Sep 162015
Improvised Timekeeping Device (@phooky)

Improvised Timekeeping Device (@phooky)

You may have read about Ahmed Mohamed, the 14 year old boy who was arrested Monday for bringing a clock to school. Ahmed built his own digital clock out of spare parts on Sunday night and brought it to school on Monday to show his Engineering teacher. He was arrested – wearing his NASA shirt – after his English teacher claimed it “looks like a bomb.”

Join us in standing with Ahmed and promoting Engineering in schools on Thursday night by making your own DIY clock. Browse our junk drawers, grab some LEDs, and slap together your best Improvised Timekeeping Device. We have plenty of soldering irons and there will be people around to help out if you’re new with electronics. Philosophers will also be on hand if you have trouble with the concept of time itself.

Follow Ahmed’s situation on Twitter.

Craft Night is one of NYC Resistor’s weekly open-to-the-public nights.  We’ll be there from about 6:30 p.m. until time stops making sense, at 87 3rd Ave (and Bergen Street) in Brooklyn, just a few blocks from the Atlantic Ave / Barclays Center subway stop.

 Posted by at 11:00 am
Sep 102015

Tails Surveillance Sanitizer

If anyone’s been at the space in the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed me peeling labels off tiny sanitizer bottles and measuring the insides of their caps with calipers while tweaking settings in OpenSCAD. This is for a project I’ll be bringing to the Internet Yami-Ichi this Saturday, September 12th at Knockdown Center. Aside from including generic aloe-vera hand sanitizer, “hidden” within the each cap is an 8GB USB drive pre-loaded with the Tails Live OS, 1.5.1 (sticker was sent to the printer before the new release), which you can boot into from most computers that allow booting from USB drives.

Tails is maintained by a team of really awesome folks across the world who are working in the Laura-Poitras-level edge cases of severe state surveillance that no one else will invest time or money into. In making a physical manifestation with a deliberate design, I want to commemorate what they do and bring their work to the attention of new audiences, in a similar vein as one of my projects last year. Tails also depends in part from donations from its users, so I’ll be pledging 25% of each sale at the Internet Yami-Ichi directly to the Tails project.

There’s only 20 bottles for sale, so stop by Knockdown Center on Caturday to get yours before they sell out!



Aug 182015

Do you wanna build a robot? (cue Frozen music)

No, but seriously, how about an introductory Arduino class where you’ll learn to build a robot?


This class is part of our introductory Arduino, in which you’ll learn to use the Arduino family micro-controllers to interact with the physical world! You don’t need any previous experience with hardware, electrical engineering, or circuitry. In this class, we’ll be covering an introduction to the Adafruit Trinket, a tiny Arduino-IDE programmable board, servo motors, and using sensors for obstacle avoidance. You’ll also go home with your own programmable autonomous robot rover!

Tickets on sale now. Class is Sunday August 23rd.

Aug 102015

Every Monday night is Laser Night at Resistor. But now, every other Monday is also Knit Knight!

Bring your projects, and come hang out with us. We’ll be knitting from 7:30pm, same as Laser Night.

For future Knit Knights, check the calendar.

Aug 052015

Way back in like 2008 NYC Resistor was new and fresh. We were tearing it up on the internet blogs and building pneumatic stabbing robots. We also bought our most expensive tool to date ( at the time ). We pooled our meager wages and bought an epilog legend laser cutter ( 12×24 inch model ). This thing was THE BOMB. It made our projects better faster stronger as we listened to an endless loop of daft punk while building every bad idea that crossed our minds.

In fact, Makerbot was conceived upon it’s not so gently abused bed. The first of many prototypes leading to the cupcake 3d printer, and even the first few hundred production run cupcakes were cut out of wood on this laser cutter before Makerbot was thrown bodily from the space by angry hackers ( I joke sort of ). It is quite literally a piece of technology history. It harkens back to a dark time in our history in which every hackerspace was launching a 3d printing company. We apologize for that profusely.

We’ve got the rotation arm for it! Yours free of charge with purchase. It’s fully functional last it was turned on. Works with corel draw like a champ. Has hellaciously better drivers than any comparable chinese laser cutter / etcher. We have full documentation on laser settings for it. And we’ve replaced most of the components on it. We’ve also got some cool hackery docs on it here: Command Line Lasering

We upgraded to a bigger, strong, better, faster cutter this past winter. And now this laser cutter is just taking up space we don’t really have to spare. Also, it’s not being used. So we’d like for it to go to a good home who can make use of it. You’ll have to provide your own filtration system and other safety equipment. But otherwise this is a solid entry level laser cutter / etcher. And we’ve proven only a small part of it’s dazzling array of diverse capabilities.

