Laser Cutting Pencil Jig

Last weekend a bunch of our members visited the annual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. It’s always great fun to walk around and to chat to all the students about their projects. It’s fantastic to see how Arduino’s and Raspberry Pi’s have just become tools for the students to carry out their project.


Also at the exhibition were the Stem Module. It’s a mobile truck filled with all sorts of scientific and fabrication equipment to help delivery education programs to school kids. While getting the tour of the truck, we spotted a laser cutting jig for making custom pencils. We really liked the idea, so we decided to give it a go.



Laser Cutting Jib by the Stem Module.

Laser Cutting Jib by the Stem Module.


So we started off with testing if cutting pencils would work on our Lasersaur.


After this successful test, we tried out a single line font from Robert McNeel and a jig to cut ten pencils in one go.


We are mostly happy with the results. Below you can see the side by side comparison. I think with a better quality  pencils and raising the lens of the Lasersaur would get better accuracy. You can download our design here.



Ultra Reliable Electronics?

sanyo tvOnce upon a time, TV repair shops were everywhere. Now there are hardly any left. There are reasons for that, probably based on a mix of cost, reliability of electronics, and a throw-away culture. Even in the few TV repair shops that are left, would anyone actually take a scope, schematic and a soldering iron to a TV these days? Maybe they would just replace the circuit board or display.

This is a tale of a Sanyo TV, made in the UK in ~1992, based on the date codes of the components inside. It has worked continuously since then. Lately the picture has gone a bit red-ish. The TV was recently replaced by a new flat screen TV, so we’ve had a chance to take a look inside. This is the first time that the back has been off since manufacture….. ~25 years ago. Depending on your point of view, you might think that 25 years isn’t that long, but it’s not too bad either for a CRT-type TV, considering also that it has never needed a repair. If you have some other electronics that has been working without repair for a very long time, we’d be interested to hear.

Inside it is remarkably clean. Apart from the one on the tube, everything else is on a single circuit board. If the tube is not the cause of the reddish picture, then this TV is probably repairable. Some further investigation is pending. If you’d like to take a look, drop into our regular Electronics, Microcontroller and IOT evening which takes place every 2nd Monday.

Secure Coding Workshop


We are delighted to host Sean Duggan and a secure coding workshop using a the CTF framework Security Shepherd. This workshop is free and available for players of all skills. The workshop will include a presentation at the start, followed by a series of challenges to get through. Participants will require a laptop with WiFi and a modern web browser. There will be pizza.

We are at 33c3


Some of us have travel across the seas to visit the 33rd annual Chaos Communication Congress (33C3). It’s a four days of total hacker fun. Filled with talks, workshops and many a good time.

If you are at Congress be sure to drop by the Irish Embassy and Tog Assembly. If you can’t make it along in person you can watch it all live streamed over the internet. ->

Check out the sign Tdr made for the occasion. 3 sheets of 3mm plywood glued together. For photos of the build check out our gallery.


2016 End of Year Review

calendar-icon-mdWell the world has turned and another year has almost passed. What a year it has been for TOG. We started 2016 with our doors closed to the public. We had just made our big move from Chancery Lane. Blackpitts was a blank canvas for us. It was a completely open-plan space and we had to decide what to do with it. It wasn’t long before we had a proposed layout and we started building rooms. We built ourselves a fantastic common room, a classroom, a make-room to house our laser cutter and electronic stuff, and a general workshop. We decided that our traditional January birthday party and Open Social would be our grand re-opening to the public . We billed it as a monster bash, and it didn’t disappoint. It was our biggest social event ever. We invited just about everyone that we could think of, and most of them came.

It wasn’t long before we started all of our regular evenings again….. CAD and Electronics, Coding, Lockpicking, Crafting as well as some Movie and Games nights. What else have we been up to in 2016? Well let’s see…..there was making Christmas baubles, projection mapping workshop, DIY vacuum former, DIY CNC router, Science Hackday Dublin, tinkering with batteries and bikes, undersea and space talks, CoderGirl Hackday, Science Week 2016, supercollider workshop, metalwork and machining antics, games nights, building works in the space, Electric Picnic, mega fly traps, build-it workshops, Arduino fun, EMF camp, bridge building competitions, skull radios, Dublin Maker, Inspirefest, Duck shoot’em up, Coolest Projects, OSM jams, variac fun, green video screens, boat building, coder forge, Makerfaire UK, brewdays (woooo beer!), motorbike madness, Big Day Out, hacking IKEA furniture, VR motorbikes, 100-year old mangles. Did we miss anything there? Probably!

Everything at TOG happens because our members and visitors are so generous with their time and effort. Everyone volunteers for free. If you’re looking for a 2017 New Years resolution, why not drop in and see us. 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 you’d like to do. Ask about our plans for 2017. If you like what you see, ask about joining as a full member. What a great New Years resolution that would be!




We wanted to spreed a bit of cheer the season that’s in it. We decided to make some baubles. The fabulous Louise Nolan did up lovely design. We cut them all on our laser cutter and then with the help of all the craters, we have them ready to send to friends of Tog.

If you would like to make your own our designed is available here or check out more photo of the fun we had making them in our gallery.