Toymageddon: Toy Hacking Night, Dec 4th, 7:30 – 10:30 PM

Event is SOLD OUT,   Attendee  Info Here

DATE: Wed, Dec 4th
TIME: 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM (new folks, please come at least 15 minutes early to get a quick safety tour)
COST:  $5 per person (members and non-members)
WHERE: Our new building (The Bunker) 270 1st Ave E, Vancouver BC V5T 1A6 
SPONSORED BY: Lee’s Electronics

Join us for a night of toy hacking! This is a theme night of socializing and having fun taking toys apart, seeing how they work, and trying to put them back together in weird and wonderful ways.

This is a theme night, not a workshop so instruction will be limited to soldering help and electronics troubleshooting as needed. Expect to have fun! If you’ve been thinking about checking out VHS, this is the perfect night for you! So come on down and say hello, hang out with us, and play!

Everyone is welcome! You don’t have to be a member.

Bring your own toy and batteries. Remember there are no guarantees, so your toy should be one you won’t mind accidentally frying. Unless you are a pro, it’s best to stick to battery-operated toys that run on 9 volt, AA, AAA, or C batteries. Also bring snacks, drinks, your own cup, and any previously hacked toys you’d like to show off at the space.


  • door prizes!
  • access to hack space tools, soldering irons, glue guns, precision screwdrivers, etc.
  • soldering/electronics help if you need it

Space is limited, REGISTER HERE


Intro to Making Puppets workshop on Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bring your imaginations, concept art and materials!

All puppet styles are welcome, from finger puppets to sock puppets to “muppet-style” puppets (whew, trademark lawsuit averted!). Even sock-monkeys are welcome at this artificial creature creation party.

VHS will try to have some supplies available, including enough polyfoam for the first 10 muppet-style puppets or so. But if you have your heart set on making something specific, we recommend bringing your own supplies. In all cases, scissors, needles, and thread are a good idea.

For a finger puppet, we recommend felt in the colours you prefer, and embroidery floss of matching (or interestingly contrasting) colour.

For a “muppet-style” puppet, foam, and a skin material of either synthetic fur or fleece in the colour of your choice.

For a classic sock puppet, fur, fabric or fleece in the colour or style you prefer. A sock would also work.

For a sock monkey, you will need a pair of socks, in a pattern and texture that you believe would make an attractive (or appropriately hideous!) monkey. And poly-fill stuffing.

If you’d like to get prepared early, we will be posting some handy links leading up to the event:

Dressew is a good place to get almost everything you will need, with a variety of affordable fur and fabric ends available at reasonable prices in their scrap bin. 337 West Hastings Street Vancouver, (604) 682-6196

If you plan on bringing your own foam, we recommend Discount Foam , at 6035 Fraser St., (604) 324-2927. The best foam for puppets is reticulated polyfoam in sheets of 1/2″ thick, and 2′ x 2′ would be enough to build one one standard-sized puppet.

This is a free workshop open to everyone, members or non members, guest, Everyone

1 pm, Saturday 7th of December, 2013

VHS (270 1st Ave E, Vancouver)

Bottom liner: 
Steven Smethurst 


Update. Picture from the workshop


2013-11-21: 3D Printer Night

We’ll have a brief tour of the space and our printers for newcomers, followed by a 3D printing 101 talk for those just getting started in printing.

Bring your printer or your curiosity.

No cover charge.  Our lonely donation jar would love your attention.

Everyone welcome! Membership not required for this event.

Starts at 19:30 and goes until late.

Introduction to Home automation with the Raspberry Pi – Sunday November 24th 2013

VHS members only, become a member and join us!

Bottomed lined: Steven Smethurst

RVSP on Google+Facebook

Free for VHS members

VHS 270 East 1st (The Bunker)

Sunday November 24th 2013 1 pm till 5pm or when ever we are done.

In this workshop we will be using a Raspberry PI to read sensors (inputs), store their vales in a database for historical trending and turn relays (outputs) on and off when a sensor value goes outside of a certain range. There will be a small amount of very basic python programming in this workshop. Example code will be provided and even if you have never programmed before you should be able to get the basic example running.

In this workshop you will be building a system that will turn on a light if the door is open or motion is detected in an area. We will be recording the current temperature to a database and if the temperature goes outside of a range a fan will be turned on to reduce the temperature.
[Read the rest of this entry...]

Want to Build a Quadcopter At VHS?

Quadcopter in flight

Give the gift of making this winter and build a Quadcopter at VHS. EIGHTEEN have signed up!

Project News

2013-11-13: The time to get in on the group order has now closed. We are placing the order today. We will have more news as soon as we have a tracking number.
2013-11-10: The Neuchatetl, Switzerland Fablab is thinking about making our quadcopters, too.
2013-10-30: Group ordering began
2013-11-13: Group ordering closes
2013-11-22: Online Purchases completed. Off-the-shelf parts are in the mail!
2013-11-26: All packages confirmed in the mail and being tracked to local warehouse.
2013-11-27: How to video filming at the VHS

[Read the rest of this entry...]

