Regular Member Meeting 2014 01 14
From HacDC Wiki
Time and Location
- January 14, 2014
- Called to order at ______ by ______
- Members present:
- Others present:
- Quorum met?
Approval of Previous Meeting's Minutes
- Ahmed Aden. Retrieving our myDAQ and myDSP from Eric, as well as introducing me to an instructor trying to learn and share electronic design expertise.
- "condew". Sorting through the LCD panels in the workshop.
- Dan Barlow. Lots of help on lots of things, really awesome person, always a joy to see.
- haxwithaxe. Confirming MiniVNA purchase.
- Julia Longtin (aka. juri). Added even more to the $1k worth of our thick aluminum extrusions.
- Katie Bechtold. Continuing to serve as our treasurer, promptly doing an excellent job.
- Sharad Satsangi. Getting involved in more biohacking work again.
- Zach. Brought all the right expertise, tools, materials and enthusiasm to build the basement shelves.
- Various members on the mailing list for constructive criticism regarding the new shelves.
Vice President's Report
Here is the financial summary spreadsheet for December 2013: File:HacDC Financials 2013 12.pdf. One prospective member (not yet voted in) has started paying dues. Longtime member and generous contributor Tim Collins has resigned his membership. Several members haven't paid their dues for a couple of months, and since they've been unresponsive over e-mail it's unclear whether they intend to resign.
Here is the Project Awesome spreadsheet for December: File:HacDC PA Projects-2013 12.pdf. I'm able to declare a $200 dividend and add $132.29 to our un-earmarked reserves. There were 16 votes, unchanged from the previous month.
Project Awesome Reports
Healthy and stable at ~$1.4k.
- Glass sheets for Prusa Mendel.
Only $145 after two months. At this rate, it will take another three months to buy a vertical bandsaw.
If you are holding one of the 3.783 votes for SUPPLIES, please consider voting for EXPANSION instead.
Prusa Mendel 3D Printer
Finally, the machine is stable, reliable, and producing high quality results, down to 75 microns. Improvements include:
- Solid aluminum groovemount bracket, CNC milled at HacDC, unlikely to degrade.
- Print bed stackup documented at http://wiki.hacdc.org/index.php?title=PrusaMendel_Print_Surface .
- Vastly improved Slic3r settings.
- Spare parts. If it isn't over-engineered, we probably have multiple spares.
No further downtime is expected..
Photolithography PCB Fab
Have literally attempted every reasonable PCB fab technique, including etching spraypaint with our CO2 laser cutter, laser-printer toner transfer, scribing spraypaint with the CNC mill, and finally photolithography. At this point, the chemical process has been fully tested with excellent results, we just need a better printer for higher-quality photomasks.
Exposed and developed photoresist. Note the rather solid bare/resist regions. Fused lines are due to printed photomask quality.
Chemically etched copper. Note the high-quality edges on the large pads. Uneven and lost traces are due to manual cleanup attempt.
HacDC UV Laser Cutter
The CO2 laser cutter does not add any particularly novel functionality to HacDC. Lacking precision, it is only useful where a shopbot would likely be more versatile.
To bring higher-resolution laser cutting to HacDC, a UV 405nm laser has been strapped to our CNC mill. Unfortunately, this laser is estimated at <100mW, limited to cutting thin, dark paper. Using a 2W laser like this one for $70 would allow us to laser spraypaint off circuit boards for etching, cut high-quality soldermasks, scribe fine-pitch text, etc.
Of course, a 2W UV laser raises some safety concerns, so only trained individuals should use that with the appropriate safety equipment (just like any other laser cutter).
Thanks to haxwithaxe confirming the order, we now have an 1.5GHz extender for our vector network analyzer en route. This enables UHF antenna testing, transmission line testing, mid-range capacitor/inductor parasitic testing, and more.
Have 3 giant fresnel lenses from old projection TVs. If we can use the badly scratched Fresnel upstairs out-of-focus in the light gathering optics, we only need one more of these lenses from old projection TVs on craigslist.
Also, a modular pallet-and-rail will be used for the optics this time. The prototype frame that has been taking up space in the workshop is no longer useful, and was disassembled for that reason.
Multi-tool desktop factory platform. CNC Mill, Laser Cutter, 3D printer, and more, all simultaneously.
Design mechanically complete. MDF print surface will be added, along with brackets and laser-safety walls. Should be able to build one of my own within the month.
Open-source, hosted on github .
Optical Table CNC
We have been recently donated about $1k worth of large aluminum extrusions. We now have the resources to build full gantry on the Optical Table at minimal expense. Soon as that Optical Table is on its feet, will outfit it with a variety of milling/extruding/lasering tools. Similar to the Flex Replicator, but much larger at 8' x 4' , and likely accurate to 0.5 microns.
We should then be able to make large wood frames, print hundreds of objects in a week, etc.
This is urgently stalled by the HacDC cleanup. Lack of a large area CNC has recently cost at least 150 hours of my time at HacDC while maintaining 3D printer and laser cutter, and more projects are waiting.
