What have you made in 2020?

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Iain Yarnall

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Dec 19, 2020, 11:55:03 AM12/19/20
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Hi,

I hope everyone is keeping well.

I know the space hasn't really been open much this year, and when it has been, the social side has been absent but I hope it hasn't entirely stopped people making things.

One of the things I enjoy about using the space is seeing what others are making.  So, what have you all been up to?

Here are some of the things I've been working on:

- 3D printed Metro for my son's wooden train set https://twitter.com/IainYarnall/status/1255231446517768192
- A controller for the micro quad race gates we use in the space and for events.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjQ62zHXDGA 
- A camera slide rail for video and time lapse photography https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcIMjCQIWaE 

Cheers,

Iain.


Gregory Fenton

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Dec 19, 2020, 12:55:06 PM12/19/20
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I have been heavily involved with the Radio Society of Great Britain this year, I have written a large number of questions for the radio amateur examinations as well as becoming a member of the RSGB Exams and Syllabus Review Group where we are directly responsible for setting the syllabus for the amateur radio exams.  I am also one of the few people that decide on exam challenges should people have issues with examination questions.
I also got to work with some very talented people in the amateur radio field to record a series of videos on behalf of the RSGB to introduce new licensees to their equipment, which was recorded at the National Radio Centre in Bletchley Park.

I have helped several people study for and pass their amateur radio examinations at my local Club, where I hold the position of Vice Chairman.

While this year has been a write off in the main, I have tried to keep myself focussed on advancing the cause of amateur radio nationally.

I also made a baby girl who is currently 5 days old, but I can only take 90% of the credit for that, the other 10% was my wife, Shell, who dedicated 9 months to cooking our baby to perfection :)

I wish you all a great Christmas and a more stable and less challenging 2021.

Best to you all

Greg Fenton
M6LWY, 2E0HIS and M0ODZ

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Malcolm Grisdale

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Dec 21, 2020, 6:05:52 PM12/21/20
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For me 2020 has very much been the year when we took some ideas from EMF 2018 and added 
the Amateur Radio spectrum to our existing LoRa and ISM radio interests at Makerspace. 

Installing the GB7XY DMR repeater on the Makerspace building and getting
a grip on the aspects that might be of interest to makers has hopefully laid foundations for future projects. 

Credit to Alastair and Dan for taking an early interest (particularly around DMR and APRS) David
for pushing us to get the repeater up and running and Jon for getting his licence.

There aren't really any flashy pictures to add at this stage but I think we've communally learnt a lot and its 
another thing that folk who walk through our door, when normality returns, can get involved with.

Malcolm

Jon Davies

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Jan 2, 2021, 2:06:34 PM1/2/21
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What did I make/do?

Lots of unRAID things...
- Upgraded my unRAID server from a modded Dell T410 server to a much quieter (and old) Antec P180 (with what turned out to be a slightly worse CPU)
- Split my Win10 gaming PC off from unRAID to a bare metal install on the Dell T410
- Upgraded unRAID motherboard, CPU and RAM
- Re-merged Win10 gaming PC to unRAID as a VM :)
...also...
- Ran a rPi4 Daily Driver for a couple of months (was fun figuring out equivalents and alternatives)
- Modded my office desk with a 'monitor shelf' so I could put my electronics test, measurement and soldering tools underneath and monitors on top. Also added a cable management basket.
- Gave my old Odroid U3 a second life as an Octoprint server :)
Lots of Zigbee and Smarthome things...
- Bought a load of Tradfri bulbs and switches from Ikea and upgraded my house to smart bulbs throughout
- Designed and printed switchplate covers for the above
- Set up a Zigbee2MQTT server for the above
- Set up and learned aspects of Home Assistant
- Changed all my Sonoffs and other ESP based devices to the ESPHome firmware
- FINALLY installed Pelm-o-Lux to the pelmet above my main Kitchen worktop!
...and a new field of DIY - Car!...
- Replaced the rear dampers on my car (at the start of lockdown)
- Replaced the battery
...last but not least (also mentioned by Malcolm)...
- Got started on amateur radio with a Foundation License :)

Cheers my dudes and happy new year!

StevenQ-NE-UK

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Jan 3, 2021, 8:25:45 AM1/3/21
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Quilts, I've been making patchwork quilts and cushion covers, I've even made a stuffed animal toy too.
I know, who knew it'd be fun right.

How annoying, I can't add any images.

Take care out there

Steve

Alistair MacDonald

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Jan 4, 2021, 1:55:51 PM1/4/21
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I don't feel I have produced much in 2020. Partly because of the lack
of access to a workshop, and partly because I spend 6 months not
really being with it.

Here are a few things I remember doing....

