Port City Makerspace Electronics Lab

Maker Meet Up at PCMS 11/18 and a Google Hangout

Join us Sunday 18th from 3-6pm for one of our meet ups at Port City Makerspace. We will also be doing a Google Hangout so people can join in without having to travel, and it’ll be streaming on youtube if you just want to watch.

For the meet up I’ll be showing how to use a chip called a Shift Register with a micro-controller. One shift register allows you to use 3 pins on an Arduino to control up to 8 things by basically sending 8 bits into the chip, with each bit corresponding to a pin on the chip. With several shift registers chained together, and still only using 3 pins on the micro-controller, you can control a large number of LEDs or anything connected to a transistor. The only trade-off is it takes time to change the values on the chips, but for using a small number of chips to light LEDs it’s not a problem. Come check it out, I’d be glad to show you how to use one!


Maker Meet Up at Adelle’s 10/5

We’re doing our regular Maker Meet Up this Friday 6pm at Adelles Coffeehouse in Dover.

Join local makers, crafters, tinkerers and the like for some scheming and discourse on subjects such as cool tech, interesting parts, neat tricks, and fun projects. If you have something you want to share, leave a comment here so others can see what’s being shared at the meet up. Thanks!


August Newsletter

Firstly, the awesome (belated) news…

Port City Makerspace is open! Check it out! And they’re having a grand opening party on the 24th!

Exciting Upcoming Stuff!

We will be doing another Arduino class in the future. This one will take place at Port City Makerspace. No date set yet, it’ll be probably on a weekend. We’ll usually be doing something with Arduinos at our twice-monthly meet ups too, so come to one of those and you can learn something too. I made a topic in the forums to discuss what we’ll be doing at the workshop.
Our next regular meet up is Sunday 19th, possibily at Port City Makerspace though it still has to be confirmed. From 3-6pm we’ll hang out and talk about what fun stuff we want to make and maybe make stuff while we’re there.

If you’re a crafty type person there’s going to be an Etsy craft meet up in Portsmouth on the 24th 7pm. If 25 people RSVP Etsy sends a box of free supplies for every attendee, so sign up right away! Who can resist free stuff?

If you pay attention to this group then you may be familiar with Maker Faire. If not, well now you are! This month and next month there will be a total of 4 Maker Faires in the nearby area. 3 mini ones and the World Maker Faire.
There’s one today Saturday the 11th is in Providence, Rhode Island. I wish I got this newsletter out sooner, my apologies if you wanted to go but couldn’t make it.
The next one is in Lewiston, Maine on September 8th. Plenty of time to plan a roadtrip, eh?
And the next TWO are in Vermont on the 29th and the World Maker Faire in New York the 29th and 30th. Maker Faires are popping up everywhere now! There’s even talk about arranging one in New Hampshire. The Children’s Museum is working out the details I believe.

Stuff that happened the last couple months:

We had our first Arduino workshop at COG in the One Washington Center June 15th. It went rather well, with a total attendance of 6 people. Two people that had never used Arduino before left that workshop instantly hooked on it. 😀
As usual, we had our regular twice-monthly meet ups. Most had rather low attendance, which I take as a sign that Friday is still not working for many people. Due to that we’ll change the second meet up of each month to the third Sunday, but keep the first meet up of the month a Friday and see how that turns out. And if location/space is a problem, we’ll be having some meet ups at the Port City Makerspace. That way there’ll actually be room to make things, or just hang out without the noise of shrieking coffee makers in the background.

That’s it for this month’s newsletter. Keep creating, seacoast makers.
-Alex Nunn

Robot with Arduino

Intro to Arduino Class at COG

We are doing an intro to Arduino class on Friday the 15th at 6pm-8pm. It’ll get you familiar with using the popular microcontroller and enable you to learn more on your own after the class is over. See the eventbrite page for more details.

The location is in the Collaborative Office Group at 1 Washington Mill Building in Dover on the 4th floor.

If there’s anyone interested in attending but can’t attend Friday contact me and let me know if Saturday or Sunday would work better. I can do the class again at Adelle’s.

June Newsletter

Hello Makers,

It’s that intermittent time again. Newsletter time! Now with new and improved formatting and coherence!

Future Stuff

In this upcoming month of June, we’re going to be doing an Arduino class! YAAAAY! It’ll be a basic introduction where you’ll learn how to control an array of LEDs, make some noise and move a motor. It’ll be happening at Adelle’s on Friday 15th 6-8pm, and Saturday 3-5pm. That’s right, TWO DAYS!! And the cost is just the cost of materials, so it’s $38. That comes from the $35 for the Arduino Uno, $2 for the cable, and $1 for parts (LEDs, motor, speaker, resistors, wires). I only have enough supplies for 5 attendees, so I have set up an eventbrite page here where you can reserve a ticket for the class. There will be a rundown of what the class is about on that page in a few days.

We will also be having our regular meet ups this upcoming Friday June 1st and Tuesday June 19th at 6pm at Adelle’s Coffeehouse in Dover (as usual). You may be wondering about the second meet up: “Why Tuesday?”. Why not Tuesday? But really, I’m just moving things around to see if it works better.

