The First Maker Space and Tech Community For Markham, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, & Vaughan.

It’s no joke. Attendees for YLab’s first formal training class ranged from beginners to experienced hardware hackers with enough experience to teach the class themselves. And how did it all work out? Unbelievably well. Attendees helped each other out, and everyone got their circuits and programs working.
Arduino Lightup

Its Alive! The first project was to make the LED light blink.

The class was generously hosted by Logics Academy . Ramy and his team did an amazing job setting up the class, projector, wifi and anything else we could think of. They let everyone hang out until I-can’t-remember-how-late to talk shop and compare notes.
Arduino Class Overview

After everyone got their bugs sorted out, the challenges began.

Ramy and instructor Brett Hagman amazed us with some of the contraptions they’ve built using the Arduino controllers. Logics Academy uses it in their facility for [Shut up! That might be confidential!] and in their robotics and electronics courses.
RJ from YLabs and Remy from Logics Academy

Discussing fun uses for robotics with Remy from Logics Academy.

Big thanks instructor Brett, Logics Academy, the growing cast of YLab volunteers, and most of all to everyone who attended to make it another successful YLab maker evening.
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DDO. WOW.

We sold out and filled every seat available for Makers at the David Dunlap Observatory: Old Tech Meets New Tech. Arriving visitors who had never seen the site were slack-jawed at the beautiful telescope and administration building.YLab outside the DDOThe David Dunlap Observatory, sitting right smack in the middle or Richmond Hill, is Canada’s largest optical telescope. It’s operated by an all-volunteer force of members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Toronto Centre.Starting The TourWho knew that the RASC-TC members are uber-makers? The session featured presentations and equipment demos by Jim Chung, author of Astro Imaging Projects for Amateur Astronomers , and Lance Clarke and Allard Schipper of the Southern Ontario Telescope Makers Group. We were astounded at the variety and complexity of amateur-built telescopes. We heard how Allard built much of his equipment using facilities and tools from the Toronto Tool Library. The Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan libraries may be hearing from us.YLab DDO PresentationWe had the special privilege of seeing and hearing how the volunteers maintain the main telescope. Who knew that mirror resurfacing by aluminum vapor deposition in a vacuum chamber could be done on site? Who knew what the preceding sentence meant before their patient explanations? Where else do you get to see huge 110V DC (not AC!) systems?YLab Inspecting The Homemade TelescopesAlong with the telescopes, YLab makers Jack, Jay and Richard brought out a 3D printer, robots, light sabers and other creations. Richard drew up a 3D model of the DDO dome and had it printed out by the end of the evening.Printing the DDOWe’d like to thank:
  • The RASC-TC’s Diane, Karen, Paul, Nicole, Gilles, Eric (those are the names we remember) and other members who so generously took the time to show us this gem of a facility and explain its workings.
  • The DDO’s volunteer high-school students for helping the RASC-TC members
  • YLab’s high school volunteers Katrina and Maxine for handling welcome and registration duties.
  • Pek and Uncle D for taking the awesome photos you see above and on our Facebook page
Last note: we owe someone with initials AB a $5 refund because the registration desk didn’t have enough change. The volunteers did try looking around for you. We have your name but no other info. Contact us through the ylab.ca web site.
Y Lab’s Car Hacks night was a big success, with about 25 people coming out for our talk on how it’s still possible to work on your car yourself, on some of the auto security hacks we’ve been reading about in the news, and finally, by demonstrating several different devices you can use to read and reset a car’s engine readings and diagnostic codes. Emily from autoniche kept us in line with some most appropriate words of caution and advice to keep us from harming ourselves and others.obdAfter the talk, we went out to the parking lot, brought together people’s cars, and tried out the devices. There were some glitches, and everyone chipped in to sort them out. No vehicles were harmed.carhack1 carhack2 carhack3 carhack4We’re thrilled at the turn-out – we originally thought we would have about 10 people, so a big thanks to Markham Public Library for stepping in with a room at Thornhill Public Library to accommodate everyone.MPL logo BWThis was the first event where we had live tweets to @ylab_maker. Tip of the hat to Avery, Jack and Pek for dragging us out of the dark ages and working twitter, our web site and ylab_maker on facebook.  And thanks for all the positive tweets and comments and for helping get the word out. Don’t forget to register for our big night at The David Dunlap Observatory on Wednesday, August 19.
We are happy to announce that our first three events are open for registration. Hurry up and get your tickets. Seats are limited so book soon.  Wed Aug 12, 2015, 7PM-9PMEvent: Car Hack: OBD-II/CAN Readers for diagnostics and fun Where: Markham Public Library’s Thornhill Community Centre Cost: Donation Ticket: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/y-lab-car-hack-night-obd-iican-readers-for-auto-diagnostics-and-fun-tickets-17904881984 Wed Aug 19, 2015, 8PM-11PMEvent: Old Tech Meets New Tech at David Dunlap Observatory Where: The David Dunlap Observatory Cost: $15 ($12 before Aug 10) Ticket: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/ylab-makers-at-the-david-dunlap-observatory-old-tech-meets-new-tech-tickets-17902894038 Wed Aug 26, 2015, 7PM-10PMEvent: Getting Started with Wiring and Arduino (no kids) Where: Logics Academy Cost: $85 with Arduino ($60 bring your own Arduino) Ticket: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/ylab-getting-started-with-wiring-and-arduino-18-event-tickets-17930294995
The Toronto Reference Library near Yonge and Bloor opened its doors to host Maker Festival 2015 this past Saturday and Sunday.   Makers invaded the three floors for the GTA’s  biggest maker show yet. Hordes of  kids and adults came out to create and share in the fun!
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Maker Jay booked himself a display table to showcase his light sabres and robots, just as he did at our kick-off event on July 25. Jay generously allocated some of his table space for some YLab event announcements and email sign-up.
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And he let Maker Ross join in with his Turtlebot.
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 Jay runs his own website at http://MakerFun.ca where you can check out many of his creations. For those eager to make their own light sabres, Jay has a tutorial on his site.
 
