Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pumping Station One- Our 32nd Hackerspace Visit

It was strange, perhaps a bit lazy, that we had waited so long to visit our "Hometown" hackerspace. Since CMKT 4 is based out of DeKalb, IL, Chicago's hackerspace, Pumping Station One, is the closest hackerspace. We somehow managed to visit 31 other hackerspaces before PS1.
Upon entering this light-industrial building, we realized we were standing in a hair salon. The hackerspace apparently rents the back section of the building, while the landlord maintains control of the front half. Through the salon, we were greeted by a group of hackers. They had just finished a programming workshop and were glad to give us the grand tour. They had a permanent contact mic installation, in which a Slinky had been suspended from the ceiling. Give the Slinky a little tap, and listen to the resulting "laser" noises.
Behind the Slinky was a very well-stocked Electronics corner. Hard at work, hackers soldered their various projects. Along the wall, there were sections designated for various types of material fabrication; a sewing area, 3D printing, woodworking tools.
Then there was the phone booth. An old Police Call Box sat next to the entryway. They seemed to be using it for storage. Unfortunately, my photo didn't turn out very well, but I found this one on Flickr (thanks to Flickr user Rubin 110):
We had fun with their LED wall in the classroom. This was a wall that was painted with magnetic paint. The strips of paint were supplied voltage. Then, LEDs could be placed between the strips of paint, thus lighting the LED.
After a very fun tour of PS1, we taught a room full of hackers our Contact Mic Workshop. And so concludes our 32nd hackerspace visit. (January 14, 2012)

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