November 16, 2016: Holistic Brain – Startup Funding 101

November 16, 2016


Pittsburgh is a terrific place to start a new company or try to grow one already started. Even bootstrap operations require some kind of funding, and Wednesday we’ll discuss where these funds come from and how much do they really cost a business going forward. We’ll cover from out of pocket, friends and family all the way to exit to public funding including recent innovations in crowd sourced capital.

Holistic Brain is a think tank project for economic development in the greater Pittsburgh region. Starting with its strengths in Eds & Meds, Holistic Brain wants to take it a step farther with focus on natural and artificial brain sciences. In collaboration with HackPittsburgh, we’re also looking for opportunities for makers to become the critically skilled labor force in 21st century manufacturing.

Event starts November 16, 2016 at 7:30pm at HackPittsburgh


Awesome Classes coming up in November!

October 24, 2016

This November HackPGH will be hosting two classes for absolute beginners!

One is for beginners in Electronics and the other for beginners in Programming (Python)


November 5, 10am-2pm

Basic Electronics Class: Make your own Piano

Cost: $40

Buy Tickets Here!

Interested in Electronics? Want to build cool gadgets? Want to make your own Robot and take over the world? Come to HackPittsburgh and learn all about the basics of electronics, and build your own electronic piano!

Topics which will be covered include:

What is electricity?
Essential concepts like: Voltage,Current, Resistance, Power
Ohms Law
Series and parallel circuits
Capacitors and Inductors
Electronic Speakers
555 timer IC chips
How to use a breadboard
How the electronic piano works.

This is a 4 hour course with lunch at noon. You get all the materials (including breadboard), and detailed instructions on how to build the piano. We will make sure that everyone has their piano working before you leave! Of course you get to keep the breadboard and everything you built.

Recommended Age: 10 and older. Some very basic algebra will be covered. Kids must be accompanied by Adult (18+)

Prior knowledge: Basics of elementary school chemistry and physics, pre-algebra

This is part of a series of courses at HackPittsburgh designed to educate the general public about science and technology. The course series consists of:

Basic Electricity and Electronics
Learn to Solder
Basic Arduino Programming
Advanced Arduino Programming
Sensors Sensors Sensors
Motor Control

More courses may be added in the future. If you have an idea for one and want to learn something, let us know!


November 12, 1pm-3pm

Introductory Programming in Python

Cost $35

Buy Tickets Here!

This is an INTRODUCTORY class for people wanting to start learning how to program computers. It is intended for people who have never programmed anything before; we can’t cram an entire college-level programming class into one evening, but this class should leave you in a good place to keep learning on your own or attend one of our classes on more advanced topics.

The class will cover:

* Getting set up with a programming environment
* Basic input and output
* Logic, math and decision making
* Structured programming with functions
* How to make a basic calculator program

The class is taught in Python, an easy to learn but very powerful programming language, widely used in fields as diverse as scientific programming, web development, scripting, and video games. There will be follow-on classes dealing with more advanced programming, and on interfacing with the Raspberry Pi computer to control electronics systems such as robots.

You will need:

• A laptop! Or some other computer. Windows or Mac or Linux, anything will work.

• Python! Download it from and install it on your laptop ahead of time.

• A text editor! I recommend Sublime Text ( or Notepad++ (, both of which have functional free versions.

• Your brain!




Pittsburgh Bicentennial Parade

July 9, 2016

HackPittsburgh was part of the Pittsburgh Bicentennial Parade on July 9,2016. DIY Tardis, DIY BTTF Delorean, Dr Who and Back to the Future Cosplay, even dinosaurs. Lots of fun. Check out the photos below.





May 13th and 14th Classes,Classes,Classes,Come Learn Stuff!

May 9, 2016

May 13th: Intro to the Unix Command Line aka Magical Runes


When and Where: May 13th 7:30pm at HackPGH

Synopsis: This is an introductory class for getting started using the Linux command line. Whether you want to manage a web server, make the most of a weak computer such as a Raspberry Pi or old PC, or just have fun messing around computers, knowing a few things about getting around a Linux command line will only make your life easier.

The class will cover:
* Basic usage, system monitoring and
* Pipelines and I/O redirection
* Simple shell scripting
* Introduction to useful power tools
* Chat with other users like it’s 1973!

You will need to bring a laptop but that’s it. If you are using a Windows machine, this program here as well:

May 14th: Introduction to Electronic Sensors Class (for Arduino)


When and Where: May 14th 10am-2pm at HackPGH

Buy tickets here!

What is this class:

This is the next class in HackPittsburgh’s series of classes for 2016. We are continuing on the journey to be able to build your own robot or 3d printer. Now that you know basic arduino programming, its time to spice things up and get a bit more advanced.

In the last class you learned about the photoresistor sensor, and you used it to control a traffic light.

In this class you will learn about many more types of sensors, including: switches, voltage dividers, potentiometers, IR/ultrasonic distance sensors, and my personal favorite, the accelerometer (you have one in your smartphone. It allows your phone to do magic!)

You will learn the electrical and physics properties of these sensors and the proper way to use them, including various tricks to remove noise, and get the most efficiency out of them.

What do I get for my money?

You will receive:

• Breadboard, jumper wires, a couple of switches, potentiometer, IR/ultrasonic distance sensor, accelerometer, 9V battery. various resistors.

• You will also receive the knowledge to use these sensors properly, and personal help from experienced engineers at HackPittsburgh to get started with your sensors project.

• If you took the Basic Arduino Programming Class on April 2, you also get 10% off this class. Email for the code. Remember, the more you learn, the more you save!

How close am I to building a robot or 3d printer if I take this class?

You are actually very close. A robot or 3d printer needs a brain (computer or Arduino), sensors (learn about them in this class), and motors (learn about them in the next class).  You also need to know basic machine tool skills (come to HackPGH during mechanical club and we will teach you!)

You should know the very basics of C/C++ or similar language, and basic familiarity with your Arduino. If you are new to Arduino, we will help you get started.

This class requires that you have an Arduino. If you don’t have one, let us know and we can sell you one. The type of Arduino doesn’t matter (Uno, Mega, Due, etc).

Recommended Age Group: 8-99 (kids must be accompanied by adults)

Lunch: Light refreshments will be served during lunch. We will order Pizza together at $5 a person (depending on number of people)

More Classes for 2016!!!

• Basic Electricity and Electronics (if you missed it, will be repeated soon)

• Learn to Solder (March 26)

• Basic Arduino Programming (April 2nd: Arduino Day)

• Sensors Sensors Sensors! (This class)

• Advanced Arduino Programming (TBD)

• Motor Control (TBD)

• Basic Electronics Part 2: Semiconductors and op-amps (TBD)


Wigle Whiskey Barrel Roll 2016

May 2, 2016

Congratulations HackPittsburgh members for winning the Wigle Whiskey Barrel Roll for the 2nd year in a row! Excellent job to our members who built a driveable Tardis from scratch using the tools at HackPGH!

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Photos Copyright Joachim Hall