Latest news

  • I have been continuing work on my DIY CNC router this week by starting on the Y axis. This moves along the linear rails at the top and bottom of the Y gantry: The Y axis ne

  • Oldham Economy and Skills Partnership – A Digital Perspective When our new mayor, Andy Burnham, held his digital summit back in July, I was thrilled to see my digital colle

  • I sometimes have the need to make many surface mount printed circuit boards. Typically these take me about 30 minutes per board to make manually with a soldering iron.  I h

  • Hopefully you’ve seen the digital signage in the HackSpace window. I hope you agree, it looks quite good. All for under £10 (initially) plus some bits we had lying around.

  • I’ve been trying to optimise the way I make Milestag sensor domes. These are electronic sensors that receive infra red light and convert this into a stream of binary

  • So seeing as Fitbit bought Pebble, and development is going to end on the Pebble platform, everyone is selling off their stock of Pebbles cheap. And I love a bargain. So I

  • On 04-Mar-2017 we put on our first Embedded Software for Absolute Beginners workshop at HackOldham 1.5. 10 hardy Guinea Pigs signed up and, despite a minor issue with drive

  • I’ve had the need to make a part. I originally planned to 3D print it but the ‘legs’ at the right hand side were just too fragile. A talk with the mechani

  • A pop up shop will open in Oldham this week, providing a taster of what will be on offer at the spring launch of the region’s biggest permanent high street makerspace. Open

The robots are coming to Oldham, our plan is to operate a series of robotic tournaments to see who can create the best robot, each of the challenges below will have its own league table in addition to an overall league table. Challenges include. Maze navigation ...

That's a confusing title. What's a BBC micro:bit? Why are people from HackOldham being referred to as experts by otherwise responsible adults? Is STEMnet that thing from Terminator? What's a museum? All, and more, shall be revealed.

With the design finalised, and cash save up I spent £75 on the X bed for my CNC router. This  is a 15mm thick plate of aluminium that is 350mm x 600mm square. I needed to drill holes to fit the linear bearings that make up...

About 2 years ago, I decided that I'd like to try my hand at CNC routing. There are loads of Chinese made routers available on Ebay, but I wanted something a bit more capable. e.g. Able to machine aluminium. I started my design using the excellent PTC Creo...

You can read the first part of this blog here, and the second part here. Research (or mucking about with stuff) The first job was to buy a Pi screen and fingerprint scanner. I already had a Pi kicking around looking bored. A quick session on the interweb saw me securing a screen from Pimoroni and GT-511C3 finger print scanner from Proto-Pic. The Finger Print Scanner is ideal. It is a self-contained unit that stores the fingerprint templates locally, all you need to do is ask it for the unique ID of the finger print on the scanner. This can then be cross referenced to a person. It connects via a serial connection (0-3.3V rather than 0-12V of standard RS-232) which is ideal for connecting to a Pi or Arduino UART. There was a cheaper version but that could only store 20 fingerprints, this model can store 200, which is more than we should ever need. The only problem was there were none in stock, but that was OK because Proto-Pic said they could get more stock within a week. 
You can read part 1 of this post here. The Solution The existing solution, which less we forget has worked for many years, requires users to remember a unique ID number and enter this along with the codes for the products they’ve used. How can we make this better? Well there are many options available for a better input method. Rather than remember a unique ID it would be better to use some kind of sensor to detect something unique about the user. This could be something issued to the user like an RF-ID card or tag, like the London Underground Oyster card or the tags we use to log in at the Maker Space. However it would be cooler to use some form of biometrics as cards and tags are easily left in a drawer, lost or left in a pocket and washed. It’s a damn site harder to leave your eyeball in a draw, and washing your hands is generally a good thing.
The Problem. [caption id="attachment_4603" align="alignright" width="300"]kitte620x300 kittE - Logo Design (always important)[/caption] I work in a mixed discipline development office (electronics, software, mechanical & project). Now everyone knows that the world of development runs on a mixture of ideas, experience and lots and lots of tea and coffee. Software types might favour the buzz of an Espresso, project management types might prefer an organic wheatgermskinnymochachinofrappe or whatever GQ reckons is cool this week, electronics types might go for a nice strong instant coffee of some kind (to clear the solder fumes) and grease monkeys will usually go for a mug of tea (stirred with a screw driver).

[caption id="attachment_4548" align="alignright" width="300"] Mike & the Digital Drop-in[/caption] We had another busy session at this weekends #HackTheLibrary at Oldham Library, with a wide range of activities and people of all backgrounds getting involved. We kicked off the day with the digital drop in, a weekly session...

We got a fantastic present in the space the other day, those nice guys at The Sign Box stopped by with a vinyl cutter that had previously been in use at their workshop but as they now have a bigger and better machine this one was...