Open Hardware / Libre Softwear

On the first of October 2013, from 9 to 16h, we organise a workshop in ARTS², Carré des Arts Rue des Sœurs Noires 4a 7000 Mons. Description of the Workshop:

A workshop mixing textile design with digital culture and tools (Floss in soft-and hardware). We will use  a hacked knitting machine (Knitic). When you connect the machine with a computer, it turns into a kind of textile printer. At the same time our knitted surfaces will have conductive capacities turning our textile into a keyboard (Make my Makey Makey Myself). Workshop given by Claire Williams & Wendy Van Wynsberghe For Quinzaine Numérique @ Mons

There are three major parts in the workshop: – Making another version of the Makey Makey – Designing an interactive knit or crochet and making it. – Making an application to demonstrate what you have made.   We will first introduce ourselves to then go on about Open Hardware.

  • Knitty Gritty – Some ideas to work with

As our Diy Makey Makey uses the arrow keys, space and left click,  we can use the following pieces of software to make that all work:

If you want inspiration or use some tools to generate patterns for knitting here is a list.

  • How to prepare your design for knitting / Comment préparer son image pour la tricoter.

Il faut garder en tête que 1 pixel = 1 aiguille a tricoter donc une image de 60 X 60 PIXELS = un tricot de 60 aiguilles en largeur et 60 rangs de longuers. Dans ton éditeur d’image (Gimp, Photoshop..)

  • – Créez un nouveaux doc de 60 X 60 pixels ,
  • – Dessine, écrit , ou importe une photo de ce que tu veux
  • – Passer la photo en mode bitmap ( .bmp)

soit dans Gimp

  • – Image/ Mode/ couleurs indexées/ palette noir blanc 1 bit
  • – Puis enregister en png en allant dans Fichier/exporter / “nomimage.png”

ou Photoshop

  • – Image/mode/bitmap
  • – Puis enregistrer votre image en «nomimage.PNG »

Ellentriek #17: Hack your knitting machine with Knitic!

Ellentriek goes textile: liberating knitting machines Saturday 18th May 2013 10am – 6pm Pianofabriek Exhibition space Rue du Fortstraat 35, 1060 Brussels In the eighties and nineties electronic knitting machines were readily available. But it was never a simple task to knit an image, a drawing, photograph, text you designed yourself with it. You could buy premade images on floppies of punch cards. This is all about to change! With Knitic you can connect your computer directly to the knitting machine. knitic Do you have a Brother KH930 or KH940? Do you finally want to do what you want with it? Are you fascinated by open hardware/free software and are you curious to experience this specific way of working and thinking? Or do you, as a hardcore knitter want to see what’s possible when the technological electronics part of the knitting machine has been changed? Or are you just curious to come and test the old knitting machine with a new brain? Come to our workshop of ’Ellentriek goes knitting’ on Saturday the 18th of May. 10-13h We will replace the proprietary brain of your machine. The old one is not broken, it is just disconnected. Under professional guidance we will assemble a few electronic components. The next step is hooking up your computer to the machine and to show you how to work with Knitic (Knitic is hard-and software which is easy to work with). This part of the workshop is also for beginners and people who know nothing about electronics. 14-18h Come and test the new old machines and knit a photograph, text, image.. Who: with (Varvara Guljajeva & Mar Canet) & knitter Claire Williams Please contact us on beforehand if you have a knitting machine to hack, type Brother machine KH 930 KH 940. wendy attttt We contact you on the what and how. Ellentriek is organized by De Pianofabriek kunstenwerkplaats & Constant vzw. This workshop is part of the Ruelles project (

MakeyMakey – versions

Makey Makey is a nice and fun Open Hardware project, developed by Mit researchers Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum.  It’s an Arduino based project that could get started through crowdfunding.

Basically you can turn any conductive surface into a sensor: bananas and other fruit/vegetables, cutlery, water, metal tools, conductive dough, human skin…When you connect to the ground, you trigger certain parts of your keyboard: the arrow keys, space bar and the left click of the mouse.

“Using the MaKey MaKey you can make anything into a key (get it?) just by connecting a few alligator clips. The MaKey MaKey is an invention kit that tricks your computer into thinking that almost anything is a keyboard. This allows you to hook up all kinds of fun things as an input. For example, play Mario with a Play-Doh keyboard, or piano with fruit!

The MaKey MaKey uses high resistance switching to detect when you’ve made a connection even through materials that aren’t very conductive (like leaves, pasta or people). This technique attracts noise on the input, so a moving window averager is used to lowpass the noise. The on-board ATMega32u4 communicates with your computer using the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol which means that it can act like a keyboard or mouse.” [Via Sparkfun]

The explanation sounds harder than it is – have a look at some video’s of MakeyMakey in action and you will see what it can do.

