Antweight Robot Wars: Updates

Liam O'Brien

Over the past year I have been working on a number of antweight robots of different designs. These include: FireAnt, Omicron, Cyclone and Impact.


FireAnt has received many upgrades; the chassis has been replaced due to general wear and tear, the top plastic armour panels have been replaced with aluminium, the metal strip has been replaced by a thin strip of acetate from a laminating pouch to breach any ground clearance. Extra aluminium armour panels have been added to the sides.

Autonomous Mobility Scooter (Part 1)

Will Furnell

In part one of our Autonomous Mobility Scooter series, we get it working as normal. With a few problems…

Spinning Christmas Tree

Will Furnell

For our Christmas sessions this year, it was decided that we needed to one-up the spinning Christmas tree from last year. Simply attaching a tree to a beefy motor wouldn’t work - in true TinkerSoc style, we needed to over-engineer this project with just enough bodge to perform.

Axeminster Courses

TinkerSoc have teamed up with Axeminster Tools to offer training courses at a reduced price.

Antweight Robot Wars: Fire Ant

Liam O'Brien

My entry for Antweight Robot Wars is Fire Ant, based on the “Antweight Robotwars Firestorm R/C Robot” Antweight Robotwars Firestorm R/C Robotdesign published to Thingverse by Team Firestorm member Alex Mordue, which I then modified.

RC Hovercraft

Toby Huitson

This began as a spin-off (no pun intended!) from a Flite Test glider project. It’s a really good site with lots of practical ideas. You simply download and print the plans and then make it by cutting out the parts in foam board and assembling with hot glue.

I found they had plans for a hovercraft, and having seen Bruce and Liam’s fan boat the SS Italia take shape at TinkerSoc, it looked like a fun project.

Ant Weight Robot Wars

To celebrate the start of the new academic year, some members of TinkerSoc have been spending their free-time building ‘ant weight’ combat robots. The rules are simple: the competitors’ bots have 150 grams’ weight limit, must fit within a 4in cubed box and must not use overly destructive weaponry (we want the fights to last longer than 5 minutes after-all).

Radio Update

TinkerSoc was recently successful in being awarded a student projects grant for the use of re-establishing an amateur radio presence on campus. We have been working hard and have purchased a set of equipment that we hope you will find useful!

The University of Kent is now a registered examination venue of the RSGB.

In the continuing effort to re-establish amateur radio at the University of Kent Canterbury, The Shed (the School of Computing’s makerspace) applied to the RSGB for the university to become a registered examination center. Today, we have found out that the application was successful.

Success for Members in Amateur Radio

On Thursday 3rd July 2014, three Members of TinkerSoc travelled to Broadstairs to join members of the Hilderstone Amateur Radio and Electronics club in sitting their Intermediate Amateur Radio licence. Over the past 4 months they have taken part in an web based course to learn the theory behind RF circuit design and operation. This course culminated in projects such as laser tag guns and morse code transcievers being built. They all completed the exam successfully and are now eligible to operate equipment, with a power rating up to and including 50 watts, and also design and build their own radio equipment!

TinkerSoc at BarCamp Canterbury 2014

TinkerSoc is going to be hosting a learn-to-solder Session at this year’s BarCamp Canterbury. For those who are unfamilar with BarCamp: BarCamp is an unconference that is a completely free to attend and based loosely around the theme of technology. There are only a few kits, and they will be sold on a first come, first serve basis, at £7 each. We hope to see you at BarCamp!

Play dough Power Production

As a society we are always interested in what technology can do for us, however sometimes it’s fun to go back to basics and play low-tech, and what’s more low-tech than play dough! Two of our members, Berni and Simon, spent a couple of days prior to the meeting cooking up batches of conductive play dough using a recipe from the University of St Thomas in the USA. Using these batches our members experimented with the resistivity of the play dough, with a centimetre cube having a resistance of over 40 KiloOhms, equivilant of about 1243 miles (2000km) of 1mm wire.

TinkerSoc @ GEEK2014

TinkerSoc were at GEEK2014 this weekend showing off some of our projects, including a couple of 3D printers we have been working on with the School of Computing. Our stall was well received, especially Dan’s laser engraver, and to top of the weekend we saved the day and fixed the punch the custard via our knowledge of Arduinos!

TinkerSoc Members become Radio Amateurs!

On Thursday 6th February 2014, Members of [TinkerSoc](] travelled to Broadstairs to join members of the Hilderstone Amateur Radio and Electronics club to sit their Foundation Amateur Radio license. The members have been working towards their license for approximately 4 months and everyone passed with flying colours and are now eligible to operate equipment of power up to and including 10 watts and building and operating commercial kits (below the 10W power limit).

SOS radio week.

