Author: James Muirhead

ATTiny Programmer photo

This is a modified version of the programmer described on the High Low Tech Group’s page. I have however added a few customisations…

  • Reset buttons for both the ATtiny and the host Arduino,
  • Headers in paralel with the IC,
  • Rails for 5V, 3.3V & ground,
  • A mini breadboard.

This shield simplifies the development of ATtiny (13/25/45/85) projects giving you direct access to the ATtiny as if it were an Arduino Uno with the added convenience of an attached Breadboad with rails.

Continue reading

ESP8266 closeup
[This post by SHH&M member Steve]

During the early discussions about our new space at Portland Works we decided it would be good to have an RfID access system, and that this would communicate with a server over the network. This immediately sparked my interest as I had recently taken delivery of some new modules that I had been dying to have a play with, the ESP8266-01.

The ESP8266 is a chip that enables wifi access, with communication over a simple UART (serial) connection. The main selling point of this chip is that it is very low cost compared to other Wifi solutions, typically £2-3 per module. Another huge advantage is its ability to act as a standalone microcontroller – more on that later…. Continue reading

IMG_20150219_205529

SHH&M are proud to announce that we’re officially incorporated as a company! We’re a member-run, non-profit Community Interest Company, with the mission of “helping people in Sheffield to make creative use of technology and tools for hobby-scale projects in fields such as computers, machining, technology, science, and digital or electronic art”.

More simply, we’re a Hackspace for Sheffield.

These are very early days for us, but if you’re interested get in touch!

At the moment, we’re busy renovating our new home in the Portland Works in central Sheffield. Our first proper public events will be very soon!

IMG_20150215_213921

Most of our members’ hacking time is going into the new space at the moment: getting the fabric of the building repaired, and setting up our infrastructure (some posts on our adventures with the ESP8266 WiFi modules should be up soon!). But as a Sunday project, I tried picking up a new technique — sewing a waistcoat from a pattern. Continue reading

Ceiling boards in workshop

Our dirty workshop is now almost ready to use! We’ve had a big job getting this far, stripping the walls and ceiling of nailed up carpets, chipboard, disused conduits and wiring, flaking paint, and a century of grime. After a bit of gymnastics and a lot of dust our ceiling boards are in, and the walls are re-pointed and missing bricks replaced. A bit of painting and sweeping to do, then our first room is usable as a hackspace!

Tea, concert and ball newspaper

At the SHH&M new premises, where we are currently “Hacking the space”, as well as having found the knives, we have also found multiple sections of newspapers, ranging from the later part of the early 19th century to early 20th century (see photo). Many of these were actually fashioned into a wrapping, held together with a single length of tied string, which look to have been used to cover the knife blades. The advantage of these is that the newspaper clippings are relatively well preserved. Other pieces of newspaper have been rolled up into balls and are less easy to read.

Among the items that could be read was a flyer for the Sheffield Table Blade Grinders’ Association “Tea, Concert and Ball” on Thursday 31st December, in Lower Cutlers’ Hall. Unfortunately, a section on the left hand side has been removed, but what remains tells of “Tea at 5 o’clock, including Ham, Tongue and Beef Sandwiches, Pork Pie, &C., of the finest quality”. This will be followed by the concert at 7 o’clock, with performances from Mr F Barraclough (a Comic) and Mr H Ashmore (a Tenor), as well some acrobats.

newspapers crumpled

Prices for the event were 1/6 for Gentlemen and 1/3 for Ladies as perhaps they didn’t eat as much, given that tickets for just the Concert and Ball were 1/- each.
Janine

10926418_398807806964510_2543218008638699463_n
An exciting find while renovating the small room at our new HQ. Found in the ceiling were a collection of about 20 different knives and blades (finest Sheffield Steel of course!) wrapped in newspapers dating from 1890, 1885 and 1881! The Portland Works was home to Robert Mosley, the first manufacturer of stainless steel cutlery that carried our city’s name into kitchens and dining rooms across the world, and this looks like his work. Maybe SHH&M’s new home is one of his old workshops? After getting a lot of interest, we’ve passed them to the resident historian at Portland Works to make sure they’re properly preserved and put on display.

10942755_398807913631166_9054246812941046719_n

Click through for more images of the trove!
Continue reading

#HackTheSpace

Exciting times here at SHHM! We’re moving into our new space at the Portland Works. It’s an amazing building that’s been central to Sheffield’s industrial history, and is now run as “a community owned home for traditional crafts and creative arts”. We’ll fit in well!

B7uk_2zCAAMhFxn

We have big plans for this space: as a workshop for your projects, a classroom to learn new skills and techniques, and a social hub for hackers, makers and geeks in Sheffield. For now, though, we’re stripping it back to the bricks and making a blank canvas to work from. Everyone is very welcome to join us, but for the next few weeks while we’re building you should expect to get dirty!

B7vNtAKIgAAQu-D

Retro IBM monitor with raspeberry pi
One of our members, James Muirhead, managed to get a classic IBM monitor working with his Raspberr pi! He says:

Reasons for doing this…

I’ve had this monitor knocking about in the attic (used for years in the 90s) for years and I’ve wanted to do something like this. It’s taken me a while to get an HDMI to VGA adapter which actually supports 640×480 @ 60Hz.

I was partly doing this for estetic reason (it’s awesomely retro) and partly because it’s an old device I wanted to breath new life into. I always try to reuse before recycling.

Required config.txt changes

hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=4
hdmi_drive=2 (if audio supported by VGA adapter).

When it first started I saw nothing but green snow. I thought it wasn’t working so I tried all the different relevent settings. It however turned out that I needed to restart the Pi somehow, whether by bridging the reset pins (this requirtes a Revision 2 Raspberry Pi), or by using sudo reboot from SSH command line (via network).

Future expansion

If I were to make this a perfamant build (I don’t have the desk space or the spare Pi right now).

  • I will likely wire a Solid State Relay to control power to the monitor from a pin on the GPIO (this monitor is way too early for automatic power control).
  • I would also probably create some from of circuit to reset the Raspberry Pi automatically (to avoid green snow). Either using a 555N in monostable mode or a suitably programmed ATtiny45/85.