PDXElectroHax Meet Up

I came across a group called “PDXElectroHax” on meetup.com. They meet only once a month, however the upcoming meeting was the next day, so I decided to attend.

It’s a relatively new group – only started about three months ago. The meet up was at an very interesting place: a “maker space” called ADX where you pay a membership fee to have access to the facilities. You can find out more from their website: http://www.adxportland.com.

ADX_Web_Facility

ADX Portland (from their site)

There were about twenty other attendees. A very mixed bag of backgrounds and ages. Some had been to previous meet ups and the rest of us were first timers.

The format was informal. We had two large work tables where those who had brought projects to show, or work on, could set them up. Everyone mingled, chatted and asked questions. I had a very enjoyable time and stayed the full two and a half hours. It was fun to find out about and discuss other peoples’ projects. In certain instances, I was even able to provide some help.

Wish I had taken more photos. Every now and again I’d remember to take a snap. Next time – and I will definitely try to make it to the next meeting – I’ll do a better job.

Here are some of the things people were doing:

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An Arduino driven LED ticker-tape display that lets you set the scrolling text via a web page. We all had fun using our phones to write messages.


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The far Arduino is using a radio transmitter to send temperature and humidity data to the other board.

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One of the attendees has designed and built a very sophisticated servo control system. I might write in more detail about this in the future. Very cool to see it in action. Makes my servo shield seem very primitive indeed.

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Two people brought their Commodore 64’s. The first computer I owned was the C64. Strangely enough I didn’t get to chat with these guys so I’m not sure what they were working on. Hopefully they attend the next meeting.

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I also used to own a 1541 disk drive for my C64. It has a serial interface and was terribly slow. Brings back memories.

All in all it was a very enjoyable evening. I might even have something to bring and show for the next meet up.

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2 comments

  1. Is the radio transmitter the XBee?

    1. No. It’s a simple radio frequency transmitter, like what is used for simple RC models, so only one transmitter can transmit at a time – unless you use different frequencies. If two transmitters are close by then they will interfere with each other. Think of them as purely analog, like a radio.

      The XBee’s are more like an ethernet bus so you can have multiple nodes all communicating together. Of course they are much more expensive.

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