DDO Black Hole Bigger Than Expected

Not a DDO construction update. Cygnus X-1, the first X-ray source accepted to be a black hole, is bigger than expected. Possibly the biggest astronomical claim to fame for the giant telescope of the David Dunlap Observatory is its role in the first observations confirming Cygnus X-1 as a black hole. We haven’t checked lately to see...

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Ham Radio Stuff

Free ham radio class! On-line! But why?

Free ham radio class! On-line! But why? Stuck in your house during COVID? Want to talk to people but don’t want them to see your sequestration hair-do or lack thereof? Wishing you had done more to properly learn electronics? Too much dust on your voltmeter and soldering iron – if you can find them? Think a ham radio license would...

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COVID Closure Extended

COVID CLOSURE EXTENDED – WE’RE GOING ON-LINE The City of Richmond Hill, our hosts at the David Dunlap Observatory, are anticipating keeping all community centres closed until June 2021. The DDO is managed as a community centre, so that puts our activities there on hold until then. Ylab members have been meeting on-line, including our...

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Ylab and A.I. North team up: Python crash course on Sept 20

  Ylab member Lucian has been running the Artificial Intelligence North meetups for the last couple of years at Markham Public Libraries’ Angus Glen branch. He’s had an incredible variety of quality speakers and topics  – machine learning, neural networks and more. Click on the link to see for yourself. The meetups have...

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What’s been going on: Light sabre tune-ups!

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been performing surgery on the light sabres people made in our class several months ago. All our light sabres can do single or multiple colours. Those multiple colours are way more impressive than the picture shows. Our light sabres were designed by ylab member Richard. We have  a custom circuit...

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Radio non-silence. Background non-noise.

Ylab has run some amateur radio events and classes with our friends from the York Region Amateur Radio Club (YRARC). We like radio stuff because there’s a history of it at the DDO, and there’s some fascinating new activity and technology that’s clearly not your grandfather’s old ham rig. Some ylab members are also Scout leaders, and we’ve been helping...

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Much improvement and excitement at ylab and the DDO

It’s ylab’s first week back with the DDO now being run by the Town of Richmond Hill, and there are lots of improvements to our space and the entire facility. While progress appears slow, in the background, the Town’s staff are accomplishing great things. We mentioned a lot of clean-up in earlier posts. Invisible, but most apparent:...

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First night clean-up turns into archeological dig

Having a maker space in a historical building is so cool. After many months absence, our first night back at the DDO was dedicated to some clean-up. A new part of ylab is  the DDO’s basement workshop, so we decided to attack it first. Knows what these are, and can tell some parts are missing. Getting into some of the old tool cabinets...

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DDO Access Obstacle Course Cleared!

Some attendees of past ylab events at the DDO approached the site with a healthy amount of fear and trepidation. Not because of us – we’re the happy, friendly kind of crazy – but because of the state of road and driveway during construction and years of wear and tear. Hillsview Drive. With real curbs. An a distinct lack of mud. To...

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Next step: bring Frankenstein back to life

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 Jacob’s ladder and its noisy, sparky electric arcs crawling up between two wires. He would get a charge out of this. Since we call ourselves ylab, member Craig felt...

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