This is your invitation to get out and explore Milwaukee!
We’re just one of several dozen buildings that will be open this weekend for guests to come and visit. We will be giving tours both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, between 10 AM and 5 PM. If you visit, please enter at the north side of our building which is on Otjen Street.
Last summer I came across a collection of car parts at a garage sale; instrument clusters, lights, gauges, and some digital clock displays. For $5, I became the proud owner of a JECO Japan, vacuum fluorescent clock display. The plastic housing held all the clock electronics, membrane buttons for setting the time, and a four-pin connector. After powering it up, I realized one of the pins could be used to dim the display, which is a pretty nice feature to have.
I’ve worked on it off and on for a few months, but finally decided to finish it this weekend. On Saturday, I tweaked some dimensions and laser-cut the final enclosure. I wasn’t happy with the button holes and text I had on the front of the first iteration, so I got rid of them for the final. You can adjust the time by slipping a jeweler’s screwdriver or a paper clip through a gap in between the plexiglass sides and pressing the buttons to add hours or minutes.
I added a small single-pole, double-throw toggle to switch between bright and dim, then soldered the connections before closing it up. The whole thing is clamped together by a single #10-32 machine screw and a wingnut. The final result doesn’t look half bad.
For the longest time, members and guests were treated to this gorgeous sight:
We can do better! All it took was some scrap metal, an old light fixture, and scrounged hardware. Grinding, welding, drilling, done.
Ninety minutes later, I had chucked the vile plastic bucket in the dumpster and this hotness was bolted to the wall. One project done and a great way to start the Memorial Day weekend.
Join us for The Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth at Wisconsin State Fair Park September 23rd & 24th, 2017. Admission is free. A joint presentation by Milwaukee Makerspace and the Betty Brinn Children's Museum.
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