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Reading Response: “Why I’m Not a Maker”

Overview

Why I’m Not a Maker is an article written for Atlantic magazine by Debbie Chachra.

The article describes Chachra’s distaste for the connotations surrounding the word “maker” and how it encompasses a group of people instead of identifying a facet of ones endeavors.

The word to Chachra puts people who happen to make things on a glorified platform compared to others who do not participate in making or inventing.

She also touches on the group of people who have consistently had, and have primary access to making things due to societal expectations and privilege.

Chachra notes that men have predominately been seen as makers, and that there is an expectation for makers to always make new instead of focusing on the “repair, analysis, and caregiving”(Chachra) of pre-existing inventions.

Final Thoughts

I thought this article was really interesting, and it provided me with a new take on maker society. It is easy to be attracted to the fast paced innovative nature of the maker movement, and not really pay attention to the social and ethical effects of it.

Sources:

Chachra, Debbie. “Why I’m Not a Maker.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 23 Jan. 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

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Book Binding

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Today in class we learned about book binding. Specifically creating our own books using the three hole, and four hole stitch methods.

We created our own books by picking out different types of paper and binding them together with a needle and thread.

I chose to make three different books using both methods. The first book above was the first book I attempted to make- a three hole stitch using construction paper of different colors with a triangle design on top.

The second book I created is the second image above which shows a four stitch method with a thicker metallic perforated paper on top of a multicolor gemstone piece of printer paper. Inside the book the pages alternate between red and pink construction paper.

The third and final booklet I created is a three stitch book with an autumn leaf design on the top, and fall colored printer paper in the middle.

Zine Day!

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Today in class we learned about zine culture.

Zines are little independently made, unique, handcrafted magazines that can be made on basically any topic.

A lot of zines are used to express some sort of idea or opinion, or to promote a movement.

Zines can be political, punk, goofy, satirical, dark, goth, cheerful and playful.

In class we tried our hand at creating our own zines and were given an instructional guide (pictured above) on how to fold a regular rectangular piece of paper into a basic zine format.

I chose to make my zine based on funny quotes from my mom that I’ve been collecting over the years.

The zine turned out great, and I was able to give it to my mom in time for her birthday which was nice. This class was really a great time and I had a lot of fun making the zine and seeing the zines that my classmates were able to come up with.

 

Blog Reflections

The entire DIY process for me has been a whirlwind of different events, emotions, and learning experiences. The process came with its trials and tribulations- and there were definitely some points where I wanted to pull my hair out, or just give up. But pressure, and anxiety became my motivators alongside of course my passion for the class and the projects we pursued. This class gave me the opportunity to explore a topic of interest of mine through creative DIY blog posts, and exploration of the skill. With the making process portfolio posts I could explore the world of electronics DIY, teach myself a valuable set of skills, and bring others along for the journey. I found it therapeutic toward the end of the project to be able to write my findings down, and solidify the knowledge I had just gained in a blog post. It was also comforting to be able to reflect on each days journey, and better envision where I would go from one blog post to the next. I will always be able to look back on my making process portfolio fondly, and see my personal growth throughout the duration of the project. Although the making process portfolio was a project that carried through the entire semester, we had many other projects as a class which I thoroughly enjoyed. Projects such as the class making project, creation of a podcast, zines, book binding and more.

Each class presented something new, and allowed me to gain knowledge on a subject I had previously known little of. Such as the class period where Makerspace pioneer Lauren Britton came in and spoke to our class about the upcoming wave of cyborgs: or those who use DIY methods to modify their bodies with electronics. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to have Mrs. Britton speak in our classroom as she is such an influential figure in the making community. When we didn’t have guests speaking in our classroom, we had to opportunity of writing short answer responses to writing prompts, and exploring and critically writing/thinking about ourselves as writers and makers. I learned the most- in my opinion- in these class periods where we tried to answer questions that seemed to not have a distinctly right or wrong answer. Such as  the prompt which addressed the question “what is writing.” The discussions that rose after we were able to write down our thoughts for a period of time I found immensely gratifying, and enjoyable. It felt like a great way to unify our class, and allow us all to share our opinions in a judgement free environment.

Along with having presenters come to us in the classroom, we made our own class field trip to the Kimmel makerspace on campus. Before the class trip I had been to the makerspace once before in order to gather information for my group’s podcast. Most of the magic of the makerspace however was introduced to me when we went the second time all together as a class. We were given a tour of the space and shown the machinery that is made available to all Syracuse University students 24/7. There were mulitple 3d printers humming at the same time, an embroidery machine tucked in the corner of the glass enclosed room, the vinyl cutter which had freshly cut stickers lain in front of it, and even a 3d machine which could produce a tangible 3d model of just about anything you could imagine. The makerspace really reignited my interest for the class, and opened my mind to the possibilities of 3d printing.