Happening THIS month, THIS week: Port City Makerspace is nearly open! And to celebrate, Wednesday May 30th at 5pm they’re going to be having a barbecue where people can tour the space, hang out with other makers, and buy early memberships for when they officially open. I’ll be bringing Arduinos with flashy lights and stuff, and I encourage you to bring something cool as well. Invite your friends. More info available here.

Past Stuff

As for what happened earlier this month:
We had our regular meet ups on Friday 4th and Thursday 17th. At the Thursday meet up we had some serious tinkering going on with an Arduino and an oscilloscope and noises that may or may not have annoyed the other patrons. It was good fun.
On the 11th we had another LED Throwie night where 3 new people showed up, mostly by happenstance but I wasn’t complaining. We had fun talking about the magic and wizardry involved in LED Throwies. We didn’t load up the crab with lights like I planned, but there’s always next time.
The one meet up on the 17th was originally going to be on Friday, but was moved to Thursday because Friday I left for the BAY AREA MAKER FAIRE WOO. If you want to look at some of the photos people have taken of the faire, and you do, I recommend the Flickr pool. I took some photos as well, you can find them in there.
Also related to Flickr, I created a group on there for the Seacoast Makers. Feel free to join so you can see pictures of the next time we do cool stuff.

Crab claw

LED Throwie Build Night this Friday


This Friday we’re meeting at Adelle’s at 7pm to make some LED Throwies! If you want to join in on the fun the Throwies are 10 for $5, 20 for $9, 30 for $13, and so on like that. Join us, and together we shall decorate the giant metal crab in the park! Again! With MORE throwies. SO MANY MORE.

John Pittman's Vivarium Presentation

April Newsletter

Hello Seacoast Makers,
Another month has come and gone, and boy was this one a busy one. Five meet ups and a Vivarium How-To. Combine that with helping the Port City Makerspace guys in Portsmouth prep their space two weekends in a row and I’m exhausted. Just kidding, I chugged five pots of coffee this morning. I’m good to go for the rest of the month. Anyway, here’s a list of things that happened in March.

March Summary

Meet ups:

Friday 2nd: Regular meet up at Adelle’s
Saturday 10th: Impromptu meet up at Adelle’s to welcome new people.
Friday 16th: Regular meet up at Adelle’s. Notes can be found here.
Wednesday 21st: Impromptu meet up at Brickhouse to discuss the camera on a weather balloon project.
Friday 23rd: Impromptu meet up at Adelle’s to discuss more about the camera on a weather balloon project and general maker talk

Sunday 18th: Vivarium How-To Lecture led by John Pittman. Here’s a post he made about his presentation.

Fridays and Saturdays 15th & 16th, 23rd & 24th, 30th & 31st: Port City Makerspace work days. For more details see this post.

April Happenings

Our regular meet ups this month will be on Friday the 6th and Thursday the 19th just to mix it up a little. Both are from 6pm to 8pm.

The Port City Makerspace people will probably be doing more volunteer work days this weekend. Watch their Facebook page for updates on that.

The MIT Flea Market will be on Sunday the 15th from 9-2pm. See this flier for more details.

The Cambridge Mini Maker Faire will be on Friday the 20th from 12-4pm. Only reference I found for this is on Facebook.

In regards to projects some of us are working on sending a camera into the stratosphere via weather balloon. Here is an example of one project. If you’d like to get involved in that check out the topic on the forums. You don’t need an account to make a post on the forums fyi, you can post as a guest.
We’ll be working on that for awhile though, the equipment (GPS device for recovery, sensors for data, microcontroller for logging data and transmitting) will probably be ready by next month. So we still need something to do for this month, and I’ve decided to set up a poll of possible things we could do that would be easy to set up. Cast your vote here. The results will be confirmed after the meet up this week and I’ll send another email with the decided-upon thing.

Miscellaneous B.S.

The website and forums have gotten a bit of a makeover. There’s still some minor modifications I plan to make to the forums, but overall I think I’m done messing with it.

In May a couple of us are going to the Maker Faire in San Mateo. If anyone else is interested email us at this address and we can plan to go as a group.

That’s all for now!

Meet Up Summary for March 16

Meet up lasted from 6 till a little bit past closing time for Adelle’s (8pm). Here’s a summary based off some notes that were taken.

First, there was a reminder about the Vivarium Lecture/Frog and Pony Show. It’s happening this Sunday at Wentworth Greenhouses from 1pm-2pm. What it is is a how-to guide for making habitats for South American dart frogs. The presenter John Pittman will be show you one of the vivariums he’s made and will give you tips on how to make your own, giving tips on lighting, construction, flora, etc.

For future regular meet ups it was recommended we have a someone do a 10-15 min. presentation or lecture about a project, news, or some subject of interest.

Efforts to set up a workshop space here are on hold so we can help the Port City Makerspace guys set up. After that, if we decide we want to set up a space here in Dover, maybe just make a small space without heavy machines. Enough equipment and space for light construction and crafts. We could set up a partnership program with Port City Markerspace, let one membership grant access to their space and ours.
A suggestion was made to establish the space as a non-profit organization, then make a separate LLC to build stuff for people (tools for artists, businesses, etc.). Making the space and business two entities separates the liability and protects the space from being affected if the business doesn’t go well.

