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 »

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?

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 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

Ellentriek Valies: The making of

We are making the Ellentriek Valies, a travel trunk full of tools, electronic goodies and microcontrollers. You can use the suitcase to start tinkering with interactive electronics wherever you wish.

We had quite some dilemma’s to deal with:
– what kind of trunk do you choose: a real tool case (heavy), a travel trunk?
– what is absolutely necessary if you want to tinker with basic electronics?

Here are a few lists that inspired us:

After the trunk was chosen, a light-weight, sturdy 2 wheeled red chunk of plastic, you have to customize it, make it ready for tools.

Here are some images of dressing up the trunk. Rosalie Stevens did the nice design and sewing work, I was part of making (dumb labour :-)).

What tools have to go in there?

In the middle there will be a tool insert, fabric over wood.

A first possible lay-out of tools:

This is the fabric and elastic that will hold the tools:

The one thing which got finished today was putting the Crickx letters on the outside.

I’m afraid that we did mix italic with non-italic, with different sizes.. It looks great! Thanks a lot Uberknackig for sticking the letters on the trunk. I had sticking fear..

Still quite some work ahead of us…

Contact us if you want to use the Valies.

DIY Day is looking for participants!

DIY Day is looking for participants!

A day of creation and entertainment with DIY workshops, art expo, concerts,
jam sessions, street animation, circus, gardening, interactive
installations, markets and much more for all ages!

There will be multiple islands, each about a specific theme. At "The Lab" we
will be working & exhibiting work involving electronics, eg workshops about
making your own speaker out of scrap, the link between electronics &
vegetables, bicycle alternator sound, electromotor fun, circuitbending, a
contactmic sculptures, ... and some noize with Nohmad sound!

A group of friends with different backgrounds getting together with a mutual
interest and organizing a day for everybody!

10 September 2011 - 13h till 21h
Afterparties start at 21h

The workshops at the lab will be from 14h00 till 18h00

Brussels Centre:
Marché des cochons / Varkensmarkt & MicroMarché
Metro Sint Catherine / Sint Katelijne

Anybody who shares our interests, or has others to share with us, and can
help during DIY DAY is more than welcome!!
We are still looking for people interested in giving a helping hand at the
lab, helping participants with their projects, present your own project
(maybe even do a demo or small workshop), hang around, have fun!

If you would like to get involved, contact Jeroen De Meyer at
jrndemeyer [attttt]

There is more info about the event on

Kitchen Budapest is looking for stupid Robots!

Kitchen Budapest is organizing Bacarobo Europe – Stupid Robot Championship

Call for applications! Submit your stupid robot idea and be one of the lucky winners who will participate at the show!

More information here:

A few specs:

Who can apply?

Anyone from Europe over the age of discretion; anyone from Europe under the age of discretion with the permission of an adult representative. Application can be individual or team-work. In case of teams applying, they have to be represented by an individual who is in contact with the Organizer.

Conditions of submitted work:

Applicants must hold the intellectual property rights to the work submitted and be the legal originators of the creative product or project.

How to apply?
In order to apply you need to upload your project to
Applicants can upload a max. 150-word-long description of their project in English, max. 3 JPG photos (up to 2MB each), and 1 video (max. 3-minute-long) uploaded to youtube/vimeo/other online video webpage.

Submitted work has to meet the following requirements:
Your robot has to function mechanically. E.g. making a paper-mache is not suf?cient, it must have some kind of mechanical feature.
Your robot must be meaningless or worthless. It must not have a reasonable goal or practical function that may be useful for the society, instead, it should have some stupid aims.
Your robot must make people laugh. BACAROBO must be made to entertain and surprise people by its stupid action, function or its humorous system.
You will have 3 minutes to set it up.
After the setting up has been completed, the truck has to be moved from the backstage to the stage.
Maximum 2 assistants may help handling the robot during the performance.
Your robot has 2 minutes for the performance. The applicant can only use a switch that can turn on and off the robot.
There is no time extension in case the machine has errors during the performance.
The project and all its related equipment should not exceed the width of 90cms and the depth of 120cms in order to be able to ride the trolley. The project’s height has to be within 180cms and it has to be within the weight of 80kgs. For powering the robot there is a 230V power supply (15A) available.
Do not use any kind of liquid that can explode by a spark.
On the day before the presentation day the authors will have the possibility to do a rehearsal with their robots if needed. Each applicant should consult this in advance.
The transportation and costs of the robot have to be arranged by the applicant.

In case of multiple applications from the same applicant, each project requires a separate registration.

You can register online between 30 March – 15 August 2011 at
Final decision: 30 August 2011
Announcement of results: 15 September 2011 on, also through email to applicants individually
Winner’s event: 30 October 2011 at Trafó-House of Contemporary Arts in Budapest –introducing the most useless stupid robots

You’ve got the power

For almost all devices we use power supplies which transform AC into DC, adapted specifically to the power needs of the device.
This 9 pages in depth post about power and power supplies has been travelling all over internet. Jon Chandler specifically speaks about Wall Warts, the ones who transfer AC to DC.
His article was featured on Hackaday and Makezine – but I thought that for future reference it’s nice to write a little about it on Ellentriek.

power supplies

Important stuff!

Codes, colours and conventions

When you open up an electronic device, you are confronted with quite a lot of colours on the components (especially when the device has a certain age – smd components unfortunately are less colourful).

“The electronic color code was developed in the early 1920s by the Radio Manufacturers Association (now part of Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA)), and was published as EIA-RS-279. The current international standard is IEC 60062.

Colorbands were commonly used (especially on resistors) because they were easily printed on tiny components, decreasing construction costs. However, there were drawbacks, especially for color blind people. Overheating of a component, or dirt accumulation, may make it impossible to distinguish brown from red from orange. Advances in printing technology have made printed numbers practical for small components, which are often found in modern electronics.”

Resistors, for example, have three bands of colour indicating their value in Ohm – the fourth band indicates how accurate these values are. Knowing their value is essential, even already for basic electronics, because they control the voltage passing through your electrical circuit.
You can learn the values of these colours by heart, or you can use little helpers, who come in several shapes and sizes.

– There are lots of online resistor calculators

– I’m quite a fan of this resistor calculator:
cardboard resistor calculator

– There are good looking apps, such as this ElectroDroid.

When you use leds, having the right resistor at hand is very necessary, because when it gets too much power it stops working.
So, of course there are online calculators for leds!
Even thermistors have their own calculator.