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COVID-19 Update – Board of Directors

The situation that we are currently facing together is unprecedented and the well-being of our members and community is our priority. Here are the adjustments we are making for the short term:

Space Access

As of Thursday, March 19, 2020, the space will be closed to the public. As a result, hack night (Tuesday “Open Door”) is cancelled until further notice. 

We are limiting the number of people allowed in the space at one time to help maintain social distancing recommendations. If you do have a project you would like to work on, please coordinate with other members to limit the number of people in the space at one time to 6. Please be respectful of each others’ time and space. Keep a distance of 2 metres between yourself and other members.   

Cleanliness

We have signs up around the space describing how to appropriately wash your hands and have tissues and sanitizer available. Please use the available resources and keep yourself and others safe. 

If You Have Symptoms

Please do not enter the space. Go home and practice self-isolation.

Workshops

Until further notice workshops at the space are unavailable. We are looking into the possibility of hosting online workshops and are welcome to your ideas!

Stay Tuned

New information is available to us every day. With that information, we are making decisions to support the safety and well-being of our members. We will continue to update you as the situation changes.

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Upcoming Workshops (May, June, July 2019)

July 11th: CNC Ground School

At CNC Ground School you will learn the theory required to generate GCODE files appropriate for Goliath. (Our CNC Router)  You will learn about feeds and speeds and how to use the VCarvePro software available to our members. This class is a prerequisite for on-machine training. There is no charge for this class.

July 18th and 25th: Arduino 101

This 6 hour workshop will introduce you to the many forms of input and output on an Arduino compatible microcontroller. You will learn:

  • Digital inputs and outputs
  • Analog inputs
  • PWM outputs
  • Digital Communications

The price for the workshop includes an Arduino compatible UNO, breadboard, wires, and a variety of devices to demonstrate and experiment with different styles of Input and Output.

$90

July 6: Build It – Tiny Die

Build your own Electronic Die.  Learn to solder and to load firmware onto an ATTiny85 microcontroller.  (No programming required, but it is reprogrammable if you so desire.) $60

June 22nd: Soap Making

Learn to make soap at Saskatoon Techworks. ALL required materials will be supplied for this workshop, and you will go home with uncured soap that can be cut into about nine generous-sized bars of Hand-Crafted Natural Soap. $60

June 13th and 20th: Electronics From Zero

This five hour workshop (two Thursday evenings) will take the participant with no experience with electronics and will teach the basics of voltage, current, and resistance.  You will learn to build basic circuits and will calculate and take measurements on those circuits to confirm your calculations. $60

May 30th: Soap Making (over)

Learn to make soap at Saskatoon Techworks. ALL required materials will be supplied for this workshop, and you will go home with uncured soap that can be cut into about nine generous-sized bars of Hand-Crafted Natural Soap. $60

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Open House!

Do you enjoy making things? Do you ever wish you had the room or cash to buy expensive tools? Do you wish you had more friends who shared your passion for making cool things? Check out Saskatoon TechWorks, Saskatoon’s premier maker community.

Our doors will be open to the public on June 8th, 2019, 10am-5pm. Members will be available to show you our shop and answer your questions.

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New Software!


Saskatoon TechWorks is now the proud licensee of VCarve Pro Makerspace Edition.  What does this mean to you?  As a TechWorks member, you can download the trial version of VCarve Pro and enter our Makerspace ID. (Ask us for it.)  After entering our Makerspace ID, you can prepare your CNC job.  That version will not save your toolpaths but you can do everything else to get your files ready for the CNC router.  Save your project and bring your .crv file to the space, load it up in our “Master” copy, export the gcode, and you’re ready to make your masterpiece on our CNC router!

For more information, please visit https://www.vectric.com/makerspace.html.

(Note: Our license says that the toolpath files are only for use on the CNC equipment at our space.  I’m not sure how they or we would enforce that, but you should know that that is the rules.)

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Workshops!

Upcoming Workshops at Saskatoon TechWorks:

June 14th, 7pm: Soap Making

Learn how to make cold process soap.  Everything you need is provided and you will go home with uncured soap that can be cut into 9 bath-sized bars.  For more information and to sign up: https://sktechworks.ca/product/workshop-soap-20180614/

June 21st and 28th, 7pm: Electronics From Zero

This two day workshop will teach you about voltage, current and resistance, and how to use a digital multimeter.  You will build simple circuits with resistors to demonstrate that Ohm’s Law works.  Then, on the second day, you will learn about capacitors, diodes, LEDs, transistors, and inductors.  If you have your own DMM please bring it.  For more information and to sign up: https://sktechworks.ca/product/workshop-efz-20180621/

July 19th and 26th, 7pm: Arduino 101

This two day workshop will introduce you to the many forms of input and output on an Arduino compatible microcontroller. You will learn:

  • Digital inputs and outputs
  • Analog inputs
  • PWM outputs
  • Digital Communications

For more information and to sign up: https://sktechworks.ca/product/workshop-a101-20180719/

Making Soap
Making Soap

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How to Get Your CH340 USB to Serial Device Working

Many of our Arduino compatible devices contain a CH340 USB to Serial IC instead of the much more expensive FTDI chip.  The CH340 is common in Chinese product, but not as common in products designed in the rest of the world.  What this ends up meaning is, it is sometimes problematic getting them working on your computer.  To make things easier, the following drivers have been tested by us:

Translated Datasheet

Windows Driver (2016-09-27)
Official Mac Driver (May have troubles 10.9 and later)
Signed Mac Driver (Should work with 10.9+)

Note that Windows 10 appears to include the driver, as does Linux.  One extremely edge case, though, to be aware of: As of this writing, the Linux driver for the CH340 does not support parity.  The STM32Duino we sell requires parity when installing the bootloader.  To save yourself hours of hair-pulling, know that you will either need to use a different USB to Serial adaptor, or a different OS, or patch your kernel driver.

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Loading a Bootloader on the STM32 Blue Pill

Here is how I loaded the bootloader on a new STM32 Blue Pill.

Installed Arduino 1.8.5

 

Tools->Boards->Boards Manager

Install SAM Cortex-M3

Download:

https://github.com/rogerclarkmelbourne/Arduino_STM32/archive/master.zip

Unzip to My Documents->Arduino->Hardware

Rename folder. (Remove -master, so it is simply Arduino_STM32)

Navigate into drivers->win

Execute install_drivers.bat as administrator. (Right-click, run as administrator)

 

Visit:

https://github.com/rogerclarkmelbourne/STM32duino-bootloader/tree/master/binaries

And select:

Generic_boot20_pc13.bin

Save it in “tools/win/”

 

Set the Boot0 jumper to 1

Wire up the CH340 USB to TTL-232, G-G, TX-A10, RX-A9

USB (for power)

stm32flash.exe -w generic_boot20_pc13.bin COM4 (whatever com port your CH340 is on)

Put jumper back to 0

Reset

Use Arduino to upload a sketch to test. (Blink, for example)