Laser Crown Project

April is my wife’s birthday, our Anniversary and a roadtrip down to Disney so I had to do something special.   I loved the Instructable by P3nguin and decided to take it a bit further by adding a reed switch to change display modes and a digital compass module.  Check out the full build log over on the VHS forums!

Crown Lit

Crown at 20% brightness

Presentation and Display Box

Presentation and Display Box

Workshop: Introduction to arduino blink sketch and E-Textiles – Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

More information


Introduction to arduino blink sketch and E-Textiles.

In this workshop we will be going over the most basic arduino sketch, The blink sketch. We will set up the arduino environment, wire an LED to the arduino board, programing an arduino to blink the LED on and off at a programed rate. We will then continue the workshop building on the blink sketch by adding several LEDS and making them blink in different patterns. We will finish off the night with an introduction to E-Textiles and how you can use the blink sketch in clothing.

For the E-Textiles section of the workshop we will be working with a Lily Pad arduino. It is not required that you have a Lily Pad arduino for this section.

Hardware requirements:

  • A computer with the arduino software pre-installed.
  • An arduino of any variant (Arduino Leonardo, Lily Pad, Arduino Pro Mini, etc…). You can purchase an arduino from LEE’s Electronics on 28th and main. If your ardunio does not have a USB port you will need the programing cable to download code. I will have several demo arduinos available for you to borrow if needed (these are not for sale).

The Vancouver Hackspace
1715 #104 Cook street, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 @ 7:30pm

Anyone and everyone is welcome. If you are younger than 18 please bring your parent or guardian with you

There will be a $5 workshop fee.
Please RSVP, if less then 5 people RSVP then the workshop will be canceled.


@funvill (Steven Smethurst) will be bottom lining the event.

VHS-GIS Workshop – Friday March 27th, 2015

53af6b09102e6635Welcome to First VHS-GIS Workshop.

In this first workshop, we will look into how to create different datasets of terrain surface from raw Digital Elevation Model using ArcGIS platform. We will look at some of the different sources, where to get DEM tiles, how to work with, as well as some things in DEM tiles. For the practice, we will map an island nearby the City of Vancouver, or possibly other place we decide.

In this workshop, we will idealy create and explore the following surface datasets:

  1. Topographic contours with predefined contour interval;
  2. Slope raster dataset;
  3. Hill-shadowed raster dataset;
  4. Aspects of hills’ slopes raster dataset.

And if time permits and depending on how we manage to make it, we might be able to overlay created datasets in visually appealing manner.

Participants are welcome to watch and ask questions. Unfortunately the software program is not free. I will use version 9.3 of ArcGIS during workshop. Participants may download a 60-day free trial version of ArcGIS from ESRI Canada website; though, I think only newer ArcGIS version 10.x is available for trial download, which will not be consistent with the version I will use and, I will not be able to coordinate.

If you can get ArcGIS v. 9.3, or trial version of it – great! If not, please feel free to bring your laptops and experiment how you can connect your technologies, if you like to. Certainly bring your notebook and pen/pencil to take notes.


Please note: this ongoing event will not repeat the activities from previous dates; each following event will idealy cover next steps (after creating datasets, we will look into categorizing, classification, overlay, scaling, projection, layout …), so participation on every scheduled date is strongly encouraged.

Please ask in comments and, I will try to accommodate your interests into the workshop, as long as you post well ahead of the first date.

Donations will be much appreciated for “I am broke as a joke”.

Oh.., yeah ..! For dates and tickets please follow this link:

The workshop is planned to take place at the VHS, 104 – 1715 Cook Street, Vancouver V5Y 3J6.

Friday March 27th, 2015 starting @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.

VHS members, friends of VHS members and anyone who can get in.

Event hosted by Yuriy Shevchuk (a.k.a. Neo Shevyuchtayuk – Native Earthian whose name was modified by harsh rocky Canadian environment)!

Looking forward to seeing you there.


Open Night: Wheatpasting at VHS – Wednesday March 25th, 2015

We will be making a batch of wheat past and using it to glue improvised poster to some of the walls at the space. Wheat past is a simple CHEAP glue mixture made from flower and water. It is often used for street art (Graffiti)

@funvill will be running the night, I have a few posters that I have been meaning to put up at the new space as well as wrapping one of the columns with a long cat 14 ft poster. Similar to the one that was at “the bunker”.

You are encouraged to bring your own posters for wheat pasting as long as they are not racist, sexist, homophobic in nature.

The space needs to have more charm!

Wednesday: March 25th, 2015 @ 7:30pm – 9pm

1715 Cook street #104

@funvill (Steven Smethurst) will be bottom lining the event.
Anyone is welcome, guest, members and friends.

Workshop: Creating stencils with Inkscape and Potrace – Monday, March 16th

1171260_708035729258363_1936724786_nIn this workshop we will be going through the process of creating stencil suitable for the laser cutter (new and shinny way) or printing and cutting with an exacto knife. (Old school!)

