SHHH 30 Lightning Talks

SHHH 30 may be over, but the opportunity remains to enjoy the insanity that is lightning talks. The complete talks will be made available below, so don’t forget to check back!


VHS LED Matrix Badge

A few months ago we were talking about the Defcon and HOPE convention badges are and how awesome it would be if we could make one for VHS. “It can’t be that hard” we said. We will just put an Arduino on a board and put a LED matrix on it. It won’t take longer than weekend to build, a week or so of programming and we’ll be good to go. ~2 full months later just in time for SHHH 29 and we have a prototype!

The badge has 2 LED Matrix (8×8) next to each other, in a 8×16 matrix. Each pixel in the matrix can be either RED or GREEN, or any variation between the two.

The badge has a tiny microphone‎ built into the board, that is connected to one of the analog pins on the microcontroller. It can be used for an equalizer or other interesting projects.

The board has a 4 way joystick with a centre button in the bottom left and a single button in the bottom right. We hope people will make simple pixel based games

We added a Complex Programmable Logic Device (CPLD) to controlling the LED matrix and decoding the button presses. It also has the added advantage that people can learn about Verilog and VHDL. (Note: The CPLD will come pre-programmed so you don’t need to know Verilog and VHDL to get started) There are three exposed digital pins that are connected directly to the microcontroller for adding your own peripherals.

JTAG programming and debugging of the CPLD, SPI, I2C, AVR debugWire, Arduino bootloader and a few other nice features.


Bill of Materials

  • 2x – GYXM-1588-AURG – LED Matrix 8×16, 2 color (Red, Green)
  • 1x – ATmega168-PV – Arduino 168
  • 1x – 5M40ZE64 – CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device)
  • 1x – BL-5F – 3.7v, 950 mA (Nokia cell phone batteries)

Full bill of materials

Source and board design files
The board design files and example source code can be found on VHS’s github. Pull requests, comments and suggestions are welcome!

The board design and source code will be released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Allowing anyone to copy, edit, and create their own updated versions of these boards as long as they provide attribution and share their changes under the same licence.

One of the design goals of this project is to make it as cheap as possible. We wanted to keep it cheap so the cost of the board would not be a barrier to playing with one. Unfortunately we did not count on the chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, and September equinox holidays. This prevented us from getting the boards printed in China in time for SHHH. We ended up getting the first run of boards printed in Vancouver at a considerable premium.

$20 for VHS members.
We have ~30 boards available.

If you have experience surface mount soldering, and would like to start playing with the board early, contact us.

We need your help
We have ~30 boards that need to be solder before SHHH on Oct 5th. We need people with experience soldering surface mount components to help us get these boards together.

Please contact Richard Sim .
We will be at the space all this week.

We are looking for feedback on this version of the boards so we can make revisions and possibly make a Kickstarter. The boards are open source, the firmware and example code will also be open source on Github.

We will be running a series of classes on the design process that went into the board, manufacturing, etc, and using it as a teaching platform for AVR-GCC, and Verilog/VHDL

Creative Commons LicenceVHS LED Matrix Badge by Richard Sim. Updated project files can be found here . This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photos from VHS Sock Knitting Night

Sock Knitting night at VHS was a lot of fun. Thank you to everyone who came out, and a very big thank you to our sponsor, Three Bags Full. They donated some beautiful yarn. Please visit their store on Main street and tell them VHS sent you. People were knitting top-down, toe-up, learning to knit, winding yarn using the swift, checking out sock books, turning their first heel, and hanging out knitting up a storm.

Here are some VHS sockers and their projects!

(FREE) Sock Knitting Night – Wed Sept 25th, 7:30 – 10:30 PM

Photo credit: fletchercjm

Sponsored by Vancouver yarn shop Three Bags Full

Come and knit socks! They are not as hard as they look! Bring a sock project you’re working on, or one you’d like to start with the help of other knitters. A quick discussion of technique will be followed by lots of time to knit and get help.  This isn’t a knitting class but experienced sock knitters will be there to help. Ability to knit, purl, increase and decrease are recommended but beginners who are curious are very welcome! Are you a sock pro? Please come and share your tips! Samples of completed men’s and women’s socks will be there.

Eventbrite - Sock Knitting Night
When: Wed, Sept 25th, 2013, 7:30 – 10:30 PM
Where:  VHS, 270 1st Ave E, Vancouver, BC
Bring: a sock pattern you want to knit, the appropriate yarn, and needles
Cost: free, but snacks or donations to the hack space are appreciated
Who: open to everyone

Some Free Sock Patterns:

Beginner ankle socks
Men’s striped socks
Thuja Socks (men’s sizing)
Dublin Bay Sock Pattern (PDF, women)
Lorna’s Laces One-Hank Socks (women)
Tardis Socks ( advanced)
Pomatomas Socks (advanced)
Vintage Sock Knitting Patterns

Other free pattern sources: 
Knitty Magazine
Vancouver Public Library

If you have questions, please contact Janet.

SMD October – Build your own minimal Arduino Leonardo Compatible, October 24th

This workshop uses a readily available prototype board to construct a bare bones Arduino Leonardo compatible microcontroller using off the shelf components.

The soldering will be more complex than the September workshop. The microcontroller has 32 pins but the pin spacing is the same as the 555 timer used in the I (heart) SMT board. There are about the same number of components to solder, although, since this is a prototype PCB, there will be quite a number of through hole wire links to add.

A similar schematic can be seen here

The board will have a micro usb connector, please bring a laptop with the latest version of the Arduino software installed and a micro usb cable (if possible).

The workshop will include programming the bootloader, if time permits this will be DIY or if not, done for you.