As this is an Arduino based controller, we wanted to have a look inside. How legible/reproducible is Makey Makey?

—-> Answer, quite legible, if you have some knowledge of pcb’s, coding and microcontrollers.

—> All online:

Eagle Files
Github Home (Find the latest MaKey MaKey sketch here)
Getting Started Guide
MaKey MaKey Driver (For Windows users)
MaKey MaKey Arduino Addon (Unzip to your Arduino sketchbook directory)
MaKey MaKey Site
Firmware Note

We wanted to check this out for ourselves and we got an Arduino Leonardo (only this model works with your computer using the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol) and six 20MegaOhm resistors (that’s a lot of Ohm!).

Success! Here’s how to make your own version (here is the subtitle zip  file)

We modified the code somewhat, you can download a zip of it here: makey_makey_SIMPLIFIED_Code_for Leonardo

A video of our DIY MakeyMakey-Leonardo in action –> @ Mixxit in Strombeek

And loads of pictures –> building and trying it out..

Ellentriek Recup@Recyclart

Your copy machine, scanner or mobile phone has broken down and even the second hand shop is no longer interested in getting it fixed for sale. No worry, you can still find interesting bits and parts such as motors, lenses, microphones or amplifiers hidden within. In this workshop you will learn to dismantle broken electronic machinery and to identify the parts still usable for creative ‘re-use’.

Each session focuses on a certain group of electronic devices:

Wednesday 21.11: radio, cassette- dvd-, cd player and answering machine
Saturday 24.11: scanner, printer and copy machine
Wednesday 28.11: digital and analog video cameras, photo cameras, mobile and other phones.

Your can bring along your own electronic stuff and please do not forget your favourite screwdriver and other tools. The older the electronic devices, the better.

Practical info:
Recyclart – Vitrin 17
Ursulinenstraat 17 Rue des Ursulines
15:00 > 18:00
max. 10p per session!
5 euro/session- inscription requiredy (payment in situ): / 02 289 00 50
languages: EN-FR-NL

Workshop given by sound engineer Jeroen De Meyer and the low voltage activists of Ellentriek: Wendy, Gregor, Kenny and Jitske.
Ellentriek is an organisation of the Pianofabriek kunstenwerkplaats & Constant vzw.

Charger – battery compatability

For a project this set-up was bought:

It consists of a Polymer Lithium Ion battery (3.7V) with a capacity of about 400 mAh and a LiPo Charger Basic – Mini-USB.

Now, for another project we have a Li-Ion recheargable battery, 3.6 Volt
(for example this one)

Now, the question is if the button cell battery can be charged with the LiPo Charger Basic?

Tested Arduino Shields and the used libraries

*// MP3 Player Shield plays mp3s that come from a Micro sd card.

* Excellent library of Bill Porter, which simplifies the code and usage a lot. You should unzip the library and put the two subfolders in your sketchbook Libraries folder. (follow the instructions:-))

* works out of the box with this library

* pay attention to the Baud Rate of the sketch and the Baud Rate of your Serial Monitor window


*// Waveshield plays any uncompressed 22KHz, 12bit, mono Wave (.wav) files of any size from an Sd-card

* It’s a kit you have to solder

* Not all Sd-cards work, it is quite finicky about that

* You need to format the Sd-card first

* There are two libraries you can use

-> AFWave, the old library has possible Sd-card issues. The nice thing about this library is the example that enables you to change the bitrate of the sound (speed it up, or slow it down). I have not seen any examples of this usage with the new Waveshield library. The bolwerk Djette uses this library

-> Wave HC, the library which is still being adapted. The active development part is nice, the coder who made the library is still following. I do find the code in the sketches themselves still quite difficult and muddy, but I’m afraid that has more to do with my coding capacities


*// Waveshield for Arduino Mega (special hack)

* A lot of the times, if you want to use a shield on an Arduino Mega, you need to change certain pin settings (which mostly leads you to cut of certain pins and reconnect them elsewhere on the Mega) Here I got into deeper trouble, my sound was distorted, and I found the solution with help from the physical and the virtual world.

* Pins used and more info at the Arduino shield list


*// Motor shield: with this shield you can easily test motors, give extra power etc

* It’s a kit you have to solder

* Libraries and instructions are here

* This shield got tested in a previous Ellentriek session

* Pins used and more info at the Arduino shield list


*// RedFlyShield is a plug-on module with WiFi/WLAN for Arduino. Download from link, unzip and copy the content of /examples/ and /libraries/ to your Arduino folder: /arduino/examples/ and /arduino/libraries/. If there are existing folders from a previous installation,delete them before copying.