More information:

The process:
We will be selecting photo or image from google image search, Altering the photo into a simple one or two color stencil. Using potrace to convert the image into a vector. Cleaning up the vector with inkscape to make it work in the laser cutter.

If you don’t have your VHS laser cutting training, 3rd party laser cutting services also are available like ponoko or Maker Labs or you can use a normal printer.

A laptop is required for this workshop.

Please install the following software before the workshop.

Monday, March 16th, 2015 @7:30pm till 9:30ish

Vancouver Hack Space, 1715 Cook street.

Anyone, Guests, VHS members.
A donation $2 is suggested but not required.

Please RSVP

TONIGHT! Old School Cool Night, 7:30 – 10:30 pm


Where: VHS
When: Thursday, March 5th, ,2015, 7:30 – 10:30 pm
Cost: Free and open to everyone

Remember back in the day when you’d use your slide rule to calculate square roots, your 16K computer to play Xs and Os, or your phonograph to listen to the latest hits? Those days are back.

Bring your old computer, machines, radios, gaming systems, tools, devices, and of course….beer and hang out for a night of tinkering, show and tell, and reminiscing at the hack space.

Please don’t bring anything that is excessively radioactive or that contains asbestos.

Devices must be manufactured prior to 1990. Open to everyone!

Intro to Bitcoin, Monday, March 23th, 7 – 9 pm

Curious about Bitcoin? This is the perfect chance to learn, no experience required! We will cover the basics in a brief, but comprehensive presentation and spend the rest of the evening in a Q&A session. Help will also be provided if you’d like to set up your own bitcoin wallet after the Q & A.

Where: VHS, Vancouver hackspace, 1715 Cook street, Unit 104.
When: Monday, March, 23rd, 7 – 9 pm.
Who: everyone welcome including the public

What we’ll cover:

  • The history of Bitcoin
  • What is decentralized technology?
  • What is a cryptocurrency?
  • The potential social and economic impact of bitcoin.

Again, no experience required! Everyone is welcome.

Presented by Gregg Peacock from Decentral Vancouver.

Open source, laser cut, maps Workshop – March 9th, 2015


In this workshop we will be making a the files (SVG) to create a laser cut wooden map from open data. We will be following an updated version of this (award winning) instructable I created last year

I will describe where and how to get open data archives, what you can do with these archives, what kind of data is available, and how to convert the data into useful formats that are not provided. I will also be going through the basics of mapbox while converting shapefiles to svg files. We will then use inkscape to clean up the output from mapbox and prepare the files for a laser cutter.

We will NOT be cutting the maps on VHS’s laser cutter. We will be generating the files needed for the laser cutter. These files can be use to make your own wooden map on VHS’s laser cutter or from a 3rd party like or makerlabs

Please install the following software before the workshop.

Remember to bring your own laptop*
I am a windows guy, I will do my best to help people on other OS’s but if you can install a VM with windows on it to make things easier.

Vancouver hackspace, 1715 Cook street.

Monday, March 9th, 2015 @7:30pm till 10ish

Limit of ~10 VHS members only
RSVP here

Bottom liner: Steven Smethurst (funvill)

More information: 

SHHH #35 beer sponsor – Coast Precision CNC


VHS would like to thank Coast Precision CNC for sponsoring VHS’s SHHH #35 and providing us with libations.

We at Coast Precision CNC Ltd are a small family run CNC Machine shop handling requirements from prototypes to production runs that require Milling or Turning(Lathe).  We have worked on projects from aircraft tooling to custom pharmaceutical dispensing equipment.

I (Bernie – big_mak) became a member of VHS when I was interested in 3D printing.  I came to a few open houses and dropped in on 3D printer Saturday’s and learned that the VHS community is an immense resource or technical information.  This resource is far more valuable than the tools they have available for the membership to use.  The very least we could do was contribute to an event such as SHHH, to help increase the members in the community so the resource only grows.

I enjoy the community, and we want to see the types of innovation that takes place here continue.

So to all you Hackers and Makers, we at Coast Precision CNC say CHEERS!!

Challenge coins for lighting talks at VHS’s SHHH #35

At Super Happy Hacker House (SHHH) we do lighting talks of 2 mins or less. These are fun talks about anything you want. You could talk about how laser disks work, the story of the farest earth “thing” to die in space, or your collection of sporks. During your talk the crowd is encouraged to heckle to keep you on your toes. They are a lot of fun!

When you do a lightning talk, you are given a challenge coin (Social credit personified).  These coins are made by a different member each time, using different materials or techniques. The coins can be metal, wood, plastic, varnished cookies, grown cookies, anything. This post has some of the past challenge coins.

For SHHH #35 Feb 21st, 2015, (This weekend!)  the challenge coins were designed by @Big_Mak and created at They are some of the prettiest coins we have ever had. If you want one join us for SHHH this weekend and do a lightning talk.