Simon Button Game

Each year the Dublin Maker festival comes around and our members Jeffrey Roe and Christian Kortenhorst want to take part. They have been to many maker festivals and collaborated over the years.

Christian likes to make big things with tools and Jeffrey likes to make things with technology and electronics. They tend to come together on their love of interactive games. While wandering around EMF camp last year they came across the work of We Throw Switches and their flux game

The goals of the project:

  • Two-person interactive game
  • Fit on a table
  • Be portable
  • Simple game with no need for instructions
  • Be ready in three weeks

Eary on, it came clear we would be using arcade style buttons, and addressable LEDs to meet the project deadline of only a few weeks.

Christian got started working on the box. He create an LED display that was 4 by 6 “pixels”. Each pixel would be made up of 4 addressable LEDs. Two stripes of 50 LEDs would be used and due to the wiring layout, some would be hiddle and just covered in tape.

Doubts started to come to the project team. Would these LEDs work in direct sunlight? Remember the goal is to use the game in an outdoor daytime festival. Christian came up with the idea to paint everything white and Jeffrey said let’s bump up the current to make the LEDs brighter.

Now for the brain of the game. Jeffrey started out with the idea of using the USB controller that comes with buttons. How hard could it be to use a Raspberry Pi Pico and a USB host library?

It turns out that with Jeffrey on the team running Dublin Maker there is not enough time to learn new things for projects. We quickly switched back to using the reliable and known Arduino. In order to make the game responsive all eight buttons would be required to have their own hardware interrupt.

He started to use an GPIO expainder over I2C. This device allows for lots of interrupts. We started to build out a little board that would take the connector from the buttons and power the LEDs strips. The video below shows testing an interrupt to turn on the LED in the button when the button is pressed.

The code started to come together with a few late-night sessions but the interrupts didn’t seem to work as expected. Due to the way, the buttons are wired, the LED and the button share a pin and it’s only controlled by three pins. This causes the interrupts not to trigger when the LED is turned on.

Unfortunately, we did not meet the deadline of the event and never fixed the problem before the Dublin Maker event. We coded up a bit of a demo on the LED display but was not interactive.

The project did not end there. Another big public event was only a few weeks with Dublin Comic Con Summer edition. During a few late-night coding sessions, Jeffrey came up with a new way to check the inputs of the buttons without using hardware interrupts but still be reactive. The code just checks the status of the expected two buttons to be pressed over and over so there is little delay.

The game was unleashed to the visitors of comic con, it was a hit. People loved playing it once they got going. We did kind of miss the other goal of making the game portable as it ended up a little big.

You can check out more f the photos from the build in our gallery.

Repair Café At Dublin Maker

Do you have broken items at-home – clothes, small appliances, toys, electronics?

No need to throw them away!
Save your things from the landfill and your wallet from having to replace them.

Bring them to our repair café and learn how to fix them together with our volunteers. We have tools, materials, space to work on your item, and repair experts who will help you with your repair.

We are bringing the repair cafe to this year’s Dublin Maker. There will be 50 makers will taking over a tented village of invention. From traditional Aran jumper-making, to AI racing robots, we have everything to keep robots warm and content, but also lots for humans.

The event gives you the chance to speak to makers who have created everything from wooden sculptures to lightweight jewellery, from 3D-printed cosplay props to giving coffee pods a second life as hand-crafted jewellery.

We will be showcasing a mix of our projects and also a repair café. So don’t come empty-handed to the festival on the 23rd of July in Merrion Square.

What objects can you bring in?

  • Clothes and accessories
  • Toys
  • Small electrical appliances and electronics
  • Small furniture
    … and many other things!
    Safety (PAT) tesitng for electrical devices will be available.

Where? – Dublin Maker, Merrion Square Dublin 2
When? – Satruday July 23rd, 10 am – 6 pm
Admission free – all are welcome!

If you would like to be a fixer, drop us an email.

Carnival of Science

Cork Carnival of Science at Fitzgerald Park features non-stop, family-friendly experiments, interactive activities, garden games, street cuisine and a packed line-up of live demonstrations, big top shows, hands on workshops and entertainment. Activities will include making batteries, meeting live zoo animals, checking out the inner workings of robots and extracting DNA with free entry for all to enjoy.

Taking place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of June 2022. 

Cork Carnival of Science features seated Big Top shows from RTE’s science show Lets Find Out “Mark the Science Guy” and Science Magic from W5 Belfast. Hands on workshops are offered by the Royal Society of Chemistry, MadLab, Learn it LEGO Education, Bubbly Maths and include. Marquees from Analog Devices feature interactive exhibits and challenges, and you can journey into space with Blackrock Castle Observatory. Throughout the day walk about performances will pop up from Eureka Edinburgh, Dr. Ken and Circus 250. Activity stands will be provided by Lifetime Lab, UCC Chemistry, UCC School of BEES, Fota Wildlife Park, Tyndall, Cork Sports Partnership and many many more.

We will be leaving Dublin and heading to Cork to showcase a range of maker-related projects and DIY culture. We will have interactive projects for visitors to try out and get hands on. See you all in Cork.

Dublin Maker 2022 – Open Call

Dublin Maker is returning this summer! In person. It will be their tenth year.

For those who might be unfamiliar with Dublin Maker, it’s a creative carnival of show and tell. The open call for this year’s Dublin Maker is now open to anyone who makes anything. They are open to all inventors, makers, hackers and creators. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or a creative crafter we’d love for you to apply for a place at our biggest Dublin Maker yet.

Each year, they welcome educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors and commercial exhibitors of all ages and backgrounds.
Dublin Maker’s mission is to entertain, inform and connect the makers of Ireland while inspiring the next generation of Ireland’s makers and inventors and we want you to be part of it. The open call will run until May 29th.

We are super proud to be a supporting organization and helping make this great event going.

Balbriggan Mini Maker Day

The Our Balbriggan Loves Learning festival will take place from April 19-30 and will explore a range of learning and upskilling opportunities. As part of the festival, there will be a Balbriggan Mini Maker Day on Saturday 23rd from 10 am till 5 pm in Balbriggan Library, Saint George’s Square, Balbriggan, CO. Dublin. K32 TW27.

The day is open to visitors both young and old for a day of family-friendly workshops and maker showcases. On the day there will be a mix of workshops suitable for all ages, from coding and game crafting to lego making and LED art.

There will be an abundance of activities for small kids and big kids too. An exciting show and tell area where Makers will showcase their crafts and you’ll discover the art of making.

Tog will be on hand to showcase what our makers get up to including homemade satellite receives, IOT air quality sensors and metalwork. Drop by our stand and say hello.

For more information about the event please visit.

Update Check out our photos from the day.

Maker Faire Rome 2021

Maker Faire Rome takes place from Friday 8 – Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 October. A mix of 250 exhibitors in person in Rome and over 300 makers via the online platform. The free to sign up digital platform will allow everyone to explore the projects present directly from your home and meet and interact with makers and innovators from all sectors. Sign up with the following link

Our own member Jeffrey Roe will be online to showcase his project. “Kill The Dots – Remote LED Game“.

The project mixes Raspberry pi, Arduino, LED display and IoT all in one. It uses to allow the player to remotely control all the buttons of this fun arcade-style LED game. The user tries to kills all the red dots in order to stay alive to see hot pink. The game is a total mash-up, using a robotics platform built for using the pi camera mixed together with an Arduino drawing cool animations on a 32 by 32 LED display.

To find out more visit