Abbeyleix Climate Action Project – Air Quality Workshop

The town of Abbeyleix, Co Laois launched an ambitious community climate action project that ran from  October 2020 to March 2021. It had a number of elements that included a science communicator in residence Dr Niamh Shaw, a weekly Abbeyleix Almanac TV on Facebook live, lectures and workshops.

An early video (above) produced by the project called for ideas/projects that might help the team raise awareness and further the goals of the project. Our member Jeffrey Roe with family links to the town made contact and suggested the Sensor.Community project.

Sensor.Community is a contributor driven global sensor network that creates Open Environmental Data. Its mission is to inspire and enrich people’s lives by offering a platform for the collective curiosity in nature that is genuine, joyful and positive. We have worked in the past with their guides and software created by the project to deliver workshops in the past. This open community citizen science project is only possible with the contributions of the Sensor.Community at large.

The Abbeyleix team jumped on the idea straight away. They were keen to build on the experience that Tog has in running these workshops. One sensor that was already active in the town really showcased the potential for a local network to be created. A plan was drawn up with appearances on Abbeyleix Almanac TV scheduled to raise local awareness in the sensors and a date was set for the 28th of February to coincide with STEPS Engineers Week. Midlands science came on board to fund the event and remove the barrier for local people to get involved.

Network in Ireland before the workshop

With the support of the local Tidy Towns committee, we found 14 participants for the workshop. To cut costs and to support the event being run virtually, glue guns and other tools required for the workshop were found locally and shared creating a real community feel to the whole affair.

Jeffrey on zoom during workshop

Using Zoom and a host of other tools, the workshop ran for just under three hours. Participants flashed the firmware, connected parts, setup WiFi links and put together boxes.

A few weeks have now passed since the workshop and more and more people are mounting their sensors outdoors and getting on the map. All the data can be viewed on the Sensor.Community website.

Sensor in Abbeyleix

To see more photos from the workshop do check out our gallery.

We would like to thank the people of Abbeyleix for being so welcoming to us during this project and especially the Tidy Towns committee, also Midlands Science for the funding to make it possible and finally the continued work of Sensor.Community.

Arduino Day – Saturday 27th of March

Arduino Day is a worldwide birthday celebration of Arduino – organized directly by the community, or by the Arduino team. It brings people together “online” to share their experiences and learn more about the open-source platform.

We are hosting a 2 hour live stream with a mix of demos, introduction lessons and contributions from our community.

We will kick things off at 11 am on Saturday the 27th of March on our Youtube channel. The event will be unconference style. We have the topics already (listed below) and would like to open the event to hear from you our community to talk about your projects. Drop us an email to present your project.

  • Arduino 101 – Getting started – Declan Meenagh
  • Lorawan – Lower Powered communication – Jeffrey Roe
  • Hot Things – monitoring temperatures – Gary Cooke
  • Tree’s Projects twitter knitter/fabric cadaver/cycling distance vest. TriploidTree
  • Giant arduino development kit – Robert Fitzsimons⁩

You can rewatch the event below.

Engineering a Cleanroom Power Tool

This project has come about because of the need to use cordless power tools in a cleanroom. Large numbers of screws and fasteners need to be removed and reinstalled on equipment during preventative maintenance. The proposal is to use power tools to speed up the process and reduce operator fatigue. You might think that a brand new or well maintained power tool would not give off any airborne particles, but that’s not the case. Airborne particulates are a big problem in a cleanroom. They can damage equipment and ruin product.

There’s a huge range of cordless power tools available from all the big-name manufacturers that you know well. Testing some of these tools with a particle meter highlights the problem. Background airborne particle readings are zero, down to 0.1 micron.

When the tools are brought near the meter however, the results are off the scale. This is hardly surprising, given that these tools are not specifically designed to be cleanroom compatible. This particular tool was a reversible ratchet with a brushless motor, so the particles were not carbon dust from the motor brushes. They were more likely from bearings, grease, and the reversible ratchet head.

Having discussed with TOG members, the proposal is to build some kind of enclosure around a tool…. a second skin….. with a connection to a vacuum line. That way, any particulates generated by the tool get drawn away. The tool must still be usable obviously, so the enclosure cannot be so clunky as to make it hard to use. An enclosure or covering that is conformal & flexible rather than rigid might be best. It must not collapse under the suction force. Silicone rubber has been suggested and there are some suggestions around vacuum forming, heat shrinking, 3D printing and silicone molding. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to drop us a line.    

Holiday Hack Challenge Redo (part 2)

Hello Everyone, we are about to join in ranks to battle the SANS Holiday Hack Challenge tasks again, today on dedicated Discord server. Please use the Meetup page for more details, ongoing announcements.

This post will summaries last Meetup progress and provides clues for further steps.

