So what's the issue?
Only nine months after having founded our hackerspace, in the middle of December 2010, we were evicted from our current location at Äusserer Nordbahnhof 12 (former Pfleiderer-Areal). The premises are being needed by their owner, the german railroad corporation, for their "Stuttgart 21" project, and they're going to demolish the whole building at the end of March 2011.
If we don't find a new location ASAP, the whole shackspace project might cease to exist shortly after its first birthday.
What is this "shackspace" thing you keep talking about?
The hackerspace was founded mid-February 2010 and had 23 founding members back then. In the last nine months, we've grown to over eighty members, having quickly become the second-largest hackerspace in Germany.
Alright, so what can I do to help?
- Join the club!
Your membership fee helps shack e.V. cover running expenses like rent, electricity, heating and Internet. The membership fee is 8 EUR per month for students, 20 EUR per month for everybody else, and we won't keep you from giving more than that.
Donations are being used to cover one-time costs, especially renovating and moving into a new location (estimated total cost 3000 to 3500 EUR). The remainder will be used buy the stuff and tools we need to be an even better hackerspace. You can find a more detailed breakdown below.
Here's how you can donate:
- Money Transfer
Account no.: 7016809500
German bank code (BLZ): 43060967 (GLS Bank)
IBAN DE44 4306 0967 7016 8095 00
Reference: "RESCUE SHACKSPACE"
Verwebdungszweck: "RESCUE SHACKSPACE"
- Money Transfer
We really, really need a new location fast, so if you can help us there, please go ahead and contact us!
- 150..250 sq m
- central location, easily accessible by road and public transport
- no closing hours whatsoever
- preferably in an industrial zone (no neighbors we might disturb during late nights)
- Donations in kind / commodity contributions
We'll happily accept all kinds of tools and furniture – feel free to browse our wish list for inspiration.
Why should I help you?
Being a non-profit organization, shack e.V. strives for a strong focus on education, targeted at both youth and adults. Our work covers technical areas such as development of electronics, hard- and software, but also encourages a creative approach to all kinds of technology, thus bridging the gap between technology and art.
With this, we offer education within an area that's both extremely important nowadays while at the same time not sufficiently covered by traditional means of education.
What does shackspace have to offer?
- Hands-on youth and adult education
In contrast to traditional institutions, shack e.V. boasts a large number of members (over eighty as of mid-December 2010) from a plethora of different professions (computer engineering, electrical engineering, education, social sciences, arts and new media, web development, …), all of them willing to share and combine their expertise. Because of this, we can approach problems from unconventional angles, often creating surprising results that extend beyond the scope of the original problem and learning a lot in the process.
On several occasions (including, but not limited to two Open-House Days and the "Hobby & Electronics" fair in Stuttgart), members and guests of shackspace held talks about a multitude of subjects. Among other topics, we already covered reverse engineering of harddisk passwords, web traffic analysis, web development, software development, panorama photography, network security and the new way of learning that's made possible by hackerspaces.
- Space for your projects
shackspace is open 24x7, and our members and guests meet at our location to work on projects together.
- Microcontroller-Forum Stuttgart
The Microcontroller-Forum Stuttgart is a subset of shack e.V. members aiming to support and promote development of electronic circuits, especially those involving microcontrollers.
We manage a small collection of common parts and five soldering stations for public use. We can support and execute all steps of electronic circuit design – schematic capture, PCB layout, etching of prototype boards, placing, soldering, programming and debugging.
Our latest acquisition is a professional SMT pick-and-place machine.
- Space for events
We already hosted a number of different events at shackspace, including, but not limited to two Open House days, a Chaosradio Express listener meet-up, the afterparty for Droid Camp Stuttgart 2010, a GTUG HTML5 Camp-Out, and this year's NoSQL Summer.
What projects do you have to show for yourselves?
shackspace offers the space, ambience and tools needed for you to realize your ideas. With all the projects going on, it's impossible to list them all, so here's a small taste:
- Infrastructure/Electronics: Portal
Electronic, cryptographic physical access control for shackspace. Based on a system developed by muC3 (CCC Munich), it features a WiFi access point, a microcontroller and a stepper motor that operates the door lock. Each member can request his/her own, unique software-based key to gain access to the hackerspace at any time.