We had a great turn-out for ylab’s kick-off event. We’re guessing that between 75 and 100 people came out. The volunteers put a lot of work into it, and we want to thank everyone who attended for making it such a success. We have many new volunteers, and, of course, we’re always looking for more – email us at info(at)ylab(dot)ca.We announced our first five events, and they’ll be showing up soon on the website. We’ll post them in a separate entry. The dates and times we announced are confirmed. We just need to cover the final details.Special mentions go out to:
  • Canada Robotix for hosting the event – and Jack for his drive to make it happen.
  • Proto3000 for loaning us a MakerBot2.
  • Richard for making the first ylab 3D-printed logo and the laser-cut name tags for the volunteers.
  • All the Canada Robotix staff and ylab volunteers who kept things running smoothly.
Best of all, we had a bunch of makers who brought in some of their amazing creations. Check them out below – and thanks to Pek and Chhing for providing the pictures. Our host’s shop. We hope we didn’t scare too many customers.

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Maker Ross shows off his Turtlebot and its old friends:

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Laser-cutter projects galore! Maker Richard brings out several projects he’s completed with a laser cutter:IMG_2783IMG_2782

Richard also enlist comrades to make rope:

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Richard also brought in his own 3D printer:

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To run alongside the MakerBot Replicator 2 generously provided by Proto3000:

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Makers Paul and Sarah showed off their pick-and-placer prototype project completed in one and a half months.  The pick-and-place arm picks up surface-mount components and places them in their spot on the circuit board:

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Maker Jay brings out his light sabers and robotic vehicles and creatures:

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The best kind of networking – meet new friends, learn something new, and play!

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Thank you all for coming out! Until next time…IMG_3031