ModLab is the place to be


Last nights modlab was a blast (ModLab is the open house of ArtEngine the Ottawa HackSpace).

A newcomer made his first solder connection!

Lots of microprocessor and Arduino activity. An LED game of life. A controller for an autonomous quadracopter (in progress), a musical hat and much more.

Also the new laser was sitting around. This will have a lot of positive impact on the space I’m sure. Currently a solution for air cleaning is being looked at.

I had my drawbots running. I found that it runs nicely on 9v or 6v for motor power. You get .7A and .5A respectively. Quieter on 6v. Also we ran the same drawing more than once and observed some reasonable repeatability.

We actually made a happy face with the drawbot. Mike cooked up a happy face and transferred the data into the drawbot.

I attended a brief aftersocial at a Scottish pub but kept it very short and light since I was pretty bushed.

CNC Meetup

When: Tuesday August 2nd, 6-7pm
Where: Atomic Rooster Pub, 303 Bank

We can have a follow up at ModLab on Wednesday 7pm (2 Daly, ask for Artengine at front desk).

Proposed agenda:
6-6:10pm: Social
6:10-6:50: Round table (everyone can tell about their projects and what challenges they are facing)
6:50+: We can all reflect on the issues and see who has answers.
Let me know by tomorrow morning if you’re coming so I can book a table.
If that time slot doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll make the next one in a different time slot. Perhaps I can alternate between a couple of timeslots.



Being in a choir (several actually) has transformed my life and how I see things. Different music equals different thinking. There is a team dynamic in choirs that’s different then most activities as well.

I enjoyed hearing Eric Whitacre’s story. I hope you do too.

Pecha Kucha Ottawa coming March 16th

pecha kucha Ottawa

This is a fun event that draws all types of people.

In a nutshell, people speak on 20 slides with a limit of 20 seconds per slide.

It’s in the Arts Court at 2 Daly.

There is a social just before with a cash bar.

Amazing talks.

Except mine. 🙂 This was my first time speaking with such time constraints. Wow, what a different experience. Time moves fast.

If I submit another talk I will spend more time preparing and now that I understand the mechanics of it, it will be much easier.

I actually have it on video. I will try and get to converting it for internet viewing. 🙂

Party in Ogdensburg tonight!

As you can see at the site, they are having a wine and cheese social tonight!

This is great for anybody who goes to pick up parcels in Ogdensburg regularly.  Perhaps it will be an opportunity to meet others who make the trip and collaborate rather than every individual making so many trips.

Anybody coming?

Here are some pictures:

Social Networks are chaotic


Shera Bechard talks about how she was discovered in this video. I find that it’s very interesting that the relevant connection was made at a cartooning convention. People who pursue various interests are often rewarded by the extra connections that get made when attending conferences, conventions and meetups.

I think people need to keep their mind open at all times because opportunities are all around us. We just have to see them.

I see a lot of people being socially closed (and at the same time wondering why they can’t find work or partnership in life).

If you want to understand more about how these strange things work, check out a site on Social Network Theory. An article on Chaos and the Social Network.

We went to the same high school. Somehow I never noticed her, I’m supposing we were in different grades since she’s younger than me by the looks of things. 🙂

Do you have an unusual story about how you discovered something in an unexpected place?

Salsa vs. Club

I’ve been in a dance troop lately plus I’ve been relying on Salsa as a form of exercise. So I try to get out once per week outside my regular practice sessions.

Last Wednesday I went to Caliente for the Salsa DJ at 10pm. They have a regular Salsa activity (

To my surprise there was a live band. They were awesome. They eventually cut the tempo back for Salsa dancing and the floor filled up!

I did a few dances and got a little tired at women trying to grab my hand while doing a basic ladies right turn so I decided to go to Maxwells for more exercise. I tried different ladies and I figure it must have been “grab and cling to the guy’s hand night”.

Maxwells is hard to beat. It’s always fun. I got a couple of dances in and then home early to do a presentation on the next day!

HackTrip 1.0

Hacktrip 1.0

I’ve really enjoyed my experience with my local HackSpace (Modlab). I’d like to meet more people within maker and hacker community so I’d like to do road trips (perhaps 2-4 weeks) to learn more about the wider community.