I started work on a giant controller / joystick to go with the massive
screen Chris borrowed display for the Late Shows. I did manage to
prototype on the electronics and build a test controller. I built it
primarily as a test, but also as a backup if the main project was not
ready in time. https://photos.app.goo.gl/hmFPfuYeHtQGUZQaA

At the start of the year I repaired / upgraded my garden lights by
using a cheap set of lights and 3D printing some clips to combine the
old and the new. Glad I did as I used them a lot in the garden this
summer. I fear that the £3 investment only bought me one extra year as
they are dying again. Perhaps a new project to home brew some more
original ones this year is on the cards. I quite often put up
different temporary lights most warm nights.

I also fixed the PTD (Power Distribution Tent) we used at EMF. I
mounted my 3D printed moon lamp shade on a stick to turn it into a
lamp . I modified a new projection clock to stay on all the time and
use an external power supply. I rebuilt my IR receiver to Fire TV
Stick doo dar.

When I got back into the lab at work I did manage to cut out some
parts of the CNC and laser for a Birthday present. It was a Lego logo
for the back of Caz's YouTube videos. I had to compromise a little and
it is not as good as I could have managed, but considering the lack of
time I had to work on it in the lab I am okay with it. Sadly Christmas
plans were scuppered so it was given virtually and will be delivered
physically later in the year.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/LAoRZtC15KwbPQrD7

I also did a few things with amatrue radio. I ordered a new DMR radio
just before the first lockdown (literally hours before it was
announced). The repeater system this connects to in the region is
based around a service that has various open APIs so I have been
experimenting quite a bit with that. I also built an ADS-B receiver to
track planes using an Orange Pi and a software defined radio. I
mounted it on the roof of CU house, and then Flight Radar 24 offered
some more professional hardware. I have accepted that and will
probably retask the original receiver to track other things in the
future. I also mounted the LoRa station on the roof and range has
dramatically increased.

At work I did lots of little hacks that made life better and made the
lab more shiny. This included new signs for things like 3D printing
and laser cutting, and a light up logo. I also finished a portable
tool wall that can be wheeled around the space. A new rounded table
for a computer was also made from scraps. In lockdown I worked at home
on a mesh sensor network for monitoring water that was mostly boring,
but it does have some cool bits in it.

Hopefully this year will be a little more focused and productive.

All the best,

Alistair
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Stuart Wheater

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Jan 4, 2021, 3:48:16 PM1/4/21
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Alistair,
    You also learned to Weld! Yes, that was in 2020.

Stuart

David Pye

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Jan 4, 2021, 4:25:08 PM1/4/21
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Well, I'll give this a punt too!

Work's been busy (as you might expect), but I've:

Bought some Pure Evoke Flow DAB radios to repair, which evolved into producing a couple of display replacement kits (OLED and LCD) for them to replace an end of life OLED display screen, which was no longer available, and which have sold quite a few (I intended it as a proof of concept but it turns out there was a lot of demand!)

Got dragged back into amateur radio (DMR, thanks to Alistair and Malcolm!), which also culminated in us obtaining and installing a commercial DMR repeater (GB7XY) on the roof of Commercial Union House

Reverse engineered the USB serial protocol and codeplug for one of the DMR radios and wrote an open source python client tool for it (RT-73 AKA CD-300UV)

Got the CNC router setup and installed (and almost fully working) in the Space, only to find nobody could really get stuck in using it

I reckon that's about it!

David

Daniel Walker

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Jan 4, 2021, 4:35:43 PM1/4/21
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Pushing the meaning of the word "making", but I ripped out the horrible 1980's bathroom in my house, took everything back to studs and bricks, and then replaced it with a nice modern suite!

Also various other horrible renovation jobs which mostly involved getting covered in soot and swearing a lot.

Danny

Alistair MacDonald

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Jan 6, 2021, 12:06:06 PM1/6/21
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Crikey, yes, I forgot about that. Stuart, Paul L and I also learnt to
weld. It feels so long ago. I don't have a project in mind but I
really need to experiment on something.

All the best,

Alistair

On Mon, 4 Jan 2021 at 20:48, Stuart Wheater <stuart....@gmail.com> wrote:
>
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Mark Bell

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Jan 7, 2021, 7:23:23 AM1/7/21
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I learned to Mill and Turn, improved on my CAD skills a little bit as well.
Been selling bits and pieces off my 3d printer that I designed such as a storage case for my TS100 soldering iron which is reasonably popular, got a couple of large print jobs through.

Michael Rouse

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Jan 7, 2021, 7:58:48 AM1/7/21
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I repurposed and altered into flatpack  67  new 3 school desks and shipped to our school Africa along with 45650 all will be reused items,all were destined for a landfill in the UK. 
I also wanted the use of the maker space wide printer but its still not available to makers apparently any news on that?  the one that's upstairs not being used for makers things.


Virus-free. www.avast.com

Will McElderry

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Jan 7, 2021, 8:10:57 AM1/7/21
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Hi Michael,

Good news on sending useful furniture to schools and saving landfill - well done!


RE the printer - David did almost exactly the same: saved it from a likely landfill destiny to make it useful to us, so a nice parallel as it happens (IIRC).

