February 7th – Programming the Arduino: Physical Pixels Class

January 26, 2015

Blinking an LED with an Arduino

Have an Arduino and wondering what to do with it? Join us on Saturday February 7th for our Physical Pixels class. It’s the perfect introduction to programming your Arduino if you’ve never tried it before or want to refresh your memory. Space is limited to 10 people, reserve your spot now.

In this intro level class, you’ll learn how to:

  • set up and configure the Arduino environment on their laptop
  • learn basic electronics skills while building a small, functional circuit
  • write code that:
    • explores the inputs and outputs offered by the Arduino platform
    • reads a dimmer
    • controls the color of an RGB LED
    • sends messages to your laptop for status and debugging purposes
  • meet interesting and like-minded people who are passionate about technology and the DIY ethic

Class registration is $40 per student and covers all materials for the class except the Arduino itself. You’ll need to bring your own Arduino to class.

Prerequisites: an Arduino, a laptop, and a cable to connect the two (varies depending on your Arduino)
Date and Time: Saturday, February 7th, 2015 at 1:00 pm
Location: HackPittsburgh, 1936 5th Avenue, the garage around back on Watson (Map)
Tickets: $40 each through Eventbrite



Thursday January 22nd: Steel City Infosec Meetup – Audio Surveillance (Including Lab)

January 16, 2015

Steel City InfoSecSteel City Infosec will be hosting their January Meetup here at HackPGH. It will be an Audio Surveillance talk.

The event will consist of a discussion about Audio Surveillance and then a lab where you will build a Laser Microphone.

The event is free but if you would like to make a laser microphone the cost is $10.

RSVP at http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-InfoSec/events/219474655/


Saturday January 17th: Build Your Own Theremin!

December 23, 2014
Build your own Theremin

Build your own Theremin

Do you remember hearing eerie outer space music from classic science fiction like “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “Dr Who”? Have you ever wanted to make sounds like that yourself? It turns out you can! Using an instrument called a theremin. The theremin was invented in 1929, and has been used in many science fiction themes since then. Its even a musical instrument used in orchestras and concert halls all over the world. Its a truly unique musical instrument. What makes it so unique? Well first, it makes that eerie sci fi sound everyone knows and loves, but more importantly, you play it by moving your hands in the air. Thats right, this instrument has no strings or buttons. You literally play it by moving your hands in the air. Its like magic! You can see an example of a real theremin played by a professional here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6KbEnGnymk Come to Hack Pittsburgh on January 17th and build your own soda can theremin! Learn how a theremin works, learn about electromagnetic fields, basic antennas, capacitors, learn how to use breadboards, and connect electronic circuits (no soldering required), drink soda and use the soda can as the theremin’s antenna, make outer space music right in your room! You get to keep everything you built and impress your friends at home! Bring a notepad and pencil to take notes. Bring your laptop if you have one. We will give you everything else. Event cost is $55.00. Click here to Purchase tickets!


Friday, Nov 14th: Digital Game Night – Artemis – Starship Bridge Simulator

November 14, 2014


Anyone who has watched Star Trek has probably imagined stepping onto the bridge and channeling their inner Kirk. Well here’s your chance! This Friday at HackPittsburgh, we will be playing Artemis, the Spaceship Bridge Simulator. A description of the game based on the website (http://www.artemis.eochu.com/):

Artemis is a multiplayer, multi-computer networked game for Windows computers that simulates a spaceship bridge by networking several computers together. One computer runs the simulation and the “main screen”, while the others serve as workstations for the normal jobs a bridge officer might do, like Helm, Communication, Engineering, Sensors, and Weapons. A sixth player serves as the captain, and with no direct control of the ship must coordinate the actions of all five stations to control the ship and defend the sector.

Artemis will run on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (Probably Windows 8, but we haven’t tested this). It’s also available as an app for iOS, and Android devices ($2.99), which are cross-compatible with the PC version (i.e., you can use a tablet to serve as one of the stations). If you have a laptop or tablet that you can use to run the game, please bring it (however it is not required!). The best way to tell if you can run the game is to download the demo from the website and run it. If it works, great! If not, then don’t worry, we will try to have extra workstations available.

Free and open to the public! The doors open at 7pm. We usually go untill 2am. We’re located at 1936 5th Avenue, in the garage around back on Watson. Look for our flag above the door.

PS: Don’t forget to bring a computer or tablet!


Images from: http://www.destructoid.com/artemis-spaceship-bridge-simulator-2-0-is-out-now-260309.phtml


Sunday November 9th: WiFi 101: Make your own high-gain antennas for 2.4 and 5 GHZ wireless routers!

October 26, 2014
Tags: ,
WifiNot satisfied with the coverage area of the wireless signal in your house? Ever wonder how WiFi works? Don’t have the money to buy $300 on a pair of antennas? Have the DIY spirit? Well then come to HackPittsburgh and make your own!
Meta Mesh, Pittsburgh’s wireless mesh networking company founded at HackPittsburgh, is beginning a series of workshops aimed at better educating the public about WiFi and we’re going to start things off by teaching you how to build your own dipole antennas for use in your own home! Bring your router from home that has external antennas connected via RP-SMA connectors (that’s the most common type of connector for routers) and walk out of there with up to two dipole antennas INCLUDING a basic stand for the antennas. You can make either 2.4GHz or 5GHz-compatible antennas!
Bring your wireless router to HackPittsburgh on Sunday, September 9th at 12pm and you will walk away not only with a new set of antennas but the basic knowledge of how WiFi works, what limits the FCC puts on its usage, and things you can do to improve wireless reception in your house or apartment!
Event Cost is $20
Please click here to register.