The more the merrier, so everybody who’s interested please stay in touch! Not dates are set so lets talk it up! Please comment or email me at

1) What times are good for you to make a trip?
2) Are there any other points of interest to add to the list?

I’d like to write about everything I learn on these road trips as well as take loads of pictures and video.

I’ve listed the hackerspaces and points of interest in the rough order they are on the map.

Looking at all the hackerspaces, it looks like there are two main legs of the journey. Toronto Cluster and East Coast Cluster.

Toronto Hack Cluster

Tuesdays, 5pm
170a Baldwin St., Toronto, ON M5T 1L8

Mondays, 9pm
71 Wyndham St. South, Unit B, Guelph

Tuesdays, 7pm
283 Duke St. W, Kitchener

Tuesdays, 7pm
25 Dundurn St N (back door, up stairs), Hamilton, ON

Have inquired about open house, address
Web site unclear


Buffalo Lab, a makerspace – learn, make play!

Buffalo, NY
1,667 Members

Are you:- Running out of hobby space at home or in your garage? – Interested in a joining community? – Willing to share knowledge and learn from others? – Looking for a pl…

Next Meetup

Community Potluck and Projects! (Weds) + Open Fiber Arts Lab

Wednesday, Jan 4, 2017, 6:30 PM
2 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Will inquire about open house
701 Seneca Street, Buffalo, New York 14210 on the 4th floor
Dec 5th note: According to their Web site, they are having trouble making rent.

Tuesdays, 7pm
1115 E. Main St., Suite 42 (Door #1), Rochester, NY 14609

East Coast Hack Cluster

I suppose the East Coast Cluster could run from Philadelphia to Portland. I know there are lots of conflicts in open house times so perhaps the trip could be done in two directions, once on the way down, and then on the way back up to catch what was missed on the way down.


Washington DC:
1525 Newton St NW, Washington DC 20010, (Near corner of 16th and Newton NW)

Thursdays, 7:30pm
Load of Fun Building, 120 W. North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21210

Baltimore: (was

4600 Powell Ave, Baltimore, MD 21206

Delaware (Wilmington):

NextFab Studio, LLC, 3711 Market Street, Ground Floor, Philadelphia PA 19104-5504


Wednesdays, 8pm
915 Spring Garden (Suite 519)

Wall Township, NJ:

Highland Park, NJ:

New York:

New York:
540 W. 21st Street, (between 10th and 11th Avenues), New York, NY 10011
Tel. 212.937.6580 Fax: 212.937.6582

New York:

New York:

New York:
87 3rd Avenue, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11217

New York:
148 Frost Street, Brooklyn NY, 11211
General meetings are held every Tuesday, from 7 to 10pm. All are welcome. These are the droids you’re looking for. Every Thursday we have open hours at 7pm
Every Monday we have Make A Bot Monday at 8pm

New York:

Stoney Brook (New York):

Waterburry, Connecticut:

Meriden, Connecticut:
290 Pratt ST Meriden,CT on the 2nd Floor in the center of the building

White Plains, NY:

Indian Orchard, Massachusetts (different trip?):


111 Cummington St Rm. B28, Boston MA 02215



14 Professors Row, Medford, MA 02155, Tufts University

Portland Maine (far!)



And last but not least:

Every other Wednesday 5pm
2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, ON

this one

I’m still making the list:

Ottawa Mini Maker Faire and Electric Fields Festival

I had the pleasure of attending the Ottawa Maker Faire. What an amazing event!!! Thanks to Emily and Ryan and the crowd at artengine, the event is now the talk of the town!

To give you a feel for the festival, take a look at this amazing video by Megan Turnbull a maker I met there.

Here are a few clips I took myself.

Make Faire is an amazing grass roots DIY culture. It has become an important facilitator of inspiration and innovation in the community.

I attended New York World Maker Faire which was probably the largest Maker Faire ever. I theorized that the amazing experience was because of the scale of the event (aside from a collection of other aspects). Well, right or wrong, the Ottawa faire was amazing despite being a smaller event. Here are some clips from the New York event.