Category Archives: Hardware

Build a Trippy RGB Light with Mitch Altman and DC401

Trippy Lights

John Duksta posted the details about next Monday’s DC401 meetup, and it’s going to be a blast. Mitch Altman, inventor of TV-B-Gone and many other cool things, will be showing people how to make a trippy RGB light from some easily obtainable parts. This will be a lot of fun!

Date/Time: 14 Jan 2008 – 1700-1900
Location: AS220, 115 Empire St, Providence. Directions

We totally lucked out! Mitch Altman, inventor of the TV-B-Gone, will be passing through RI and has agreed to come by and do a workshop and a talk. Big thanks go out to Brian Jepson for swinging Mitch in our direction.

The Trippy RGB Light is made from hacking a MiniPOV kit. It’s quick to build, which is good given our short window at AS220. It’s also versatile. When you take it home, you can re-hack it into a Brain Machine, a Solar Bug Bot or an open source TV-B-Gone.

Mitch gave us a variety of topics on which he could speak. We’re getting our geek on with the workshop, so I figured something non-technical might be a nice foil. Mitch will be talking on Community Building, something we’ll need to do a fair amount of if we want the hacker space to get off the ground and prosper.

Since we’ll be doing a workshop, we’ll need get started a little earlier, so be at AS220 at 1700 if you want to take part in the workshop. We’ll get the talk going sometime around 1800, as usual. If you want to do the workshop, post a comment on the site and include your email so I can send you a confirmation. I’ll do a bulk buy of the MiniPOV kits and extra LEDs and you all can pay me back at the meeting.

DC401 January 2008 meetup – Link


November Geek Dinner Wed. the 21st: Come Early And Build a Bare Bones Board

Bare Bones Board
Paul Badger teaches physical computing and electronic media at RISD, and is the Founder of Providence-Based Modern Device Company. Paul is the inventor of the first Arduino board not created by the “official” Arduino team, the Bare Bones Board. If you’re coming to the Geek Dinner, drop by a little early and make something!

We’ll be setting up some soldering stations in the AS220 performance space at 4:30 and Paul will be making some Bare Bones Board Kits available for purchase, so come early and build a Bare Bones Kit. Bare Bones Boards will be available for $15 each, and a limited number of USB-serial cables are available for $20 each. We’ll be shutting the soldering irons off at around 5:30, so come early.

And by building a kit, you’ll have a chance to win a copy of Making Things Talk, which will show you how to make amazing things with Arduino boards. We’ll pick the winner at random from those of you who come and wield a soldering iron.

Please RSVP in the comments section of the announcement post so that we can give the good folks at AS220 an estimated headcount. And while you’re at it, subscribe to Providence Geeks’ RSS feed (see sidebar) and/or join our very-low-volume email announcement list (for the announcement list, send an email to Jack Templin, jtemplin over at Gmail with your name and affiliation).

Robot Soccer!

AIBO SoccerSeptember 7th – Chad Jenkins and his students are “demonstrating”: a variety of robotic and data visualization experiments at the “CIT”:,-95.677068&sspn=36.452734,71.015625&ie=UTF8&ll=41.827299,-71.39917&spn=0.004189,0.008669&z=17&om=1.

On offer:
DLR Hand
AIBO Soccer
Teaching Robots
Diagramming Tool
and Pizza!

Robotics & Graphics Open House
Interactive Demos – Free Pizza
Friday, September 7, 2007 at 12:00 Noon
CIT 4th Floor

Help Build and Play a Video Game System This Afternoon (12/6/2006)

XGameStation Pico Assembly Video

I recently picked up an XGameStation Pico, which is a small video game system you can build and program yourself. I’m going to be coming up to AS220 around 2:30pm, and I’ll set up a little work area where I can assemble the unit, and if the darn thing works, I’ll even plug it into the projector for some big-screen neo-retro action before the Geek Dinner. Feel free to come along and watch, help, or give me moral support when I mess something up beyond repair!

P.S. If you have a Parallax SX-Key and a KeySpan 19HS USB/Serial adapter, bring it along. Those are the two accessories I forgot to order until last night (and without them, we’ll only be able to run the default video game that’s pre-flashed onto the system).

Update: We managed to assemble it about half-way before we were distracted by burritos and beverages. You can see the completed system here.