Another project that was a challenge but was also really fun was the class project. Our goal was to make something which had a rhetorical argument and we chose to make a model of the carrier dome, and highlight some of the injustices happening around the city of Syracuse and on the Syracuse campus. We used paper mache to create the top of the dome and cut the walls out of cardboard: making the intricate side details with paint. We left one side of the dome open to a figure of Otto the Orange displaying a message of the ideal Syracuse and Syracuse community relationship. On the outside of the carrier dome we placed clay figures under and outside the building being crushed by the structure, while holding little cardboard picket signs protesting the poverty, and huge social inequalities present in the city of Syracuse.

Through the combination of the activities and projects I was able to participate in within this DIY publishing course, I feel comfortable saying that participating in these activities and projects has made me a better critical writer, thinker, and maker.

Making Process Portfolio: Day 8

Project 45: Motion Detector

This project involves building a motion detector which senses movement by monitoring the amount of light entering the Cadmium Sulfide Cell.

The component connections are as follows.

1-13-40, 3-24, 14-105, 23-106, 25-45-107, 42-43

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Project 45: Motion Detector

The connection from 1 to 13 to 40 connects the left terminal of LED 1, to the left terminal of the Cds cell, to the positive terminal of a battery with a long yellow wire and a short white wire.

The connection between 3 and 24 connects the right terminal of LED 1, to the collector terminal of of the Q3 NPN transistor with a small white wire.

The connection between 14 and 105 connects the right terminal of the Cds cell, to the left terminal of the control with a medium sized red wire.

The connection between 23 and 106 connects the base terminal of the Cds cell, to the middle terminal of the control with a medium sized blue wire.

The connection from 25 to 45 to 107 connects the emitter terminal of the Q3 NPN transistor, to the negative terminal of a battery, to the right terminal of the control with a medium length blue wire and a short white wire.

And finally the connection between 42 and 43 connects the negative terminal of a battery, to a positive terminal of a battery with a small white wire.

Once all the connections have been made upon turning the control counterclockwise, the LED gradually turns on. By setting the control to around 7 and waving your hand in front of the Cds Cell, the light dims as the Cds is covered partially, and brightens as you move your hand away.

To see the motion detector in action please click here

In this circuit The transistor acts as a switch, with the base current supplied through the Cadmium sulfide cell. LED 1 is connected to the collector in the transistor and lights if the transistor is on and goes out if the transistor is off.

Light enters the cell, the base current flows into the transistor turning it on, and LED 1 illuminates. If no light reaches the transistor there is no base current and the transistor is off so LED 1 does not light.

Final Thoughts

This was one of my favorite projects in my making process portfolio because the sensor reacted to the environment around it, and I thought that was very interesting. This project has more similarities to the electronic candle in terms of components, and was fairly simple to create.

Sources: Maxitronix Electronic Lab Owners Manual

Making Process Portfolio: Day 7

Project 55: Electronic Candle

This project involves two extra components which are not in use in the other projects

These components are the Quad Op Amp, and the Cds Cell

Below I’ve provided the role of each component, and how they function.

Components

Quad Op Amp- An integrated circuit which is an electronic circuit formed on a small piece of semiconducting material which performs the same function as a larger circuit made from discrete components.

Cds Cell- A Cadmium Sulfide Cell which can be used as an automatic control. It is a semiconductor which means it conducts electricity, but also partially resists electricity. The cells resistance changes with the amount of light shined on it.

Project 55: Electronic Candle

Now that I have information on the other components used in this project, I can move on to connecting the circuit.

The components are connected as described below.

1-26-87-97, 3-29-14-45, 13-105, 17-106, 18-36, 19-40-107, 69-27-88, 28-90-98, 70-89-42-43.

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Project 55: Electronic Candle

The connection from 1 to 26 to 87 to 97 connects the left terminal of LED 1, to the top left of the quad op amp, to the left side of a 10k resistor, to the left side of a 100k resistor with two medium sized red wires and a small white wire.

The connection from 3 to 29 to 14 to 45 connects the right terminal of LED 1, to the GND of the quad op amp, to the right terminal of the Cds cell, to the negative terminal of a battery with one medium sized red wire and two small white wires.

The connection between 13 and 105 connects the left terminal of the Cds cell, to the left terminal of the control with a medium sized red wire.

The connection between 17 and 106 connects the base of the Q1 PNP transistor, to the middle terminal of the control with a long yellow wire.

The connection between 18 and 36 connects the collector of the Q1 PNP transistor, to the VCC terminal of the quad op amp with a medium sized blue wire.

The connection from 19 to 40 t0 107 connects the emitter of the Q1 PNP transistor, to the positive terminal of a battery, to the right terminal of the control with one medium sized blue wire, and a medium sized red wire.

