When we left New York City to explore what it would take to create a way of life in which we could be full time makers we had no idea that it would lead to a return to Maker Faire this time to launch a book about our experiences. The Good Life Lab is a manual for post consumer living. We did discover a lifestyle that allowed us to be full time makers. Along the way we learned to wildcraft, grow food, ferment, weld, build and home manufacture electronics. By developing mad skills we learned to live out of the waste stream and harvest from nature. When we applied technology to old problems we found new ways to solve them. Then we shared what we knew and put our work in the commons. In retrospect we noticed that jobs can be expensive. Especially if they prevent us from discovering the things we most love to do. What would you do if you could be a full time maker, if you didnt have to go to work tomorrow? If your in N. California meet us at the Maker Faire and tell us about it.
The Good Life Lab is pre-launching at Maker Faire. It comes out in stores everywhere June 5 and can be preordered on Amazon
Wendy Tremayne was a creative director in a marketing firm in New York City before moving to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, where she built an off-the-grid oasis in a barren RV park with her partner, Mikey Sklar. She is the founder of the textile repurposing event Swap-O-Rama-Rama, which has spread all over the world. She has written for Craft’s webzine and Make magazine and, with Mikey Sklar, keeps the blog Holy Scrap.
Mikey Sklar is a digital homesteader, open source hardware developer and anti-griddle master. Mikey has worked for Adafruit, Hack-A-Day and Popular Science.
Wendy & Mikey are giving three presentations @ Maker Faire, San Mateo, CA
Meet the Maker Stage
Saturday May 18, 2013 03:30PM – 3:50
Homegrown Village Stage
Sunday May 19, 2013 11:30AM – 12:20
Swap-O-Rama-Rama – Talk and Book Signing
May 20, 2013 03:20PM – 3:40
Note from Ladyada & pt @ Adafruit:We’ve known Wendy & Mikey for years, we’ve visited their place in Truth or Consequences and it was one of the best experiences ever. They shared a preview of the book with us and it’s inspirational tale for all makers. If you’re at Maker Faire this weekend, go see them and either way, pick up this book!
After months of development, Adafruit Industries ushers in a new era of Arduino with the ground-breaking High Performance Computing (HPC) Shield!
The HPC Shield consists of 16 Arduino Unos connected together in a 4-dimensional “HyperCube” topology. Interprocessor communications are accomplished via high-speed hardware SPI.
Programming the HPC Shield is supported through a new version of the standard Arduino IDE that was specially developed using the open-source ParallelProcessing language.
The memory of each individual Uno is shared across the entire Shield through Adafruit’s new “Parallel Arduino Synchronous Shared Global Address Space” (PASSGAS) technology. This revolutionary technology breaks the Arduino memory barrier, and gives the HPC Shield programmer full access to a whopping 32K of combined SRAM!
Adafruit’s testing shows that a single HPC Shield can achieve an astounding throughput of 17.8MBops (millions of LED blink operations per second) using standard Arduino benchmarks. For truly mind-blowing performance, up to 128 HPC Shields can be connected in a variety of topologies via I2C.
In a prepared statement, Adafruit Founder ladyada notes that “the already modular nature of the Arduino platform made it surprisingly easy for us to bring this project together. The only real problem we had was getting the Adafruit_Hadoop library installed in the right place”.
The HPC Shield is sold as a kit, including all necessary cables. A nifty laser-cut clear acrylic case is available separately.
The Adafruit HPC Shield is now available for order directly through the Adafruit Store at a retail price of $379.95, and is scheduled to begin shipping April 1*.
*A Special Overnight shipping rate is available to anywhere in the Continental US for an additional $21.18.
NEW PRODUCT – Bare Conductive Greeting Card Kit – This is a lovely way to get started with Bare Conductive paint, with three fun electronic greeting cards. Use the included 10 mL pen to draw traces and connect components on the front of the card. Two cards have cute robots with blinkie eyes or hearts, the third card is blank and ready for your creative robot drawing (or other creature?!?)
