Videos of the Progress on the bubble bot

by on Nov.16, 2012, under Arduino, Arduino Projects, Electronics, Projects

Here are a couple of videos Dru made to show off the progress of his bubble bot.

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Finished Pieces From Our First Stained Glass Class

by on Nov.11, 2012, under Crafts, Projects

We had a great time today at our first stained glass class. Here are some of the panels that were completed today.

Rain’s Panel

From left to right: Jerri, Kara and Mary

We hope to have another class if there is interest for those that missed out this weekend. Rachel will come back and host another couple of classes covering the “Copper Foil” method of stained glass crafting hopefully before the end of the year.

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Come Tour MidsouthMakers during GEEK Week! November 6th 7pm-9pm

by on Nov.01, 2012, under Events, Meetings, Presentations, Projects

On November 6th 7pm-9pm during GEEK Week, come check out your local Makerspace and see what we have going on. We’ll have members on hand with various projects to demo and talk about. Come chat with us about a project you’re interested in or currently working on.

GEEK Week runs November 1-10 designed to showcase the growing Memphis tech scene. MidsouthMakers, the local Memphis Makerspace is proud to be a part of GEEK Week and will be participating in Tech Camp November 3rd.

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HTC Sensation Inductive Charging – Another Lunchtime Hack

by on Sep.06, 2012, under Electronics, Projects

Ever since the Palm Pre came out I’ve been in love with it’s inductive charging upgrade. Similarly to the Powermats, the charging base acts as a device stand with it’s integrated magnets in addition to charging your device without having to plug and unplug your device every time you need to use it. Once on the charger it outputs 5.50v. It’s a bit higher than other USB chargers I’ve used.

touchstone charger with back

Inductive charging back with base

“Induction chargers typically use an induction coil to create an alternating electromagnetic field from within a charging base station, and a second induction coil in the portable device takes power from the electromagnetic field and converts it back into electrical current to charge the battery. The two induction coils in proximity combine to form an electrical transformer.” -Wikipedia


After peeling off part of the backing you can see the coil and it’s output circuitry. You can also see the four magnets it uses to attach itself to the charging base. They do a good job of holding my heavy phone and case to the base.


After finally getting in the Touchstone base and replacement back I decided to get this working over some lunch. I was a bit uncertain at the time that the magnets would be able to hold my phone while it’s in it’s case. I also wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t experience any signal loss issues or suffer from any overheating while charging. I found the quickest way to make this work was to take the male end of a microUSB plug and wire it directly into the contacts off the inductive back. After taking apart the microUSB plug from a spare dead cable, you can use a 200 ohm resistor to short the D+ and D- pins on the plug. This allows the device to charge at a higher current, which will in turn charge a bit faster. After soldering it up I used some colored silicone to insulate the back of the plug.

Roughed in and adjusted the case to improve clearance


It works!


In order to clean this up and make it a bit more permanent and presentable, I have get away from using the charge port and get it through the housing. Unfortunately, the back housing of my phone has a nice metal frame right where I want to mount it. There are also a few antennas I need to avoid. The induction coil is going to have to stay on the back of the case, and somehow get passed thorough the metal housing into the board. I drilled through the back of the case near the sim card holder.

It took a bit of poking and prodding but I was able to find 2 test points that when the motherboard was plugged into a USB charger had +5v showing between the points and the ground plane. No magic smoke was released!


After a bit of soldering I was able to route the positive lead out of the phone housing and is now staged for the next step- going through the housing and into the case. The metal frame of the sim card holder is attached to the ground, so I can use that to complete the circuit. On a normal USB type charge port the ground pin attaches to the ground plane which is usually where all the shields are anchored into so I feel safe doing the same.


For the next stage of the project I’ll have to use some contacts or pogo plugs embedded within some silicone to go from the inside of the phone to the contact points on the induction charger. Ben had the good idea of using some thin copper PCB protoboard to act as thin traces.

To be continued!

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RaspberryPi Raffle – Proceeds going towards our Laser Cutter Fund!

by on Jul.30, 2012, under Events, Fundraising

Our very own Cliff has graciously donated a RaspberryPi for us to raffle off. We’ll be selling raffle tickets for $2 per ticket with no limit. All proceeds of the raffle will be put towards our Laser Cutter Fund which we are getting near our target goal. We’ll be drawing the winner of the Raffle at the LAN Party on August 25th. You do not have to be present to win. Please see Joe to purchase tickets any time between now and August 25th.

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