The SOS Radio Week is an annual week of fund raising by amateur radio enthusiasts to ain the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and has raised over £15,000 for the institution in the past 5 years. On Saturday 25th January 2014 some members of TinkerSoc joined Hilderstone Amateur Radio and Electronics club at Ramsgate Lifeboat Station to help with the event by making contacts, and to practice in preparation for taking their foundation license exam at the beginning of February.

Introduction to Arduino

This week we had an introduction session to the arduino platform. For those of you unfamiliar with arduinos (have you been living under a rock?!), the arduino platform is a low cost development board and programing environment. It allows you to control hardware like LEDs, motors and servos. They’re really great ways to connect computers to objects in the real world. We covered some basics and did some cooler things too.

Amateur Radio Outing

Following the talk and practical session by the Hilderstone Amateur Radio and Electronics club on Wednesday, we went to the Monkton Nature reserve (Sunday 20th October). There we erected our own portable antennae and did various practical tasks that are required for the Foundation licence. The first group erected an antenna to be tuned to the 40 meter band and the second group erected a larger one to be tuned to the 80 meter band.

B&K help TinkerSoc build a furby choir.

TinkerSoc’s Narcoleptic Furby Choir! Abstract TinkerSoc is the `Maker’ society at the University of Kent, it aims to teach its members basic skills in engineering, electronics, computing and radio. As part of this, for a demonstration project to start the new academic year, TinkerSoc wished to recycle a popular brand of toy released in 1999, known as the Furby and reverse engineer a group of them into a choir.

Real Life AngryBirds

A.K.A TinkerSoc gets Moist!

To kick off the new year we took angry birds to the next level! - (well we went to a dark field and got wet…)

Fresher's Fayre 2013 & TinkerSoc's 1st meeting

Thanks to everyone that stopped by and had a look at the TinkerSoc stand at fresher’s fayre, we had a lot of fun, and we hope the Furby’s were interesting. Our first meeting of the term will be on Wednesday the 2nd of October, and we’ll be doing a real life Angry birds game! We hope to see you all there! For those interested in how the furbys were controlled, we’ll be writing up a report shortly.

B&K Precision's donation to TinkerSoc.

B&K Precision have kindly donated some awesome kit to TinkerSoc all the way from America. We will be teaching you how to use this equipment in our headphone amp project (more details of which will be announced in the new term), and then they will be available for members to use. We would like to send our warmest thanks to B&K Precision as we would never have been able to afford such awesome equipment from our budget.

RGB Coffee Table.

Want to build an RGB LED coffee table? Here’s how you do it for £75! {% youtube 0ZUA9rlcdKs %} {% row %} {% span 4 pull-right %} {% well %} {% capture sidebar %} Shopping list. 1 x Ikea Table : £20. 64 x RGB LED : £7 1 x rainduino : £16. 1 x Acrylic sheet : £14 1 x Frosting spray : £4 1 x 3mm Hardboard : £5 Store Cupboard Stuff.

Raspberry Pi Arcade Machine

We built an arcade cabinet based on the designs by Chris Moyles as a large project in the Autumn term in 2012. We’ve detailed how we built it, and the software and hardware involved, to give you an idea as to how to build your own. Contents Building the Cabinet Measurements Construction Decorating The control box Construction Mounting the controls Mounting the Screen The donor screen Configuring the Raspberry Pi RaspBian & Hardware RetroPi The ROM’s BackUp Building the Cabinet 1.

Electronics 101

Last term we introduced you to microcontrollers with a whistle stop tour of programming some Arduinos, building basic circuits (learning about PWM in the process) and ultimately wiggling some servos. Now that we have your feet wet, this term we plan a more comprehensive experience of electronics, building up to the big LED light table build. For the next few nights: Building our own TV-Be-Gone designs onto breadboards. We will tell you about the different components, what they are for and why they are there.

Software Defined Radio

This week at TinkerSoc, Dan talked about Software Defined Radio. Software designed radio (SDR) has been around a while, but doing it cheaply at home has only recently happened. SDR removes the requirement of expensive hardware and allows someone with an antenna and some receiver hardware to receive signals and use their computer to do the difficult decoding bit. A RTL2832 chip was discovered to have a very wide frequency reception range.

Tape Sculptures

We made tape sculptures this week, and aside from a slight shortage of tape it was a great success, we now have a plastic, slightly flexible version of Matt.. well now I put it like that, it might not be such a great thing… We first wrapped Matt in cling film, and then proceeded to cover him in tape, he seemed to just about be able to breathe, so all seemed good.

Happy Holidays and a new term ahead . . .

First of all we hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! For Sale: TinkerSoc Hoodies - £15 The new design for the TinkerSoc Hoodie is available to purchase from the Kent Union website ( for £15. We hope to have them before the Re - freshers Ball on Thursday 7th February. Wearable Electronics - approx £35 Once everyone who wants a hoodie has one, we will start ordering the Lilypad and other electronics so we can start tinkering with our hoodies.

