DorkbotPDX 0x0B


  • When: Monday June 17th, 2013 - 8pm
  • WhereBackspace (map)
  • Who: All ages -- open to the public
  • Cost: Free!

The Good Life Lab

presented by Mikey Sklar & Wendy Tremayne

Mikey & Wendy live in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and have been homesteading there for the last seven years. They produces their own power, fuel, food, water and building materials. Mikey will be explaining how a little bit of embedded hardware can empower anyone to leave their day jobs and focus on the interests. Projects such as grease car temperature displays, irrigation moisture monitors, pulsed LED growlights, using machines to build with trash, fermentation controllers and recovering different battery chemistries.

Mikey is a open hardware developer who has been selling kits and has worked for Adafruit, Hack-a-Day, and Popular Science. This will be his fifth dorkbot presentation. 

Blending art, nature, and mechanics

presented by Stephanie Simek


Stephanie will be speaking about some of her recent art projects involving light, sound, and electrical components. She'll talk about her interest with combining disparate materials and pushing the limits of their inherent functional capabilities, like playfully incorporating circuitry with handwriting and the movements of Venus Flytraps. She'll also discuss her newest project, a crystal radio sculpture. Other topics to be covered include: synchronized swimming, the Golden Record, non-Newtonian lovers, and Cab Calloway.
Stephanie Simek has been living in Portland for 6 years, where she has been creating experiments with sound, performance, and sculpture.  Throughout the month of June, Place Gallery will be exhibiting her most recent project, Radio Room.



An open-mic session for those looking to show off a project, ask a question, solicit help, or incite collaboration.

DorkbotPDX 0x0A


  • When: March 25th, 2013 - 8pm
  • Where: Backspace (map)
  • Who: All ages -- open to the public
  • Cost: Free!

Self Balancing Robots 101

Glenn Phillips

Glenn's presentation will cover the basics of self balancing robots:

  • Overview of accelerometers and gyroscopes
  • Control software
  • Motor controllers
  • Battery and electric motor selection

Glenn Phillips got into the computer business around the era of the Mac Plus. Glenn's last job was the owner of Gorge Networks Inc. a rural Internet provider using fixed wireless and dsl. The business was sold in 2010 and Glenn has been on the Obama plan ever since.

Glenn became interested in the Arduino a couple years ago, but he had no programming experience. At some point in the process Glenn began to control servos and motors from his old RC collection. Computer control of motors was fun, interesting and possibly a job in the future.

Self balancing robots seemed to be the holy grail of motor control! Constant feedback from sensors is processed and translated to power and direction of the motor. Any issue with any component of the system is immediately apparent.

Glenn is also a cheap Yankee so his creations use salvaged parts from electric bikes, scooters, wheelchairs, laser printers and computers.

The Church of Robotron

Learn about the mutant savior and our efforts to save the last human family.  

We will talk about the Chuch of Robotron installation at Toorcamp 2012.  It involved many different types of materials, skills, and work.  We used microcontrollers, plywood, and cast away junk to create a brand new immersive experience of Robotron 2084.  On top of that, we had performance, writing, and art to complete the branding of the Church.  We will show what a lot of people working together can accomplish.
We hope to inspire you to take up the two eight ways!

CoR H264 half from Libbey White on Vimeo.



An open-mic session for those looking to show off a project, ask a question, solicit help, or incite collaboration.

I2C with the Bus Pirate

The Bus Pirate came up as a topic on the mailing list a few days ago, and I realized I hadn't yet shared the slides from my presentation (a year ago now!) on how to use the Bus Pirate to poke and prod I2C devices like sensors and EEPROMs. So for those of you not on the mailing list, here you go:

Dorkbot PDX 0x08 - Sailing the I2Cs with the Bus Pirate


Last night I released OctoWS2811 ... after spending pretty much all Sunday making this 3 minute video:

Everyone at the meetup a couple weeks ago saw this right when it was first showing video.  Since then, pretty much all the work has been on the documentation and minor code improvements.

Federated Wiki on Raspberry Pi to Bridge WiFi to PSK-31

Ward Cunningham, Russell Senior and David Turnbull bring their respective expertice to this 21st Centurary Amateur Radio Project. Federated Wiki on Raspberry Pi provides content management that would be useful for health and welfare radio traffic after a disaster, or, for live-blogging the MicroHAMS Digital Conference next month.

Successful Integration

Sculpting Virtual Clay with the Leap

Here's something fun! @soycamo and I performed at DorkbotPDX's Open Mic Surgery. She brought the beats, I brought the visuals.

Watch a video of our performance.

I was lucky enough to receive a Leap Motion Controller. It acts like a short-range Kinect for your hands, tracking the position of each individual finger. The Leap's sensors are fast, and spookily accurate. I love it.


This is J.R. Stoner's blog post.

This is a picture of my muse, Mr. Humphrey Lyttleton Katz or Chairman Humph, for short.

He is saying here, "Go away. You're so boring.  Get over yourself."

Actually Humph is probably the neediest cat I ever had, in his own weird way.

Enough about Humph.  Here is a listing of some of the projects I have been working on, of late:

This one is called the Powah.  It is just a little on/off toggle with an indicator LED.  It is designed to mount on one end of my breadboard, so as to reduce the wear and tear caused by excessive insertions of power bus leads.  The board is approx 1 cm^2.

Arduino vs Raspberry PI

Ok - so I'm new to this - The Raspberry Pi got a lot more press than the Arduino and I jumped on board the Raspberyy Pi train without knowing the options.

My goal was to build a doorbell to solve the problem of not hearing it in all parts of the house (3 stories).

I followed this blog

GNU Toolchain Cross-Compile Challenges

For the last several days I've been working to compile the latest free GNU Toolchain for ARM published by CodeSourcery (now owned by Mentor Graphics).

This process has not been easy.  In this lengthy blog post, I'll share all the patches I've written, with detailed explanations of exactly what errors I encountered, what I've learned about each problem, and how to work around it.

Edit: full source is on github.

"Read mode" for all the gory details......

Open Mic Surgery! 2012 12 17


When: Monday, December 17th, 2012 :: 8pm
Where: Someday Lounge (map) (just two doors down from Backspace)
Who: DorkbotPDX and YOU!
Cost: Free!  Open to the public!

We will be taking advantage of the audio/visual system to have an open-mic style event.  Think: OpenDork meets OpenMic.  Bring your own signal!

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