Last week we had our first biohacking workshop at foam kernow with the London Biohackspace. We had a great turnout and an interesting mix of people. Amber has written a more complete overview of the event.
For more information on yeastograms and how to make your own there is more info here. One of the things we helped with was the construction of a high power UV LED array needed to expose the cultures to radiation. We used 19 LEDs from here powered in 3 chains of 5 and one of 4 at 20V drawing 1.2A. After battling Ohms law for a while we found this site to be immensely useful. We also spent a lot of time on the LED heat sinks and cooling with an old PC fan – but the only problem we had was with the limiting resistors which overheated resulting in a last minute shopping trip to get some 10W rated bigguns. After that everything ran warm rather than hot and could be left overnight. One very important thing to mention with the UV light is to get proper eye protection when working with this, and not just dodgy sunglasses.
A short update on the things currently going on at Foam Kernow alongside the stuff I’ve been blogging about lately. We are near completion of a new version of the butterfly hunting game – this time being developed for the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, where it will be a citizen science exhibit to collect data on visitor’s perceptions of the wing patterns. A brand new Open Sauces web tool is under development as well, much conversation concerning database models for cuisines, menus, recipes, ingredients and flavours.
We’re planning our first ever biohacking workshop, in Cornwall led by the London Biohackspace. As part of that we need to construct a bunch of high power LEDs to expose yeastograms to UV light to create pictures. With all the precautions required for this (you don’t want to get too close to them), it seems like we’re constructing a giant space laser.
The beginning of the year has also been about moving long running projects on to their next stage. Mongoose 2000 has now had 4 months of parallel data collection in Uganda at the same time as their old system, and they agree by 98%, which is good enough for them to move completely over to the Raspberry Pi and android tablets. We’ve also incorporated a ton of feedback from this testing time. Symbai also has been improved ready for it’s next outing to India in May, mostly synchronisation fixes as this system needs to sync photographs and audio files as well. Also a bit of in depth reading about SQLite’s query planner has led to a dramatic speedup for both these applications.
Also in the workshop vein – this year’s Raspberry Pi Minecraft hacking workshop will be happening on April 2nd at dBsMusic in Cornwall College. Bring on the networked mayhem!