2022 marks 50 years since the release to market of the iconic 555 timer integrated circuit. The little 8-pin device was designed in 1971 by Swiss engineer Hans Camenzind for Signetics. Released in 1972, it became an instant success and has remained in production ever since. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, it was a rite of passage for any new budding electronics enthusiast to build a 555 circuit. The part was a staple of every enthusiast’s parts bin. Every electronics magazine carried 555 circuits and projects. There were even whole books of 555 projects. 50 years on, it is said that the 555 is possibly the most popular IC ever made, with production numbers in the billions. It can be bought for pennies. Among electronics makers, “Could have done it with a 555” is a common wisecrack in response to a fancy micro-controller project 🙂
We couldn’t let 2022 pass without celebrating the 50th birthday of this amazing little IC. Drop into TOG on Saturday 19th November from 3PM and build yourself a 555 circuit on breadboard. If you have no idea how to do this, don’t worry….. we’ll show you how. You can make something flash or buzz. You can even take away a souvenir 555 for free on us. This is a free workshop. Donations in support of TOG will be most welcome.
With the Covid situation easing, we are re-starting our regular Electronics open evening in the space. This is one of our longest-running regular events. It has been a regular feature of our calendar since the early days of TOG. It takes place fortnightly on Monday evenings. Check our events calendar on this blog, Meetup and our social media for the next date.
These evenings are free to attend for members and visitors alike. No booking is necessary. Just turn up! Everyone from absolute beginner to experienced is welcome. These evenings are not classes or tutorials, rather a very friendly informal evening.
We have a wide range of people who come. Some are absolute beginners who do not even work or study in these areas but are interested to know more. Others have something that they are already working on. We almost always have some first-time visitors, and we always give them a tour of the space.
Come in with your Pi, Arduino, or whatever you have. Bring your laptop. Maybe you want to make something, solder, breadboard or use our electronic gear. Maybe you have some vague ideas and just want to get started, but you’re not sure how to. Or maybe you’re just curious……if so, it’s fine to come along and just see what others are doing. Hope to see you on the night.
During Covid, we moved into our new space in Bluebell. The space and our electronics room are still works in progress. If you would like to get even more involved and have the full use of our space, we would be delighted to have you as a full member. Membership brings many benefits.
We are located behind Mr Price and the Bright Lights store on Kylemore Road. There is lots of parking available. Hope to see you some Monday evening.
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.
Keeping making during lockdown is important, so time to do some pinhole photography, which we’ve done before at TOG. It’s incredible what you can do with almost nothing….. just a can, a few bits and some photo paper. You can take amazing long exposure photos, like this 3 month long exposure complete with sun tracks.
If you’d like to have a go, we have a limited amount of photo paper available. Get in touch with us and we can post you a sheet.
TOG turned eleven this year and in those eleven years we have gone from strength to strength. We currently find ourselves in our third space at 22 Blackpitts in the south city centre. It has been a great home to us for these past 5 years. Our lease expires shortly and although we will be renewing, we do not know if we will have a long term lease and the building might also end up for sale.
So we are beginning our search for a new long-term home which will become TOG 4.0. We would like to find a space between the canals if possible, and ideally in the city centre. In the mean time, we continue with our visitor activities (online due to Covid 19) and TOG members can still physically access and use the space. We continue to welcome new members. So keep in touch with us and if you know of any locations which which may be of interest to us, drop us a line. Closeness to public transport is a plus, given our diverse membership and visitor profile. We might also be interested in partnering or co-locating with other organisations. We will keep you informed of any developments.
This New Year, TOG reached a truly magic milestone of 100 members. From small beginnings in 2009, our membership has grown steadily. TOG had its first meeting on the 21st of January 2009, when a group of 17 people came together with the intention of setting up a new hackerspace in Dublin. In less than 3 months we were up and running with over 20 members and a roof over our head. 11 years later we are in our third space with a more diverse group of members than ever, and new activities like never before. Recent times have seen an active film making community using our space, as well as members individual projects including the making of beds and boats no less!
This coming Saturday 25th January from 7pm, we will be celebrating our combined 11th Birthday, 100th member and regular Open Social all rolled into one. Drop in and see us. We’re not sure if we can fit 100 candles on the birthday cake, but we’ll try! The party is free to attend for both members and visitors alike. No need to book…. just turn up. Drop in for 10 minutes, or stay the whole night. We have parking available. If you’ve never been in before, we’ll give you the grand tour of the space. Talk to members and visitors about projects or things that you’d like to do. If you like what you see, ask about joining as a full member. Since the beginning, every new member has brought new skills, their passion for making and their curiosity to us. Come and join us on our journey to 200 members.