Electronics cause

As the wiki is currently not working, I’ll be posting a quick rundown on what is the go with the electronics cause:

Proposed area of upkeep: Electronics corner and parts drawers.

Champion: Blair Calderara
• Sven Hänzka
• Beau sandford
• Hayden Petrick
• Peter Coelli
• Brendan Halliday
• Salhey …
• Samuel Huaig
• Zhang Weiwu
• David Thomson
• Samuel Janetzki
• Alan Blake

I pulled these off a crappy picture of the signup sheet, so forgive me if there are any spelling mistakes.

To provide a well-equipped electronics workspace that allows advanced electronic design to be conducted at the hackerspace.

• Move test equipment next to the soldering workbench
• Finish restock of capacitors
• Purchase headers and trimmer pots
• Purchase hand tools to be chained to workbench.
• Begin sorting boneyard IC’s
• Figure out how to store these IC’s
• Setting up SMD components
• PCB manufacturing at hsbne, both routed and photoresist methods
• Large equipment: function gen, decent oscilloscope, RF soldering iron

To be held every (or every second) Saturday from midday till 1:30pm
• How to read schematics and construct circuits
• Making a radio
• Basic electronic measurement and component characteristics
• Soldering class
• Oscilloscope measurement and basic AC circuits
• Basic circuit analysis and component calculation
• The transistor and you
• Introduction to opamps
• Introduction to 555 timer
• Introduction to logic gates
• Introduction to microcontrollers
• The arduino, reading sensors
• Remote reading and switching
• Basic circuit troubleshooting
• Electronic circuit strategy (building blocks of circuit design)
• Making a PCB
• Designing a PCB

Soldering iron tips are about the only consumable that need to be replaced every so often. Not a terribly big deal. Solder, solder wick, wire, stripboard and components are all consumables that will need to be continuously replenished. All of these are fairly cheap and should be able to be purchased with the cause discretionary funds

Everything on the electronics workbench can be misused and destroyed fast and effectively, so a proper induction process is essential. A general understanding of how to use and store soldering irons and solder wick and how to not pop our multimeters and oscilloscopes with HV. This shouldn’t take more than 5min per person.

Cleaning plan:
Label where stuff should go and put it there if it isn’t. Ensure that members who use the electronics workbench do the same.

Meeting: probably on a tuesday or on any day via google hangout or possibly just discussing things on the forums.


Hi electronics cause! Just checking in with @merseyless and members to see how things are going with the letter H for the HSBNE sign. We need to have all letters done by this week so they are ready for the metal frame. I have scheduled this Sunday arvo 15th Feb as a finishing off day for all the letters. Can I get a show of virtual hands who would like to come and hack the letter then? Woodworking will also be doing theirs then, from 2pm onwards. Otherwise, perhaps suggest a different date/time so other people can join in if they are available?

21 days without activity, time for an update.

I’ll be running classes on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month at midday.
The one on the first will be the “advanced” class and will involve math. Algebra level maths, maybe some basic calculus.
The one on the third will be the “introduction” class and will have very little maths.
gold coin donation to attend to support the cause and to recoup component costs.
Any members of the electronics cause are more than welcome to come and help out or join in.

As for regular meetings , I’m personally against having meetings on Tuesdays as this takes away precious hacking time on our open night. I’m thinking a once a month meeting on the 1st saturday of the month at 11am. I’m open to suggestion though if you guys would prefer to have it on Tuesdays at, say, 6pm.

The first electronics cause advanced class will be run this Saturday at 6:30pm.

The topic is how to use oscilloscopes/function gen and basic AC circuits.

Gold coin donation for attendance to get some funds going for the cause.

One hell of an echo chamber in here.

Something exciting for a change, I’ve managed to secure a donation from QUT of old oscilloscopes, power supplies, function gens and bench multimeter’s.

And when I say old, I mean 3x better than what we have across the board.
However, I looted hard and fast and may have scavenged more stuff than I can safely take in my getz.

If anyone is willing to rock up on Tuesday at around 2pmish at QUT next week to help me do this in one trip, it would be much appreciated.
Any volunteers?

Btw, everything I have has to be tracked as it may not be on perminant loan. In other words, no freebies to members. However, all the old scopes sitting at the space will be auctioned off. Yet to figure out how to do this, input would be nice.


That sounds awsome, sorry I’m unable to help.
Though, PLEASE mark all this equipment with do not remove, do not tamper with, property of QUT, on loan to HSBNE. Or words to that effect.
Some way of securing it to the bench would be advisable as well.
I don’t want any equipment loaned to us waking out the door.

If you could also make a list off equipment and QUT asset numbers and email the exec that would be super awsome!

Would help out, but my car struggles with space with just me in it!

I may be able to help out. I’ll know for sure by Monday, if you want to PM me your mobile and I’ll let you know :smile:

Might be a while before we get the equipment. Sven is working with some of the higher ups at QUT to get the equipment donated to hsbne instead of loaning them to me. This means I can’t be sued if someone breaks an oscilloscope.

Still, as another matter, I do have some ossiloscopes at the space that I’ve identified as too old and too low spec that need to go. As such, the electronics cause will be having an auction. Or chuck them on eBay. Something to think about.