Let’s start we the recap. We started with:

Followed shortly by:

On the 23rd of January Meetup we have completed following tasks:

  • Objective 1 – Uncover Santa’s Gift List – clues in blog post video above
  • Objective 2a – Kringle Kiosk – clues in blog post video above
  • Objective 2b – S3 bucket – clues give at a Discord were: update the wordlist and add the searched bucket name, use ‘cat’ command to inspect the bucket. Copy and inspect in CyberChef the file. Start unpacking and remember to pipe the output whenever needed.
  • Objective 3a – Linux Primer – no clues were needed 🙂
  • Objective 3b – Point-of-Sale Password Recovery – clues give at a Discord were: download the package, no need to install the shop. Unpack the exe file, and poke around until you find app.asar and use 7zip to open Asar file.

Later today, 5-7pm GMT we will be focusing on following tasks:

  • all unfinished past tasks
  • Objective 4a – Unescape Tmux – no help needed
  • Objective 4b – Santavator operations – no help needed
  • Objective 5a – Speaker UNPrep – first clue: ‘strings door’ with some filters, more clues @Discord
  • Objective 5b – 5b: 33 Gkbps – no help needed
  • Objective 5c – Open the HID lock in the Workshop – no help needed
  • Objective 6a – Regex Toy Sorting – we will battle it together @Discord
  • Objective 6b – Splunk Challenge – clue: look for Bro.

See you later at Discord.

Engineers Week – March Live Stream

We are delighted to be taking part in Engineers Week. We always like to take part in these national weeks to promote science and education. We have lined up a night of talks for you on Thursday the 4th of March from 7 pm streaming on our Youtube channel. This year we are teaming up with the Young Engineers Society to bring you a night of interesting lightning talks. The talks will be followed by a live Q&A. Check out the talks below.

Link To Live Stream

Talks

Talk Title: Faking it in AI
Project Description: AI and machine learning in particular is a great technology for engineers to play with, adopt and apply in unexpected ways to see old problems in a new light. Even better, you can fake it until you make it and there is a long on-ramp of automated services, packages and tools available to the hacker willing to try out new things. With some experience and a bit of derring-do you can even get up to the front line of research in a field that is changing and developing incredibly fast if you carefully pick your battles. I will give a quick tour of my lab’s engineering journey in machine learning where we learned to fake it, then make it before finally faking again but this time for real. On that journey we will talk about fitness trackers, brain computer interfaces, self driving cars (sort of) and why in our latest work we just made up loads of fake data and yet no one got angry about it. 
Speaker: Professor Tomás Ward
Bio: Tomas Ward is AIB Chair of Data Analytics at the School of Computing, Dublin City University. As a member of the Science Foundation Ireland-funded research centre Insight – Ireland’s Data Analytics research centre, Prof Ward studies how human health, performance and decision-making can be better understood through new ways of sensing and interpreting our physiology and behaviour. Tomas is a keen advocate of hacker spaces and is a co-founder of Dublin Maker – the showcase of the maker movement in Ireland.
Links: Website, Twitter

Talks Title: VCON – an Arduino with built-in remote firmware update and remote management
Project Description: Ever wanted to remotely OTA your Arduino without changing a single line of firmware code? VCON makes it possible.
Speaker: Sergey Lyubka
Bio: CTO at Netfort (now part of Rapid7), Engineering manager at Google, CTO at Cesanta
Links: vcon.io

There are lots of Engineers Week events happening all over the country you can find more of them listed here -> https://www.engineersireland.ie/schools/Engineers-Week

Our event will be hosted by our own CEO Jeffrey. On the team of festival makers for Dublin Maker, Council & Executive board member of Engineers Ireland.

Be sure to put any questions you have for our speakers in the Youtube chat.

This event is in collaboration with the Young Engineers Society

February Live Stream

We are back and hosting a new live stream on Tuesday the 9 th of February from 7 pm. Tune into our Youtube channel to see makers showcase their projects in short 15-minute talks followed by a live Q&A. Check out the projects below.

Link To Live Steam

Talks

printing press

Project Title: Conversion of Victorian Clothes Mangle to Printing press
Project Description: I’ll be talking through the process of converting a cast-Iron clothes mangle into a printing press for printing etchings, relief prints and letterpress. I’ll be giving a quick demo of my press in action and showing some work I’ve made on my press along and some experiments I’ve tried with 3D printed printing plates and some upgrades I’d like to make on the press in the future
Speaker: Louise Nolan.
Bio: I’m a multidisciplinary designer, artist and educator
Links: Twitter. Instagram, LinkedIn

Project Title: Handtooled leather bookmarks
Project Description: Join Crafty Nathan as he makes leather boom marks from scratch, hand-tooled dyed, stained and sealed. All the simple steps in making a leather product. This talk will be great for beginners who want to start in the hobby or just a fun project to enjoy!
Speaker: Nathan Wheeler.
Links: linktr.ee

Project Title: Fail it till you make it.
Project Description: A wander around the idea of failure and our occasionally poor relationship with it, from the perspective of a wood turner.
Bio: Tom Murphy is an occasional wood turner. He has competed and won several awards nationally and locally. His tear cure cancer and he writes his own bios.
Speaker: Tom Murphy
Links: Twitter

Our event will be hosted by our own CEO Jeffrey. Be sure to put any questions you have for our speakers in the Youtube chat.