Archive for March, 2017
Richmond Green Library held their maker event on Saturday afternoon, March 11, and might not have been prepared for the ylab mayhem. Other exhibitors might have been content with a display table. We kind of… expanded. Out of control. People coming in through the entrance rotunda for a quiet read were surprised by hovercraft scooting by. What’s normally a children’s reading area was taken over by sumo bots and some nifty book-making. The paper and cover kind, not the covering bets kind. We weren’t just showing stuff. Light sabre repairs, modifications and software upgrades were happening right there. We left with more working light sabres than we came in with. And the children’s program room? Our Jacob’s ladder and some interesting audio demos made light and sound waves visible and understandable, with bonus ear-piercing sounds. Big thanks to the ylab volunteers who brought all their creations, and to all the Richmond Green Library staff who were so helpful in so many ways putting on a great maker event. And not throwing us out.Comments? Here on facebook.Can you identify the librarians in the pictures?
as shown here (we’re giving them credit because we took their picture), you first need to safely discharge what could be up to 30,000 volts in the tube. Hook up an alligator clip to the screwdriver, and ground it, they say. We have the TV, but we’re meeting outside of our normal lair at the DDO. We want to do it now. Besides, old 32 inch TVs are too heavy to lug down to the basement. At ylab, our sense of scale may be a little warped by being so close to the big giant telescope. Because someone said “Wait, I have a Canadian alligator clip in my car.” 30,000 volts? Ha! With this kind of wire gauge, we could take a lightning strike. After a safe and honourable discharge, we got all the components we wanted. No Peks were harmed in the making of this post.Where can we find an alligator clip to ground out a screwdriver? If you’re going to remove a fly-back transformer from an old TV,
Richmond Hill Public Library’s Richmond Green branch near Leslie and Elgin Mills. is hosting a Maker Event on Saturday, March 11 from noon until 5 PM, and Ylab will be there. It’s a family event – ages 6 and up, according to the RHPL event listing. While you’re in the area, bring out your skates and hit the beautiful Richmond Green Skating Trail. It’s beautifully lit in the evening. Come out and see our latest not-a-light-sabre engineering, Jacob’s ladder, radio toys, laser-cutting artistry, robotics demos and other creations. No registration required, but we’ve created a meetup.com event to help publicise it. Registration not required, but it’s nice to let us know you’re coming.
Jacob’s ladder and its noisy, sparky electric arcs crawling up between two wires. Since we call ourselves ylab, member Craig felt we had to do something about this and kicked off the project. Now if you look up how-to sites on the web, you’ll see a lot of recommendations on how to make one using a tube TV fly-back transformer, and maybe a fluorescent light ballast as an power source. But nooooo, not us. At ylab, we have the benefit of having some … ahem… experienced members. Some retired. They have some amazing knowledge. They have some crazy old stuff in their basements. And sometimes, they bring out that stuff. Member Craig brought a transformer box that looks like it came from a World War 2 radar station. It kicks off some serious spark. We took a break the following week after someone said there was a gas smell from the furnace room. As in holy-stuff we’re not coming in until that’s cleared up. Once we got the all-clear… Member Gilles of radio restoration fame brought in an electronic ignition thing from an old car. Probably a very old car. Looks like the first generation after points and condensers. That and a PC power supply would do the trick. But it would not be cool enough. Gilles knows that we have a few jurassic audio oscillators. That’s the thing with the big dial in the background. How many? Enough that we could risk one. Wire that in, and now the sparks fly with different tones as you turn the giant knob. We’re officially a real science lab!Correction from original post: we originally said the big transformer was from Ross. It’s Craig’s. And Craig is not retired.Anyone who’s watched an old Frankenstein movie – or almost any old black-and-white sci-fi movie – knows you can’t have a decent science lab without a