Serial and Servos

This week we looked at controlling servos over serial using the arduino. We started by making the servos move, by learning how to control them from Arduino. We then played around with the serial library for arduino and then learnt what classes, methods and variables were. We used the arduino to compare bytes of data coming in over serial to characters we’d defined in the program. Once we had done this we put the two together, and hey-presto: serial controlled servos.

Starting the Arcade Cabinet

Our current project at TinkerSoc is a full sized MAME Arcade Machine, we’ve done a lot so far and are nearly finished, but here’s what we have now. On Monday, we continued building the arcade cabinet. We split into 3 groups, 1 to make the control box, 1 to fit the front panel to the machine, and one to continue working on the Raspberry Pi. We didn’t use power tools tonight, instead we all had a go with some traditional hand drills.

Open Mic Night

{% alert %} {% capture alert %} Note: This page was migrated from our old blogging platform and the images have been lost. {% endcapture %} {{ alert | markdownify }} {% endalert %} This week’s meeting will be an Open Mic night. You know the drill 7PM KS17!  The Robot that was Scared of Blue  Daniel built a robot. Keith Greenhow built a neural network for it.

This Week's Meeting

Hi Everyone, This week’s meeting (15th) will be the first of a two part session on metal casting! We will be meeting in KS17 at 1900 as usual to create the moulds we plan to cast in a couple of weeks time. We need some aluminum, so starting collecting all your old aluminum cans, HDD platters and other scraps. The meeting on the 22nd will be another open mic. If you would like to give a talk please let us know.

TinkerSoc Meeting

Hey everyone, This is a reminder that there is a meeting tomorrow in KS17 (Keynes). It will be an open mic night, where people come along and give a short talk about a project they built. The Monday after that shall be our first social (Spud Cannon Archery) and will mark the end of our free taster sessions. So see you all tomorrow from 7PM. Dan

First TinkerSoc Night of the New Academic Year

Hey everyone, our first society night will be on Monday 24th of September at 7Pm in Keynes KS14. This first meeting is free to everyone and anyone is welcome to attend. We shall have a quick introduction of the new committee team and chat about our plans for the society this year. You can also collect your Laser’d Keychain thingie at this event as well. We shall also build some quick spud cannons in preparation for our first social, Potato Archery, before heading off to the K-Bar to get to know each other better.

So long and thanks for all the fish

Now that the obligatory geeky title is out of the way, I would like to thank all of you for making TinkerSoc a great society. If we didn’t have you guys, the members, coming along and taking part it would be much less fun. This year was great for TinkerSoc, we really got back to our roots in electronic tinkering. Hopefully at least some of you have learnt something and that some of you are inspired to tinker in your own free time.

AGM, Elections and Finishing Up

Hi Everyone, Next week in the Sim Lab we are going to be holding our AGM and finishing off the work we’ve been doing. During the AGM the committee candidates are going to tell you why you should vote for them, and you’ll get a short run down of the year according toTinkerSoc. It’s very important that you attend so that you have a say in who’s representing you next year.

Turing for the tenner?

A petition has been started to discuss the possibility of putting Alan Turing on the new face of the £10 note. Turing is considered to be the father of computer science, and worked on breaking the Enigma code during WWII. As engineers and computer scientists (and even just as users of computers in general) we owe him a great deal. If you agree that this national hero deserves a place on the £10 note, you should sign this petition.

miniPOVs, LED Glue Stick Counter and Social

This Monday (6pm, Sim Lab) we are running a combined miniPOVs and LED glue stick counter session. Sadly, we could only procure enough parts to make up 5 miniPOVs kits, and as a result the first 5 members to email me will get a kit to use on Monday. The cost is £5, and due to availability this is strictly members only. If you don’t get to me in time, don’t worry!

Glue stick clock, miniPOV, and hoodies!

Hi Everyone, First off, the hoodies have arrived! I will bring the big box of hoodies to our session on Monday. On Monday at 6.00pm we will be finishing off the LED glue stick clock and also working on another kit, the miniPOV. If you want to make and keep a miniPOV the costs are going to be no more than last time (£5 for members, £10 for non-members), though may be lower.

Glue Stick Clocks, MiniPOVs and Hoodies

Hi Everyone, This Monday we’re running a practical session making clocks out of glue gun sticks and LEDs, see you in the Simulation Lab in Jennison at 6.00pm. For the two weeks after we’re going to be making a circuit called a miniPOV, a small board that you can spin around to make text appear in mid air. Also, still waiting on the hoodies, sorry. We’ll let you know as soon as we know anything.


