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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blinkenlights at London Hackspace

I paid a visit to London Hackspace yesterday hoping to play with laser cutter and 3d printer. And of course due to my luck neither laser cutter nor any of 3d printers they had worked, so I decided to do something else and play with electronics.

That's not terribly complicated, but it's my first ever thing using 555 timer circuit.

Due to power cable shortage I had to use red cable for both Vcc and Gnd, I'm totally aware it goes against the most important thing in circuit design - color coding your cables.

Long time ago I made a somewhat serious attempt at building a computer, but it never got past ALU phase since just wiring all the damn things was taking forever.

Here are some photos:

I'm somewhat tempted to give it another go someday, especially if I can find either how to print PCB or find some other way to deal with wiring, since the wiring was the biggest problem as you can probably see on the photos - elegant schematics turned into Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Anyway, London Hackspace is open for visitors every Tuesday evening, so if you live in London or are just passing by it's a good idea to drop by and see what's there.

I haven't decided if I want to get seriously involved or not, but I plan to at least give it another go - maybe the next time laser cutter and 3d printer will be working, or I'll find someone knowledgeable about PCB etching (since they have etching station over there too).

Actually does anybody know if laser cutter can be used to make PCBs? It sounds like it should since it can make both traces (by cutting a bit into top copper layer) and holes (by cutting all the way through) and with careful positioning it might even be able to do the same to the bottom layer in matching way. It sounds a lot less messy to just cut it with lasers rather than mess with ton of chemicals, but maybe it doesn't really work as well I as hope.

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