#SaferInternetDay Tips

On Safer Internet Day, TOG members share some tips on how to stay safe online. Please share this with anyone you think will find it useful.

Keeping Safe on the Internet

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AGM Outcomes

Last Saturday 4th of February, we held the first AGM of the new Tog Hackerspace company. It has been a long process for us to move legal structure over the course of the last number of years. Our first AGM shows all these process are now in place and our new members get a chance to see how our organisation is run. 


New Code of Conduct

We have always had a section in our constitution about how members and the public should interact with each other but we felt a little more was needed. After a lot of internal discussions, we created an additional code to supplement what we have in our constitution. Our members have voted in the new code at our AGM. You can view it on our website. -> code of conduct


Directors Elections

We are delighted to Andrew Felle, Ben Field and William McLoughlin being elected to our board of directors. The board handles all legal requirements on behave of our members. We would like to thank our outgoing director Jeffrey Roe for this work over the past year. Our full board of directors is listed before. 

Board of Directors

  • Robert Fitzsimons
  • Sean Nicholls
  • Shane Phelan
  • Andrew Felle
  • Ben Field
  • William McLoughlin

TOG Fortnight, #1

Here are some of the events in TOG over the next 2 weeks:

Monday, 6th Feb, 7pm, Coding Group Night
Tuesday, 7th Feb, 7.30pm, Lockpicking Night,
Wednesday, 8th Feb, 7.00, Craft Night
You can RSVP to some of these events on Meetup:
Thanks to everyone who came to our Birthday Party, you can see some pics of the pizza oven and party in the gallery.
System.out.quackln(“Hello Ducks”);

Fixing the Variac……..Part 2


A few months ago we did a blog post about our variac. It was tripping the circuit breakers on our distribution board and we made some mods to the variac to reduce the inrush current. Our story generated a lot of interest and was picked up by Hackaday. We used a 2 terminal NTC inrush current limiter from Ametherm.

Following our story, the good folks at Ametherm and Rhopoint Components (our local distributor) were in touch with us. They gave us some great technical advice and did some calculations for us. They have a whole range of limiters and it turns out that we had actually chosen quite a good model for our application. They kindly sent us some samples.

There are many ways to soft start a load. We originally thought about adding a series power resistor and a shorting relay. We also had some suggestions around Triac and IGBT solutions. Each of these methods have their merits and can allow fine grained control of switch-on. Unfortunately there was very little room inside the variac case and we didn’t want some kind of external box. So we looked at these relatively simple 2 terminal limiters.

Carefully chosen, these components are an elegant solution. They can probably last the life of the application with no maintenance. Placed in series with the load, they have a relatively high resistance at room temperature which limits the initial inrush current. When current flows through them they self-heat and the resistance falls very quickly, so they have little effect on the normal operating current.

We have now done a rev 2 of our mod. This time selecting the model MS32 5R020 limiter. It has a lower cold resistance of 5 ohms which should keep the operating temperature down a bit. Originally, we connected the limiter using PVC insulated wire, solder and heatshrink. Given the relatively high temperatures, we have replaced this with tubular glass fibre insulation and ceramic connectors. We should have no temperature worries now.
One other gotcha we found, is that our distribution board circuit breakers are actually B-curve and not C-curve as we earlier thought. That makes them even more sensitive to surges. When we did our original mod, we didn’t do a full load test. We did a quick run with our heatgun (about 9 amps). This time we did a full load test. At 12A of output current and an ambient temp of 20 deg c. The body of the limiter measured 200 deg C, which is hot, but below the 225 deg C max rating of the device. This was quite an extreme test, but we’ll continue to monitor and do some tweaks if possible.
If you’d like to take a look at our variac, or do something else with electronics, our regular Electronics, Microcontroller and IOT evening takes place every 2nd Monday. Check out the events section of our website for details.

TOG Brewday (Saturday 4th February 10am)

TOG members and Capital Brewers return to TOG HQ this coming Saturday (4th February). Hearty brews are on the menu, in both brewing with guidance and instructions from the experts, and tasting craft beer made at previous brew days!

A very rough time-line of a brew day is as follows (a little earlier than usual to be finished before AGM):

  • 9:00am – 11pm: Heating water, water treatment and mashing grain
  • 11pm – 1pm: Boiling & beer tasting from previous brews and visitors beers
  • 1pm – 3pm: Cooling and clean up

Every brew day is slightly different with a mix of brewers, recipes and techniques.  The long term goal would be to get a full set of brewing equipment that TOG members can use themselves at the space and make your own beer, cider or wine whenever you like! All you need are the ingredients. We are already well on our way to achieving that goal with several sets of equipment for members to choose from.

Brewing Equipment in TOG

Its always a fun and engaging day, the cost is free (donations are welcome) so come along, ask questions and even help with the brewing!


Workshop Improvements

We have been improving our workshop a lot lately. Check out some of the work below.



We have found a new home for our air compressor and mounted it on our metal shelves.   We also mounted a air hose reel. It makes using air tools in our workshop very easy.



Label all the things. If you have a lot of stuff, soon you find yourself in a situation where you can’t find anythings. We have done a big sorting job of our stuff. So now most things have their own box.



We have long things like pipes  hat need to be put somewhere but they don’t fit in our current wood storage area. Long things now have their own area . aka Long things storage.

Drop by our upcoming Birthday Party to see a host of changes we have made to the space since our opening last year.