Skip navigation

Hackers on a Train Event Description


Hackers on a Train Event Description

From Mitch Altman:

I have scheduled a workshop for Bucketworks on Saturday 4-August. Can this date work for Bucketworks?  Are people going to the Evanston Mini Maker Faire -- that is the same date.  Please let me know very soon to confirm.  (Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of wiggle room.)  And please let me know the scheduled start time for the workshop (please see below for timing and setup and cleanup times).

I'll need to be picked up from the Milwaukee Amtrak station at 2:34pm on Saturday 4-August.  And if you could find someone to put me up on the night of August 4th for free or cheap, that'd be great.  I'm fine with a floor space, a 5 star hotel, or a couch.  :)

I'll also need to be dropped off at the Milwaukee Amtrak station before 3:55pm on Sunday 5-August.

Please let me know if the above can be arranged.

And please let me know if you'd like me to give the basic workshop (with lots of different kits to choose from, as described below), or my Arduino For Total Newbies workshop (also described below).  I can also give a talk, if there's interest.

For the workshops, I will supply the kits.  My time is free, but I ask to be reimbursed for kits used during the workshop, which is between $10 and $35 per kit (most are $20).  It is totally fine to charge people to do the workshop for fundraising for the space.

I'll need you to get the following together:
 - a room big enough for everyone to solder
 - a demo table to show all the kits that people can make
 - tables and chairs for people to solder at
 - lighting (if the room doesn't have enough) -- several lamps different lamps make for a nice feel, too
 - soldering irons, each with a stand and sponge (ideally one per participant, but people can share, if necessary)
 - small wire cutters (ideally one per participant, again, people can share, if necessary)
 - solder (with lead is way better!, but unleaded will work if that's all you can get, but please try to get lead solder)
 - hot glue gun, with glue sticks to fit it
 - AA alkaline batteries (about 2 per person is good)
 - power strips (with one outlet for each solder iron, plus lighting, plus a hot glue gun, plus daisy chaining)
 - AC extension cords to get power to each power strip
 - optional:  a few printouts of the "Soldering Is Easy" comic

I'll bring all the tools (that aren't listed above), and everything else needed.

Setup and cleanup:
We need 1 hour minimum (more is better) to setup for the workshops (the basic, or the Arduino For Total Newbies), and about an hour to clean up afterwards.  Please keep this in mind when scheduling the time for the workshop you choose.

No charge for my time (as I said) -- I do this 'cause I love teaching people how to make things, and love helping hackerspaces. But feel free to use this as a fund-raiser.  And regardless, be sure to have a donation box for the space available, and I'll point it out in my intro.

The basic workshop, and the other workshops are described a bit here:
Plan on 3 hours for the workshop (plus at least an hour beforehand to setup, plus an hour to clean up).
Please feel free to talk this over with folks at the space, and ask me any questions beforehand.

You can also see what's been posted for previous workshops I've given:
Please feel free to copy from these for publicity purposes.

If you'd like me to do the Arduino For Total Newbies workshop, info on that is available here:
Again, instruction is free, and cost for parts is $30 each.  Up to 50 participants is fine.
I'll need a projector for this workshop.
Plan on 3 hours for the workshop, plus extra time for people who are slower (plus at least an hour for setup, and an hour for clean up afterwards).

I can also give a talk.  Please let me know if that is something people would be interested in.

Need help?


The notebook section provides a way for you to store and share information with your group members. With the book feature you can:

  • Add book pages and organize them hierarchically into different books.
  • Attach files to pages to share them with others.
  • Track changes that others have made and revert changes as necessary.
  • Archive books that are no longer of interest to the group. Archived books can be reactivated later if needed.