Project: Skull Radio Box

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This blog post is written by our member Jeffrey Roe about his Skull Radio Box Project.

The Skull Radio Box came out of the frustration demonstrating the bone conduction kits at the Big Day Out. The kits are great for workshops but in a show and tell type of stand they just are not user friendly. They need an audio source hooked into them and just not appealing to members of the public to bite on a metal rod with lots of wires hanging out of it.

 

 

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I first found out about bone conduction from David McKeown at Artek Circle (Photographed right) and tried it out with a spoon in my mouth.  Months later, I then worked with Sinead Mc Donald to create the Guzman Box. Internally, it used a Kitronik amplifier kit to create the bone conduction effect. During its stay in the Lexicon Library for Soundings, the TBA820M IC burned out twice. The main cause was due to heat. The IC had no heatsync and would burn if left on for too long.  Jump forward a few months, I used bone conduction again during Spectral Forms a week long residence in the Science Gallery. We looked for a fun way to play back the audio of people’s brain waves, that we were capturing with an EEG unit. We again faced problems with the kits being too quiet for the loud gallery setting. Finally, we used them as a demo at the Big Day Out, people loved the demo but not the look of the device. All these led to creating a stand alone, demo dubbed the Skull Radio Box.

 

The Build

IMG_20150404_191128.jpgIMG-20150405-WA0008.jpegThe case was the first part of the project.  I started out with Maker case website to create the general box. I then moved into Inkscape to do all the other parts of the design. After a few prototypes in cardboard, I was ready to cut out the final box in  5mm plywood. As the project came out of the laser cutter it looked perfect but when putting together the box with the finger joints, it was clear it did not fit together. Two hours later, using a file,  sand paper and just a little hot glue, the box was all together.

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Evening Talk: Secure Yourself Online – Thursday 21st May 2015 @ 7pm

insecure_passwordOn Thursday 21st at 7pm our very own jester`, Martin Mitchell or @jayester depending on the circles you run in, will be speaking about some best practices of securing yourself on-line :

Whether you are a creator or user of on-line content, knowing how to secure yourself on-line is important. In a world that is becoming more and more digital, we are ever growing our digital footprint. During the talk we will go through a top 10 best security practices, and maybe a few more too boot. It will relevant to you whether your on a laptop, or smart device, getting on-line for work or personal. You only need to be compromised once for an nefarious individual to make for life awkward. Their intention may be for fun or profit, but I will give you the information to protect yourself on-line.

I shall cover a lot but it will touch on passwords, email, encryption, tracking and wireless just to name a few. Aimed at everyone from general viewers of cat videos, those of you that have compromised, to those that would like to become a little bit more paranoid on-line.

Please use the sign up form below. This is do I can track how many to expect on the night. Information submitted though the form will only be used for tracking attendance and a reminder email will be sent a few days before the event.

See you on the 21st.

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Important Safety Update: Tog is now ducksaster-ready

While politicians and the media remain silent about the impending duck-driven disasters coming our way, Tog has taken the proactive step of installing a Mutually Quacksured Duckstruction doomsday device for when the flocks finally rise up against us.

 

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This is the most advanced system yet to come from Tog’s secretive Defence Using Counterfowl Knowledge Streams [D.U.C.K.S] Lab.

Several Tog members quit their jobs to develop this vital defence against The Flappy Menace, many going bankrupt in the process.

When terrifying scenes like the one below come visiting your town, who you gonna call?!

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Linux Jam in TOG

tuxWe’re having a Linux Jam in TOG on Saturday 16th May. Whether you’re a complete beginner and haven’t even opened the box of your shiny new board, or you want to explore Linux on your laptop, or you’re an experienced user who wants to hack a set top box, you’ll fit in.

This isn’t a class or instruction. It will be a relaxed informal atmosphere with other like-minded people. So the idea is to bring your Pi, Galileo, Laptop, Linux device etc. and play/use/hack. Bring tutorials, web links, instructions…. anything you like. Whoever you are from complete beginner to advanced….just work on whatever you want to do, and hopefully get some “bounce” off other people doing similar things. Several TOG members will be around too.

We’re asking for a small donation to attend the Jam. All proceeds go to keeping a roof over TOG’s head and are much appreciated. The space will be open from 10:30 with a nominal finish time of 19:00, but the open social is on that day, so the space will be open much later than this. You can sign up for the Linux Jam here.

Coincidentally, 16th May is the same day as our regular open social.  Our open social is a great way to see the space, hang out, meet other members & visitors. There’ll be all the usual madness of an open social. Weather permitting, there’ll be pizza. There may also be beer samples, courtesy of Capital Brewers at TOG. You might even get to pick some locks if our friendly lock pickers will show you some tricks. The space stays open until the last member is left…. usually the small hours of Sunday morning. The open social is free to attend.

Fixing the Saw

motorOur electric mitre saw went on the blink. It was sparking like crazy, and on closer examination, it had lost a copper segment from it’s commutator. It was a decent enough saw. Not quite a cheapo one, but not quite a professional one either. A search on the ‘net revealed that a new armature assembly would be over half the cost of a new saw. Beyond economic repair in other words. It would be a shame to trash a decent saw for such a small fault. So we’re trying to fix it by making a new copper segment.

pics here

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TOG Moving…….A Stay of Execution

truckTOG’s lease on Chancery lane expires in the next few days, but since they’re not ready to tear the place down just yet, we’ve been given a minor reprieve. We can stay on month-to-month for a little while. It’s a very busy time for us at the moment, so it kinda suits us to hold on for a little bit, until we get some events out of the way. We’re still preparing for the move, so watch this space or join our mailing list / twitter feed for updates.