We have a really cool product, however, some temporary proprietary concerns are keeping me from discussing it fully. Suffice it to say, it will be really cool when HacDC can publicly declare "yeah, that came from us!"
SigBlockly has been released. This graphical programming environment eases C development for signal processing and control systems tasks.
C_CMake_Template has been released, to ease development for new C software projects.
Host driver software is therefore nearly finished. Once libsndfile has been integrated properly, users will have an ultra-high-performance two-channel 'plug-and-play' USB ECG/EMG/EEG.
The Thursday biohacking meetings have been getting quiet, but the core members still occasionally drop by and express interest. With the biosignal amplifier nearly finished, and hopefully more tools deployed at HacDC, we should be able to resume other projects.
Basement Shelves & Cleanup
Members are encouraged to discuss floor plan options with mirage335 after the meeting.
Personally, mirage335 has invested a lot into expanding HacDC capabilities, and doesn't see the following as particularly beneficial to those efforts:
- Cutting down the new shelves without first providing an adequate alternative.
- Unduly bureaucratizing new materials or equipment at HacDC.
Feel free to skim over the rest of this section during the meeting.
Despite a full CAD model, lengthy comment period, and general consensus that the shelves should be built, all well in advance of their construction, suggestions have emerged to cut down the new shelves, among other things.
- If the shelves were not built, we would still be doing nothing effective about lack of storage, cleanup, or equipment workstations, probably for several more years.
- Cutting down the new shelves could delay cleanup and equipment workstations more months and years. Every project risks non-completion.
- Alternative uses for the basement are going nowhere at that rate anyway.
- Smaller shelves will not give us any unused storage space, leaving no room for growth.
Also, it is worth noting:
- AFAIK, HacDC is paying very little rent for that basement, among other things I might say on that point.
- About $300 and four person-days of effort have gone into the shelves. Jeopardizing that needs something to show for doing so.
- Those who want something dramatically different can build it, demonstrate that it works, and THEN propose removal of older solutions.
- Personally, I have put in at least several hundred hours cleaning up the space as well as maintaining HacDC's 3D printer and laser cutter. At least half that time was wasted due to lack of maneuvering room, a problem these shelves are needed to solve.
On the positive side, there are some more reasonable ways to address concerns raised in the debate, outlined below. Also, next time I propose something like this (if ever...), dimensions will be included in the render image.
At a cost of approximately $43.17, we can add wheels to the shelves capable of supporting 1.6 metric tons. Additional wheels or fixed supports can be fitted later.
Since some concerns have been raised about placing more than a metric ton on wheels, this should probably be done only if members absolutely insist on pushing the shelves against a wall.
Floor plans are still in progress, derived from the Solidworks 3D models published on github. Other members are invited to explore alternative layouts using these files.
Also, the tables and carts modeled are not only speculative, but intended to be shared with both rooms in the basement. At any time, members could push the carts out of whichever room is most in use, or perhaps even temporarily outside.
Some have objected to HacDC storing anything at all, and others have proposed unduly bureaucratic processes. While this probably is not a growth-oriented viewpoint, the need for a more effective, well publicized disposal policy, may be. I have been attempting help out by drafting such a policy.
- Specific "Stays at HacDC Criteria" with time limits.
- Going-out-pile and rotation processes.
- Disposal processes.
- Conflict resolution (BOD approval).
However, since there is still a lot of debate over this policy, I suggest it not be voted on yet.
The hardware and firmware at HacDC are still working, but eryc's server no longer is. We need a new server to accept and publish the data.
In the long term, a new occupancy sensor based on the raspberry pi will replace the existing system
Created persistent USB stick image for the WYSE terminals, documented at Linux_on_Wyse_Winterm_S10_Thin_Clients. Trick is to use an old version of syslinux.
Tested about two dozen units. Surprisingly, all are functional, capable of USB and presumably PXE booting.
Request the additional 30 units mentioned by David Whiteis make it to HacDC. Planning to deploy these at HacDC as thin clients for a high-end server.
myDAQ and myDSP
Special thanks to Ahmed Aden for making a special trip to bring the myDAQ and myDSP back to us.
From December agenda
- Zach purchased materials for basement shelves, and should now be reimbursed up to $400 (exact receipt value is not known to mirage335).
- Approving another $75 will allow wheels to be added to the shelves. That is not to say the wheels will be added just because their budget was approved.
- Katie proposes we allocate $100 for our traditional holiday gift to the security guard. Update (Dec. 22): ITG has provided the $100 gift to the guard; this proposal includes reimbursing him.
$600 for shelves to mirage.
- Quorum not met, could not vote.
The Doctor is one of the founding members of Project Byzantium and one of the largest contributors to the project. He has made numerous other contributions including donating time and equipment to improve the space, and helping us to network with other individuals and organizations with shared interests.
Former President of HacDC. He is also headed off the SF. Brad has been a long-time supporter of HacDC's mission. He donated a lot of time to HacDC over the years including teaching a number of classes on a variety of topics from Python to lockpicking to yo-yos.
R. Mark Adams, PhD
Long time member and contributor to the space.
Adjourned at ________