* works out of the box with this library, WLANscan scans the available wifi-networks


*// Nanode (not a shield, but web enabled Arduino with ethernet access)

* Tested in the Brussels Hackerspace


— Untested shields

*// Micro sd shield

* You need to install the Fat16 library

* Pins used and more info at the Arduino shield list


*// Lol shield, 133 leds become a screen

* Here’s a tutorial on how to make it and a demo on how to use it:

* To make animations with the Lol shield, Jimmy Rogers put nice .ods spreadsheet on his website

* Pins used and more info at the Arduino shield list


*// GPS Log shield kit

* Pins used and more info at the Arduino shield list


*// Arduino Ethernet Shield


*// WiFly Shield

* Pins used and more info at the Arduino shield list

Arduino Shield List

Here is a great database of Arduino shields that gives you pin usage details for 285 shields from 114 makers!

This list makes sure you can look at the compatibility of shields and it also lists the actual licences the shield developers use. It is quite confronting to see that the majority of the shield hardware developers do not choose a license…

From the website itself:

“Sick of trying to figure out which pins are used by some obscure Arduino shield? Can’t tell whether two shields will be compatible with each other?

This shield database arose out of a discussion on the Arduino Forums about the need for a comprehensive online reference for shield pin assignments. It lists as many Arduino shields as I can find along with their pin usage, making it easy for you to determine if particular shields are compatible.”

He does seem to be falling behind on processing the newer shields:

“Submission Queue
There are currently 198 shields submitted that I haven’t got to processing yet. Sorry!”

Anyone out there who wants to lend a helping hand?

Ellentriek #15 meets Code, Arts & Crafts : Shielded – extend your Arduino

Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)  by

        (CC BY-NC 2.0) Some rights reserved,




@ iMAL, Saturday 28.04.12 & Sunday 29.04.12
30 Quai des Charbonnages Koolmijnenkaai 30 – 1080 Bruxelles Brussel 1080

With an Arduino you can collect a lot of sensor data, from smelling gasses to measuring temperature or light and lots more. But how do you save these data? How do you actuate the outside world, transfer bits and bytes online, without using a computer?
In order to activate motors, to connect to a network, to make an autonomous interactive sound installations, you need chips and components on top of your microcontroller.
These usually come in the form of a shield that slides onto your Arduino. During this ’Ellentriek meets Code, Arts and Crafts’ weekend we’ll review several of these “shields” in detail. We will scrutinize these shields and look at the possiblities to make them ourselves.

With extra brainpower of Mr Stock from Rotterdam & Stephane Noel!

– As usual, this session is open to artists’ own projects.
– This is for people who already know how to work with Arduino
– Maximum 15 participants
– from 12 to 18h
– This workshop costs 20 euro, including a lunch with sandwiches & drinks (2 days)

To enroll, click here!

– For more direct information: wendy @ constantvzw . org

This Edition of Ellentriek is a collaboration between Constant vzw, Pianofabriek kunstenwerkplaats & iMAL

Ellentriek 14: presentation by Natacha Roussel


Quasi OBJets environnements hybrides

Weiser 1991

Ubiquitous Technology informatique omnipresente

In opposition to the desktop « user » ubiquitous technologies engages many more dispositifs at the same time in daily activities and the person is not necessarily aware that this the case.

Laura Beloff Erich Berger « heart donnor »,


Garnment as a historical tool to the body:


























Kobakant, massage me 2007

Textile as an open source technology:

Lily pad Leah Buckley

Alyce Sonic Sonic fabric

Textile as a participative proposition:

Html Patchwork
Open Source Embroidery a project initiated by Ele Carpenter

Garnment as a critical tool:

Jana Sterback remote control  II 1991

pour une multiplicite d’usagers

Interac wearing Experientiae electricae 2009
La négociation pour son espace d’action dans une pièce collective
La transformation de son rythme personnel par le jeu en réponse au rythme proche
L’ajustement de son propre rythme en fonction du rythme global
l’appropriation des choix d’un autre

Transformation des critères de la cartographie
critères personnels
pratiques issues de la derive urbaines
bio mapping
Jeu Urbain

Diana Heng Blogger Hoody 2003

XS labs, sonic tuxedo 2008

Becky Stern Compubody sock

XY interaction, interface pour la composition sonore et musicale