So, the first meet of the New Year was on the 9th January, and we all brought our presents along.  I brought a model steam carriage kit, that was an exciting puzzle to solve as the instructions were particularly vague, and Alan brought polymorph to play with.
The polymorph was slightly more successful than the engine which due to some presumed error in construction, does not self-propel.  This is due to the piston being unable to turn the flywheel, itself due to the axle somehow jamming in place.  It still looks moderately elegant.
Next meeting 23rd January 2012.

A late chainmail writeup

This post is unfortunately almost two weeks late, but last Monday, Pat gave a chainmail workshop, similar to Martin’s at Nottinghack.  This covered the easier European and Japanese styles and also how to make rings from fencing wire or similar.  Many scraps of chainmail were produced, but nothing to rival Pat’s half-finished chainmail shirt!
Nick continued to resuscitate aging hardware in Linux and we discussed methods of supplying Internet to the NSME clubhouse.  Via a landline this would be expensive, wireless access of the nearby BT Openzone hotspot, or 3G personal hotspot appear to be the more affordable ways forward…
Next date for the space: Monday 17th October.

Busy busy

Very busy on Monday, we had:

  • Light painting with a strobe
  • Knitting
  • Conkers fights
  • CNC planning
  • Raspberry Pi tinkering
  • Kinect tinkering
  • Workshop planning.

I may have even forgot some things!  Most importantly, thanks to Nicholas for bringing the Raspberry Pi board for us to have a look at.  We couldn’t do too much with it as unfortunately the monitor used was having resolution issues on the HDMI interface, but it booted, and we were able to login and have a brief look around.  Connected to a network (it supports networking over USB  too) would allow more interesting things to happen.  This rather overshadowed the Kinect Nicholas also brought, and I think we’ll need an evening just for that.

The NSME has a rather large horse chestnut tree overshadowing the clubhouse, so knitting wool was graciously donated to the cause, and an in a textbook case of over-engineering, a pillar drill was used for turning conkers into implements of war, and soon geeks were hitting themselves very hard while missing target conkers.
Light painting with the strobe did not work so well, as it is not as bright as a camera flash, and outside it is not able to light up targets at any range.  Strobes are very good for inducing headaches and nausea though.  If nobody wants it, it will be thrown away at the end of the month, as it’s reasonably bulky and has no (useful) purpose at this time.
Due to renewed interest in chainmail, Pat will be running a chainmail workshop on the 3rd of October, from 8pm.  If you have rings or pliers, please bring them along, and let us know on the list, so we can ensure everyone has enough.

Tick tock, first september meet

The summer feels over, but despite some shock showers on Monday the space was open.  Adrian took the clock we were given by Nottinghack (couriered by Martin) and with Mat started writing up what they found inside.  A number of repairs were performed by a few different people, fixing a bicycle inner tube, a DVM, and the identification of a car part for order.

We also discussed what events we could run at meetings.  Some suggestions:
  • Nanode workshop
  • Photography (light painting)
  • Kinect hacking
  • Revisiting OpenCV hacking

The idea is for very limited scope projects that allow a sense of accomplishment within a few hours.  Suggestions are welcome on the mailing list.

Date of next meeting: 19th September from 7pm

Ballistics Day pics

Despite some initially poor weather, it dried out, brightened up, and the wind died down to allow us to launch some stuff!  Check the flickr feed here.  For those interested in the telemetry data from the payload we sent up, it looks like this.


Quite a short run as the rocket didn’t take long going up or down.  Acceleration data isn’t terribly readable – the peak acceleration is obviously off the +- 4g scale of the accelerometer.

One bad data point on the pressure causes the smoothed graph to have a small dip in it, but otherwise the data appears consistent (if unverified).

Temperature data isn’t useful, the sensor is cooling from a previous high of 35C from being wedged into the rocket nose cone.




Mat’s plane made a couple of trips up and down and around.  The temperature data again doesn’t appear to useful, as the sensor is much less responsive than the barometric one (they’re in the same package).  Currently it’s not used for altitude calculations.