Comes with: Three cards, one 10mL Bare Conductive pen, 3 x auto-flashing red LEDs, 1 x auto-flashing rainbow LED, 3 x 3v coin batteries.
NEW PRODUCT – Bare Conductive Paint – Bare Conductive Paint is a multipurpose electrically conductive material perfect for all of your DIY projects! Bare Paint is water based, nontoxic and dries at room temperature.
Bare Paint is the first non-toxic electrically conductive paint available to consumers today. This unique child-friendly material is designed for people of all ages to explore and learn about electronics with an inclusive, easy-to-use material.
NEW PRODUCT – Bare Conductive Paint Pen – 10mL – Bare Paint provides a dramatically different method of interacting with electronics as it can be applied to almost any surface, including cardboard, paper, wood, wallpaper, walls, textiles, and some plastics.
Bare paint can be used to replace conventional acid etching, making it a great electronics prototyping tool. Nontoxic and water-soluble, Bare Paint can be used without gloves or mask. The paint dries quickly at room temperature, and can be removed with soap and water. This means it’s also not water-proof or weather-resistant!
Application Methods Include: painting, screen printing & spray painting among others. Despite being called “Bare” conductive, it’s meant not for use on bare skin.
NEW PRODUCT – SpikenzieLabs Calculator Kit. The SpikenzieLabs Calculator Kit another one of a kind, 100% original SpikenzieLabs’ kit. Easy to solder with through hole parts that it is both useful and super cool! Comes as a kit of electronic and plastic parts, after it is assembled you will have a lovely battery-powered pocket calculator. If you’re feeling extra-adventurous, the chip is programmed with an Arduino-compatible bootloader so it’s very hackable as well. Some tools are required to assemble: soldering iron, solder, and wire cutters. You’ll also want some masking tape and a hex wrench (although we just used pliers assemble the screws).
Add, subtract, multiply & divide.
No computer is required, ships pre-programmed.
It is easily modified using the Arduino IDE.
Six bright red 7 segment LED modules.
Powered by a single CR2032 battery.
Instant-on, automatic sleep, extra long battery life.
NEW PRODUCT – Uzebox Starter Kit – v1.0 – The Uzebox is a fully open-source, DIY 8-bit game console. It is designed specifically for people who know a little bit of programming to expand into designing and creating their own video games and demos. A full-featured core runs in the background and does all the video and audio processing so that your code stays clean and easy to understand.
This electronic kit comes unassembled: it includes the PCB, pre-programmed chip, and all components including a pre-soldered video chip. All but one of the components are through-hole, so you can build it yourself without difficulty. However, it is a 1-2 hr project and its best to have used your soldering iron before this project.
Parallax Partners with the U.S. Army and Carnegie Mellon University to host the 2013 National microMedic Contest to Encourage Medical Innovation
Uncle Sam Wants You! Now’s your chance to change the way our country does medical simulation and battlefield care. The 2013 microMedic National Contest is calling the best and brightest, that’s you, to help invent new medical applications using microcontrollers. With over $25,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the winners, what are you waiting for? Contestants may use any microcontroller they desire in their application. Parallax is offering two flavors of the microMedic Application Idea Kit full of tons of sensors and cool parts; one kit has the multi-core Propeller chip, the other includes the Board of Education Shield (for Arduino).
In order to help you in your quest we’ve created a special discussion forum for the microMedic contest, provided a list of project ideas and created a bunch of mini-tutorials to help you get started with the kit sensors. We’re even giving away 100 free kits to the first qualified entries. This contest is open to participants of all ages with special prizes for educational and public division winners.
NEW PRODUCT! littleBits Teaser Kit – Curious about littleBits but don’t know where to start, or what it is? Want to offer a friend a tiny touch of magnet magic, you’ll love the teaser kit! Tiny enough to fit in your purse or pocket, but still big enough to impress. Each bit has a simple, unique function (light, sound, sensors, etc), and modules snap to make larger circuits. With a growing number of available modules, littleBits aims to put the power of engineers in the hands of artists, makers and children. Contents: coin battery (rechargeable via micro usb cable) bargraph pressure sensor.
