Win a laser cut pencil? TOG Turns 8!

Picture of 10 laser cut pencils, with information about TOG's 8th Birthday Party

With less than a week to go, TOG is holding a competition to celebrate our 8th Birthday Party. The party is taking place after 7pm on Saturday, 28th January in our space, 22 Blackpits. You can find the details on our meetup page.

About Us

TOG is a hackerspace based in the centre of Dublin. It is a shared space where members have a place to be creative and work on their projects in an environment that is both inspiring and supportive of both new and old technologies. In the past 8 years we have worked on everything from giant LEDs to Raspberry Pis, we have made a twitter knitter and a pizza oven.


The prizes are a personalized laser cut pencil and a surprise from our 3D printer. Entering is really easy. Simply Retweet this tweet or Share this Facebook post. 5 winners will be pseudorandomly picked from Twitter and 5 from Facebook, on Saturday the 28th, prizes can be picked up in the space.

Update:   To enter the Facebook competition you will also need to leave a comment on the post.

TOG 8th Birthday Party

8th-smallWell we’re at it again. Once a year we all have our birthday and TOG is no different. This month we have reached the ripe old age of 8 years. We’ll be celebrating in style on Saturday 28th January in Blackpitts. Last year we combined our January Open Social, birthday party and grand opening, into one monster bash. It didn’t disappoint. It was our biggest social event ever. The craic was so mighty, that we’ve decided to do it again this month for our 8th birthday party. So note that time and date….. Saturday 28th January from 7PM. There are strong rumours of cake, TOG beer and pizza.

If you’ve never been to one of our shindigs, you’ll find it a great alternative Saturday evening in town. Come in and look around. Kick the tyres. 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!

Last year, we invited just about everyone that we could think of, and most of them came. Now if you’re one of the few who were invited last year and didn’t come, well we know who you are, and we won’t be taking any excuses this year. The dog ate your homework, the cat was sick, or you’re washing your hair just won’t do 🙂 So get yourself in on the 28th. The space stays open until the last member is left……usually the small hours of Sunday morning. The evening is free to attend for members and visitors alike. No need to book…. just turn up. You can drop in for 10 minutes, or stay the whole night. We have parking available. Bring beer, food, gadgets! Our doors are open from 7PM. Hope to see you there. Expect mighty craic.


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.