Mod Lab’s October 6th Meeting Recap

Awesome turn out to Wednesday night’s meetup; Nigel Vezeau brought in and demoed a few of his projects, Andrew Plumb instructed a group on the Makerbot, Derek Ledoux and Justin Dempsey from the Ottawa indie gamer group the Dirty Rectangles came and made LED throwies and I brought in an electronic toy I made with Jimmie Rodgers a while back.

Living near the Queensway in Ottawa can be hard on the ears so Nigel created an arduino-based device that measures sound in close intervals. With it he hopes to make a 3D map of sound levels coming from the freeway to discover pockets of quiet and best places to be when you live near the freeway.

It’s mounted on a stick so that he is able to take readings from ground to as high as he can reach with the stick to get a more comprehensive view of the sounds. The microphone is so sensitive that in order to have it mounted and not picking up footsteps and other extraneous sounds he padded it with foam.

Nigel also demoed the data from a project of his that incorporates mapping the bike trails of Ottawa on Google Earth with a GPS so that you can see what parts of the trails are good and what parts need work. In the picture the bad spots are in red, ok spots in yellow and good spots in green:

Andrew demoed his Dremel Flex-Shaft Mount, which is a useful addition to the Makerbot tool set, allowing you to etch pcb’s from the comfort of your own home (or wherever your Makerbot is):

And I brought in what is affectionately called a “Creepy Cave Crab”- a light-sensitive sound generating creature that Jimmie laid down the schematics to and I built:

The variously sized photocells lining it’s back allow for the difference in tones generated when light is shined on it. There is an audio jack in the back that allows you to hook it up to a mini speaker to hear it’s sound. The eyes, comprised of 2 RGB LEDs, give off their own light so even in complete darkness it produces a hum. When it’s exposed to bright light it screams until it’s covered again. It can be played like an instrument if you have a small flash light too! Here’s a video of two of them in action. Super fun.

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3 Responses to “Mod Lab’s October 6th Meeting Recap”

  1. I’d love to learn more about the Makerbot Dremil attachment — has Andrew successfully etched a PCB yet?

  2. Is there an Oct 20 Meeting ? Also, where/when exactly are the meetings ? I’d love to see the Makerbot Dremil attachment. I was considering getting the pen plotter attachment and using resist pens to do board etching… engraving looks like a reasonable alternative.

  3. There should be although I think we are meeting in a different room on Wednesday. The meetings start at 7PM and if you go into the main entrance at 2 Daly Ave. there is a receptionist who should be able to show you where to go.

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