The Dorset Constructorium
|The Dorset Constructorium|
State or District
|City||Bournemouth or Poole|
Date of founding
Number of members
Size of rooms
|Location||50° 44' 26" N, 1° 52' 46" W|
 Sign Up!
We have a Google Group here:
If you're in the south-east Dorset area and interested in getting together to build things, hack things and constructively destroy things, please sign up to the group and join in the discussion! Once we have a few more members, we'll be using the Google Group to organise some real-world meetups.
 Things we've already done
 Active Recruiting
At this point we probably want to get up to 10-20 members in order to make future things possible. Thoughts:
- Posters at Bournemouth Uni / B&P college. Not sure what their poster policy is, but I can almost certainly get hold of students / lecturers there.
EDIT: Danfox: I have now designed and printed a few of Poster v.0.1 - design available to registered members with correct permissions at the Freedom Of Form Forum at the Vulpine Designs website (link on right)
- Advert in the Echo? Quick way of reaching many people, but low percentage of hacker-types.
 Pub Meets
We will need to make the jump into meatspace meetings with the lowest possible cost, as until the community comes together people will not want to pay significant amounts. We can start just by arranging times and dates to meet in a relatively quiet pub and talk.
 Temporary Hiring
The SoutHACKton guys have hired places such as Scout huts, cafes and office spaces for evening / one-day events using their members with the appropriate contacts, usually quite cheaply. e.g. one hacker was also a Scoutmaster, and they used the Scout hut for a day-long hackathon in exchange for donations.
 Finding a Place
This is the big step - finding a place that is the right size, location and price may be very difficult indeed. This is our end goal, but I think it would be a mistake to rush into it too quickly. Stay at the previous stage until the group is large and meets very regularly, *then* members might be in the mood to find the kind of money that hiring a proper hackerspace would require. For now, the co-ordinates are for Vulpine Designs Unlimited HQ, which is not particularly suited to large gatherings.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aohww8gWi1bKdDhyR05rTDliYmxma1d6eGlHM3RzdFE&usp=sharing is a spreadsheet of the possible places so far offered to us.
Hackers are probably quite averse to this, in general! :) However, once we start thinking about renting property, collecting fees and buying equipment, we are going to have to start designating people as having responsibility - someone named on the rental agreement, someone to act as treasurer, and the capability to vote for and remove these people.
 Equipment of our Own
Once we have a place, we can start buying equipment for the hackerspace - power supplies, oscilloscopes, computers, specialist parts for other things - anything that many people want but no-one individually can afford.
 Things we can do once we have a place to do them in
Here are listed some of the ideas for useful projects for the hackerspace to get stuck into. Please add your own as you think of them. The order they appear on this page is not necessarily the order they will be done in, that will be decided in a democratic way where we vote for the projects we think are needed the most. Some larger ideas may require a certain level of funds before they can be activated.
- Hackspace-owned Raspberry Pis for general software / electronics hackery (technical, computer geekery)
- Neurosky Mindwave and similar brain-computer interface headgear (technical, computer geekery, neuroscience)
- CNC machine (possibly adaptable to a 3D printer) made of printer parts. (technical, computer geekery, eco-friendly)
- Google Glass style steampunk/welding AR goggles. To be connected to a smartphone running Ubuntu Mobile when available. (technical, computer geekery)
- 3D printer (if CNC machine not adaptable or if required separately) (technical, computer geekery)
- Bike trailer made of old bikes, roof bolts and ladders (RL example available of how these are done - please note it's not perfect) (technical, crafty & creative)
- Making a model railway controller (electronics)
- Computer assembly workshops (technical, computer geekery)
- Dremel Centrifuge (may need 3D printed parts) (crafty & creative, technical, hardware for wetware)
- Making a metal detector (RL example available at the Cleckheaton Constructorium, can be brought South on request. Spare circuit boards from this still available) (crafty and creative, electronics, archaeology, numismatics)
- Wooden pinball machine with rubber bands and nails (lo-tech, off-grid) (subsequently, electronics project) (RL example MAY POSSIBLY be found in Cleckheaton or Bridlington or may only be in photographic form) (crafty and creative).
- Pressure activated LED Chess table (partially built, at Cleckheaton Constructorium, to be brought South on request. Requires some rework) (crafty and creative, electronics).
- Hack the heck out of an Asus Eee 701 (requires new SSD and battery) (technical, computer geekery)
- rust proofing a mahoosive quantity of Scalextric so it can be used long-term without rusting. (side project, painting, requires a lot of rear windscreen heater repair paint).
- Book scanner (technical, computer geekery)
- Continuous Ink System workshops to get the most out of your inkjet like we do. (technical, computer geekery, eco-friendly)
- Bike repair workshops (technical, eco-friendly)
- Possibly looking into DIYBio in the longer term alongside the above. (technical, wetware)
There will also be a steady flow of graphic design and PR requirements to keep the place active, organising of members and what they're doing. There may be web and software coding opportunities too for those with some experience - a great way to enrich your CV and portfolio with some feelgood community work.
 World Domination
Interested? Add your blurb here!
 Danfox Davies
I am interested in starting a hackerspace in the Bournemouth, Poole or possibly Christchurch area called the Dorset Constructorium. I run a small business which can act as the umbrella and monetary administration of the space. I have some useful items, bits and pieces and half-planned projects to contribute, along with a wealth of hand and power tools to share and a mass of Scalextric track. I have plenty of ideas for cool projects and things we can do once the place is put together. What I don't have is:
- Money (we will need a bit of investment followed by sensibly priced subs)
- People who are interested
- Space (a place in which to have our hackerspace - could we get an old industrial unit or shop basement or shop attic or somesuch?)
- Much time per week or month in which to work on this.
I therefore ask that those who are interested consider whether you or someone you know can bring any of the above into the recipe. With enough people, we should be able to fulfil the above requirements and successfully get a vibrant community hackerspace started.
My Dad brought me up on a diet of DIY, technical drawing and old computer games and of knowing how to do things myself. I'd like to help others to learn and understand these practical skills for themselves. Please note, anywhere I mention the Cleckheaton Constructorium, it is not (at least not yet) a hackerspace, nor was it. It was a private workshop which functioned quite like one, however. I am therefore making a hackerspace out of an extension on the format that is my Dad's garage. An extension to inviting all and sundry in on the fun - something my Dad would balk at doing himself but I might change his mind if we can make this work ;-)
Vulpine Designs Unlimited
Freedom Of Form: a product of community spirit / the future comes in a kit / society will benefit
 Ian Renton
Ian here (of Raspberry Tank fame). I am a software engineer and part-time robot tinkerer. I'd love to join / help found a hackerspace in or around Bournemouth. I can offer some simple electronics tools, programming and electronics experience, and a rampant enthusiasm for getting people into robotics!