Hi All, This Monday will be our OpenMic session and will be held in the Sim Lab in the Jennison building at 6.00pm. If you have anything cool to talk about please let us know. The week after we will be making miniPOVs, those cool things that you can wave around in the dark to show messages. Depending on our budget we’re going to try to get the prices lower than our previous kit, fingers crossed!

Rescheduled Schematics, OpenMic and Committee Posts

Hi Everyone, This weeks schematic design session has been rescheduled to this coming Monday (13th Feb), and as usual we will be in the Sim Lab in the Jennison building at 6.00pm. The OpenMic session has also been pushed back to the Monday after (20th Feb), so you still have time to tell us if you want to speak. Finally, a call for volunteers. Every society needs committee members, and all of the current committee are stepping down at the end of this year.

Schematics, OpenMic and Hoodies - [CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW]

Unfortunately due to the recent snowfall TinkerSoc tonight (Monday 13th) will be cancelled. I imagine the snow will be gone by the OpenMic next week, I’ll be in touch. In good news: The hoodie people have received the money, and are getting the hoodies printed. More news on that when I hear something. :) Cheers, Matt

Schematics, OpenMic and Hoodies

This Monday at 6.00pm in the Sim Lab as usual we will be running a schematics workshop. We will teach you about and give you hands on experience drawing schematics and fixing broken circuits. The week after (Monday 13th) we are going to be holding another OpenMic session - if you have any great new projects to talk about please get in touch! Also, the hoodies. There are currently issues with the payment getting from Kent Union to the hoodie people.

TV-B-Gone Programming and Hoodies

Hi Everyone! Hopefully everyone enjoyed our first trip to the lab this year, and some of you even had working TV-B-Gones. Result. This Monday at 6.00pm in the sim lab in the Jennison building we’re going to be teaching you how to program the chips, and heading off to somewhere with a TV to try it out. This will be a free session, just make sure you bring along the TV-B-Gone you made last week!

Wearables, OpenMic and a Disturbing Tape Thing

Last week’s session (tape sculptures) went well, our monstrosity of a creation even made it to reddit! Next Week This Monday at 6.00pm in KS14 we are going to be running our rescheduled wearables electronics workshop (unless a vital component doesn’t appear, in which case we’ll do something equally fun)! Please bring along some old clothes you’re willing to modifier, or failing that we do have a few hats that you can work on.

OpenMic, Beer and Hoodies

Next Week This Monday at 6.00pm in KS14 we’re hosting our second OpenMic of the year, and we have a list of talks including topics such as a home-made Keytar, a MakerBot and a computer controlled Lego railway. If you were eager to talk about something, please tell us! We always have room for an extra talk Coming weeks The week after we are going to be holding a pub social, where we’ll be going to be taking you to a couple of our favourite pubs in town.

Pumpkins, Hoodies and OpenMic

Next week I promised a wearable electronics for this Monday coming, but alas, there has been a change of plan. We will, instead, be running a joint pumpkin carving and simple circuitry session. So, no need to bring a t-shirt to ruin. Same time (6.00pm), same place (KS14). Next Month After the pumpkin carving and circuitry evening we will be running our second OpenMic of the year. We already have a few volunteers giving talks, but please get in touch if you have something awesome to share with us.

Buy a TinkerSoc Hoodie!

How to buy The TinkerSoc hoodies are now on sale at Just go to the left hand column and click “add to basket” for either the hoodie, t-shirt or both. Once you checkout you’ll be asked for your sizes. If you want one (and of course you want one!) make sure you order it quickly. We’re going to be sending out a bulk order once we have enough orders from you, so make sure you encourage your friends to get one!

Bottle Rocket Scores

Hi All, Here are the scores from Monday’s bottle rocket social: Name Distance (in Matt Paces) Berni 37 Rhian 21 Michael 17 Davoh 15 John 13 Rich 13 Jack 13 Peter 10 Adam 10 Ed 9 Joe 8 Ben 8 Oliver 8 Chris 7 Gairne 6 Mozilla Guy 5 Craig 5 Steve 0

Electronics, Geocaching and Hoodies

Hi Everybody, Congratulations to our two winners from our Bottle Rocket Social! The other scores are at, have a look to see how you did. Saturday This Saturday we will be GeoCaching! Have a look at the email from Mex for more info. Spaces are tight, but if you’re interested please get in touch with Monday Back to electronics next week with Breadboarding 101 in KS14 at 6.00pm on Monday as usual.

Bottle Rockets, Geocaching and Upcoming Electronics

Happy Thursday everyone! Hopefully you all enjoyed the OpenMic this week, thankfully we've already heard that a few of you want to give a presentation next time which will make it even better. Next Week This Monday at 6.00pm in KS14 we will be starting our Bottle Rocket Social. We will be spending a short while customising our rockets in KS14 and then promptly heading out to a grassy expanse of land and launching them.

