Starting a new year with a new beginning, Tuesday Open Night will be at our new digs at 33 Kent Ave.
For more locations details, see our newly updated location page
It’s very much a work in progress—don’t think we have Internet yet—but you’ll get a sneak preview of what Kwartzlab will be in 2013.
Hacky New Year!
The first part of the Kent St. renovation started last night by removing walls on the second floor.
Darcy, Ed and Ben tearing down the walls so that the new floor plan can be constructed.
While I managed to partially simulate a Tama-Go figure a few months ago, I’ve been having problems with reliability ever since. After a few frames, the image would start “rolling” down the screen. I eventually figured out that this was due to timing issues (as usual) and used a board with a faster microcontroller to simulate the ROM so that it can run reliably for several hours.
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Cherie Fawcett will be wrapping up her tenure as Kwartzlab Artist in Residence at the end of the month. This week, she will be hosting both her Artist in Residence talk during Tuesday Open Night and her workshop on Wednesday.
Tuesday December 18th 7:30–8PM
Artist Workshop: Memories and Artifacts
Wednesday December 19th 7–9PM
The workshop will be directed by Cherie Fawcett and will explore memory and sentimentality. Participants of this workshop are asked to bring either a sentimental or mundane object along with them. There will be two parts for this evening. Firstly, the participants will render the object/objects that they brought with them in any style that they chose. For the second half of the workshop, participants will think of a memory or story surrounding this object and explore this concept in any style that they chose.
If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please RSVP Cherie at email@example.com.
There will be a $5 fee for this workshop to cover the cost of supplies.
Cherie Fawcett was born in Sudbury Ontario. As a child, her family frequently uprooted, and to this date she has lived in 22 different houses. Constant relocation brought with it a strong interest in the idea of relationships, recreating identities, as well as the temporality of memory. More specifically, she focuses on how documentation—whether it be photographic, film, text, or collected objects—can influence how and what we recall.
Cherie lives in Kitchener, Ontario. She received her BA from the University of Waterloo in 2011. Upon graduation, she was presented with the RCAA Howe Award. For the past few years, Cherie has curated at local galleries including The Artery Gallery and WalterFedy. She has an upcoming curation at Cambridge Galleries in September 2013. She is currently working at Kwartzlab as their Artist in Residence until the end of the 2012 year.
Ben and I just signed a lease for Kwartzlab’s new home for at least the next couple of years.
We’ve discussing the move for weeks and the board just approved the lease agreement today. We’ll be moving over the next month and a bit, with a grand opening sometime in February 2013.
The new building, 33 Kent Ave. in Kitchener, has up until recently been the home of the Pandora Press publishing company and book shop. It’s got a beautiful store front, a shop in the back with a garage door, concrete floors, ventilation and three phase power and it’s got a room upstairs which will make a fantastic clubhouse and lounge. It’s a bit smaller than we’re used to, but we’re working on ways to get all our stuff in there, along with equipment we’re planning on purchasing in the near future.
Pandora is right on the corner of Charles and Kent, steps away from the Iron Horse Trail and a couple blocks from the Ottawa Street iXpress stop. Thousands of people ride and drive by every day, and this is an amazing opportunity for Kwartzlab to become more visible and accessible to the community.
I can’t think of a better home for Kwartzlab: Phase 2.
We wouldn’t have found this place without the help and support of friends we’ve made in the community. The owner and landlord, Christian, is on the board of MT Space, and we were put in touch through through our mutual friend Gabrielle at Treehaus. We’ve also had fantastic support from the City of Kitchener scouting out potential new locations. Many thanks!
Update: I’ve uploaded some photos from our tour of the place last month.
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements in the coming days!
We seem to have run into a wall again with the board mill.
Just before last week’s TON I had a bit of an epiphany which cleared up a little mystery but we are otherwise at a standstill again.
The epiphany relates to the relationship between the various microswitches (sensing open covers, tool crib position, and presence of an adequate supply of compressed air) and the value read from “register 6″ on the HF board. When I had been manually sending read commands for this register while actuating the various switches, I at first started jotting down numbers like 0226C, which seemed to map the switches combinatorially, as if the register was returning some interpreted status rather than just 5 bits for 5 switches. Eventually I realized that the ‘C’ was just the command-completion letter, returned by the mill after completion of each command, but values like 0x236 still made no sense. The epiphany was to realize that the ‘C’ had got me thinking the number was hexadecimal, and that mindset remained even after realizing the ‘C’ was not part of the number.
Interpreting the results of the read-register operation as decimal values makes much more sense: the 5 lower bits map to the 5 switches, while the upper three bits are always on (as their inputs are unconnected other than a pullup resistor). So a value like 226 (0xE2) shows the three stuck bits and one microswitch open.
Other that that, not much has been determined. Tonight we looked into whether there was some other switch or interlock that was missing; this might explain the error message that we “had attempted to stop” the tool change. We traced the wiring from the header on the HF board to the known switches and solenoids, but found no place where some other switch might have been connected.
Maybe next week we will try just grounding the other three input lines to see if this makes any difference.
I still find it suspicious that the last command issued before the error message is a read of register 5 (not 6), which returns a zero value. Register 5 at the CPU level is the output bank used to drive the tool crib solenoids. The external wiring of these CPU pins does not provide for any input, so the value read would be whatever the CPU wrote to the solenoids. That just seems to be a strange thing to do… Perhaps some of the bits in this register have been programmed for their special purpose rather than GPIO. I will have to look at the processor documentation to see what special purposes these bits can have.