[Noisebridge-announce] Kite Hacking! 8pm Thursday @ 83c

Michael C. Toren mct at toren.net
Thu Aug 6 12:00:48 PDT 2009

    "Life, like a kite, requires special conditions to operate at all,
     never lasts forever, but is sometimes worth the trouble anyway."
                                    -- Gesargenplotzian saying

Interested in kites?  Or kite mods?

I've been playing around with them for a few months now, and more recently
have been experimenting with a couple cool mods.  Some of you may have seen
the microcontroller + 5 watt LED project I built at Noisebridge for night
flying.  Night flying mods have turned out to be a *lot* of fun.  A few
people expressed interest in mods of their own, and we've been brainstorming
about what future projects may be, so I thought I'd try starting a
Noisebridge Kite Hacking Group.

Thursday is normally when Slim's VFX class meets, but I confirmed with him
that class is postponed until September while he's out of town and got his
blessing to use the timeslot until then.  If there's continued interest
after Slim is back, we'll work out another timeslot.  I imagine some of the
time we'll want to meet at 83c for working on projects, and some of the time
we'll want to meet at Ocean Beach or Crissy Field for flying.

So, stop by Thursday at 8pm!  The first meeting will mostly just be a
brainstorming session.  I'll bring my two kites, along with the hacks I've
built so far to pass around.  If you have a kite collecting dust in the
closet, definitely break it out and bring it with you. :-)  Kite ownership
is in no way a requirement, however.

Some project ideas that have been kicking around:

    - More ways of attaching lights for night flying.  It would be awesome
      to try to illuminate the tail on a dual-line stunt kite.  They're *so*
      much fun to whip around at night.

    - Modifying the microcontroller circuit to incorporate an accelerometer,
      and maybe put RGB LEDs on the leading edge of a stunt kite.  We can
      program it to change the color pattern as the g-forces increase, when
      it goes into a steep turn or loop.  Or maybe a speaker, and have the
      kite scream when diving?

    - Aerial photography.  There was a group at MakerFaire selling camera
      rigs for large single-line kites.  I'd love to get some nice shots of
      the beach from 500' in the air.  Designing a rig of our own might be
      a fun shop project, too.

    - Building our own kites.  We can easily find patterns, and we have a
      sewing machine upstairs, near the electronics lab.

I'd love to hear of other ideas anyone may have.  I started a wiki page at
<https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Kites>.  Please leave your name there if
you're interested in participating, or just show up on Thursday.


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