we are a relatively new "Maker/Hacker Space" known as "The Rabbit Hole". We're located in Rochester, no not New York, Rochester Minnesota, (i.e....USA) (i.e....Planet Earth (well, most of us anyway)).
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Rochester is a very techy city, the primary employers include the headquarters of the Mayo Clinic, and a large IBM plant.
The University of Minnesota system has a Rochester campus, UMR which offers distinctive health sciences and bio-sciences education designed for students aiming for a broad spectrum of emerging health related careers. There is also Rochester Community and Technical College, and several other colleges hold classes on the UCR campus.
There is a strong IEEE chapter here, a local Linux User group (K-Lug) and a even a Personal Computer Interest Group (pcig.info) originally formed in the early 80s. However Rochester had no Hacker / Maker Space!!
That is until very early in 2013, (probably in the very early hours of the morning as well). That's when the Rabbit Hole Hacker Space was formed by the Toymakers, Whisker and Addie.
Whisker and Addie (found on "the interwebs" at http://tymkrs.com) have been setting up their own global hackerspace for a while with daily blogposts, weekly videos, and biweekly podcasts. And in searching around for a Rochester Minnesota Hackerspace, they realized very quickly that there was none. But they had a house, and a level (the basement) that was collecting cobwebs. So hence the brilliant idea - why not have a hackerspace in the basement?
At approximately the same time the local Linux User Group (K-lug.org) and the local PC Interest Group (pcig.info) were realizing that they had naturally morphed from just a linux user group and just a pc interest club (those topics are too easy these days) to more like a maker space. K-Lug and PCIG have monthly meetings on a very wide range of techy topics. They began to dream of forming a true Maker / Hacker space. Just like peanut butter and chocolate eventually bumped into each other to create the epic Peanut Butter cup, K-lug and PCIG bumped into the Tymkrs and the fun began!
Rabbit Hole members are meeting weekly in the temporary hackerspace (also known as the tymkr's basement). We've already seen how a little bit of space can become a place for minds to get together, collaborate, and create.
We hope this guide, by documenting some of our early projects and adventures, can provide inspiration for the makers out there in other "Maker-Space-less" environs
So currently, the Rabbit Hole Maker / Hacker space is an eclectic set of geeks with interests that include Electronics, Music, Software, Microcontrollers, Hacking, Making, Gadgets, Photography, Solar, Android, Robots, Board Gaming, Climbing, Canoeing, Biking...the list goes on and on...
The Rabbit Hole is less than a year into the maker /hacker space world, but have already held many group events including:
- Weekly hack nights
- Learn to Solder Night
- Sugru Build Night
- Jameco Build Night.
We've participated in:
- The 48 Hour Deconstruction 2013, where we created The Recyclotron, a Solar Tea Lantern and a bike trailer all from repurposed materials.
- the Red Bull Creation 2013 where we built a 28 foot RGB LED, Arduino and Linux powered touch-sensitive Rock Climbing Wall and installed it at the local climbing gym
- Four of us have submitted projects to the 2013 National Parallax microMedic Contest (currently being judged)
- Several of us have trekked to Maker's Faires (Including Kansas City and San Mateo)
- Our club manned a booth at the 2013 Minne-Faire at the Hack Factory, Minneapolis, Mn where we demonstrated our Recyclotron Can Crusher, Bike Trailer, Solar Lights and other projects
- We've created over 23 Instructables documenting many of our projects
- Whisker has published 34+ Rabbit Hole Episodes on You Tube, recording the goings on of each hack night.
We've been mentioned in: Wired.com for our Deconstruction projects and on Hackaday.com for our Wall-O-Tron Red Bull Creation Project and several other projects including Soda Pop Bottle Rocket Launcher the McMinion Slide Whistle and the Internet Connected Pill Dispenser.
We've also held several social events including biking the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway (in the snow) and an epic all day canoe trip down the Root River in SE Minnesota.
In Summary We enjoy the creativeness, knowledge and attitude of the folks on the Instructables site so we're diving in and sharing our experiences! Stop by our Website and IRC channel http://tymkrs.com/rabbithole/. Thanks for checking out our guide and good luck with all your projects!