Also, advanced class tomorrow on how to use an oscilloscope and the basics of ac circuits. Gold coin donation to the electronics cause to join and all are welcome.

Also, holding a meeting Tuesday at 6pm. Time to get the cause working together on ideas for classes and for expenditure of funds. Will be held in the games room.

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Hello All,
It is quite apparent that the space is lacking funds due to the large power bill so I have come up with a plan for some paid classes to run in the space.
I am a licensed electrician and can provide some classes on hand tool use, stripping (the wire kind not exotic, sorry to disappoint) termination or screw terminal, crimps and RJ45 fittings (used for CAT5 network cables), selection of cable and ELV wiring design. Sadly I am not permitted to teach anyone how to wire their house.
All funds generated by these classes will be used to install the 1.4KW worth of solar panels that www.solarjuice.com.au donated to Hackerspace.
We still require a MPPT solar charge regulator, inverter, batteries, assorted protective devices and cabling.
If there is enough support from the members I will get advertising printed up and place it in libraries, jaycar and anything else that may intrigue anyone who is interested in learning how to safely wire an ELV system. once we get enough money for the solar installation I will run a course on how to design and install a mains connected solar installation for mobile or fixed systems using the space as the demonstration model and the students for the labor.
I am happy to run the courses in an evening but I don’t have the time to organise enrollment and communication with students, so help with these aspects would be greatly appreciated.


The electronics class for this coming Saturday will be delayed till next week, I’ll be away for the John Moyle field day.

I will be looking for help for this upcoming one as it will be my first publicly run class. This will involve making kits of components and creating the perferated chipboard for constructing the circuits with.

On an unrelated note, I’ve managed to get my hands on two metcal sp-200 soldering power supplies. For those who don’t know, these are extraordinarily good soldering stations, up there or even better than weller or haiko. While the power supply only cost $40, the handpiece costs $75 and the tips are $25 each. If these power supplies perform at the expected level, I’d suggest we move to purchase these items after the purchase of the remaining resistors and capacitors for the restock of passive components.

With the huge increase in people attending electronics classes, I’m proud to announce I’ll be redoing a previous class I’ve attempted to run.
This Saturday at 2pm, I’ll be running a class on oscilloscopes and basic AC theory.
By the end of this class, you should have a working knowledge of all the major features of a modern oscilloscope and be comfortable with using them as well as understand the concepts behind AC theory, which will allow you to begin to understand the operation of complex electronic circuits and the limitations inherit in PCB design.

This is one of the Advanced classes, so there will be some algebra. However it should be simple enough for most people to keep up with. I’ll be lowering the prices this week, $5 for non members $2 for members and free for electronics cause members.

It’s been a while, time for an update.

I have purchased a whole pile of needle nosed pliers, flush cutters, tape, cables and tips to kit out all of our new equipment with. Next up will be buying in some header, solder and finally getting round to restocking the capacitors.

I’m also considering a new way to generate revenue for the electronics cause. I’m going to try stocking more expensive components that will be available for purchase such as buck/boost converters, avr programmers, USB to UART converters, Arduino nano’s and the stripboard as it is costly enough to warrant such treatment.

This will be run on a honour system, with a slot next to each component to pay for them.

If there is anything I haven’t listed that is available for $3 or less that you want to see available, let me know.


Might be a good idea to make a branding iron to melt identification into these tools so they stay in the electronics area :wink:

Cheaper components from Indian online stores


After a few visits to hsbne, I feel like part of the community. Thanks to super helpful and generous @merseyless.

I am primarily based in India, and was comparing prices for electronics parts in both countries. It seems some components are cheaper to buy online in India.

For example, http://www.amazon.in/ELEMENTZ-QUALITY-NICKEL-SOLDERLESS-CIRCUIT/dp/B00MC1CCZQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433388947&sr=8-1&keywords=breadboard
That’s like 2.5 AUD

I don’t know what other components hsbne needs that can be bought significantly cheaper there, but I’d happy to be of help.

For your reference 1 AUD is about 50 INR.

Also, once I go back to India in July, I’ll be happy to ship you a 20$ worth electronics on me. Just give me shopping list from Indian electronics online stores.

Glad to you have felt part of the community in such a short time! That is nice to hear. Are you coming back again after June Jinal?

@nathanbeveridge :slight_smile:
My parents live here in Brisbane, so I might visit them again, but nothing definite.

@merseyless, are you still running classes? I’d love to come along - I didn’t even realise you did these, I can’t believe I missed so many.

@sjpiper145, I’ve personally stopped for the moment due to exams. So many exams.

Come to think of it, I won’t be able to run classes for this and next month. If anyone wants to step up and help me out with running classes, I’m more than happy to give you the foundation to understand any topic that you want to do for a class.

So far, people have expressed interest in learning how to use our array of test equipment, soldering and a tutorial on reading schematics. All of these subjects takes approximately 2 hours to master.

Would anyone be willing for me to teach them one of the subjects to a level where they would be comfortable running a class? Or are demonstrably proficient in these areas? All that is needed is enthusiasm in the topic and a willingness to learn.

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