OpenMic, Geocaching, JOIN US, and Bottle Rockets

Hopefully you all enjoyed the processing workshop this week, if you've completed any scripts we would love to see your code/screenshots to share on the website. Please send them on to ## Next Week ## This Monday at 6.00pm in KS14 we are hosting the first TinkerSoc OpenMic of the term! An OpenMic is an evening in you can share the cool things you've been working on, or even just something interesting, with the rest of the society in a short (~15 min) talk.

Processing, photos, joining and more

Next week Following a successful session last Monday we're going to be holding our second session, "An Introduction to Processing" this Monday at 6.00pm in KS14. Processing is a programming language designed towards artists and those with an interest in creating beautiful, mesmerising creations; it's also nice and simple to pick-up. We're going to try to get access to a computer room for the second half of the session, but if you have a laptop please bring it with you just in case.

Welcome to TinkerSoc!

Our first session will be held this Monday, meeting in KS4 (A seminar room in Keynes, don't worry, we'll put up signs) at 6.00pm. We will be playing with conductive PlayDoh to teach the basics of circuitry and electronics, and we'll be giving you a brief into to the society and its committee. The first two sessions are free to all, after that however you'll need to be a member to attend.

Welcome Freshers!

Hi everyone, Welcome to TinkerSoc, the only society at the University of Kent that introduces you to the skills, knowledge and motivation to tinker with everyday objects and have a fun time while doing so. I’m Matt, and I’m the president of TinkerSoc for the 2010/2011 academic year. I’m a computer scientist by trade, and am currently in my final year. I’ve been involved with TinkerSoc for three years, and am enthusiastic about playing with electronics in a fun way.


Just wanting to welcome our new members! We have lots of fun things planed for you this term, so if you havn't joined us yet on Kent Union site then please do. Membership is only £5! If you havn't done so already please like us on facebook.

Rundown of the term :)

So it's only taken me 2 months to put this up but never mind! It's here now. I hope everyone has had a good snow-day, but if you're a more than a wee bit bored now read this! So what have we done this term? We started with a fun freshers fayre where we had a record number of email addresses gathered (may've had something to do with our epic giveaways, including some handmade items by yours truly).

TinkerSoc Projects!

Hello Tinkerers! In a break from the norm, I (Chris, TinkerSoc President) am posting on the blog. Don't worry, I'll be quick :p Since our humble beginnings as "the Electronics Club" back in 2008, the School of Engineering and Digital Arts have been very interested in us and what we do - and not to mention supportive. This year we hope to further our relationship with the Department. (to show this: observe the banner on their website.

First Meeting!

Hello and Welcome back everyone! It was lovely to see so many people taking an interest in us at Fresher's Fayre, and we hope that we can interest you further still with what we are putting on in the next few weeks. Our first meeting will be this week, Wednesday 29th September. We will be meeting outside the main entrance to the library @ 6pmso everyone can find us, and then will troop down to the Rutherford JCR (junior common room) to do some Tinkering.

Freshers Fayre

Hello everyone, just a reminder that we will be at Freshers Fayre. Soon it will be time to renew memberships, and encourage others to sign up! Please do come see us to say hello! There will be plenty going on, and hopefully some goodies too! See you there! The TinkerSoc Team

Recent News

Hello all! I hope exams are going well for you, and wish those of you unlucky few, (like me) with plenty still to go, lots of luck! Well this week Chris and I went to the delightful Societies Federation meeting. Nothing really to report~ a few new societies ratified, and more vague hints towards the new website societies are being promised. We'll let you know more on that front when we know, but it should be the end for OnCampus (hurrah I hear you cry).

TinkerSoc Committee Elections

Greetings all fellow tinkers! This is Kezzy, your new communications officer elect! As many of you will know it was the TinkerSoc AGM last week. Thank you everyone who turned up and voted, it was great to show the union officers the effort you guys put into TinkerSoc, and great to see you all. So without further ado here are the new positions. President~ Chris Roberts (formerly Vice-President) Treasurer~ Emma Johnson (formerly Treasurer) Secretary~ Martin Ellis Communications Officer~ Kezzy Robins As you will have noticed, there is now no longer a vice-president position and there has been the creation of a communications officer.

TinkerSoc AGM This Week!

The time has come again for the TinkerSoc AGM and for us all to choose the committee for 2010/2011. The meeting will be at 6.00pm on Wednesday 7th April in KSLR4; we will give a short presentation on the past year, a discussion about the state of TinkerSoc and last but not least,we will hold our elections. As this is a meeting that directly affects every member, you will all need to be there.

Kit BuildFest 2010 - MintyBoost and MiniPOV

Last night we built some kits. We were aiming to just do the MintyBoost kits, however they were so quick and easy (most people took about 20 minutes) we decided to start off on some MiniPOV kits as well! (As seen above). Some people have been having some issues charging Apple devices with their MintyBoost. For the answer to this, have a look at the MintyBoost FAQ with the answers. It will require putting some different resistors into the kit - so if you’re having problems with it then come to the OpenLab next Monday (same time same place) and we will give you the required parts from our stock.