The connection from 69 to 27 t0 88 connects the positive terminal of a 10 micro farad capacitor, to the quad op amp, to the right terminal of a 10k resistor with two medium sized red wires.

The connection from 28 to 90 t0 98 connects the quad op amp, to the right terminal of a 10k resistor, to the right terminal of a 100k resistor with one medium sized red wire, and one small white wire.

And finally the connection from 70 to 89 to 42 to 43 connects the the right terminal of a 10 micro farad capacitor, to the left terminal of a 10k resistor, to the negative terminal of a battery, to a positive terminal of a battery with one medium sized red wire and two small white wires.

Once all the connections have been made LED 1 illuminates if the control is set to zero. By turning the control clockwise toward ten, the LED will turn off. The LED flashes in rapid succession simulating the light of a candle.

To see the LED electronic candle please click here

The electronic candle uses a Cds cell which reacts to the amount of light it receives. By covering the Cds cell the light dims, or goes out completely depending on the coverage. As the amount of light gathered by the Cds cell changes, the OP Amp’s power voltage changes in order to control the oscillation. The two changes are related, and as light increases, the output voltage of the transistor increases (or is amplified), as the light decreases the output voltage of the transistor decreases. This creates the flickering of the LED, and the changes in brightness due to the coverage of the Cds cell.

You can see what happens when covering the Cds cell here

The OP amp is a long period oscillator which means the output it creates lights LED 1. The Q1 transistor amplifies the input from the Cadmium Sulfide cell to the OP Amp. The output of this activates the OP Amp.

Final Thoughts

This project varied from the entertainment circuits as it dealt with light rather than sound. The flickering candle also involves the use of the Cds Cell, and the OP Amp in order to function. Completing the project made me more interested in how the OP Amp and Cds function, and how they can be applied to other electronic projects.

Sources: Maxitronix Electronic Lab Owners Manual

 

Making Process Portfolio: Day 6

Project 28: Rain Drop

This project is another entertainment circuit which involves the use of a low-frequency oscillator in order to simulate the sound of a rain drop.

The components are similar to those used in the electronic cat noise, and are connected in this order.

15-48, 16-49, 23-69-72-74-91, 24-64-52, 40-108, 45-25-70, 50-63-73-71, 51-109-106, 92-105, 42-43

 

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Project 28: Electronic Rain Drop

 

The connection between 15 and 48 connects the top terminal of the speaker, to the top left side of the transformer with a medium sized red wire.

The connection between 16 and 49 connects the bottom terminal of the speaker, to the top right side of transformer with a short white wire.

The connection from 23 to 69 to 72 to 74 to 91 connects the base terminal of the Q3 NPN transistor, to the positive terminal of a 10 micro farad capacitor, to the right terminal of the 100 micro farad capacitor, to the right terminal of the 220 micro farad capacitor, to the left terminal of a 22k resistor with two medium sized red wires and two small white wires.

The connection from 24 to 64 to 52 connects the collector terminal of the Q3 NPN transistor, to the right terminal of a 0.1 micro farad capacitor, to the bottom right terminal of the transformer with a medium sized red wire and a small white wire.

The connection between 40 and 108 connects the positive terminal of a battery, to the left terminal of the key with a medium sized red wire.

The connection from 45 to 25 to 70 connects the negative terminal of a battery, to the emitter terminal of the Q3 NPN transistor, to  the right terminal of a 10 micro farad capacitor with a medium sized blue wire and a small white wire.

The connection from 50 to 63 to 73 to 71 connects the bottom left terminal of the transformer, to the left terminal of a 0.1 micro farad capacitor, to the positive terminal of a 220 micro farad capacitor, to the positive terminal of a 100 micro farad capacitor with three small white wires.

The connection from 51 to 109 to 106 connects the bottom middle transformer terminal, to the right terminal of the key, to the middle terminal of the control with a long yellow wire and a small white wire.

The connection between 92 and 105 connects the right side of a 22k resistor, to the left terminal of the control with a medium sized red wire.

And finally the connection between 42 and 43 connects the negative terminal of a battery, to a positive terminal of a battery with a small white wire.

Once all the connections have been made upon pressing the key, the speaker creates an oscillating raindrop sound. By turning the control clockwise while holding down the key the frequency of the raindrops decreases.

To hear the raindrop noise please click here

The raindrop noise- like the electronic cat noise, uses a low frequency oscillator which is composed of the Q3 transistor, the transformer, the 100 micro farad and 220 micro farad capacitors connected in parallel, and the 0.1 micro farad and 10 micro farad capacitors in series.

Final Thoughts

What interested me about this project was the alternating oscillation of the raindrop sound. The raindrop sounds were more uneven and sporadic than consistent like the frequency of the cat noise.

Sources: Maxitronix Electronic Lab Owners Manual