Please reach out to contact at nycresistor dot com if you are interested in purchasing our laser.

 Posted by at 5:02 pm
Aug 042015

Last week at our meeting, NYC Resistor voted to adopt a code of conduct. Woo!

We ask that if you’re visiting our space, you adhere to the code of conduct below. You can also find it on our Participate page. If you have any questions, speak to a member or email us at

The NYC Resistor Code of Conduct

Welcome to NYC Resistor. We are here to learn, share, and make. We want everyone to feel comfortable asking questions, trying new things, and making mistakes. We ask that your conduct be guided by the desire to help us create an inclusive, encouraging, and diverse environment free of intimidation and harassment. We are an eighteen and over facility.

Comments, actions, or visual displays which demean, harass, or insult others are not permitted. This includes those which target a person’s race, creed, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical appearance, or ability.

NYC Resistor reserves the right to summarily eject you if you recklessly endanger others, act in violation of the code outlined above, or otherwise behave poorly.

If someone is abusive or causes you to feel uncomfortable, speak to a member or email us at

This code of conduct is neither exhaustive, nor complete. It serves to distill our common understanding of a safe, collaborative space.

Jul 272015

NYC Resistor is getting together with UrbanGlass to do some amazing classes later this year. See UrbanGlass’s site for all the details and to get your tickets quick before they sell out:

NYCRLOGOneonNeon Robots with Joe Upham, Ranjit Bhatnagar and Raphael Abrams – learn to make neon signs and control them with Arduino! This class will run 8 Saturday afternoons 3-6pm, September 26 – November 14.

At UrbanGlass, the history and methods of neon tube design and construction will be taught, demonstrated and practiced. At NYC Resistor, Basic Arduino Microcontroller theory will be covered and students will learn to fabricate and program these powerful art tools.

Details and tickets:

Hot Casting with Olivia Barr and Joshua Raiffe – use the laser cutter to design objects to be cast in glass! 10am-7pm, Saturday December 12th.

In this one day workshop, students will get to design a simple object within a 7″ x 7″ square, laser cut that object in wood and then cast it in glass.

Details and tickets:

Jul 202015

I F*CKING love 8-Balls! They’re awesome little desktop oracles that make decisions easier. However, I thought their selection of phrases left a little to be desired, so I wanted to do a project to augment this timeless toy with a digital screen. But what could I get it to display? While putting together the project, the webcomic XKCD posted a comic with an emoji-8-Ball that generated random emoji combination in browser.


Using a little bit of Canvas and the source from the original webcomic, I made my own emoji 8-ball fortune generator formatted for a tiny OLED screen fit inside an 8 ball. The screen has it’s own micro-controller and GPIO pins, which made it pretty simple to attach a tilt sensor (salvaged from an old Furby toy), as well as a battery pack that all fits inside a hemisphere of the original toy.


When the ball is face-down, it randomly cycles though emoji pairs, and stops when it’s tilted up.  I sliced open the original blue liquid container in the ball, and replaced the plastic window to make it look unmodified. The mysterious fortunes it provides are open to interpretation.

The Emoji 8-Ball prop was build by Widget  and debuted at NYCResistor’s 2015 Interactive show.

Jul 132015

We’ve added a whole bunch of Arduino classes to the calendar! The next one will be Intro to Arduino: Sensors and Input/Output, on Sunday July 19th. (Tickets here!)

All of these classes are designed to be introductory-level, so while we’ll assume some basic knowledge of programming (some familiarity with variables, loops, and arrays), no prior experience with hardware, electronics, or circuitry is assumed.

Over the next few months, here’s what we’re teaching:

All of these classes will cover a basic introduction to Arduino, as well as a more specific topic — how to control LEDs, for instance, or how to communicate over WiFi.

(Some of the tickets aren’t on sale yet, as we’re still working on finalizing class content.)

And then on December 6th, we’ll have an Arduino Hack Day, where you can take what you’ve learned and apply it to your own projects, with TAs on hand to help you make your projects a reality.

Tickets to the next class (next Sunday!) are on sale now.