Craftscouncil Make:Shift:Do

Blackpool Makerspace is participating in the Craft Council Make:Shift:Do event.
We will be open for the 2016 event on:
Friday Oct 28th, 17.00-2100 and  Saturday Oct 29th 10.00-17.00.

Pictures and words from our 2015 Make:Shift:Do event  Make:Shift:Do October 2015

A new piece of equipment for our Makerspace in 2015 was a laser cutter, which we demonstrated at the Make:Shift:Do event.

At our Make:Shift:Do event this time, we intend to show a 3D printer printing parts for a CNC machine we will be building.

There will be a demonstrations of  3D printing using this machine kindly loaned to us for the event by Ultimaker




The Ultimaker finishes the first 8 parts for the CNC machine.

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Preparing for Craft Council open day

Mike spent the morning re-siting the laser cutter to a shelf underneath one of the work benches, freeing up some more work area on the bench.

Heavy duty rails have been used to allow the cutter to slide out from underneath the bench for setup and use. Flexible hose connects the cutter to the extractor unit and ducting.

Cutter pulled out from under bench:-



Extractor ducting with inline fan:-


Cutter pushed back under bench:-


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Home made solar (thermal) panel

In January 2015, I posted an update of my attempts to make my home more energy efficient. So far, I have concentrated on insulation, and monitoring the effects. This link describes the progress.

This summer (2016), I decided to try out an idea mention by another member, Donald. The idea was that you could make a solar thermal panel by painting a central heating radiator black, and putting it in a double glazed, insulated box.  That is what I have done using a 20 year old central heating panel left over from when I removed my central heating several years ago.

This is a graph of the temperature produced by the panel from the end of July to the end of August (2016). The graph mid-line is 50 degrees Celsius. Continuous live temperatures from the panel can be seen here:-

Screenshot from 2016-08-28 10:28:30

The panel is connected to a towel rail in the bathroom, and heats the rail by thermo-cycling, no pump would be required, except……

The towel rail cannot dissipate all the heat produced by the panel on hot days, and eventually, when the temperature passes 70, stagnation occurs, thermo-cycling stops and the towel rail cools down. To combat this effect on hot days, there is an Arduino sensing the panel temperature. When the temperature hits 70, the Arduino sends a signal to turn the pump on, which restarts the circulation.

What I am mostly interested in, is how the panel will perform during the autumn, winter and spring periods. When the results are in, I will be able to decide if it is worth adding additional panels to heat my hot water cylinder.

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Make-Shift-Do, October 2016

Most of 2015 was taken up preparing our new space at Tyldesley Road. October  2015 was especially busy as we hurried towards our opening deadline, timed to coincide with the Craft Council sponsored Make-Shift-Do event.

Membership declined in 2015 as we concentrated on building work rather than making. From October onward, we concentrated on meeting every Saturday in an attempt to rebuild the membership numbers, and so the finishing touches to the space did not happen.

With October and the next Make-Shift-Do event approaching, we have decided that a similar approach to last year is required, and additional work is now being undertaken to prepare the space for the event.



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Saturday June 4th

Only 4 of us today, Mike Hull, Richard, Tony and Geoff.

Geoff brought a laptop that he wanted to restore a windows 7 install on. The problem was while the key was readable the version of W7 it was had rubbed off the COA sticker. After a false start with windows 7 home basic which would not take the key, we were successful in installing W7 home premium. All drivers installed out of the box, and we activated the installation with no problem, but due to time constraints we left the full update untill Geoff was at home.

On the whole a successful mornings work.

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Hacker Public Radio

HPR is a podcast community for those that want to have a go at podcasting but don’t have the resources or skills to be able to go it alone from the start (although some of the regular contributors do also have their own independent podcasts). Setting up and managing a podcast site is quite a commitment if your not sure if you want to do more than the occasional show, and as it already has regular listeners you’re sure to have someone listen to what you record.
HPR releases a new show every day Monday to Friday but these are all from shows made by the community members, and can be of any topic of interest to the contributors. As the title suggests many of the shows are technology related, but they don’t have to be. Recent shows have covered, Repairing a Truck, brewing beer and recording a band. So for example if your into making Jam and want to share how to do this on a podcast you can.
A few weeks ago one of the Volunteers who manage the Web site, posted a podcast explaining that there were only a few shows left in the queue for publication and if things didn’t improve there was a danger that without any future content the site would have to close. This was the rallying cry I needed to get off my backside and record something for HPR.
It’s not my first go at podcsting as I was a member of the podcast for a few months with some other members of this Makerspace/LUG, and had also done a one off podcast with, Dan lynch (Linux outlaws), Pete Cannon (The Dick Turpin Road show), Les Pounder (fullcircle podcast) and Heeed, which was released as HPR episode 0844 called ‘The Flying Handbag’. We recorded this show during Blackpool Barcamp in 2011. It’s quite funny although slightly adult content, so if you want to listen its in the HPR archive.
However as far as recording myself alone talking (or rambling) about something I wanted to share with an audience, was something I’d not done before.
The biggest fear I had was the perceived difficulty getting it in a format to broadcast but it’s all taken care of by the community volunteers, all I had to do was record my show, (I chose to share about how I started to use Linux, as my first show) and then choose when I wanted it to be aired, follow the instructions on the upload page, and the rest is done for you.
So if you’ve ever been tempted to have a go at a podcast but didn’t know how to go about it give it a go via the HPR podcast community
Watch out Blackpool Makerspace attendees I’ll be bringing the Zoom H2 to meetings and trying to encourage people to do interviews for future HPR shows.
This is an edited version of a post on my occasional blog at:
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Linux Presentation Day at Blackpool LUG -April 2016

Nine people attended during the course of the day, and  Linux was discussed in detail.

Multiple Linux distributions were on display: Slackware, Debian, Suse, Fedora, Ubuntu, Lubuntu and one of the highlights, Linux Mint running on a quad core Raspberry Pi.

We had four computers to give away with Linux Mint installed (available free of charge), but there were no takers. We will have to try harder at the next LPD in October.


2016-04-30 14.52.46

Pizza fueled Linux presentation day.

2016-04-30 14.53.08

Biscuits and project boxes

2016-04-30 14.53.18

Apple pie cookies and boxes of Raspberry Pi


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