Ashley Webster | 20 Aug 18:28 2014

No 3D print drop-in this Saturday

Hi all.

I'm having my carpets cleaned this Saturday so there will not be a 3D print drop-in. Back at it the following weekend.


Mr. Ashley Webster
Dan Royer | 19 Aug 23:56 2014

Dented Pi for sale

I have a Raspberry Pi that works as long as you hold in the SD card.  The clip that holds said card has been damaged.
If you think you can make it work for you then I'll let it go for $20 tonight at VHS.


Dan Royer : : +1 604 916 2281
Dan Royer | 19 Aug 23:54 2014

RE: New LED wall

It would help offset the extra costs.  In future I may put together another group buy to expand on the wall that is coming.

PS, here's the tracking code:

Dan Royer : : +1 604 916 2281

Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2014 08:25:38 -0700
Subject: Re: New LED wall
From: iamlachance <at>

Hey are you still looking for donors? 


On 27 June 2014 15:56, Dan Royer <> wrote:
Speaking of cranking it up,

We now have 7 of 12 donors, myself included. 
3 have ordered an extra panel for themselves.  (nice!)

5 more and I can place the order.  I would place early but I don't want to say no if someone asks for an extra.

Dan Royer : : Raising Robot Literacy : +1 604 916 2281

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2014 22:14:36 -0700

Subject: Re: New LED wall

Never crank it up to 11.   You will never be as cool as Spinal Tap

On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:12 PM, Rob MacKenzie <> wrote:
The power supply was set to 11 volts and some of the LEDs arent' working. I'm guessing it got turned on and cooked.

 I've started replacing the dead ones with the spares (only 3 are confirmed dead). I'm not going to hook it up to the lab supply, it's too easy to bump and overvolt.

Are we going to use the current pannel we have or are the new ones going to be different enough that we'll want to rebuilt from scratch?

- Rob

On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 5:36 PM, Rob MacKenzie <me <at>> wrote:
$30 sent via paypal

- Rob

On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:07 PM, Dan Royer <> wrote:
Great!  That squares the last of my accounting mysteries.  Thank you!

Dan Royer : : Raising Robot Literacy : +1 604 916 2281

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:56:16 -0700

Subject: Re: New LED wall
To: vhs-members-bZJqt4gKw0cRG8GVGeFnZ7Dks+cytr/

yeah, we did the stripe thing at SHHH, one of me and one for the space.


On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM, Dan Royer <> wrote:

Did you donate?  Just trying to make sure the names and the strands all stay connected.

Dan Royer : : Raising Robot Literacy : +1 604 916 2281

Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2014 09:59:55 -0700

Subject: Re: New LED wall
To: vhs-members-bZJqt4gKw0cRG8GVGeFnZ7Dks+cytr/

I'll donate $30 plus I'd like to get a strand for myself.


On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:30 AM, Jarrett Rainier <> wrote:
K cool. Where do we sign up?

On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:24 AM, Steven Smethurst <steven <at>> wrote:

> Frequency 

I'm sorry, I looked at the Neo pixel library last night. You can run ONE pin of the Arduino at 400mhz and ANOTHER pin at 800mhz without a problem. Having two different frequency is a non issue as long as they are ladled correctly. I am sorry I added that extra unnecessary element in to this conversation.  

> Price, 

I'm sorry, I made a bad maths error. If my strings are 50 LED each at 20 that means each LED is $0.40 each before shipping and power supplies. Dan's are 64 for $29 or 0.45 with shipping and power supplies. That is an great deal and I doubt that I could match that anywhere else. Sorry I made it sound like they where expensive. 

The bullet style vs flat back style 

I prefer the flat back style but I can not find any distributor that can come close to matching the price that Dan found and for the LED wall it does not matter if we use the bullet style of the flat back style LEDS. 

Good Job Dan! 
Sorry for my added confusion. 

On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 8:41 AM, Jarrett Rainier <> wrote:
Does the Chinese supplier not know what frequency they run at? If they're not the same as the ones we have, the old ones will essentially go to waste

Although I just realised that if some people want to buy some for themselves, they can buy one of these strips, but take the old ones for themselves. That would work out for everyone.

On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 7:52 AM, Dan Royer <> wrote:
I don't know which freq they run at. They're all one freq and will work together.

Insuring Square to collect the donations. Everyone gets a receipt. Square takes a cut, accounting for the dollar difference.

I have two panels funded already. The old wall would require 10 more. I'd love to see us reach 48-50 donors total and then quadruple the resolution.

Anyone who eats to get in just to have some strands for themselves is welcome. Each one comes with a power supply. You can follow our recipe and make something for yourself or a friend.


Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 23:44:38 -0700

Subject: Re: New LED wall
To: vhs-members-bZJqt4gKw0cRG8GVGeFnZ7Dks+cytr/

Frack. Now I have to come down on Thursday night to check out the lightblue beam... ;-)

On 18 June 2014 16:38, Ninety Nein <> wrote:
I just got them in the mail yesterday.  They look really well built.  I'll bring them down on Thursday.

On Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 4:16 PM, Steven Smethurst <steven-ZXvRg/i/> wrote:

and a ligthblue bean if it's useful.
That looks like an interesting project. Have you played around with it much? Do you have more then one? have you tried doing the mesh networking yet? 
If you have a positive review I might buy one (or 4) my self 

On Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 9:57 AM, Ninety Nein <> wrote:
I'll donate $20 and a ligthblue bean if it's useful.


On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 4:21 PM, The Sign Guy <> wrote:


I will take a few strings as well. Let me know when you are ordering. Also is it cheaper to ship to the U.S.? We could use my Security Mail drop in Blaine.


On 16 Jun 2014 16:17, "Steven Smethurst" <steven-ZXvRg/i/> wrote:

Hello Dan

Are these strings the WS2811- 400 MHz or the 800 Mhz versions?

We currently have the 400Mhz versions at the space.  I don't think we can mix the two on the same pin.  (I may be mistaken) 

$350 USA / 12 = $29 each.  I paid closer to $20 for the ones that I donated, BUT they where only 50 LEDs long not 64 like yours. 

Also do you have the part number for these LEDs?

There are two variations of the LED string.  The bullet style that I donated to the space because they where annoying to mount and the flack back version that I used in my LED vest (or in the Laser cutter window) .  They both "snap"  in to the board but one is much easier to use. 

I was planning on buying ~10 more strips of the "Flat back" WS2811 or WS2812 800Mhz version as soon as I found a distributor at a reasonable rate. 

On Jun 16, 2014 11:29 AM, "Dan Royer" <> wrote:
I have been talking with a chinese manufacturer.

For $350 USD we can get 12 strands of LEDs, each 64pc long and using the WS2811 format.
One 64pc strand fills a square panel.  Two fills a rectangular panel matching the prototype that's been running at VHS.
This would give us a wall 6 panels long.  I'm trying to get them to go even lower (or at least throw in the power supply).

Does this sound like a good offer?  Anyone want to pitch in?

Dan Royer : : Raising Robot Literacy : +1 604 916 2281

To: vhs-members-bZJqt4gKw0cRG8GVGeFnZ7Dks+cytr/
Subject: RE: New LED wall
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:58:12 -0700

I have some of these connectors that I can bring in:

From: vhs-members-bZJqt4gKw0cRG8GVGeFnZ7Dks+cytr/ [mailto:vhs-members <at>] On Behalf Of Rob MacKenzie
Sent: June-13-14 12:19 PM
To: vhs-members-bZJqt4gKw0cRG8GVGeFnZ7Dks+cytr/
Subject: Re: New LED wall

I've been thinking about the connections. We need to be careful about the power distribution if we want to keep the colours consistent and the voltages 
Each panel should have an independent 5 volt supply that doesn't pass on to the other panels, that way we can make it any size/shape we want.
So the connections between panels just needs 2 pins; ground and data. The power connection  being something standard like molex sounds good, especially since then we can use a computer power supply to power a single panel for testing. We could just use barrel jacks for connections between panels. (data + ground).
Unless we want to build it super robust. Then we should look at stronger latching connectors.

- Rob
On Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM, Andrew Tuline <> wrote:
WS2801 and WS2803 use 4 wires.
WS2811, WS2812, WS2812B use 3 wires with the clock and data on one wire.
I believe the FastLED library (formerly FastSPI) supports them all.
Andrew T
Dan- I believe the new ones are three wire, not four...
On Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM, Dan Royer <> wrote:
I've got a supplier willing to go 64pc/strand with the same 4-pin connector we're used to.  Negotiating a price now for a bulk buy.

Dan Royer : : Raising Robot Literacy : +1 604 916 2281
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:11:43 -0700

Subject: Re: New LED wall
To: vhs-members-bZJqt4gKw0cRG8GVGeFnZ7Dks+cytr/
I want to say 60cm, but the file on the laser computer would know for sure. (VHS folder)
On Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 8:17 AM, Dan Royer <aggrav8d <at>> wrote:
What are the dimensions (in pixels) of a single panel?  16*8?

If I contact the suppliers on Alibaba I can get them to make us duplicates of

That are exactly 128 units long, so it's one string per panel.  I could also ask for 64 units long.
How about a connector to make daisy-chaining straightforward - something like a 5-pin molex connector?

full disclosure:  I love these panels and I'd like to make them into a simple kit to teach old school computer graphics.