- Electronics: blinken35
Minimal implementation of the classic Snake game on a 7x5 pixel LED display. Consists of the display, a resistor, an AtTiny microcontroller, three buttons and a battery.
- Electronics: shackuino
Breadboard-compatible clone of the well-known Arduino Duemilanove. Affordable and easy to build yourself because no surface-mounted devices are used. Costs half as much as the original Arduino and is therefore well suited for small projects, too.
- Infrastructure: World Domination Control
The artifact formerly known as The Electronics Workbench, refurbished and enhanced for all your everyday soldering and expermentation needs. Supplies low voltage AC and DC power as well as a couple of AC line sockets.
Permanent loan from our friends at pilarkto.org
- Infrastructure: Tinkerer's Table Top
Mobile table attachment that can transform two to three tables into four to six workplaces with AC line power, 5V and 12V DC power, solder fume extraction and storage space.
- Electronics: harddisk password recovery
Using a logic analyzer, we sniffed the data bus of an IDE harddisk and recovered a lost harddisk password that was still stored in the fingerprint reader of a notebook, but no longer in the owner's brain.
- Art: no fan & no fan either Lounge Light
Formerly used in a large air conditioner, a custom variable power supply and polishing the rotor blades transformed this high-powered three-phase fan into a cozy lounge light installation. The blades reflect a lamp's light upwards, creating a slowly rotating pattern of light and shadows on the wall and ceiling.
Power can be jacked up to 7200 rpm for demonstration and ventilation purposes.
- Electronics/Art: RGB Wall
We plan to build a large-scale RGB LED wall made from SMT parts, boasting 24bit true color and frame rates as high as 30fps. The design will be scalable and modular, and we already have a first working proof-of-concept circuit that's exhibited at shackspace.
- Art: blinkennerd
Two weeks later, we went to a public party with LEDs all over ourselves and left way more than half our LEDs at the party because people kept bumming them off us.
Creating a website and printing the URL onto the throwies was the logical next step, and now we're promoting our hackerspace the fun way.
- Infrastructure: Library
The space owns a collection of technical literarure (the real, dead-tree kind) for use by members and guests. Topics include hard- and software development, programming languages, operating systems, administration and of course the occasional vintage computer system.
- Infrastructure/Software: SVG2HPGL Converter for HP Draftmaster II pen plotter
Because controlling the plotter using an ancient version of CorelDraw was unbearably uncomfortable, we programmed a converter that directly transforms SVG files into the HPGL dialect needed by the plotter. We ended up with a web interface that everybody can use to upload SVG files to the plotter.
Multicolor plots are no problem, and pixel images are transformed into vector images on the fly.
- Art: shack Cajon
A Cajon is a percussion instrument originating from Peru. We built our Cajon by hand using a DIY kit and gave it its unique finish using a blowtorch and multiple layers of varnish.
Ah, nice – and what about public appearances?
- Open House 2010 & Party 23
2010-05-23 Some two months after we moved into our location, we introduced ourselves to Stuttgart by offering a whole day of guided tours, workshops, talks, games and a cozy get-together with food, drinks and music.
- Towel day & Chaosradio Express listener meet-up
2010-05-25 Only two days after our Open House, listeners and fans of Tim Pritlove's podcast called "Chaosradio Express" met at shackspace to discuss the podcast with Tim himself.
- GPN9/10 (Entropia, Karlsruhe)
2010-06-11/12/13 A delegation of shackspace members visited our friends at Entropia in Karlsruhe at the yearly Gulasch Programmiernacht, a hack-a-thon over one weekend focused on programming, tinkering and creativity. We spent the weekend realizing our projects, exchanging ideas with fellow hackers and generally having fun over cocktails.
- Droid Camp Stuttgart After party & lounge
2010-06-19 Our friends from the Stuttgart Google Technology User Group (StuGTUG) hosted the Droid Camp Stuttgart 2010, an event where mobile computing developers, especially those interested in the Google's Android platform, can meet to share ideas and experience. While the StuGTUG guys organized the main event, we took care of the after-event party, which took place at shackspace.
