our group to notice the ESP8266 when it started it's rise to fame. Initially, I think some people, myself included, did not appreciate the  power and capabilities of this device. The ESP8266 now has many fans, and it is one of the boards already supported by the new Arduino IDE, meaning that if you are familiar with the Arduino, you can easily get started with the ESP8266.  

Monday, 22 June 2015

Meeting and Basement update

Mike Hull, Mike Hewitt, Les, Tony, Arthur, Ricky, Joe, James, Keiran and Phyllis.

As mike indicated in his mailing list post, one half of the room has had the floor insulation added, and work on the wall insulation has started.

Showing the thickness of the floor insulation. Two pairs of legs standing on it for context.

This is the thickness of insulation on the walls. Batons go on next, then plasterboard.

I spent all morning talking to Arthur about the ESP8266, and neglected to take any pictures or notes of what other people were up to, so no write up this week, Sorry!
Les, Tony and Arthur left at 12 to go to the Blackpool Raspberry Jam.

Don't forget Liverpool Raspberry Jam next week.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Blackpool LUG and Makerspace meeting 6th June 2015

Attending: Mike Hull, Mike Hewitt, Les, Tony, Ricky, Keiran and Phyllis.

Basement space renovations.

The basement is being 'tanked' with this waterproof slurry which is applied with a brush.

When the floor and walls have been done at this end of the room,

All this stuff will be moves along to allow the other half of the space to be 'tanked'

On the floor above the restorations, various hacking and making  making projects are ongoing.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Blackpool LUG and Makerspace May 30th 2015

Attending: Mike Hull, Mike Hewit, Joe, Ricky, Tony Jeff and Martin

This week Tony experimented with an Arduino driving motors salvaged from floppy/hard drives, with Martin as an interested observer.

Ricky was repairing his robot which had suffered from a 'meltdown'

Joe continued working on his gaming servers, while I looked at dcore  Linux, a Debian derivative of tinycore Linux which can include self contained applications.

Ongoing restoration of the basement space

The two new concrete lintels in place above the doors. The doors need to be higher because the floor will be higher after the insulation and 'floating' floor has been fitted.

The first layer of waterproofing has gone onto the bare bricks at one end of the basement. The waterproofing is going on all the walls and floor before the insulation is put in place.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Miniature DC Motor driver resource

I spotted a link about drivers for small motors on

We have a few of the shelf boards for easily driving motors such as:

but selecting the right components to roll your own depending on the motor you are driving can require a lot of web research in many different places. This seems to be a nicely done comprehensive resource:

Precision Microdrives motordriver resource

Monday, 11 May 2015

9th May Meeting - 3 more images

The floor of the new makerspace area will be raised to provide more insulation so the door lintels also need raising.

Inside the makerspace, one of the new window units can be partially seen.  This one needed it's lintel replacing.

Les giving an interesting demo. Tony is getting his OLED screen working with an Arduino Nano clone.  

A mistake I made with the clone Nano is not looking at the correct pin out diagram for the clone Nano.  Most pinout diagrams give the I2C as being on pins D4 and D5, on the clone Nanos the correct pins are A4 and A5.

Here's the correct pinout diagram (link supplied by Les)

The I2C scanner sketch is useful for checking your I2C is working, it's here:

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Blackpool LUG and Makerspace Meeting 9th May 2015

Mike Hull, Mike Hewitt, Kieran, Phyllis, Tony, Les Arthur, Ricky, Jeff and Martin.

The work on the new space is ongoing.
The floor in the basement will be 100 mm higher after the insulation has been installed, necessitating a similar rise of 100 mm for the door lintels.
With the Acro in place, bricks are removed ready for new lintel to go in.

 Meanwhile, directly above, on the next floor, a quick talk from Les

Next, Les demonstrates how it is done

Arthur turns on an LED with his Apple watch

Ricky attempts to remote control his robot

Tony gets his oled screen to display his name

Les never runs out of parts

Arthur waxes lyrical about Microsoft and their new 'community' IOT vision on the mailing list, here
He was so convincing that I spent the morning installing windows 10, finally succeeding after hitting this snag which goes back to windows 7: 
“Setup was unable to create a system partition or locate an existing partition.”

and finding the answer here on the druss blog:

With windows 10 installed, visual studio was downloaded and installed.
I then mentioned to Arthur that we might need to change the group name from Blackpool LUG and Makerspace, to Blackpool Makerspace with a windows view :)

Thanks again to Mike Hull for hosting the meeting, and for "working his socks off" getting the basement ready to host the meetings in future.