Frequently Asked Questions

Dork ''what''?

Dorkbot. It's people doing strange things with electricity.

In Portland.

Are you dorks just about robots?

No. Definitely no.

Do you dorks all build robots?

No. Although some do.

What, besides robots, do people in this group do?

We make and tinker and experiment.  We do a lot of things.

Some examples: light art, wearable computers, circuit bending, hardware hacking, interactive art, new media, synthesizer invention, insect counting, generative software, etc., etc.

Some of us, believe it or not, don't do anything even remotely robot related.

So, what's up with the name?

It's a historical thing. Ask Douglas Repetto (founder of the original Dorkbot in NYC) if you really want to know. 

I posted a question as a comment on an obscure part of this site. Why don't I get an answer ?!?!

Unless someone actively reads the rss feed or monitors the site changes no one will notice. If you want instant answers ask your question in the #dorkbbotpdx IRC channel.

If you can wait a little bit you can post to the dorkbotpdx blabber mailing list.

My dad builds solar systems for off grid houses. He tried some tracking systems and found that the cost benefit ratio was not enough, especiialy considering the poor reliability of the tracker.  Modern PV panels are just not that sensitive to angle, but if you are doing parabolic reflective water heater, sure it really matters. For PV, you can get 90% if the bang for the buck by just having a manual adjustment that you move the rack twice a year.  Sure it is not as cool, but just sayin..

I have used an Arduino Decimila, my own RBB Hack and Slash perf board I built from scratch, a Microchip based Digilent (MAX32), and a STM32 Micro device to develop new platforms as needed. It seems that plug and play for the P4 programmer and the Dorkboard is beyond my understanding. I have tried to connect the Programmer to the Arduino software, I do not understand what device and what programmer I should select to recognize the device. I added a two pin header to the Dorkboard to provide a 5V power supply, the board powers up and functions correctly Blinking light and all, but I can not configure the programmer to connect to the board. If anyone has insight into why this is please help! I am very frustrated and work on electronics 6 days a week so have not had time to make it to a meeting on Mondays. I have also had another Electronics Technician/Engineer verify that I assembled both devices correctly. I would suggest making a contact us link to e-mail addresses or contact information for your site also. Thanks for any help! Cheers, Terry Hurley

Fri, 2012-05-18 13:42    [Permalink]

feurig (not verified)

Terry, The p4 is Brian Rileys product and since I have nothing with an actually db9 based serial port I don't understand it either. I do know that brian provides excellent technical support and documentation which is one of the reasons I like having him as a supplier. If you would like local support you should ask the dorkbotpdx mailing list or sign up for the Induction Tomorrow. [……] the whole point of the induction is to make it so that everyone walks out with working product and that issues such as these can be handled collectively and efficiently. The induction includes my programmer (a usb-ttl-serial adapter called the duce), as well as the dork board kit you build during the class. You may also check out… and see if that helps. Best regards. Don.