Your Hackspace Needs You!

your-empire-needs-youOn 22nd May at 8pm in the Studio will be the Nottingham Hackspace Annual General Meeting!

This gathering of members is by far the most exciting, interesting, awe-inspiring and enlightening couple of hours in the Hackspace calendar!

Ok, it’s actually pretty much like a member’s meeting, but it is something that we have to do to ensure the Hackspace can continue to run, and we need you attend.  In order to complete the year properly and file our accounts, the meeting must be quorate, which means at least 52 members need to be there.

So please make every effort to come to the meeting, or register a proxy vote with the trustees by emailing them at

At the AGM, we will start the elections for our new trustees, so if you are interested in becoming a trustee, please email by Sunday 4th May.  You must include your full legal name, a photograph of yourself and a paragraph about why you want to be a trustee.

You can see examples from our current trustees on the Board Wiki Page.

From next year, the trustees will take on more responsibility for the strategy of the space – where are we going in the next few years, and how are we going to get there. Additionally, they will have ultimate responsibility for all the teams, although they will not necessarily be involved in the day to day running.

We hope to see you all at the AGM!

Events Workshops

International Arduino Day 2014 – 29 March

Arduino Day BannerJoin Nottingham Hackspace to celebrate Arduino’s tenth birthday on International Ardunio Day – March 29th 2014.

If you’ve not heard of Arduino before (and we think that is unlikely), it is an open source electronics prototyping platform that pretty much kickstarted the making revolution we’re now in.  You can find more details on their site (

On International Arduino day from 1pm we’ll be showing off Arduino projects, and you’ll be able to talk to the makers behind them, putting on mini-workshops throughout the day suitable for all abilities and exploring what Arduino can offer.  If you’ve never used Arduino before, you can come along from 11am to get your laptop up and ready to use them, and even buy a beginners kit if you want to.

From 6pm we’ll be celebrating Arduino’s 10th birthday with a party and a birthday cake (Arduino shaped, of course).

You can sign up for free tickets to the day, party, or both on eventbrite:


SafeSpaces at Nottingham Hackspace

The Hackspace is a wonderful and joyous space.  To make sure that all our members, guests, and event attendees get the same amazing experience of the space, we now have a SafeSpaces policy.

This policy covers the Hackspace and the interactions we have when representing the Hackspace at external events.

We hope you will join us in wanting to make the Hackspace a better place.

If you have any concerns about this, please email If you would rather talk to a trustee directly, their email addresses are available on the wiki.


Get Involved!

volunteerNottingham Hackspace is run entirely by volunteers – nobody gets paid, or any other reward, for helping keep the space running.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  You do get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you have helped to improve an organisation that is committed to providing space for everyone to work on their projects and meet similarly minded people.

We always need more people to help keep the space running, so what can you do to help?  Anything!  You don’t even need any particular skills.  We have jobs ranging from sweeping the floor to building walls to maintaining machines.

If you are not sure how you can help, we have a list of jobs available on the wiki:

Or you can turn up to a Hack the Space day – every first Sunday of the month from 11am.  There will be lots of jobs and people to help you find something useful to do.

We’ll see you in the space soon!



Yesterday, around 2pm, The Nottingham Hackspace website was broken into and all the content deleted.

Matt Lloyd and I spent a lovely afternoon before the members meeting trying to track down the various issues and identify the vector that was used to break in.  This is what we know so far:

  • The original break-in happened in early June, and injected a fairly well known zend_framework hack – no content was compromised at this point
  • It did, however, open up a big hole in WordPress
  • It also spread very effeciently – every writable PHP file on the server ended up with the injected code
  • Yesterday, someone (possibly the same person) exploited that hole to break into Dominic’s account on WordPress
  • They proceeded to delete everything
  • They then wrote us a very nice post entitled “SUM TING WNT WONG”

We (mostly Matt) have now restored all file, posts and pages and most images.  If you notice anything out of place, please let us know.  All wordpress users will need to change their passwords, and your permissions have been temporarily changed to “Subscriber”.  We will let you know when to change you password – there is still a bit to do yet.

Unfortunately, as the wiki and wordpress share a database, we have lost the last 4 days of wiki edits.

So, lessons learnt:

  • Keep your WordPress install and plugins up to date
  • Separate the wiki and WordPress databases
  • There are plugins available that keep an eye on the core WordPress code (such as “Exploit Scanner”)



Show and Tell

Nottingham Hackspace is hosting a day of short talks, about anything, by anyone.  Anyone can attend for free, and anyone can give a talk for free.

We don’t yet know what talks will happen, but as soon as we do we’ll post up a schedule.

We’d love to see you there – sign up for a ticket on eventbrite if you’ll be joining us.

