- 1 I don't know much about electronics, computing or technology; am I welcome?
- 2 Do I need to know how to solder?
- 3 What will I see at a hacksession?
- 4 What should I bring?
- 5 Who typically attends?
- 6 What ages do you cater for?
- 7 What projects are you working on?
- 8 Do I need to have a project?
- 9 What does it cost?
- 10 How can I help?
- 11 How do I join?
- 12 Which Arduino should I buy?
- 13 Which 3D printer should I build?
I don't know much about electronics, computing or technology; am I welcome?
Yes! All you need is an interest and a willingness to learn. If you have a project in mind but don't have the technical knowledge to see it through, you will no doubt find someone to help you get started.
Do I need to know how to solder?
No! If you need to learn how to solder for your project, there are always plenty of people at a hack session to give you some pointers.
What will I see at a hacksession?
People working on projects they have brought in and a lot of discussion about those projects. Sometimes group projects pop up and become the focus for a few meetings.
What should I bring?
Just yourself if you want to pop in and have a look. If you have something to work on, bring it along with the tools you think you'll need. There are some tools and other equipment available to use at sessions too, such as soldering irons and test equipment like oscilloscopes and multimeters.
Who typically attends?
We have a diverse range of members from artists with little technical experience to PhDs in electronic engineering, and we encourage knowledge transfer is all directions. We regularly have 15 attendees on Wednesdays and 5-10 on Saturdays.
What ages do you cater for?
People aged from 15 to 60 regularly attend. Younger members are welcome when accompanied by an adult. We have a growing collection of activities for younger people such as electronics and Lego Technics kits.
What projects are you working on?
See the Projects summary page.
With any luck active projects will be mentioned in the wiki timeline.
Do I need to have a project?
No, but after a few visits, you will probably find yourself working on something or other.
What does it cost?
We currently ask $5 per session. Your first session is free though, so pop in and say hi!
How can I help?
If you aren't ready to get your hands dirty with a project, consider taking some photos and writing a post for our blog, or updating pages in this wiki. Also just asking questions about things you see at a meeting can spark off interesting discussions.
How do I join?
Just turn up to hack session or post to the list to become a part of the community. We don't have a formal "membership" yet, but as we move towards having a physical space organized we'll be formalizing membership, and asking for membership fees. We will always have a low "casual rate" for non-financial members to attend the public hack sessions, however.
Which Arduino should I buy?
There appear to be a lot of different kinds of Arduino's and it can be confusing for newcomers to choose. To make it a little more simple, if this is your first Arduino, you should almost definitely get one of the "normal sized" models. That means either a Uno or a Leonardo. Of these two, the Uno is a little more "traditional" and will work with most shields and sketches. The Leonardo works a little differently so can have compatibility problems, but is frequently cheaper.
Once you have played with a Uno, you will be in a better position to select from the rest of the range.
Which 3D printer should I build?
Building a 3D printer is a lot of messing around! Firstly, if you just want to print stuff, Adelaide has plenty of printers available for you to use. The Adelaide City Council's Innovation Lab and the Fab Lab have some you can use, and if you're lucky, the Hackerspace's printer might be working.
If you still want to build one, we usually suggest two options. If you want something cheap that works with minimal fuss, have a look at the UP! printers, available locally from 3D Printer Gear. If you don't mind tinkering, you can try building a RepRap. If you buy a kit, make sure printers built with the kit actually exist (there are plenty of unproven prototype designs on the Kickstarter-type sites). Try to get one whose hardware and software is open source, so if the company behind them disappears your device is still useful, and you benefit from extra tweaks in the drivers. Also look for an established community to help you out.
We don't recommend designing your own. 3D printers look simple, but they're difficult to get right. There's a reason it's taken the RepRap project 8 years to get as far as they have!
Pix also has some insights on the subject.