Power Wheels Mod Project Update

We’ve been truckin’ along on the Power Wheels mod this past week. As of today, we are 21 days from the Atlanta Maker Faire on October 4-5, 2014.  What pressure? The Red Mountain Makers have officially entered the Power Racing Series race as Team T-Wrecks #205.  Your team is given a limit of $500 and 1440 watts to modify a child’s Power Wheels vehicle for head to head racing against other makers, college students, and hard core electric car hobbyists.  From what I have learned so far, it is a fabulous way to cut your teeth on understanding the basics of how to build an electric vehicle.

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Need to unload some sewing stash?

Red Mountain Makers can help you!

We’ve just finished installing shelves and storage in the Fiber Lab. Which means….. we now have places to put thread, sewing notions, tools and accessories.

If you are downsizing (or know someone who is downsizing) we can now accept material goods donations (fabric, interfacing, zippers, elastic, buttons, hooks and eyes, etc) – and issue a tax receipt!

To arrange donations, please contact Celeste Pfau, our Fiber Lab host, or Shirley Hicks at secretary at redmountainmakers dot org.

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The Best Innovation Comes from Necessity

When life gives you lemons…or breaks your pelvis; don’t waste too much time with self pity when you have have a huge opportunity in front of you.  That is what Gilad Wolf did. He took the time to make life better for not only himself, but countless other handicapped people throughout the world.  Personally, I can’t believe that this hasn’t been tackled as elegantly as his interpretation in over 60 years of wheelchair manufacturing??

Trae and I had an exploratory conversation the other day about where we see the Red Mountain Makers makerspace/hackerspace in another few years.  I told him I felt it should eventually be place where anyone can come to learn how to develop their own ideas into software and/or hardware products/tools that can be produced in small market test production runs. This Birmingham makerspace will give each person the opportunity design and develop their own ideas as well as full control over their own financial destiny.

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Alabama Makerspace Alliance listserv

As per discussion at the Montgomery Maker Festival, we’re setting up a makerspace listserv for discussion of organizational stuff specific to makerspaces within the state of Alabama.

Although I anticipate that the bulk of the discussion on the list will be with regards to non-profit spaces, for profits are also welcome to join to compare notes regarding obtaining insurance, membership management systems, wikis, websites, servers, security, leases and other organizational issues, and also to discuss co-ordination and planning of a regional mini-maker faire within the state for some time in 2015.

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DIY Circuit for LED Strip Activated by Opening a Door

A personal DIY project I’ve been working on is installing an LED light strip inside my food pantry.  Yes, I realize that there are pre-fabbed products out there to accomplish what I am trying to do, but that takes away from the experience of learning about how circuits work.


I chose to use 16 feet of white LEDs around the interior frame of the door on my pantry.  I wanted it to work like a refrigerator door, where the lights come on when the door is opened, but off when closed.  So I bought a cheap magnetic reed switch and by reading the Amazon comments figured out that it can only handle up to 500mA to function properly.  I didn’t want to run the switch off batteries, so I opted to use a secondary line from the 12 volt power supply that uses 5A to run the lights.

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