Dan Royer : : Raising Robot Literacy : +1 604 916 2281
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2014 23:10:21 -0700
Subject: Re: New LED wall
To: vhs-members-bZJqt4gKw0cRG8GVGeFnZ7Dks+cytr/
They're both there at the space. In fact, you can see one being used as a separator in my pictures in the back.
I'll pitch in for 2 strings.
These right?
Who else wants to pledge?  How big are we thinking? 48 by 18 would give a nice 16x9 aspect ratio, but no real reason to stay with that ratio. We could just pick a spacing and measure the wall. Or measure the wall and decide on a spacing that is sane for how much we want to spend. 

- Rob
On Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 10:06 PM, Stephen <frenchcanadianflyfishing-FFYn/> wrote:
I bet you're not too drilled about that...
How big were your panels, and what is the diameter of the LEDs holes, Jon?

Sent from my iPad

On Jun 12, 2014, at 5:18 PM, Jon Grieman <> wrote:
>Aren't the LEDs in 50 unit strings?  Maybe we should be building on a 5*10 grid so we can make them more modular?  (Or 4*12, allowing 2 spares per module?)
I had actually drilled out two 100 LED coroplast boards, with this in mind. Guess they didn't get used?
On Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 5:14 PM, <befletch <at>> wrote:
<creating work for someone else>
Maybe have a collection jar for the job at the next SHHH?  Assuming someone was willing to collect it all and place an order?
Aren't the LEDs in 50 unit strings?  Maybe we should be building on a 5*10 grid so we can make them more modular?  (Or 4*12, allowing 2 spares per module?)
</creating work for someone else>
- Bruce
On Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 5:01 PM, Luke Closs <> wrote:
We need moar LEDs!
The template to cut coroplast to perfectly fit and space an 8x8 grid of LEDs is on the Laser Cutter Files under the VHS directory.
Perhaps we can do a group buy of these LEDs for personal + space purposes? Anyone want to organize?
We could also pretty easily raise money for VHS to buy 6+ more panels - giving us a 16x32+ grid....
"We" of course...
On Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 3:36 PM, Rob MacKenzie <me <at>> wrote:
Because I can't figure out the right Stephen to update about this, and because pretty pictures, here is the start of the new LED wall.
Just using the adafruit libraries (attached), setting for 400khz and the dimentions of the array. 
Adafruit_NeoMatrix matrix = Adafruit_NeoMatrix(16, 8, PIN,
  NEO_RGB            + NEO_KHZ400);
- Rob
VanHackspace (VHS) members list: vhs-members-bZJqt4gKw0cRG8GVGeFnZ7Dks+cytr/


- Steven Smethurst (VA7-SWS)

Paul S Gill
aka the sIGNgUY

alternate email
(I use gmail for mobile email)

paul <at>

- Steven Smethurst (VA7-SWS)

Tesso Martins Costa | 19 Aug 23:36 2014

Re: Looking for grandmother tracking ideas

A friend of my, did a very good job in his house, now all lights are arduino controlled thought MQTT for remote access (not important) so all the lights uses arduino controlled power relays... and in the plugs now, there are simple toggle switches, that just sends a word to the arduino and it turn the relay on/off...

i know too much trouble, as he had, rebuilding a bunch or wiring in the house.

But, a sure thing solution, for reading state of the lights in the house.

i thought would be notifying everyone using SMS (i believe its more reliable then internet connection, at least in my country :P)


Tesso Martins Costa
PGP Fingerprint AF1C 6E31 37FB 4329

On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 6:00 PM, Garth Cumming <> wrote:
Dealing with the issue is pretty easy, in the case where there is a potential incident I would then send a broadcast text to family members that are close and/or automate a voice call to their phones. Twilio has very easy to use API's to handle this.

Most of my family is within 3 min drive to her place so they can reach her pretty quickly. 

What i'm hoping is to notify the family if she didn't make it to the bedroom at night or didn't make it to the living room in the morning, neither of these could be emergencies but enough to ask someone "hey, go check on your mother". I like the accelerometer approach, that's a nice easy one for me to monitor, I might be able to re-purpose one of my old quadcopter flight controllers to get started.

Power usage is a good one too, if I don't see a specific light switch come on in the morning I can suspect that something is not quite right.

On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 1:24 PM, Andrew Hendriks <andrew.hendriks <at>> wrote:
In terms of off-the-shelf solutions, what about a fitness sensor?
If you know she wears slippers when she's about, I think you can get wireless ones small enough now to attach to slippers so they wouldn't be an issue.

Alternatively, what about an RFID tag and a permanent tracker plugged into a wall socket with a UPS?
RFID tags come in all shapes and sizes, and you should be able to primitively monitor changes in range.
I think this can be something small enough to attach to clothing or footwear.

