Category Archives: News - Page 4

TheTransistors Red Bull Challenge Entry

The Transistor recently (just a few days ago in fact!) entered in the 2012 Red Bull Creation Challenge. For this challenge we built a fully automated, pneumatic Can Dispenser, Drink Extractor, Drink Cooler, and Can Crushing machine. This ensures a constant stream of Energy Drinks / Caffeine for those late night projects at the hackerspace. ;)

The cans are loaded into the hopper (which holds roughly 16 cans) where they wait for you to press the dispense button. Once the button is pressed, all kinds of magic (errr science) happen. First a pneumatic ram drives a spear through the front-most can, causing it to drain into an aluminum pipe which is wrapped with 10 copper pipes that ice water is circulating through. This effectively cools the drink from room temperature to roughly 40 degrees or less in about 30 seconds (the time it takes the can to drain). From there your drink runs into another funnel and into your cup. Finally a second, larger pneumatic ram crushes the empty can and ejects it out the side. As the ram retracts, gravity automatically loads the next drink into place. (Thanks gravity!)

This project was completed over the course of 3 days. Video below. Thanks for watching!

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July 7: Public, Free Classes

Free Class: Blender 101
2012/07/07 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Join us for a Free Class on Blender, taught by our very own Josh.

This will be a basics class covering (but not limited to the following):
– Using the Blender Interface
– Basic Mesh Modeling
– Materials
– Rendering

You are welcome to bring a laptop to follow along. Please have the latest version of Blender installed and make sure that you have a good mouse (you will have a bad time with your trackpad).

Free Class: Building your own Arduino Libraries
2012/07/07 @ 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Ted will be teaching this Free Class on creating your own Libraries for the ever popular Arduino platform.

Join us and bask in his glory.

You are welcome to bring a laptop to follow along.

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Darlington Open House

Come join us as we celebrate the opening of our Midvale, Ut location! Festivities begin Saturday, June 16th 4:00pm-10:00pm.

Join us for Projects, Demonstrations, Hackerspace-made Root Beer (and possibly Liquid-Nitrogen Ice Cream) at our new Midvale location at the following address:
175 W. 7065 S.
Midvale, UT 84047

We’ll also have a few projects that we will be working on that the public is free to help out with, including a Fowkes Combat Wing from our very own Eric Fowkes. There will also be a number of past and current projects on display for everyone to view and ask the creators about, including:

– 3d Prusa Printer with the new Elefu control board!
– Large LED display
– Alex’s aluminum frame mini-CNC mill
– Other RC projects
– Misc. smaller projects

Come down to mingle and check out the new space. And don’t forget to bring a project to show off if you would like.

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Visitors from the Chaos Computer Club

We had the pleasure of having Sebastian and Daniel from C3D2 Dresden in Germany come visit us at the transistor a few weeks ago.

They were really great to have. We quite enjoyed their visit, as they taught us a few new skills, and we all had a fantastic time.

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Free Classes: June 2

Free Class: Introduction to Arduino: Hosted by The Transistor
2012/06/02 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

If you haven’t used Arduino before (or even if you have) this class should be fun. We will go over; What exactly is Arduino?, The Basics of Arduino Programming, and Basic Electronics for Arduino.

You are welcome to sit-in, but if you would like to participate, you will want to bring the following:
– An Arduino board: We recommend an Arduino UNO, however if you want to attend the Awesome-Button Class, you will want to get a Teensy.
– A laptop (we have power and WiFi) with the Arduino IDE loaded.
– A breadboard: Sparkfun offers a few, but you can get them from almost any vendor.

We will provide leds, pushbuttons, etc. for free!

Free Class: Build an Awesome Button: Hosted by Gordon Cooper
2012/06/02 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Come on down and build an Awesome Button using Arduino, and a Staples Easy Button! Don’t worry if you have little or no experience with Arduino, the 6:30-8:00 class just before this one has you covered.

You will need to bring the following to participate in this class (you can still sit-in if you want):
Teensy ($16)
Staples Easy Button ($6)
– You will also want to bring a laptop (we have power / wifi) to program the teensy.

Email questions to deven [at] or gordon [at]

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CMKT 4 returns! Special classes open to the Public!