- GTUG HTML5 Campout
2010-08-13/14/15 Over this weekend, a bunch of GTUG campouts were conducted all over the world. The Stuttgart Google Technology User Group organized such a campout in collaboration with shackspace, and the campout took place at our location.
We spent the weekend looking into HTML5 and developing a simple web application with it.
- 1. LHC (RaumZeitLabor, Mannheim)
2010-08-27/28/29 A mysterious postcard invited us to the first German Large Hackerspace Convention at the RaumZeitLabor in Mannheim, so a group of shackspace members paid them a visit. Among other things, we brought the nofan, which actually got its name during that very convention.
- KDE Code-Sprint
2010-09-03/04/05 KDE developers from all over the state met at shackspace to spend a full weekend working on the popular graphical desktop for Linux, the free operating system.
- A NoSQL Summer
Summer 2010 A NOSQL Summer is a network of local reading groups that will decipher & discuss NoSQL-related articles, from late June to early September 2010. Each group sets its own meeting pace (usually once a week or once every two weeks) and selects which papers are up for discussion. One such reading group regularly met at shackspace over the summer of 2010.
- Stuttgart 42
2010-10-09/10 Time for another Open House day. We decided to celebrate on the weekend of 2010-10-10, because 10-10-10, read as a binary number, equals 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything else. Once more, we spent a fun day and night with talks, workshops and fellow hackers.
- Hobby & Electronics Fair 2010 and meet-the-shackspace day
2010-11-18/19/20/21 We presented ourselves at the Hobby & Electronics Fair 2010 in Stuttgart's fair and exhibition center. During the four days, we offered talks and workshops to visitors and exhibited a good number of our own projects.
2010-11-27 The following Saturday, all interested visitors from the Fair were invited to come to shackspace and get to know us in a cozy atmosphere.
- DeimHart podcast, episode 20
2010-12-04 In the beginning of December 2010, the gentlemen from deimhart.net and an interviewee met at shackspace to record episode 20 of their popular podcast.
Excerpt from their website [translated by us]: In episode 20, we're covering the programming language Perl. Our guest is Renée Bäcker, one of the most active members of the German Perl community. We had the opportunity to record our episode at shackspace, the hackerspace in Stuttgart.
- 27c3: 27th Chaos Communication Congress (bcc, Berlin)
2010-12-27/28/29/30 Once again, a bunch of members make their way to Berlin to visit the Chaos Communication Congress.
The Congress offers lectures and workshops on a multitude of topics and attracts a diverse audience of thousands of hackers, scientists, artists, and utopians from all around the world. For 27 years, the congress is organized by the community and appreciates all kinds of participation. You are encouraged to contribute by volunteering, setting up and attending hands-on events or presenting your own projects to fellow hackers.
2010-12-27/28/29/30 Back in Stuttgart, the members who didn't come to Berlin organized a Peace Mission, streaming the CCC talks live into shackspace. We've got snacks, drinks and lots of space to work on your own projects and get a whiff of CCC atmosphere.
So if I donate, what are you going to use my money for?
We're using your donations to cover one-time costs like the following – currently, the first three are top priority:
- Moving (estimate 500 EUR)
- Truck (rent)
- Hand lift (rent)
- Forklift (rent)
- Renovation (estimate 500-1000 EUR)
- Painting tools
- Protective sheets and tape
- Infrastructure (estimate 2000 EUR)
- Power (cables, ducts, sockets, separate loops, breakers)
- Network (GigE everywhere)
- Access control (WiFi locks on all exterior doors)
- Lighting (working lights, cozy ambient lighting)
- Plumbing (restrooms, kitchen, work area sink)
- Kitchen (stove, oven, kitchen sink, dishwasher, working surfaces, storage, utensils)
- Restrooms (toilets, showers, sinks, washing machine)
- Furniture (chairs, folding tables)
- Saw, grinder
- Pliers, clamps, vise
- 3D printer
- Laser cutter
- Metal shears, bender
- Vinyl cutter
- Post drill
- Screen printing machine
- Air compressor
There's also a regularly updated wish list of things we could use to build an even better hackerspace.
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Important information regarding our Corporate Identity
The expressions "shack", "shack e.V." and "shackspace" should always be written in lower case, even at the beginning of a sentence.
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