DorkbotPDX 0x07


Dorkbot PDX would like to welcome you to the latest installment of our semi-regular presentation series:

Making Kapton Stencils at ADX Portland using Eagle PCB.

Disclaimer: This is what I’ve found that works, but it could definitely use some streamlining. If you have anything to add/change, please let me know and/or post accordingly.

Big thanks to Scott Dixon from DB and Seamus from ADX for helping to make this happen!


    1. You’ll need to slightly shrink the solder paste aperture sizes of your design to accommodate the kerf of the laser. In Eagle, the “cream” (solder paste) layer defaults to the same size as the SMD pads.

Thanks Laen - Using the SMT adaptors!

Laen's extra SMT adaptors are mighty handy....

Ahh the joys of debugging!

First to resolve the primary issue from my last post: It turns out that, while 16 MHz operation of a dorkboard on 3.3v is outside the spec'd window, it still works.  :) Lesson: When in doubt, try it! Worry about fixing it if it doesn't work.

Next problem: odd data.

I've hooked everything up: PSU to Dorkboard to accelerometer and logger. Using a bit of sample code from the website, I've managed to collect data from the device. However, whenever the accel is oriented such that a positive axis is up, there is an odd echo to that axis (see first image, above).

Exquisite Corpse


As of 2013/11/3 the project is "complete" and not looking for collaborators. However, we are looking for space to show it! It will be at DB meeting on 2013/11/4 at Backspace for people that are interested in viewing it.


This is a natural extension of the Exquisite Corpse form of drawing/painting/writing/film into electromechanical form.


1 piece. 12 collaborators. 12 months.

The Philosophy

  • Equal parts creativity and geekery!
  • Do no harm.
    • Work of one collaborator should build upon and not degrade the work of the previous collaborators
    • Caveat: Unless absolutely necessary, which should be a very rare exception indeed.
  • Assert an aesthetic!
    • Provoke emotion, stimulate many senses.
  • Embrace raw, nontechnical materials.
    • Fabric, paint, repurposed tech, biological materials, scrap, found items, etc, etc.
  • Be robust and make it work.
    • We achieve implementations that lasts a long time.
    • Interaction is swell, but don't require it (humans are unreliable)
  • Document extensively and provoke inspiration.
    • But keep it private before the ceiling.


  • Each collaborator should use approximately 1/12th (0.0833) of the available pre-setup (constrained) space.
  • When the work is passed from one collaborator to the next, the moment is referred to as a "boundary".
  • When the final contributor's work period has expired, the moment itself and the final work are referred to as the "ceiling".
  • Each collaborator is given a fixed work time of exactly one month. Boundaries always occur on the first of the month.
  • Prior to a boundary, upcoming collaborators must not view the work nor its documentation.
  • At each boundary and at the ceiling, the work must:
    • Fit into a large plastic storage tote (of a size determined before the first boundary)
    • Be able to be set up, configured, and activated by a nontechnical person with brief instructions in under 10 minutes.
  • After a boundary, previous collaborators must not contribute to the work (except for repair, which should be a very exceptional case indeed).
  • All materials/components contributed to the work by all contributor are considered final and may not be reclaimed.
  • The ceiling is equally owned by and credited to the collective contributors.


The schedule is now full.

  • January : [COMPLETED: Jason Plumb]
  • February: [COMPLETED: Colin Oldham]
  • March: [COMPLETED: Don Davis]
  • April: [COMPLETED: Brian Richardson]
  • May: [COMPLETED: Michael Bunsen]
  • June: [COMPLETED: Jon Garrison]
  • July: [COMPLETED: Andrew Parnell]
  • August: [COMPLETED: Libbey White]
  • September: [COMPLETED: Mike Gilbert]
  • October: [COMPLETED: Austin Whipple]
  • November: [COMPLETED: Jim Eastman]
  • December: [COMPLETED: Erik Lane]


  • How can I apply to participate?
    Unfortunately, the schedule for 2012 is currently full.
  • How do I know if I'm skilled enough?
    You are, don't worry. Basic skill with building electronics is encouraged, but you also have a month to refine your skills and get help.
  • Can others help me?
    Sure, but they may not directly work on the exquisite corpse if they are past or future contributors. When getting assistance from others, you won't be disclosing details of the work.
  • What if I'm not in Portland?
    Sorry, you must live in the Portland metro area (suburbs ok) to contribute.
  • Is there going to be another one?
    Probably, if there's interest! Let me know if you're interested in another go around.

Immediate Needs of Occupy Portland...

I just got back from the Occupation area in the park on the river-side of the court house. There are 200 to 300 people there, spirits are good.

I asked what were the most immediate needs of O.P.

They are:

  • FRS hand-held two-way radios for communication
  • "AAA" alkaline batteries (many), for the above radios

They are also trying to make (or get) a human-powered bicycle-generator to re-charge batteries of cell phones, etc. If anyone happens to have such a thing, they could really use it!

Doing revolutionary things with electricity...

-Jim W.

DorkbotPDX 0x06

Dorkbot PDX would like to welcome you to the latest installment of our semi-regular presentation series:

Thoughts on "Conversation Piece"

I was recently accepted into the DorkbotPDX gallery installation at Styloid Process entitled "Connection & Suspension" with my first electronic art piece called "Conversation Piece". My favorite kind of artwork is the kind that invites you to play with it. I was inspired by the last Dorkbot show a few years back, where there were lots of fun electronic toys, plus a gallery nearby that had kinetic artwork. I had observed a cooperative play that happened at Luz parties (club shows with interactive graphics) where two people would riff back and forth as long as there were enough inputs and visible output for multiple people. Knowing this, I had gone through several ideas before I reached the very simple tin can idea. I had the separate idea to make a USB tin can that you could use with Skype, but realized that it wouldn't be practical for a gallery setting, especially with a computer, so I decided to make two tin cans that would be strung at opposite ends of the gallery, where two people would have to negotiate to communicate with each other.

The construction process was pretty arduous. I isolated the piece into its elements, which were the two tin cans and a central Arduino that would switch between the two. After reading two electronics books partway and building a dud of an intercom circuit, I went back to the source of the problem by heeding Jason from Dorkbot's advice - build an amplifier.

Introduction to PCB Layout Using EAGLE -- Sunday, September 25th 1-5pm at ADX


Workshop Title: Introduction to PCB Layout Using EAGLE

Sunday, September 25th, 2011 (1-5pm)

ADX Portland (417 SE 11th Ave)

Cost: FREE

No RSVP required. Just drop in.

Description: We all love circuits with blinky lights that make strange noises, but imagine how much cooler your circuits would look on a custom-designed and manufactured circuit board. It's easier than it may seem, and we're going to show you how it's down.

Connection/Suspension gallery photos

The Styloid Process gallery has posted some setup and opening night photos from the recent Dorkbot group show:


Thanks again to Janiece for offering up her gallery and hosting, and a major thanks to everybody that contributed work for the show!

Syndicate content