[Noisebridge-discuss] Shouldn't we all hack something ?

Henner Zeller h.zeller at acm.org
Fri Mar 28 05:13:07 UTC 2014


TL;DR preamble; stepper motors; 3D printing; Solder Paste Dispensing
with a 3D printer.

The last two days of Noisebridge discuss are topping the most dramatic
days I have observed mostly lurking here. I am seriously considering
making some popcorn while reading if it was not so sad.


Interesting from a social/communication point of view how any
attempted serious discussion is more or less immediately derailed by
hyperventilating people accusing each other of attempting to do the
worst to Noisebrdige even though I believe most of them honestly and
desperately attempt to get NB on the right track again, and these
spiraling off to proxy-accusations (from sexist discussions to tinfoil
government conspiracies) making the people even more desperate as they
see the meta-discussion about NB derailing ... (I am only reading part
of the threads, but I mostly see things explode, rarely come to

I don't want to get involved in this kind of politics (and I'd hoped
there wouldn't be _any_ politics at all). So all I can say is:

Take a deep breath. All of you. Yes you. And you.

Attempt to find together in a room and discuss things in person. With
as many interested people as possible. Humans are better wired to work
in meat-space, email cannot bring all nuances across, in particular if
there are things to agree to disagree upon. Find a time/date long
beforehand, communicate it early, try to find a time most people can
attend. Don't assume the worst of your 'opponents' - they are probably
all with you but just have a different perspective.
There are many reasons for the current trouble, but I think transparency is one.

Anyway. All I can say, I'd like to hang out at NB more, and whenever I
am there, I find nice people, that do actual hacking. Much less drama
in the actual space. I always had interesting conversations there, but
I never stayed there long enough at night to be in the situation of
having to kick out sleepers or have to deal with other detoriations of
the space or culture. So I do appreciate that there are attempts to
'fix' it, but please be constructive and don't throw away foundations
(consensus) just because it seems simpler.

Rather find out what worked before and doesn't anymore. Do people know
or trust each other less ? Is this generally a problem of having 2 or
3rd generation community ? As Danny pointed out, NB is as well an
alternative approach to build a community, and we see an interesting
shift that happened over the last year or so, probably because some of
the 1st generation happen to live in another country now, or travel a
lot; others are fed up. Think about it. Ask the 'elders' what worked,
what didn't. What can be learned ?
You should find it really alarming if long term members such as Mitch
and Danny or Jacob openly express their  ... disconsent with the
current ways.


I am sorry, the first part was way longer than it should be. Let's go to ...


Back to hacking. This is part of what defines NB and we should all do.
So after this way to long preamble, I am telling you what I am hacking
right now.

Over New Years' eve, I was playing with the Beaglebone PRU to generate
nice, realtime-clean stepmotor steps
Was easier than thought, and works quite well

Since that worked well, I designed a board together with Jake that we
call 'Bumps'

They arrived in the meantime (OSH-Park is has a nice quality!)

... so hopefully on the upcoming weekend we'll find some time to
solder them together. For that, there is the plan to use Jakes 3D
printer/dispenser (he did a 5MoF on it) and dispense solder paste on
the board. For that I wrote a quick program to convert some KiCAD
output to GCode for doing the dispensing action. Here is the code for




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