Aachen Maker Meetup #143: Reconnecting (Jan. 18, 2023)

This month's Maker Meetup was the first in-person gathering after the pandemic. We had a surprisingly large number of attendees who were all glad to reconnect (everyone did a quick free Covid test before entering). Most brought brought their current Maker projects to show and talk about. At one point, we ran outside to (almost) see the ISS pass overhead using the clever ISS Detector app, we had pizza (with regular and vegan options), everyone had a great time, and they are eager to be back next month! Here are some impressions and projects we saw:

Andreas Schuderer brought a robotic arm that could be controlled by a small model of the arm. All movements done with the small model were imitated by the big one. Additionally, you could program it by demonstration: record the movements and position of the arm with the press of a button, and once done recording, press the second button for the arm to repeat all previous movements.

IMG 20230118 194247 1 c

Prof. Jan Borchers brought his original Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer from 1983, connected to a CRT TV via a Spectra SCART interface, and showcased some early computer games that were read from old cassette tapes. He also brought a modern joystick, in which he replaced the USB cable and controller with an Atari-style DB9 connector, allowing it to be used with the Spectrum via a Kempston joystick interface.

 IMG 20230118 200357 1 c

A morse code trainer was presented, allowing users to train by inputting short and long pulses, immediately displaying the corresponding morse code letters on the display.

IMG 20230118 200820 1 c

As people were showcasing their projects, small groups formed quickly to discuss them and many related and not-so-related issues.

IMG 20230118 200831 1 c

One participant brought a metal robotic arm, equipped with powerful servo motors. The controller for this arm was not functioning, but they were able to connect it to the controller of another robotic arm. After successfully hooking everything up, we were able to see the metal robotic arm in action.

IMG 20230118 204458 1 cIMG 20230118 214713 1 c

An LRC box, which can be used to easily run small electronics experiments by changing the values of inductors, resistors, and capacitors, was also showcased.

IMG 20230118 203518 1 h c

Another fascinating project on display was an array of ultrasonic speakers, which could produce an audible sound but, with the propagation qualities of ultrasonic sounds, resulting in a narrow cone of high volume but a long range.

IMG 20230118 223915 1 h c

During discussions on radio technology and other captivating subjects, Markus Ermert showcased a device that could detect a variety of ranges of electromagnetic radiation by plugging in different antennas. Another intriguing project was a small tube with a temperature sensor and gyroscope, used to measure tilt and detect if yeast has consumed all the sugar in a brewing process by measuring the changes in liquid density and tube tilt.

IMG 20230118 204339 1 cIMG 20230118 220944 1 c

The maker meetup would not be complete without visiting the Fab Lab, where we discussed 3D printing and other fascinating topics, and had the opportunity to present and work with the Lasercutter.

IMG 20230118 201258 1 cIMG 20230118 213004 1 c

IMG 20230118 210119 1 h cIMG 20230118 210412 1 h c

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.