This is an intermediate level workshop – basic SMD soldering skills will be assumed as will familiarity with the Arduino software environment.

The workshop will run over 2 weeks, please attend the first session, the second session is optional to ensure sufficient time is available for everyone.

Prepayment is required to establish the size of the component order. Tickets close 1 week prior to the workshop.

When : October 24th, 2013 7:00pm and October 31st, 2013 7:00pm
Where : VHS 270 E 1st Ave, Vancouver
Tickets : Eventbrite
Cost : $12 for parts and instructions (eventbrite will add $1.70 or so)
Bring : laptop with Arduino software installed, micro usb cable (preferable), solder iron (preferable) and magnifier (preferable)

Practical intro to computer security – Thursday, 26th, September, 2013

We are going to have a intro to practical computer security focused on “How to use it and why” instead of “How it works and why it is good”. These talks will be directed a people with good computer experience that want to learn more about how to securely communicate and protect there data.

Topics will include

  • TOR, VPN
  • Full disk encryption (TrueCrypt)
  • Phone encryption,
  • Secure chat
  • PGP and signing
  • SSH tunneling, OTR for IM
  • ect…

Notes from previous events.


The Bunker 270 1st Ave E
V5T 1A6, Vancouver, BC, Canada


Thursday, 26th, September, 2013
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm


People who are computer literate but want to learn more about security


It’s dangerous times and we need to learn how to protect ourselves.

VHS 5th anniversary + SHHH 30 + Open house, Saturday 5th October


The Vancouver Hackspace, locally better known as VHS, was founded in 2008. Its mission, to provide a common workspace where its members, hackers, makers, crafters and otherwise (technically) creative people could work on projects and find like-minded people, in sharing knowledge and ideas.


To celebrate its 5 year existence, on October 5th, VHS will be opening its doors to the general public with a celebratory (family friendly?) open house, extended by a special edition of the Super Happy Hacking House (SHHH30), featuring the turbo charged Lightning Talks.

  • Open house – Never been to a hack space before? This is the perfect time to visit! Already been to our old place or another hackspace? Come check out our new space off of Main Street!
  • Super Happy Hacking House (or SHHH) is a social night where members and non-members are welcome to gather for conversation, beverages, lightning talks, and super happy hacking. Bring your laptops, Arduinos, crafts, and gadgets for a night of merrymaking!
  • Lightning talks – A Lightning talk is a short presentation on any subject that you want. Unlike other presentations, lightning talks last only a few minutes (2 min or less) and several talks will happen in a single period by different speakers. Challenge coins will given out to the people doing talks.

Remember to BRING YOUR OWN CUP !

The Bunker 270 1st Ave E
V5T 1A6, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Parking is available just outside the space. Bikes can be brought inside the front door. To get here via transit: get off at Main St. – Science World station, walk South down Main to 1st Ave (past McDonalds), turn left onto 1st Ave. Walk until you see the VHS sandwich board (past the “Stay away from lonely places” sign, directly across the street from the Brinks building).

October 5th, 2013 Saturday
Open House 12 noon to 5 pm,
Super Happy Hacker House 9 pm to 2 am
Lighting talks 11pm sharp

Everyone, members and non-member, guests and all of their friends, and anyone else interested in seeing what hackspaces are about. The VHS organization would like to invite everyone to come and join us in celebrating its 5 year anniversary!

Button Making – Craft Night Wednesday Sept. 18

Wednesday. Wednesday! WEDNESDAY! is Button Making night at VHS

Join us this coming Wednesday for button making night. VHS has a 1.5″ button press as well as the supplies. It’s super easy and fun. Feel free to print out your own buttons to press but we’ll also be hand crafting some on blank templates as well. There is a suggested donation of .15 for each button that you decide to make. Feel free to bring along kids.


If button making doesn’t float your boat feel free to work on any crafting project, or just come to hang out.

What: Button Making Craft Night

Where: VHS (270 East 1st Ave aka The Bunker,

When: Wednesday September 18 @ 7:30pm

Why: Because button making is fun

Who: Anyone and everyone, young fellers, members or non members, guests, etc..

Cost: Minimum 0.15 per button made

SMD September – I (heart) SMT workshop assembly video

Last night’s workshop was a great success, look for more to come.

Here is the assembly video showing how to hand solder 0805 SMD components and the 8 pin SOIC component.

Getting started with Raspberry PI – Wednesday Sep 11th, 2013

The Blink sketch is the most basic sketch for most micro processors (Arduino, Launchpad, etc..).  Its a very simple sketch that just turns on and off an LED. You can do the same thing on the Raspberry Pi with the GPIO pins. Its a good start up tutorial for getting you started with your Raspberry PI, Adafruit WebIDE, and Python

What we will be doing

  1. Installing and Updating the OS working on your RPi
  2. Connecting and using SSH on your Raspberry PI
  3. Installing the WebIDE,
  4. Using Python and the GPIO pins to get an LED to blink. 

Things you will need

  • A Raspberry PI
  • A power supply (>= 750 mA) and Mico USB cable for your Raspberry PI (Note: Power supplies are available in the vending machine)
  • A keyboard and mouse, (VHS has a very limited amount of spare keyboards)
  • A laptop (VHS has spare laptops)

VHS (270 East 1st, Vancouver, BC, Canada)

7:30 pm Wednesday Sep 11th, 2013

Anyone that is interested in the Raspberry PI no matter what your skill level.
Steven Smethurst (funvill) will be running the night.

Because the Raspberry PI are awesome and this will be a good prep night for another upcoming raspberry PI night on Sunday
Sunday September 15th, 13:00-19:00: C/C++ on Raspberry PI @VHS