Stuff I wanna do with the finished space

in this thread post crazy "pie in the sky" stuff you want to do or see
others do in the finished space. don't worry if it's not likely to
succeed. the goal is to build a pool of ideas and to get others
excited about doing stuff.

i'll go first:

classes on all the stuff i don't know how to, or i am not very good at
doing. preferably taught by an enthusiast, professional, or other
expert in that field. think of a cinci2600 preso that lasts 6 weeks.

bulk ordering of stuff: coordinate the buying of parts and materials
among members to save on volume discounts and shipping (lots of 10
from ebay, etc.). how much money have you wasted on crap just to get
free shipping from amazon?

widows and orphans club: places to go and things to do for families of
members during regular events.

free/anonymous voicemail and voice conference server: the community
voice mail project says you need a full time employee and a budget of
$50k per year to provide 600 voicemail boxes in a local community
( since the telephreak project provides voicemail and
conferencing for free ( i'm calling

green data center: built from recycled materials and equipment and
with sustainable power and cooling.

weekly/monthly game nights/days: video games, board games, role
playing games, etc.

DIY studio: a soundproof room with mikes and PCs set up with open
source editing tools for music, podcasts, vodcasts, and the like.

electronic thrift store: old stuff is donated, cleaned/fixed up/
repaired, then sold or traded for stuff for the space.

geek library: technical, fiction, and howto books and comics for
members to check out.

community computer lab: like the public library, but with better
hours, no time limits, and few if any filters. powered by the linux
terminal server project ( and recycled equipment.

experimental computer lab: a collection of machines to load and test
software on. no more keeping machines at home for testing purposes.
great for studying for certifications. use easily removable sata
drives so you can take your configs with you.

router lab: a CCNP/CCIE class lab for study groups to prepare for
certification exams. no more flipping old CCNA labs on ebay, one lab
to rule them all!

cheap OEM server, like the ones google uses (switches too!)

alternate reality game using wifi hot spots. like a cross between
geocaching, a scavenger hunt and a wifi race.

I think NYCResistor is doing a really cool thing with their laser.
They have a laser cutter that can be used to make things out of all
kinds of materials. In addition to use by members, they make money
with the laser by using it to cut or etch things for non-members and
also by teaching a class on how to use it. From what I understand a
laser cutter like theirs can be purchased for around $15,000.

Eventually, I would love a full metal shop so I can build shit like


Overall Layout:

-Clean Side/Dirty Side:
I've found over the years that workspace should have a dedicated clean
side. With the rest of the shop considered "dirty". Any projects that
would create dust/debris or aerosols would be confined to the dirty
side. Clean side would exactly that; an area where there would be no
airborne contaminates to worry about. I would have a Paint/Primer Hood
with either an exterior vent or a vent to a drum with a filtered
intake and outlet. The other measure that could be taken would be a
hanging plastic wall with positive pressure coming from the clean

-Destress/Meeting Area:
Couches, beanbags, whiteboards, blank paper and clipboards. Coffeepot,
Samovar. Boardgames. Library. You get the idea.


CNC Machine(not too bad price wise if we do DIY). Hotplates. Test
bench. Spray booth. Large flat work surfaces with centralized power
and networking. Overhead spring coiled pneumatic lines. More Soldering
irons than cockroaches. Vacuum chamber (for degassing silicone mold
material). Steam sterilizer, Vapor hood with UV, plenty of lab glass.

Personal Projects:

As previously mentioned I'm working on a sonar jacket. Honestly I'd
like to build two that way people could play blind tag. I'd like to
build adeadmans switch actuated "shoutout" device that dials a
predetermined number and leaves the individuals last known GPS
location. I had an idea years ago for an ROV that would use river
currents to it's advantage for sonar location of bodies. Conway's Life
covering an entire wall anyone? Last but not least I've always wanted
to reanimate a cow's heart using a broadcast Tesla coil and arecieve
coil. It would be cool if we had a solar power battery recharge

EEG neurofeedback device for entrainment of, or modification of,
stress response. I initially wanted to build a screen with an LED net
that would respond to EEG signals. But I think a cube might be
neater.That'd be step one. Once you are entrained your capacity to
modulate your brainwaves could be used as a control input. The final
version of the sonar jacket would be an all inclusive "survival"
jacket complete with built in GPS,Taser, Chainmail or Kevlar lining
and anything else I can cram into it.

I don't know if anyone has and interest in bioreactors or not but I'd
love to put one together. I've also always wanted to put together a
mini ecomachine. I would like to push the size boundaries on that.
There's being a lot of work done regarding the trip to Mars and how to
feed people in space for that length of voyage. I wouldn't mind
working on somemicropropagation techniques and stuff like that. I've
had some moderate success brewing beer and wouldn't mind showing
others how to do it. You can ask fuzz and Kibitz what they think of
it. I had an idea for a self regulating cold frame for outdoor gardens
that I'd like to build as well. I'm interested inDIY garden automation
in general. Equipment needed: Steam sterilizer, Vapor hood,

I've done a fair amount of mold making. I usually use wax for
sculpting. I'd like to get a field trip together to go to Reliable
Castings. I'd like to finish my "Wish Granted" series. Granting the
"wishes" of famous scientists,Oppy dancing to the bomb, Freud on an
exam couch (in Viennesse drag), Einstein playing dice with Niels Bohr.

I'm on board with the building of the CNC - I've always wanted to have
a proper mill to play with, and the electronics aren't all that
complicated - especially with the talent in the group.

someone also mentioned screen printing - this is also something I'd
like to investigate, and apparently it's really not all that
complicated. N+1 heads are better than 1.

Screen printing and a CNC are two things I have also wanted to get
into for at least the past year or so.
Screen printing indeed doesn't look all that complicated. I haven't
actually done it, but a lot of the sites I looked at used a lot of
secondhand stuff (old woven curtains to hold the emulsion, used
picture frames for their glass panels, laser printers) and made it
look pretty inexpensive and easy once you'd acquired the acetate paper
and photoemulsion.
I don't know much about the mechanical side of a CNC, but I know the
electronics side okay and at my last job when I wasn't sitting on my
ass doing nothing I made a fair number of machine shop drawings.
Having a working CNC is also pretty handy if you want to fab your own
circuit boards.
A guy named "archivist" in Freenode #electronics made his own CNC from
scrap junk and powered it with an old computer running EMC from so perhaps we can look into this or ask him
for some advice.

The entire wall doing Conway's life is an interesting idea. I'm sure
we'd get volume discounts on the metric-asstons on LEDs we'd probably
need, and we could hack up some sort of modular microcontroller PCB
board that connected to its neighbors. And... make them into Life-
floor-tiles. Or a Life-table. Or something. It might make for some
interesting learning combining a CNC, soldering, basic electronics,
and microcontroller programming.

Bump. :wink:

Ok, so there are a lot more people on this list now than there were on
April 7, 2009. w00t! :slight_smile:

There has been some talk at recent meetings of trying to get the
enthusiasm level up again and get people into the space and working on
projects more often. I think the Space Balloon and the soldering
class have been good rallying points in that regard.

I also thought it would be fun to look back at this thread and see all
our ideas of what we wanted the space to be (when a lot of us didn't
even know each other), and see what we've gotten done and what we

Also, I wanted to ask the question again to everyone. What would be
your "pie in the sky" dream for what the hackerspace should be like in
its second year? Like Chris said in the original post "don't worry if
it's not likely to succeed. the goal is to build a pool of ideas and
to get others excited about doing stuff."

I for one feel like I got almost everything I originally wanted and
more. Except for that laser... We still need a laser!