MMPIS2 is up, at last, for now!

I’m a big fan of getting projects done. Not all of my projects get done. Sometimes a project being “done” is just about learning something. Like, all the ways things can go wrong. I did not keep detailed logs of the project known as MMPIS2 because it was meant to be a clone of MMPIS, and should have taken, at most, a few hours… not just shy of a year. But finally! MMPIS2 is working!

We originally had the idea before March 2017. Before that I had worked on using an HDMI to VGA converter to use a really old TV as a display. I think we got as far as hanging it on the wall but then I never got the hardware, and I also didn’t get around to producing low-resolution versions of the pages it would display. (It was one of those “We could do this!” moments without asking if we should do it.)

Eventually Tom brought in some better TVs, and then there was a swap and on went away, but we still had one, so we put it on the wall. Tony they jumped in to connect up the Pi and realized that the TV was locked (!?!?) and could only be unlocked with the remote control, which we did not have.

Oh, and somewhere along the way I had to find metric hardware. Looking for the correct length 6mm bolts at the space was a challenge, but with enough washers I found some that worked! (When I told this to Tom he said he’s bring in a pile of extra hardware from some old TV mounts.)

We gave up on the TV because no one wanted to order a remote (or thought about it) until later when Maks thought about doing it when I said we should smash the TV. (We didn’t. I think. Wait, maybe we did.)

Along the way there was also an issue with no Ethernet cable nearby, so I had to get a WiFi dongle and configure that. We also lacked a power cord that was long enough (had one at home) and an HDMI cable (had plenty at home) so yeah… fun times!

Then a member posted about a big TV he wanted to get rid of. It had no sound, which was fine with us! I picked it up from him and also got some audio stuff for the Dalek Asylum folks. Now we had a working TV, we just had to mount it. Wait, okay, holes are not the same. Time to cut a new piece of wood and attach it. I let Maks mark the holes to drill. It didn’t go well. I then showed him how to “elongate” holes with a drill. We also may have used a file. It eventually worked, taking 10 times longer than it should have…

Once the TV was up… it all worked! Hurray! And then… I came back a week later and the file system had gone corrupt. Sigh… start over. It took me a few weeks to remember to fix it, and when I finally did it worked again!

Also, the 3D printed plastic case was a little tight and the power cord didn’t fit right, so I used a cutter to nibble away some of the plastic. I cut too much and a piece broke. Tape fixed it well enough…

Since it was up and running, I tried to access MMPIS to copy the URLS to MMPIS2. No good. I checked the IP address Dan gave me, then I ran NMAP looking for things with port 8080 listening, and… nothing. Seems the software decided to stop running the web server or something. Dan SSH’d in and then we both worked on getting the data we needed from SQLite3 (more fun!) and then setting it up on MMPIS2. Also, two of the URLs he gave me didn’t work, seems he rewrote the code and the URLs changed… and then the server was unavailable. Of course it was.

So with this blog post, I declare MMPIS2 tentatively done! I still plan to swap out a few thing and make a backup. Totally. Backup this time.

Somewhere along the way I mentioned to Dan that this should have taken a few hours, not close to a year. He mentioned how I should probably go build one for work in the meantime, and I mentioned that I already did.

Maker Faire Milwaukee is Coming!

Good News, Everyone! Maker Faire Milwaukee returns for its fifth year! Milwaukee Makerspace is once again proud to be the co-host of the event along with the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. We’ll be at Wisconsin State Fair Park on the weekend of September 29th & 30th, 2018.

If you’re interested in learning more about the event, or being involved in some way (as a maker, a volunteer, etc.) consider joining us for the first planning meeting of the year. We’ll be holding the meeting at the new headquarters for Maker Faire Milwaukee, Brinn Labs, which is just a mile north of the space.

The Maker Faire Milwaukee Planning Meeting is set for February 8 at 6:30pm at 433 E Stewart St. in Bay View. We hope to see you there!

Boxes, Tables, Lamps, and Signs

Vishal has been working on the front panel for the battery electrical box for his boat. The panel displays the master fuse and (2) watt meters that shows inputs and outputs to the battery bank.

He used the laser cutter and Acrylic bender to cut and bend the pieces into brackets to mount the meters.

Ben finished a black walnut dining table (with the help of Wolfgang, Shane, Steve, Bill, Rick, and other members) and he also built some nice modernist lamps that he showed at Hover Craft.

Rich and Bill built a sign for the foyer of their condo building. The wood part of the sign is 43″ in diameter and constructed using walnut, cherry, 2″ rivets for accent and the letter “W” is 44″ x 34″ and is made from 16 gauge metal.

Photos from the Makerspace

In an effort to share more visuals from Milwaukee Makerspace we’ve decided to start doing some photo roundups of thing we see at the space mixed in with shots of projects people share on the mailing list. Enjoy the first batch!

Isaac made this engraving guide you can use with the laser cutters. If you want a nice 1″ grid on the bed to see where you need to set your materials for etching, this might be useful!


Greg made this (literal) guitar amp as a gift. He got some help with the electronics from other members and put the rest together himself. It’s looking awesome!

Mat has been putting the large powder coating oven to good use to recycle HDPE scrap into blocks and sheet material. This is basically “plastic lumber” that is strong, durable, and ready to be cut, drilled, or milled.

Jake has been ramping up some of his Tesla Knight Productions projects and is almost done with a set of apple boxes for MKE Production Rental.

There’s a new group project happening in the hallway near the Laser Lab. Want to learn about aeroponics and grow some plants? Join the fun!

Check out these feet! Or least a Fusion 360 rendering of some feet…

After Billy spent some quality time with the CNC router…

He’s got some great looking feet for a lamp project he’s been working on.

Kathy H. upcycled some Knob Creek bourbon bottles into this lovely holiday decoration. She got the idea from Pinterest and used some old sheet music from a book she got at an estate sale. The letters were cut out using the laser cutter and then decorated and attached.

And last (but not least) is this wooden 3D vase created using the laser cutter. Marcin (one of our new Laser Lab Area Champions) has been doing some amazing work lately, and helping to keep the laser cutters running and well maintained. Thanks, Marcin!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this photo roundup… We’re already planning to do it again next month!

Pleasant Prairie Mini Maker Faire

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving we headed down to Pleasant Prairie to take part in the second Pleasant Prairie Mini Maker Faire. It was a small event, with about 40 makers and 1,400 attendees but we had a good time showing off some of our projects and taking to people about making.

As always, Mark’s Van de Graaff generator was a big hit, shocking young and old alike, and making people’s hair stand up on end. Mark also brought Ultra MegaMax Dominator so people could see a huge DIY 3D printer in action. (Sadly since the event was so short, he couldn’t do a very large print, but he had some to show off.)

Besides Mark’s UMMD I brought a 3D printing pen I got from Monoprice for cheap and Shane and I made various 3D printed “doodles” with the pen while talking to people about it. At least a few visitors were interested in it as a holiday gift.

Besides Mark, Shane, and myself, Karen was there and did a bit more of her melted crayon ornament craft for people. We also had a few other members show up and hang out for a while, which was nice as it gave us a break to check out the Faire.

Oh, as for the venue, it was at the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex which was like a YMCA, and it was a little weird that there were basketball games going on right behind us, but luckily there were able to use the pool for a cardboard boat regatta that some of the young makers took part in. There was plenty of room for Makers, and I can imagine that the Faire will grow over the years and have plenty of space to double in size.

See you next year, Pleasant Prairie!