I think it is is available to use: a quick search and I found that David said this back in October:

> They're quite happy for prints to be done on it.
> If you have a file you want printed, if you send it to me, I can get it printed, and leave it in the space for you to collect?

So not available to use directly, but it was still usable indirectly.

Of course it may have changed with lock down, or newer emails I missed?

Will.

David Pye

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Jan 9, 2021, 12:08:04 PM1/9/21
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Hi,

I've avoided directly replying to the printer issue, but perhaps I should now, to clarify things.

Firstly, about the printer itself, and how it is present in the space:  It was obtained by me, from a friend's company, and was broken.  I've funded (personally, and not the space) the repairs to it, as well as a set of consumables, because I thought it was something our group would potentially find useful, and wanted to see it used, rather than in landfill.

Once it arrived in the space and was working and ready for use, it was discussed and advertised, right here, on this list.  I appreciate, Michael, that you hadn't seen those messages, as you didn't know we had it until the email suggesting it be loaned out, but that doesn't mean it wasn't advertised.

From then on, it got a couple of intermittent uses, but nobody was using it regularly.

After the initial 'lockdown', and the space access restrictions came in, JP (our landlord) contacted me regarding a clothing designer in the building who was very keen to gain access to the printer to use it to print out clothing templates she'd designed.  Given that we couldn't get her to join the space in order to use the printer (as the space wasn't open, and we don't issue keys to new members), there was no possibility for her to use the printer in the space.

As it had no use up to that point, I discussed the possibility of moving it somewhere else in the building where she could access and use it,where it now is.

I guess, then, to summarise things:

It isn't a makerspace-wide printer, it's my printer, which I provided in the space (and will indeed return to the space once this is over) for the use of makers.   
I think it's probably not helpful to define what 'maker things' are - the group is a broad church, and I'd argue that actually, printing clothing patterns is a maker-kind of thing.  What one person sees as a 'maker thing' other people might not (and it's a slippery slope).  For example, simply printing out other peoples' designs for profit, might well not be seen as making, but I don't think we should try to draw lines on things where possible.
Given the current 'stay at home' advice, I think pretty much any use of the space that isn't ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL should be discouraged strongly, so I don't think you are missing out, as I can't really see any situation where you should use the printer right now, regardless of where it is.
In addition, you'd definitely need some setup help to use the printer for the first time, which nobody can justify providing.  

So, I think you'll just need to wait until lockdown is over.  Once that happens, the printer can come back to the space, and you (and the dressmaking people, who are quite happy to join the space to use it), can all use it together.
If the space (and therefore your membership fees) had funded the printer, I think you might have slightly stronger grounds to be unhappy about the situation, but as I've explained, that isn't in fact the case.

Regards

David


Chris Jackson

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Sep 2, 2021, 10:55:32 AM9/2/21
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Introducing myself - Chris G4NAB, latterly F5VMR, now living in Ashington. I am a repeater builder and technician for analog and DMR systems. I am the owner/builder of GB7HT, and sysop for several others both digital and analog in the UK and France over many years. I am currently looking for potential amateur-licenced participants in a network of Analog Repeaters and Simplex nodes, using software already tried and tested. Raspberry Pi experience and building of small circuit boards would be an advantage. Drop me a line for information. or look me up on QRZ.com
Regards

Chris

Alistair MacDonald

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Sep 2, 2021, 10:58:47 AM9/2/21
to north-ea...@googlegroups.com, Chris Jackson
Hi Chris,

I am Alisatir (M3ZNE). Pleased to meet you.

I am one of the team who run GB7XY and GB7SM. The latter is a
converted analogue repeater using an MMDVM board that I presume is
much like GB7HT. We also use a Pi, but a custom build of MMDVMHoust
and DMR Gateway instead of Pi Star. The cavities are also a custom
built by Malcolum and David.

We have a number of members of Maker Space who also hold a licence,
and some of us normally have a lunchtime chat on the North East Makers
DMR talk group (BrandMeister 23564) if you want to drop in and say hi.

As for your project, it sounds interesting. I am more interested in
the digital side of things myself, but I might be able to help in some
way. Do you have any information about it anywhere? My background is
software and microelectronics.

Finally we are about to move our workshop and it is mostly in boxes
this week, but hopefully we will be unpacked in our new home by the
end of the month. You should come and pay us a visit then.

All the best,

Alistair

On Thu, 2 Sept 2021 at 15:55, Chris Jackson <g4nab...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Introducing myself - Chris G4NAB, latterly F5VMR, now living in Ashington. I am a repeater builder and technician for analog and DMR systems. I am the owner/builder of GB7HT, and sysop for several others both digital and analog in the UK and France over many years. I am currently looking for potential amateur-licenced participants in a network of Analog Repeaters and Simplex nodes, using software already tried and tested. Raspberry Pi experience and building of small circuit boards would be an advantage. Drop me a line for information. or look me up on QRZ.com
> Regards
>
> Chris
>
>
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