Kit BuildFest 2010

Today will be the first day of the Kit BuildFest 2010. First session is tonight at 6PM in the Jennison Lab, if you ordered a MintyBoost then please do come to build your kit! Photos will be coming soon!

OpenLabs this term

Greetings tinkerers, Starting tomorrow, we will be having the OpenLab sessions every Monday in the Jennison Building Project Labs to make/break/hack stuff and have fun during the process! Join us tomorrow to discuss our plans to modify an RC car to do awesome stuff. 6PM, Jennison Building. See you there!

Happy New Year!

Happy new year tinkerers! Stay tuned for more info on what we've got planned for this year! In the mean time, a 60's music video with a tune you may recognise:

Christmas CampusMod

Merry Christmas Tinkerers! This coming Monday we'll be spreading festive (and glowy) cheer throughout campus in our Christmas CampusMod event in the spirit of our very successful Freshers Mayhem. We'll be decorating the campus trees and social areas with custom-made TinkerSoc LED gadgets and have a good laugh at the time. This will be the last TinkerSoc event of the term, so make sure you

OpenMic #3

The next TinkerSoc event is going be an OpenMic evening on Monday, 7 December in our usual place (KLSR4) starting at our usual time (18:00). In OpenMic sessions we have short (~20mins max) slots for members to come and show the rest of the crowd cool stuff they have been working on or just stumbled upon. You can talk about anything you like or show random videos/pictures if you do not like talking.

Interfacing with Arduino

This week we had our introduction to the Arduino, and in next week's session we will be be going a bit more in-depth to tell you how to interface with the chip. We will cover how to connect your computer to your Arduino, your Arduino to the network, your doorbell to your Arduino to your computer, your website to your Arduino to your room lights... This workshop will be held in KLSR4 at 1800 hrs on Monday the 30th of November.

Intro to Arduino Next Monday

Next week we will be having our introduction to Arduino workshop. Arduino is a physical computing platform based on a simple open hardware design for a single-board microcontroller, with embedded I/O support and a standard programming language (which is essentially simplified C/C++). In Monday's workshop we will teach you the basics of embedded computing, talking about key concepts and applications and introduce you to the Arduino hardware/software.

Soldering 101/Wearable Electronics #2

Our next event is Soldering 101/Wearable Electronics #2, which will take place in the Jennison Building (Electronics) Project Labs this Monday (16th) at 18:00. Soldering 101 is kinda like our early Christmas celebration as we will teach you how to solder a circuit that looks like a christmas tree and has flashing LEDs! Come along if you’d like to learn how to use a soldering iron and/or if you are feeling festive, although it is a bit early.

TinkerSocial Tonight!

Hi Everyone, Now it's finally time to unleash our greatly anticipated plans for Monday's TinkerSocial! We're going to be having a scavenger crawl, a scavenger hunt combined with a pub crawl. We'll be starting in Origins at 1800hrs, and finishing sometime around 2300 (or whenever you want to duck out). Did I mention there were prizes? Nice prizes. Prizes so good you want

Wearable Electronics Workshop THIS MONDAY!

Now that you’ve been to our practical electronics workshop (or maybe you knew enough already :) ), you should come along to our wearable electronics workshop and put those skills to use. We’re going to combine your new found electronics skills with a little bit of sewing to make your clothes look flash and amazingly awesome/geeky. So, if you want to make your clothes look cool come along to our workshop next Monday at 6pm in the electronics laboratory (in the Jennison building, H3 on the second page of the campus map, and make sure you bring a spare t-shirt or a hat!

Practical Electronics Workshop

In this workshop we taught you the basics of electronics, covering key concepts such as current/voltage, resistance, capacitance etc. and we played around with breadboards and components to wire up some simple circuits! This workshop was mainly for non Electronic Engineering people and we tried to keep the theory to a minimum and focus on the practical applications. Hope you enjoyed it!

Intro Meeting and Processing Workshop

The first TinkerSoc meeting of this year has now occurred! It was held in KLSR4, in Keynes, and it was quite packed! We hope that all of you that attended enjoyed it, and want to come back next week (same time, same place) for more Tinkering. Omer did a presentation on what TinkerSoc is all about: we have the slideshow on the TinkerSoc slideshare. Summary: TinkerSoc is a group of people that like to tinker; pulling things appart, putting them back together, inventing, creating, and all the while having FUN!

Intro Meeting RESCHEDULED!