CMKT 4 returns to The Transistor, Provo’s Hackerspace Friday, May 25, 2012 7:00pm until 10:00pm!

Join the members of the circuit-bent rock band CMKT4 for a workshop on building your very own EconoMIC Bottle Cap Contact Microphone (from Creme DeMentia). CMKT4 will show you how to solder up a piezo-electric pickup and house it sturdily in a recycled bottle-cap housing of their own design! Stick around for a set from the band as the tool-handle dip on your freshly built contact microphone dries. Additional take-home kits and other surprises will be available, come build a mic and see and hear some of the circuit-bent instruments you’ve read about on up close. Bring your own instruments and objects to amplify!

Build an EconoMIC Bottle-Cap Contact Mic with CMKT 4 $15

Circuit-bending rock trio CMKT 4 will help students build a sturdy, working piezoelectric pickup using components and recycled materials. The band will help you learn to solder and ensure your success in building the kit. The comic book instructions will help guide you through their special process of soldering, drilling, gluing, zipping, and dipping – Voila! You are the proud owner and maker of your very own EconoMIC Bottle-Cap Contact Microphone (from Creme DeMentia). This simple transducer will create an audio signal from physical vibrations – like an electric stethoscope! Stick around for a performance from the band while the tool-handle dip dries!

Circuit-Bending 101: Build a Bending Buddy $15

Circuit-bending rock trio CMKT 4 never want you to bend circuits alone – that’s why they’ve developed The Bending Buddy. Want to learn the basics of circuit-bending but don’t know much about electronics? Building a Bending Buddy will introduce necessary skills for circuit-bending – soldering, reading a schematic, drilling, mounting components, wiring. Once you’ve built your Bending Buddy, you’ll be prepared to embark on a journey of discovery, using it to probe battery-operated circuits and divine new sounds. The comic book instructions and informational packet will help you understand broader concepts of circuit-bending – different types of bends, understanding components, building simple control circuits, bread-boarding and proto-boarding.

Build Mr. Mixer $25

Circuit-bending rock trio CMKT 4 want to introduce you to their new friend, Mr. Mixer. Mr. Mixer is a simple 4 channel passive mixer built from components and recycled materials. Students will build Mr. Mixer from comic instructions with help form the band. Mr. Mixer will allow students to mix together different audio sources to a single audio signal. The kit also introduces students to the magic of CdS or Photo Cells, which translate light into resistance. The Photocells will act as faders on the mixer, allowing students to duck sounds in and out, changing their volume with light!


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New Web Server

Please beer with us as we switch servers. So far it looks like we have broken the calendar. Ooops.

We’ll fix it soon. :)

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Congratulations Cymon

Tinkercad Announces the MakerBot Chess Challenge

“With over 180 submissions, we have selected the winner of the Tinkercad & MakerBot Chess Challenge! CONGRATULATIONS Joseph Larson! Your Action Chess Set and love for designin’, teaching and makin’ has won you a MakerBot Replicator! Bask in all the greatness that is 3D printing! Joseph’s Action Chess Set managed to WOW in so many ways. Instead of explaining them to you, take a look for yourself!”

Congratulations from everyone here at The Transistor. We can’t wait to print an Action Chess set of our own!

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Public Events: April

We are pleased to announce the upcoming schedule for April’s Public Night.

All of the events and classes listed below are free to the public. Some classes may offer kits at a price. If you don’t wish to purchase a kit, you are still welcome to sit in on the class. Please see the our homepage for exact details.

Event: Meet the Makers
Sat, April 7, 6:00pm – 6:30pm

Free Class: Introduction to DipTrace. Hosted by Tim Anderson and Devin Hales.
Sat, April 7, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Free Class: Chip Amplifiers and Surface Exciters. Hosted by Alex and Zack.
Sat, April 7, 7:30pm – 9:00pm

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Free Class: Chip Amplifiers and Surface Exciters

Hosted by Alex and Zack. For the amplifier part of the class we will be giving a brief overview of the different types of electronic amplifiers. We will discuss the basic functions of several types of circuits, along with their pros and cons.

For the surface exciter portion of the class we will be talking about surface exciters [also known as tactile transducers]. These amazing little devices can turn most any surface into a speaker. We will talk briefly about how they work and will offer a demonstration of how they can be used to turn different surfaces into speakers.

