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Arduino Beginners Workshop 27/2/19

Last night we had our Arduino for Beginners Workshop and we had a full house of makers and educators excited to learn about programming embedded systems! We started with an introduction to the basics of electricity and some of the concepts required to build your own circuits for the Arduino. We then dove into the programming of Arduino a mix of C++ and some arduino specific libraries to control some LEDS and read inputs from digital and analogue sources.

If you are interested in getting started with the Arduino platform, book in for an upcoming workshop or check out our Online Arduino course.

Arduino Beginners Workshop 27th Feb 2019

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- By Brenton

3D Printing Workshop 26/2/19

Manufacturing your own stuff at home with almost no geometric constraints sounds like something from the future, though it’s not hard at all with modern 3D Printers. This week at our 3D Printing Workshop we introduced local makers to 3D Printing and shared our best tips for getting it right, the first time.

We had some extra time, so we had a look at thingiverse.com to queue up some just for fun things to print! Make a booking today if you’d like to join-in on a future workshop, there’s lots of other upcoming workshops as well.

3D Printing Workshop 26th Feb 2019

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- By Brenton

Maker Meet: TTN & LoRaWAN 25/2/19

The Monthly Maker Meet for TTN & LoRa was on yesterday and the topic was uGateway along with the 2019 roadmap for future topics. We covered off on the hardware build for the uGateway, walked people through the software side of things and wrapped up with uGateway giveaways!

The idea behind the giveaways is to help extend LoRaWAN coverage on The Things Network in our region so that more people have the opportunity to explore IoT projects around Newcastle / Lake Macquarie. Three gateways were handed out at the meetup, with an invitation for others to apply for one of the seven remaining by filling out a short application.

We run this Maker Meet once a month. Each catchup is a practical conversation about TTN & LoRa, entirely free and food/drinks are provided. RSVPs are essential, drop by if you're interested!

uGateway Giveaway

Maker Meet: TTN & LoRa

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- By Graham

Raspberry Pi Beginners Workshop 19/2/19

Last night we had a group of makers who were excited to learn about the possibilities of the Raspberry Pi with the GPIO. We started with a quick look at some of the many roles that the Raspberry Pi can take, from the core of your next project to powering your downtime as a games console.

With the possibilities discussed it was time to move onto making some electronics with the Raspberry Pi. We used Python to program an LED light that we were able to switch on and off with a button and control the brightness level of.

If you want to expand your skills as a maker into new areas, come along to one of our Community Workshops, or if you're not in the Newcastle area, join in the fun with our Online Courses and Tutorials.

Raspberry Pi for Beginners Workshop 19th Feb

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- By Brenton

Arduino Beginners Workshop 29/1/19

Last night we held our first Arduino for Beginners Workshop of the new year! We focused on the underlying language that forms Arduino (a mix of C and C++ as well as some special libraries) as well as how to use it to control sensors and put their data to use. The content we covered is covered in the first two chapters of the Online Arduino Course on our website. We hope to see you there! 

Arduino Beginners Workshop 29th Jan 2019

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- By Brenton

Raspberry Pi Beginners Workshop 23/1/19

We are now back into full swing with our Raspberry Pi Workshop! This week we explored what is possible with the Raspberry Pi with lots of great ideas discussed including education and Computer Vision projects. We started our makers on the path to making these projects a reality by introducing them to how to set up and interact with the Raspberry Pi Operating system, and how to use Python to program the GPIO to interact with an LED and buttons.

If you want to learn some new maker skills or just hone your existing skills, come along to our local workshops or if you're not a local to Newcastle, you can still join in the fun with our online workshops and tutorials.

Raspberry Pi for Beginners Workshop 23th Nov

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- By Brenton

Raspberry Pi Beginners Workshop 8/1/18

We had our first Raspberry Pi for beginners workshop of the year this Tuesday! We all had a great time getting to know the Raspberry Pi platform and how it can be used as a Games Console, Media Centre or as a Computer. After we had the setup basics down we explored physical computing through coding the Raspberry Pi GPIO to create a PWM dimmable LED light.

If you want to learn some new maker skills or just hone your existing skills, come along to our local workshops or if you're not a local to Newcastle, you can still join in the fun with our online workshops and tutorials.

Raspberry Pi for Beginners Workshop 8/1/19

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- By Brenton

TTN LoRaWAN Gateway in Wallsend

There's a new TTN gateway with external antenna fitted high and proud in Wallsend, hosted by a long-term community member Dave W. We've just finished some TTN Mapping and the results are looking great.

If you are new to TTN / LoRaWAN (free wireless internet for your projects!) then take a look at our guides or drop by for a workshop.

The hills north of this gateway location are significant enough to block reception of the 26M tall Antenna located in Mayfield West. Newcastle has geo-constraints for LoRaWAN coverage in almost every direction, and it's refreshing to see this level of community support to fill the gaps.

Wallsend TTN LoRaWAN Gateway

Fun fact: During this mapping activity, I landed a rogue response from a gateway located 35.9 KM away. Impressive!

Record LoRaWAN Distance

There are still several gaps around the city, and we'd like to help! If you know anyone that would be OK with an external antenna mounted 1-2 meters above roof height in any of these areas circled below, then get in touch with us (we'll cover the hardware costs).