See our new TIMESQUARE Watch Kit in all it’s blinky glory in this video that shows you the watch’s features, tells you how to set the time, and overviews the trickier parts of assembly. Check it out on YouTube (please subscribe!) and Vimeo.
The question of the day is: “What makes a good BOM?” There are a lot of BOM formats in use. It’s one area that the standards train more or less left behind. Well, there are standards. For example, IPC-2581 covers not only BOM standards, but a replacement for Gerbers and the whole manufacturing data package. One of these days, we’ll all be using the IPC-2581 formats for our data and life will be beautiful all of the time.
And here is his list of pointers to consider:
"BomItem" or "Item #": This is just the line number. Each type of part gets an item line, not each part. If the pat number is the same, you just put it down once and give the quantity.
"quantity" or "Qty": How many of this specific part you need per board
"RefDes": The reference designators used by the parts on the PCB silk screen. All of the same part number should be in the same excel spreadsheet cell: i.e., "R3, R4, R5, R6". You can also indicate a contiguous range with a dash: "R3-R6" or "R3-R6, R10, R15"
"Manufacturer" or "Manf": The name of the component manufacturer. It's best to spell out the full name, e.g., "Texas Instruments", but common abbreviations such as "TI" generally work too. The less ambiguity, the better.
"Mfg Part #" or "Manufacturer Part #": The part number that you would use if you were buying this exact part from the manufacturer or a distributor. All of the suffixes are important too. For example, "PIC16F88" is not enough when you really need a "PIC16F88-I/P".
"Dist. Part #" or "Distributor Part #":Not strictly necessary, but can help in cases with a bit of ambiguity. Again, this would need to be the exact part numer as you would order it from that distributor.
"Description"or "Desc": This is the component description as given by the manufacturer. Again, this isn't strictly required, just a good idea.
"Package": This is the standard package type, e.g., "SOT-23", "TO-92", "0201". Again, not strictly necessary but can be a good redundant check.
"Type": Optional indicator of the generic type. e.g., "fine pitch", "smt", "thru-hole", "Leadless". Not required but can help with assembly quoting.
Check out the DIY-centric “Making Things” series at the experimental retail venue STORY during the month of October, in partnership with GE Garages. (Schedule for talks.)
In particular, check out Oct 21st when I will be giving demos for using 3D printers and Adafruit DIY electronic kits in tandem. (I’ll share the Skillshare link to sign up for the hands-on demo this week when it launches.)
3D Printing & DIY Electronics w/ Matthew Griffin, Adafruit
A hands-on interactive workshop where participants can learn about the design practices of 3D printing and execute wild and ambitious ideas in solid plastic. Matthew Griffin is Adafruit’s director of community support and evangelism. He has a long held passion for using technology to create art and document experiences.
Steve on Flickr writes: “A recently acquired 1978 Heathkit dip meter, in excellent shape and tested very close to calibration. Had to replace the rotted foam that held the 9volt battery in place, but that was no hardship.”
One of our favorite things to sell here at Adafruit are experimentation/beginners kits. We know that with every one of these kits that we sell, we are introducing someone to a new hobby or skill. Thankfully, Adafruit stocks a huge variety of experimentation kits for all age levels. Here are our favorites:
We also offer a great starter pack for the Arduino. This pack includes everything you need to follow along with Ladyada’s fantastic Arduino tutorial. Once you have completed the online tutorials you will have some great gear to get you started on your first project. We also have a budget Arduino pack that will allow you to finish Ladyada’s tutorial as well.
mbed is another really powerful microcontroller that is also super easy to use thanks to the mbed online IDE. We have this neat mbed RFID/NFC starter kit that will not only introduce you to the mbed, but also teach you how to incorporate RFID/NFC into your projects.