Due to some unforseen circumstances, including illness and beginning of term room booking craziness, we had to cancel the intro meeting this Monday (boo). BUT we have now rearranged the room booking, and I'm pleased to announce the time and location of the NEW intro meeting! KLSR4, from 1800 on Monday 5th October Location Directions: If you go into Keynes through the glass doors at the front, go right. Go past the reception (in a glass box) and then turn left.

Fresher's Mayhem

Everyone had a great time Friday evening, and there were many LEDs and glow sticks to be found. Hopefully everyone who wants to be is now signed up to the mailing list. If not, you can always email subscribe @ and we’ll add you to the mailing list straight away! See more photos of what we’ve been up to on the TinkerSoc Flickr Pool

Freshers' Mayhem!

Dear Fellow Tinkerers, We will have loads (LOADS!) of balloons and glowsticks to hand out this Friday(25th) and we invite you all to an evening of fun and mayhem! Like we did last year, we will be putting LEDs inside balloons and letting them loose all over the place, if you thought the trees around library looked a bit dull this is your chance to spice it up a little bit :) We are also planning on doing other stuff too and we will end the night in one of the fine establishments in campus to drink some adult beverages.

Sneak Peek at spiroID

Chris just uploaded a video of the spiroID project we have been working on, check it out! spiroID Demo from Chris Roberts on Vimeo. Come and find us in the Societies Fayre (24th, around Elliot) and get your unique spiroID!

New Website

Welcome to the new and improved TinkerSoc web site! Please have a look around and let us know if you find something broken :)

Hello Freshers!

Hey everyone, For those of you who just discovered TinkerSoc, a warm welcome first of all, and a quick note to say we have some pretty cool things planned for the new academic year, so stay tuned! If you want to keep track of our updates, add our RSS feed to your reader or find us on twitter (@tinkersoc) We will have a booth in the Societies Fayre, which should be happening on the 24th so pop in, say hi and see what we have planned for you :)

Project Bunny

Project Bunny is a go. Animatronic. Arduino powered. 6ft tall. Newspaper. Cute. Progress Watch this space.

TinkerSoc AGM

The TinkerSoc AGM will be taking place at 6:00PM on Wednesday 13th May, in the Lyons room in Eliot ( Location info ) The programme will be as follows: 1800-1830 Review of activities this year 1830-1845 Presentations for committee applicants 1845-1900 Elections, talk from current committee on plans for the coming year 1900-1915 Count of votes, election of new committee members 1915-???? Off to Mungos for a pint. The committee will have 4 roles: President Vice President Secretary Treasurer If you wish to be a candidate for election to any of the above positions, then please email a manifesto explaining why you would like to take the position (can be a couple of sentences) to me (chris@ukctinker.

LED Floaties Fun

We had an amazing time tonight making LED floaties and 'decorating' the campus with them, thanks to everyone who attended :) The pictures will be up on Flickr soon so check out our group pool for some fun photos. See you all at the next TinkerSoc event!

LED Floaties

Fancy making some LED Floaties? Come and find us outside K-Bar at about 7PM Tomorrow (Wednesday). We'll have the balloons, LEDs, batteries and tape ready to go. Hope to see you there!

TV-B-Gone Workshop - Success!

Thanks to everyone who turned up for this workshop - we hope you had as much fun as we did! As promised, we've uploaded a schematic and firmware of the TV-B-Gone kit: TinkerSoc TV-B-Gone Schematic TV-B-Gone Firmware Check out our flickr pool for more photos. If you have any feedback about the workshop, then do join the mailing list and start a discussion. If you've got an idea for a future workshop, then have a look at the Ideas Page on the wiki and add your idea.

Logo Fun

Check out this version of our logo made out of the TV-B-Gone PCBs by Chris :)

Tape Sculpture Workshop

Fancy covering your friends in packing tape and clingfilm? We'll be holding a tape sculpture workshop this Friday (13th February) in RLT2 at 1800-2000. Hopefully, we're going to make some ... interesting ... sculptures. We will be making the sculptures out of various things (including (consenting) humans), then putting LEDs in them, and "installing" them around campus. You don't need to put your name down anywhere, just turn up! We have enough clingfilm to cover a car park, so bring your (consenting) friends!

Logo competition over

The logo competition is finally over and as we only had one entry, the winning submission is dm242's 'Untitled #1' :) We have slightly tweaked it and currently it looks like this: We love it and hope to use that soon on some nifty TinkerSoc stuff!

OpenLab TV-B-Gone Edition *IS* FULLY BOOKED

Wow! That was quick! The OpenLab TV-B-Gone slots for kits has already been filled! However, if you're still interested in getting a kit, then add yourself to the waiting list on the wiki . If you put down some kind of contact detail, I'll get back to you if you've got a kit available. We've now got 20 slots available, so get your name down on the wiki if you want a kit!

