Pingbase – Visit to a French hackerspace

This summer I had the privilege to visit a Hackerspace in Nantes, France.
Nantes is the 6th Largest city in France, with a metro population of around 1 million (Dublin clocks in at about 1.5 million for reference).

Pingbase is located in an urban residential neighbourhood, about 4km from the very centre of the city.

They share a large civic building with other associations in that neighbourhood.

Even though I phoned out of the blue, our very gracious hosts Sophie and Gregoire were able to meet us with less than 1 hour’s notice and gave us a comprehensive guided tour!

On the surface, the space offers similar amenities to Tog, but it’s roots and organisational structure are quite different.

Sophie and Gregiore explained that Pingbase is majority publicly funded, at 80%.
It was founded in 2004 with the values of:
– Social Solidarity
– Sharing
– Experimentation & Innovation
– General Civic Interest

This manifests itself in talks, training (including safety training for equipment), repair cafes, research and tool sharing schemes, all pro-actively promoted within the local community.

Pingbase offers a makerspace with the usual tools, like laser cutters etc… , a library, classrooms and social areas. If I had to guess I would say it is about the same size as Tog 3.0.

Pingbase has 9 paid staff, incorporating two “Community Employment Schemes” (as we would call them in Ireland). They have a significant employee presence to deal with community outreach.

Membership ranges from EUR90 per year for the un-waged, to EUR270 per year for an Enterprise membership. Note again that the majority of their costs are covered from public funding sources.



Visit for more details!

Association Ping, 38 Rue du Breil, 44100 Nantes, France.

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Science Week: Lightning Talks

Science Week takes place this year from 10th till the 17th of November. Events are happening all over the country that ranges from workshops, site visits, lectures and everything in between.

In Tog, we are teaming up with Young Engineers (YES) – Engineers Ireland to host a night of lightning talks on Thursday the 14th of November from 7 pm. Each talk will last just 15 minutes where the speakers will talk about what they are passionate about. We will have a diverse range of topics with six speakers on the night.

Please RSVP via Eventbrite to give us an idea of numbers by following this link.

Continue reading “Science Week: Lightning Talks”

GaelHack 2013

Some of you already know that members of the Irish Hackerspaces Community have been talking about running a Hacker / Maker Camp in Ireland, similar to other events like this such as EMF Camp last year in the UK.

GaelHack is to do just that! From 7th – 9th June 2013 hackers, geeks, scientists, engineers, artists, and crafters will meet in Mount Melleray Scout Center, near Cappoquin in Waterford. There they will hold workshops, talks, and be able to collaborate on projects to their hearts content, and hopefully well past their bed time.

At the moment early-bird tickets are just €80 and that includes camping/dorm accommodation, and basic food. What more would you want from a weekend? Well you can tell us, and join the mailing list to help in making GaelHack a great weekend.

Spread the good work on what we are trying to do. Website for the event is

21st Synchronous Hackathon

Mame cabinet is working well, got to put in 6 buttons and make up new face plate for it. But had our first few games today and worked quite well.

Controler board for buttons

Wiring up of buttons and controls.

MiLK: Made in Limerick, get new website

MiLK labs
The number of thriving hackerspaces in Ireland continues to grow, and we couldn’t be happier! The most recent development on this front comes from our friends in MiLK (an awesome name derived from Made in LimericK), who have a new shiny website, and are now meeting twice a month (every 2nd and 4th Tuesday). They currently meet in the Absolute Hotel while they find a suitable physical space to call their own. We wish you all the best of luck and look forward to hearing great things from you in the near future!

Trip West to 091labs

Last weekend members headed west to visit the new 091labs hackerspace in Galway. They moved into their space only four weeks ago. They’re making great progress growing their members and setting up their new space. They have a community night on Tuesdays and a projector night on Sundays. They have loads of ways to contact them, on their website, on and there twitter feed. While in 091labs the TOG members helped out running two soldering workshops for the people of Galway in the space. The workshops were well received with all involved learning to solder to a reasonable  level. If your in Galway check them out, they’re a great group of people.