Instructables

Guide to the Genesis of a Maker Space

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Greetings!

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:


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!

Deconstruction - Rabbit Hole style
Our first major Rabbit Hole project was a 48 hour hackathon where we competed against teams across the globe...talk about teambuilding!!! You have to see the video of the Recyclotron...a can crusher made out of an old garage door opener, 2 snowblower tires, an arduino and an old desktoy robot!!!
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Hack Your Furby into Zombie Furby! style
We had lots of fun on a build night or two torturing poor Furby...I think we will have to have a sequel to this project!
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How to make a Sugru Tux! style
The Rabbit Hole had a Sugru build night and since we had some Linux fans in the house it was probably predictable something like this would result....Tux is so cute!!
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Create Your Own Solar Powered Mason Jar Nightlight from Junk style
Another early project, this idea resulted after the Deconstruction where we saved junked solar light parts from the landfill and created something useful...this is a variation on the theme and has been one of our most popular Instructables.
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Turn signal using 555 timer style
Several folks are electronics experts in our Maker Space, but most are software folks who get excited at the prospect of learning about hardware. This Instructable is a group effort created at our Instructables Jameco.com build night
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How to Hack a McDonald's Happy Meal Minion into an Electric Slide Whistle style
We went beyond circuit building for this Jameco build night project little did we know that Minion Brain Surgery would result from a hacker night!!
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Building a desktop computer from parts style
At the heart of our group we have some true computer experts and they're glad to offer advice and experience in the form of new Instructables such as this recent pair of Instructables that will help you build your own computer.
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Bring a Vintage GI Joe Walkie-Talkie Back to Life with Bluetooth! style
Here's an early project where we turned an old broken but cool toy into a working bluetooth speakerphone. This instructable is featured in two of our weekly Rabbit Hole maker space videos (generally published on Mondays)
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Build Your Own Low Cost Pickup Truck Canoe Rack style
Did I mention the Epic Canoe Trip 2013?? Well we actually started it out the night before at one of our weekly build nights...we were under pressure that night as we needed to create a canoe rack for the very next morning!
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3D Printable Robot Money Clip with Grip style
3D printing is something a few of our members have dabbled with and something we look forward to getting more experience with.
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How to Build a Soda Pop Bottle Rocket Launcher style
No Minions were harmed in the creation of this Pop Bottle Rocket Launcher (there is an Angry Birds Darth Vader stuck in a tree though :) )
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