For more information, or to sign up to deliver a talk, see the event page.




Summer of Arduino

During June and July we will be running six Arduino workshops, three 101 (beginner) and three 102 (intermediate).

On the weekend of 23rd and 24th June we will run a 101 and 102 workshop each day.  On Saturday 14th July we will run another 101 workshop followed by an 102 workshop on Sunday 15th July.

More details can be found on our Arduino Workshops page.

101 costs £50 including kit, or £20 if you supply your own.

102 costs £20.

All workshop fees exclude booking fees charged by Eventbrite.  Pre-booking is essential, if for some reason you cannot use Eventbrite, please contact

To book, click on the appropriate Eventbrite link below, and feel free to attend both!

Hackspace Equipment Pledge


Nearly a year ago now, Nottingham Hackspace ran a pledge drive to aquire a second hand vending machine, and after a number of generous pledges, bought a Westomatic with a faulty refrigeration unit and no coin mechanism.  With boundless enthusiasm, it was declared that we would build a RFID system to allow members to buy “things” from the machine with their membership card.

Daniel, Reprap Matt and James got to it, and just 11 months on, we now have a fully working vending machine!  During that time a coin mechanism was bought and installed, the refrigeration unit was completely disabled and a shiny new RFID unit was designed, built and installed.  It now integrates with Snackspace in the kitchen to allow members to manage how much they owe to the hackspace and will eventually update members automatically each month with how much they owe.

The vending machine is still a little empty, but Doc Little is fixing that as we speak.  In the next few weeks it will fill up with kits and bits, at the very least it will contain:

  • Sugru of various colours
  • Bat detector kit
  • TV-B-Gone kit
  • Flashy badge kit
  • Minimus AVR
  • Xino Arduino clone (soldered)
  • MiniPOV kit

More details, and eventually the full code and schematic for the cashless device, can be found on ourwiki, and you can see the cashless device in all it’s glory below.

Guts of the Machine
RFID Reader

Nottingham Hackspace Needs Your Help

As you may or may not be aware, Nottingham Hackspace’s landlords have been evicted from our current location, meaning we lose our space at the end of April.

This gives us an opportunity to make Nottingham Hackspace even better, but for that we need your help!

The Big Workshop
The Big Workshop

We have found an excellent space for Hackspace2.0, much bigger than our current hackspace, but we need a fairly large initial deposit – £2000.  This is where you come in…

Your can help us by:

  • Sending a donation – the simplest way
  • Becoming a friend of Nottingham Hackspace – have your name immortalised for all time
  • Sponsor part of our new space – name a room in Hackspace2.0

We need to raise this money by the end of April so if you can, please stick your hand down the back of your sofa and donate now!


Bank and PayPal details are at the bottom of this post, simply send us some money and mark it as a donation!

Become a Friend of Nottingham Hackspace

If you become a friend of Nottingham Hackspace, we will list your name on this site, and on a massive display in Hackspace2.0.  This “Friend’s Wall” will form the backdrop of many of our future videos and photos.

Becoming a friend is easy and cheap, with a number of options – basically, the more money you donate, the bigger and more prominent your name on the wall and the website.  You can donate as much as you like, and we will ensure that everyone’s “per £” is the same.

Sponsor Hackspace2.0

The Big Studio
The Big Studio

We have three rooms to name in the space, and you could name them.  For £1000 you can name the really big room,  for £750 for can name second largest room and for £500 you can name largest office space or the kitchen.  Please contact us at to arrange this.

Becoming a friend is easy and cheap, with a number of options – basically, the more money you donate, the bigger and more prominent your name on the wall and the website.  You can donate as much as you like, and we will ensure that everyone’s “per £” is the same.

Sending Us Money

Our preferred method would be bank transfer, using these details:

< Old details removed >

Please make sure you include your name in the Reference, along with a D for donation or F for Friend

You can also donate with PayPal by sending us a personal gift to < no longer available> , or clicking the button below.  Please put whether it is a donation or you are becoming a friend in the message.

Hackspace Equipment

LED Matrix

LED MatrixEverybody loves LED and hackers are no exception!

At our first open hack day on Saturday, Michael dropped off an LED matrix unit normally used in motorway signs.  16 x 16 bi-colour LEDs – 256 green-yellow and red flashing lights!

In fact, he dropped off eight units!  2056 LEDs!

Each unit has two identical connectors, IN and OUT, which allow them to be chained together and controlled as one.  Each unit still requires it’s one power supply.

The possibilities of these are pretty exciting!  My electronics-fu is nowhere near good enough to work out how to use them, but I have created a wiki page and uploaded the datasheet and a few different pictures.

Get playing!