November 16 – Artemis SBS Day

VHS is having an Artemis SBS session on Saturday, November 16. Artemis SBS is a spaceship bridge simulator designed to work with several players on the same network, in the same ship.

Essentially, you can act as a member of the bridge crew of a starship. We will run at least two separate bridges within the space, making both Co-op and PVP avail able.

For those unfamiliar with Artemis, it has been described as a Star Trek simulator, without the branding. Players can play as one of six positions on a bridge: Helm, Weapons, Science, Comms, Engineering, and Captain. Every crewmember is an asset to the ship, however only Helm and Weapons is necessary for a functional bridge. Each bridge connects to a server which also serves as the first bridge’s viewscreen, and up to six bridges can be connected to a single server.

Artemis runs in limited 3D space. It moves the full size of the map along a flat plane, and has very limited elevation.


  1. A laptop
    If the laptop is not a Windows machine, Artemis will not run natively. Artemis IS portable to mac via wineskin and efforts will be made to provide a port for the event
  2. A charger
    Dead computers = dead ship

Useful Tools:

    1. A mouse
      Very useful. Trackpads, while they do work, are not very good for this.
    2. A Touchscreen
      If your laptop has a touchscreen, or if you have external touchscreens, these are great for most stations. The entire interface is usually pretty good with touch.
    3. Flight controls
      Any form of USB-based analog stick is great for Artemis. Joysticks and throttles add the whole flight control aspect, but steering wheels and pedals work just as well.
    4. Snacks
      Snacks are good

SMD November – Build your own Bus Pirate v3 LTS

SMD November is all about building our own Bus Pirate v3.  The bus pirate v3 is a like a leatherman for electronics protocols.  “Talk to 1-wire, I2C, UART (async serial), SPI, JTAG, MIDI, LCDs, PC keyboards, and a ton of generic serial devices from a terminal.”  In SMD October workshop we showed you can program AVR processors with it too.  The web is full of stories of people rescuing laptops and reverse engineering all kinds of devices using bus pirates.

The original design is open hardware, we’ll be using it with a custom PCB design, also open hardware – I’m calling it LTS (for learn to solder).  The schematic is the same but the PCB uses a much bigger board (50×100) and replaces some of the tiny components on the production model with 1206 components that are much easier to solder.  Eagle design files are at

There are some very fine pitch parts on this board, help will be available to solder them but you’ll need a steady hand and a fine tipped soldering iron.  This workshop is more expensive because of the ICs on this board but still good value.  Once again, I’m leaving the evenbrite fee out in the open rather than absorbing it.

If time permits we’ll also cut some Sick-of-Beige cases on the laser cutter to suit your new tool (as shown in the photo).

The PIC microcontroller on this board will be supplied blank.  There will be programming facilities at the workshops to bring the board to life with the bus pirate firmware.

VHS needs members so I’ve decided to make this a members only event.  I may drop this requirement if ticket sales are not sufficient.   Please don’t buy a ticket if you aren’t or don’t intend becoming a member.  I’ll verify the list of attendees with the vhs membership guru the night before and contact anyone I can’t find on the members list.

This will be the last SMD workshop this year.  If you have a request for the next SMD workshop, please contact the organiser. I may consider revisiting the October workshop next January but with a real Leonardo PCB and then following this up with some shields to match in later months (or go straight to some shields?  Let me know).

When : November 28th, 2013 7:00pm and December 5th, 2013 7:00pm
Where : VHS 270 E 1st Ave, Vancouver
Tickets : Eventbrite - SMD November - Build your own Bus Pirate v3
Cost : $19 for pcb, parts and instructions (eventbrite will add $2 or so)
Bring : solder iron (preferable) and magnifier (preferable)

VHS Lightning Talks Video

The lightning talks from Vancouver Hack Space SHHH 30 (Super Happy Hacker House)

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.

Apologies for the skipping in the video.


VHS in the press


Two articles on VHS appeared this weekend.

Happy Crafty Halloween! – October 16 and 23

Come get ghoulish with us on Wedneday, October 16th and 23rd!

Join us these upcoming nights for Halloween costume making and crafting. Bring your ideas and supplies for a couple evenings of fun and creativity. Whether you have a costume idea or something in mind to scare the trick or treaters we want to see you at the hackspace!

For some ideas or inspiration check out Instructables’ Halloween page.

For DIY supplies check out:


Army and Navy

What: Halloween Costume Making and Crafting Night

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

When: Wednesday October 16th and 23rd @ 7:30pm

Why: Because halloween is awesome

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