OpenLab: TV-B-Gone Edition

The next OpenLab will be on Monday 16th February (starting at 17:00), and, due to popular demand, this time we have a plan. We will be providing you with all the component parts for a TV-B-Gone, and you can use the lab facilities to put it all together - or you can use the parts to build something completely different! It's all up to you. There will be plenty of knowledgeable people around to help out should you get stuck.

OpenLab Febuary 2nd CANCELLED

We have been informed that the UKC campus is closing at 1PM today to ensure that people don't get stranded in the bad weather. As such, tonight's OpenLab has had to be cancelled. I suggest that you go home, have a mug of hot chocolate (preferably Whittards), and make some snowmen. Maybe you can do better than mySnow Totoro. Pics or it didn't happen!

First OpenLab Session, and Altoids Tins

The first OpenLab session will be happening tomorrow (26th January 2009) at 1815 until 2015, in the Electronics Department Project Lab. If you want to attend, turn up outside the Electronics Department (by the binary clock) and give us a ring on 01227 808 199 and we'll let you in. If you're wondering what you might do at the OpenLab session, then how about giving the Altoids Tin competition a go?

Logo Competition Closing Soon!

The logo competiton will be coming to a close this coming Thursday (29th January), so if you want to submit an entry then get your skates on! The current winning (and only ...) entry is this: Missing image:"" If you think you can do better, submit your entry to the logo competition wiki page before Thursday.

Open Lab Sessions

We've been busy over Christmas, and we've got some good news! The Project Lab in Electronics Building will be open between 18:15 and 20:15 on Monday nights for you to use. You'll be able to use most of the resources of the lab, including soldering irons, oscilloscopes and power supplies during this time. In the near future (once we sort out some issues with Kent Union) we'll have our own kits for you to play with, including some Arduino boards.

Soldering 101: Success!

The workshop went well! And we have the photos and videos to prove it. Freeform LED Christmas Trees from Omer Kilic on Vimeo. PCB Christmas Tree from Omer Kilic on Vimeo. Take a look at the Flickr Pool for more photos.

Soldering101: Fully Booked!

The Soldering101 workshop has now filled all of the available slots! However, if you didn't manage to sign up for a slot, then you can still come along and do a bit of freeform soldering and make an abstract Christmas tree from LEDs that sits on top of a 9V battery. Maybe something like this: Soldering101 Workshop wiki page.

Soldering 101: Sign up!

We've organised our very first workshop! There will be two session taking place, at 11AM and 2PM on Monday the 15th December in the Project Lab in the Electronics Department. To get to it, go to the Electronics Department (opposite the Sports Center), go through the front door (past the binary clock), go down the stairs and turn right past the refreshments hatch. This workshop will teach you the basics of soldering, and we will be providing a festive kit for you to build to impress your friends and family with this Christmas.

December TinkerSoc Meeting

We've got a meeting tomorrow evening (Wednesday) from 7PM in Eliot Seminar Room 3. This meeting is open to anyone to attend, so bring any of your interested friends! We will have an informal chat about potential upcoming projects/workshops/events, as well as ideas for promotion of the society. Hope to see you there!

Re-Introduction to OrCAD Workshop

Re-Introduction to OrCAD Workshop Time: Friday 5th December, 2 PM Location: ELELT It’s that time of the year again when people start building their circuits for their projects only to realize they can’t remember a thing about OrCAD! So, to help you remember the basics of schematic entry, footprint hunting and layout creation, Omer will be presenting a short (~1hr) demo of creating a PCB from scratch this Friday at 2PM in the Electronics Lecture theater.

Logo Competition

We are in desperate need of a cool new logo for our cool new society and as with everything we do, we want the logo to be a community project (community designed and chosen!) If you fancy having a go at designing the logo that will be used on all society related stuff (posters, wearables, circuit boards, stickers etc), then take a look at the wiki page for the logo competition for information on how to submit your entry.

Comms: IRC

We've now got a chatroom for discussing things and stuff! The details are: #tinkersoc Or, if you prefer, you can connect via the website at the chat page. Check out the comms page for all the other communication options we have. Have fun!

We have a name!

Hello Folks, We have officially applied to Kent Union to start the Tinkering Society (or the TinkerSoc for daily usage) and we will soon be accepting members! You might also have noticed that we have moved on to our new shiny domain so if you come across any problems please let us know. There is lots going on and we have some really cool ideas planned so check out the wiki, where all the magic happens :)

First Meeting

We will be meeting at ElecSem2 between 12:00 and 13:00 on 12th Nov. (week7 - project week) to discuss our ideas and have a chat, come and join us if you're interested. For room information visit See you there! Omer.

Hello world!

Welcome to the 'Club' blog. We are in the early stages of organizing stuff so for the time being check out the Ideas page on the Wiki to see what is going on. Please feel free to join in and contribute to the wiki or leave a comment here!