The rest of the time will be used for kits assembly. Participants can choose to buy kits and assemble their own small amp. They will also receive a pair of 2 watt surface exciters for them to experiment with.

Kits will be provided for $30 and will include:
1x stereo amplifier kit
1x 6 foot 3.5mm stereo cable to connect their amp and audio source
2x 2 watt 8 ohm surface exciters
Please email Alex [at] thetransistor [dot] com to reserve your kit

Participants will need to supply their own audio source and 12v DC power supply that can supply at least 500mA (.5A) of current. If you do not have a spare one lying around your house, you can usually find one at a local thrift store for relatively cheap. The circuit is designed around a 12v power source, but theoretically can use a supply as high as 25v.

Check out this youtube video of the test circuit:

*note the final circuit uses screw terminals instead of spring terminals.

This is a FREE, public class. We will start at 7:30pm on Saturday, April 7th. You are welcome to sit in on the class without purchasing a kit if you would like. Please email Alex [at] thetransistor [dot] com to reserve your kit

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Free Class: Introduction to DipTrace

Hosted by Tim Anderson and Devin Hales. This class will cover designing PCBs and Schematics in the Diptrace Software including importing and making new components and patterns,
setting up and enforcing design rules, considerations for manufacturing, gerber file generation and more. The class will cover
these topics through the design from the ground up of an FTDI breakout board.


P.S. Feel free to bring down a laptop (we will have WiFi and Power) to follow along.

This is a FREE, public class. We will start at 6:30pm on Saturday, April 7th and should run 1 hour.

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Public Classes: March

We are pleased to announce the upcoming schedule for March’s Public Night.

All of the events and classes listed below are free to the public. Some classes may offer kits at a price. If you don’t wish to purchase a kit, you are still welcome to sit in on the class. Please see the calendar for exact details.

Event: Meet the Makers
Sat, March 3, 6:00pm – 6:30pm

Class: Build your own Atari Punk, Hosted by Deven Fore.
Sat, March 3, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Class: Vinyl Cutting – Decals and Stickers, Hosted by Eric Lowry.
Sat, March 3, 7:30pm – 10:00pm

For more details, please visit our Calendar at

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Free Class: Composite Materials and Laminates

The Transistor will be holding an entry level class on plastic reinforced fiber laminates. The class will cover construction of basic structures, mold preparation, and vacuum bagging. We’ll also be talking about mechanical properties, different kinds of composite materials, the benefits of composite structures, as well as cutting and machining difficulties. Kits will be provided for $20. Kits will include resin, carbon cloth, 2 kinds of glass fiber cloth, vacuum bagging materials, and other items necessary for laying-up a 5 inch square laminate.

Please send an email to Clay [AT] thetransistor [DOT] com if you would like to reserve a kit.

Note: The resins we will be using will more than likely ruin any clothing they come into contact with, dress accordingly.

This is a FREE, public class. We will start at 6:30pm on February the 4th.

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Free Class: 2.4GHz biquad antennas

We’re doing a class on 2.4ghz biquad antennas and that there will be kits available. Each kit will consist of the hardware to make the actual antenna, and one satellite dish. We won’t include any cables or adapters in the kits at this point. An update with the price of the kits will be posted soon.

This is a FREE, public class. We will start around 5:00pm on January the 7th, and should run between 30-60 minutes.

Make: Provo is held the first Saturday of each month, unless otherwise noted. It runs from 4:00pm-10:00pm. We try to offer a free class each month. Bring your projects to show off and your questions to ask.

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Free Class: RFID and the Arduino

parallax rfid
This coming Saturday we will be giving a quick class on the basic usage of RFID readers with the Arduino. We will give a basic overview of RFID, then move onto interfacing a reader with an Arduino, and finally look at some code.

This is a FREE, public class. We will start around 6:30pm on December the 3rd, and should run between 30-60 minutes.

Make: Provo is held the first Saturday of each month, unless otherwise noted. It runs from 4:00pm-10:00pm. We try to offer a free class each month that starts at 6:30pm and runs anywhere from a half hour to several hours. Bring your projects to show off and your questions to ask.

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