Have you thought about other sources of info, like passive tracking power usage? You can buy home automation modules that plug into the wall that should be able to tell you when lights are on and off.

As a follow up question, what's your plan for dealing with an issue? Were you planning to phone, and then drive down to find out what's happening? Is there a remote intercom in the house that someone can connect to, and ask if she's okay?

On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:54 AM, Tim Webster <> wrote:
An easy solution for accel/gyro/temp sensing, is to attach a stm discovery board to a pi via the usb as we have done with the VHS door sensor. 

On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:42 AM, Garth Cumming <> wrote:
Awesome, some really good ideas here I can get started on.

This won't be the only solution to the problem, she does have some off the shelf products and we have ramped up home care to be more frequent. 


On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:28 AM, Matthew Lai <m <at>> wrote:
I'd imagine just an accelerometer attached to somewhere soft on the bed and sofa would work, and doesn't really require any calibration, or worrying about what range pressure sensor to get. As furniture get older, weight distribution on the legs may change, too.

Accelerometers are pretty good at detecting movement.

If an iphone placed on the bed works well enough to track sleep patterns, surely an accelerometer actually attached to the bed will be good enough to detect if there's someone on the bed or not (or at least when they get on and off the bed, if they stay perfectly still on the bed).


778 317 7769

Bernie Koestlmaier | 19 Aug 22:00 2014

Delrin Scraps

I have a milk crate full of Natural Delrin scraps.  Small off cuts.  Could be of use to some one making smaller parts <1"

I can post a picture of this if anyone's interest is peaked.


Bernie Koestlmaier
befletch | 19 Aug 21:27 2014

Interesting PSoC devboard on Kickstarter

This one looks interesting:

"The board utilizes Cypress Semiconductor's PSoC 5LP, a programmable system on a chip, which according to Cypress is the world's first programmable embedded design platform that integrates discrete analog and programmable logic along with memory and a microcontroller. Our board can be used as a standalone device or in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi using a simple ribbon cable."

They have a Python API for the Pi, and a bunch of other options as well. Seems more finished than a lot of "slap a chip on a board" offerings out there.

I've inquired about combined orders (*ahem* pledges) to reduce shipping, but they have to check what's possible with their fulfilment company.

- Bruce

Garth Cumming | 19 Aug 19:50 2014

Looking for grandmother tracking ideas

I have an awesome but totally stubborn independent 96 year old grandmother who lives at home by herself and most of the time there isn't any issues. 

Last Thursday, just before getting her night time scotch she had a fall and there she remained until the next day when someone came over for lunch. She's ok but it does identify a real problem.

She has the whole remote you can carry that notifies for help but refuses to use it because she despises hospitals and knows that as soon as the button goes off, she will be taken there. She also forgets to take the remote with her.

Anyway It got me thinking about ideas on how to passively track her at home to give my parents a little piece of mind. 

The problem: I would like to detect that my grandmother has either made it to the couch during the day or made it to bed at night, she can't go 30 minutes without resting on either of these locations.

Any ideas on methods I can use to detect that she is on the couch or in bed? So far i'm thinking about some sort of load sensor on one of the bed legs and couch legs and somehow wirelessly transmit the results to a raspberry pi.

Also for wireless, what would you recommend for easy wireless data between these remote sensors and a pi? Could these sensors run from battery for a decent amount of time?

I'm up for all ideas and suggestions.

Mark Harris | 19 Aug 06:37 2014

Gas/Electricity/Water costs?

Hey Everyone,

Trying to figure out my budget for moving to Vancouver, I'm looking for an idea of how much to expect monthly for gas/power/water. We're looking at a 2 bedroom condo/townhouse/appartment around coquitlam if that helps. Its just my wife and I.

- Mark
Ryszard Krukowski | 19 Aug 06:32 2014

Seeking a Swamp Cooler

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone who went through the process of constructing a swamp cooler at the hackspace over the past month or 2 during the swamp cooler workshops was able/willing to sell or loan me one that I might take with me to BM. I can cover material costs and something for your time!!  I was unfortunately unable to make the time pre-burn to make my own but would love to have one to take with me...

I can be reached by email at or phone /text 7787733654.

Thanks for your time!

Paul Hothersall | 19 Aug 02:12 2014

GROW Hackathon this week in Whistler

Anyone coming to Whistler for this?

Looks super cool fun for a couple of days.

I can probably put up someone at my place if accommodation is needed.

Lets get a Vancouver based team winning!

Paul S. Gill | 18 Aug 23:29 2014

EL Wire

Anyone have any EL Wire for sale?

Paul S Gill
aka the sIGNgUY