Cool ideas mentioned:
Establishing a space in the old Foster’s building at the corner of Central and Washington.
Regularly do group projects. Get a list of specific projects, then poll people on what they want to do that week. Some suggestions are:
Have people bring in stuff for their junk drawers and build robots that meets certain goals (ex. piggy bank that does stuff) as a competitive thing,
Build an arcade cabinet (and then find somewhere to put it)
Something that combines people’s talents. Hardware and software people could make robots, crafters and hardware people could make costumes, stuff like that.

We once again concluded that we need new place to meet that has space to make stuff. Maybe Elite Hobbies, a friend’s garage, an empty space in one of the mill buildings, Kaleo Coffee (rented space), Tuttle’s Red Barn. Jetpack Comics is a good location with big space, but a common desire is some place here in Dover. We’ll probably try Elite Hobbies first.

For the site, it’d be great if people could contribute projects coupled with photos to demonstrate how cool the things we’re doing are. I bet I could produce some project-related posts if I took more pictures and documented, but there need to be others contributing. If you’re interested in becoming an author on this site let me know and I can make you an account in a minute. All you need to do is post things of interest, be it a project of yours you’re working on or have finished, a topic you read about and want to share, or interesting maker-related news.


I’ll be fiddling with the site over the course of next week trying to get content between the forums and site and Facebook better connected, among other things.

If you were at the meet up and notice I forgot something that you think should be in this post leave a comment and I’ll add it.


Port City Makerspace Volunteer Work Day

Good news everyone: the group in Portsmouth got a space. Now they just have to fix it up, which to be honest looks like it will take a lot of work. That’s why they’re asking anyone interested to come help out this weekend on Friday 16 and Saturday 17. You need to bring your own safety equipment (goggles, particle mask, ear muffs, etc.), a lot of the work involves construction/deconstruction. In return they’ll offer food and drink, and when they finally get going there’ll be special benefits for those that helped.


From their Facebook page:

“Hey Folks,
We’re having work days Friday and Saturday again this week (3/16 and 3/17) starting at 10 AM. You bring eye protection and we will provide dust masks and ear plugs. We want to get some concrete poured in the floors and some windows opened up that are boarded up. Drop by to check us out even if you can’t hang out and work, we’d love to see some new faces.
We’ll provide lunch for the work crew.”

Also a post on the forums: http://www.seacoastmakers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=120

Meet Up Summary Feb. 17

We had a very big group on Friday! There was a record-breaking 9 people there, in addition to one person I brought over at the last minute that was at the other end of Adelle’s. There were the usual suspects: John M., John P., Angela, and me. Tom Elliot of the Idea Greenhouse, who is a regular at this point, was also there. The new faces were Zach R., Zach S., Kevin, and Beau. Since there were so many new faces we had everyone do introductions and tell us what they’re doing or want to do. Here is a brief summary of what people talked about:

Angela S. is working on making a musical hula hoop outfit that makes different tones depending on what part of the body it’s touching.
John M. has a metal detector kit he is playing with. He is also experimenting with growing Rochelle piezoelectric crystals, and once he gets a good method down he wants to do a workshop on it.
John P. has been making what he calls “dream bikes”. Something he wants to do is hack his knitting machine to connect to a USB port on a computer, as it currently only takes 5 inch floppy disks. He is also going to be leading a workshop/lecture on making vivariums/terrariums at Wentworth Greenhouses on March 18. The details are still being worked out and we’ll keep you updated on it.
Alex N. is trying to learn how to use a CNC router, repairing various things, and managing all of the Seacoast Makers stuff.
Zach R. is from Portsmouth and working with a couple friends to try and set up a makerspace there, and already have fairly good progress. They’re going to be known as the Port City Makerspace and have a website (placeholder) here.
Kevin wants to be an inventor. His history of making includes kids’ halloween costumes (see: Megaman), toys, and a Death Star tree ornament. He also makes models out of papercraft and would be willing to lead a workshop on papercrafting.
Tom E. runs the Idea Greenhouse, works with the Innovation Commercialization Center, and would like a place to work on his idea for flexible cubicle walls.
Zach S. is an experienced building and web designer, but also likes to do more physical work like repair mechanical and electrical things.
Beau A. is also setting up a sort of hackerspace known as AD&HD Inc. located right here in Dover. One of his first projects there is going to be a gaming chair. He is also planning on obtaining an ambulance and doing a cross-country roadtrip to promote maker awareness or something of the sort. He is looking for a driver, so if you’re interested contact him.


By the time we got around to doing introductions it was kind of late, so when those got finished up people dispersed shortly after. The core group remained for a short while longer to discuss plans, like future workshops and such. We’re going to make John P.’s vivarium workshop/lecture be the build night for March. We can still make some stuff together at the meet ups or get started on the book club. Getting Started With Arduino is probably the first book we’ll do, since everyone likes Arduino and it’s great for introducing people to electronics and microcontrollers. If you’re interested in participating in an Arduino build night leave a comment below!