TTN Coverage holes

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- By Graham Mitchell

3D Printing Workshop 4/12/18

Last night we ran our 3D Printing for Makers workshop, inviting locals down to our Makerspace area to learn about the processes behind 3D Printing. We had makers in attendance from all skill levels, from designers looking to learn more right through to seasoned makers with their own printers coming along to learn some of the tips and tricks we’ve gathered over the years. It’s awesome to see locals coming down to learn something new!

If you wanted to learn more about 3D Printing, Design or other maker skills (Arduino, etc) we’ve got a wide range of tutorials, courses and projects that will help spark some creativity. Check out our upcoming workshops for what’s next. We’re full time makers too, if you want to share your current build or just shoot the wind about your newest project idea get in touch via our Maker Forum!

3D Printing Workshop 5th December 2018

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- By Brenton

Laser Cutting Workshop 28/11/18

Wednesday we hosted our Laser Cutting Workshop and we had a full house! We learned the basics of laser cutters and how to create files that we can cut with a laser. We learned how to use Inkscape to create vector drawings that a laser cutter can work with, and we also learned how to convert images from graphics to vectors. Everyone in the workshop got to make themselves an acrylic keychain from design to manufacture!

Whether you are interested in learning more about this very cool manufacturing method, or just want to make a custom dog tag for your pooch you can check out our Laser Cutting Online Tutorials! If you want to learn about additive manufacturing, come to our 3D Printing Workshop. Everything we cover in our workshops is available online, so if you want a refresher or if you are just too far away to make it in person you can always browse our Online Tutorials and Courses.

Laser Cutting Workshop 28th Nov

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- By Brenton

Raspberry Pi Beginners Workshop 27/11/18

This Tuesday we had a full house at our Raspberry Pi for beginners workshop! We took them through the basics of setting up a Raspberry Pi as a Games Console, Media Centre or as a Computer. We introduced the new makers to the basics of physical computing by coding the GPIO with Python to build an interactive electrical circuit and had some great conversations about the potential applications of the Pi including as an internet connected weather station.

If you would like to join in the maker revolution you can come along to our local workshops or if you're not a local to Newcastle, you can still join in the fun with our online workshops and tutorials.

Raspberry Pi for Beginners Workshop 27th Nov

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- By Brenton

3D Modelling Workshop 13/11/18

On Tuesday afternoon, we ran a free Maker workshop in 3D Modelling with Fusion 360. We kicked off with some general discussions on 3D Models that a few participants had brought from home, and how their designs impacted the way they were 3D Printed, then jumped into Fusion 360.

Our workshop is the best way to learn Fusion 360 if working in 3D gets confusing for you, which is common when finding your feet. We start off with the humble rectangle sketch and work in steps to create a keychain model that’s completely 3D Printable!

This is the 3D Modelling Workshop that focuses on designing 3D models, but we hope to see our attendees back during our 3D Printing Workshop in a few weeks to give 3D Printing their keychains a go.

If you’re interested in learning about 3D Modelling, 3D Printing or other Maker related skills, come along to one of our free community workshops. If you aren’t local, we’ve made our workshops available as free online courses so you won’t miss out.

3D Modelling Workshop 13th November 2018

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- By Brenton

Circuit Playground Workshop 7/11/18

We had a great turnout for the Circuit Playground Express workshop! This workshop is great for people who might be taking their first steps on the DIY road of devices. We had attendees at the workshop who came with no idea what they were getting into and they were still making programs and having a blast!

If you want to learn to use the Circuit Playground Express and learn the basics of coding come along to our next Circuit Playground Workshop! Everything we cover in the class is available online for free, with our Circuit Playground Express Online Course. It contains everything we covered in the workshop and much more! We also have a bunch of Circuit Playground Tutorials that will walk you through many projects with multiple programming languages!

Circuit Playground Workshop 7th Nov

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- By Brenton

Workplace IoT Workshops

On Monday we caught up with a few of the team from Advanced Technology Centre at NSW Police Force HQ in Sydney, exploring IoT hardware from a makers perspective. It was a sensational opportunity to share insights (in both directions!) and introduce maker hardware into an industrial environment. The workshop was hands-on, delivered at a pace that's perfect for those with no coding/electronics experience through to seasoned experts alike.

Let us know if you'd like to have a workshop in your workplace, we'll get something together next time we're around your way!

Workplace IoT Workshops

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- By Graham

Urban IoT Hackathon 2018

the Urban IoT Hackathon kicked off on the evening of Thursday October 25th and ran through to 2pm on the 27th. Around 20 local makers/hackers/tech-curious gathered to pitch ideas, and while there was no end of creativity, four ideas were inspirational enough to form teams and get on with the builds.

Our idea was to build a LoRaWAN gateway designed for community engagement and exploration of IoT as a grassroots product, creating edge-to-edge coverage across our cityscape. You can read more about ours and each of the projects on the Devpost website.

Here's our team, starting from the left is Brian (event host), me (Graham), Peter and Aaron. Special mention for Stephen who helped out a lot on Friday though missed the awards day! I'm holding the DIY Gateway, which we ran side-by-side with industry-grade hardware and didn't skip a beat. Impressive!

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- By Graham

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