RFID access system using ESP8266-01 (part 1)

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

We Exist!

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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!

Machine sewing

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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

A roof over our heads

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!