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MAKE Newsletter

April 1, 2010

Welcome to the Make: Newsletter

Hello Fellow Movers, Makers, and Shakers!

Happy April! We hope spring is in your air 'cause it is most certainly in ours. As usual, we have fifty million exciting things going on and we're trying to keep our heads from exploding while breathing in that delicious new-season smell of spring. Here are a few highlights of what's going on with Maker Media at the moment:

MZ_MakeTime-Space_Badge2.gifMake: Time & Space – Our second quarter theme for Make: Online will explore all aspects of organizing your time and work environment to optimize them for making. We'll cover physical organization, project management hardware and software, tips on making time for making, spring cleaning inspirations, and more. If you have any thoughts, desires, or ideas on this subject, please email us.

MZ_GeekChic_Badge.gifGeek Chic – Our monthly theme for April we're calling Geek Chic. We'll be covering high-tech wearables/soft circuits, geek-centric "fashion" (science and tech-themed T-shirts and jewelry), and functional clothes that are made with work in mind. Feel free to email your suggestions for better exploring this theme.

Our first-quarter theme for the site was Maker Business. Even though the quarter is over, focusing in on the small (and not so small) business of making, turning your DIY passions into a vocation, is something we'll continue to explore on the site, in the magazine, and beyond. We're scheming, so stay tuned. On the site, we've created a new content area, called Maker Pro. It contains all of our Maker Business articles and will house any Maker Pro content going forward.

Our last monthly theme, DIY Movie Making, is now a new site category, too: Video Making. If you missed any of our coverage, check it out.

The Make: Robot Build is started to get interesting. See Matt Mets' write-up in this newsletter for more details.

Our incredible Maker Faire team is everywhere at once this year, planning amazing happenings for Maker Faire Bay Area (May 22 + 23), Maker Faire Detroit (July 31 + Aug 1), and Maker Faire New York (25 + 26). We hope that having these three events across the country will give you an opportunity to catch at least one of them this year. We guarantee it'll be an inspiring experience you'll never forget! The Detroit Call for Makers is open (see sidebar). Got something awesome to show and tell? Fill out a submission form.

The Makers Market is now in full swing, with new sellers hanging out their virtual shingles on a seemingly daily basis. Our very own Sean Ragan has become the Makers Market Community Manager and will be tasked with bringing the backstories on these inspiring artists and makers and their creations to the Make: Online readership.

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Keeping Up with CRAFT


Our creative colleagues over at CRAFT just wrapped up their month of UpCraft , featuring lots of projects to help you breathe new life into the things you have lying around the house. A favorite project is this one, by Andrew Salomone, which shows you how to take an old tire and some fabric and turn them into a fun and funky pair of retro-style running shoes. Coming up for April, CRAFT will cover all things related to gardening, with such projects as making a tackle box planter, building a raised flower bed using reclaimed wood, and constructing a DIY greenhouse for under $100!

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The Maker's Dictionary explores the world of DIY through its technical terms, jargon, and slang. We cover emerging terms you might hear floating around (but don't really know the meaning of), the tried and true argot of various technical disciplines (that all makers can benefit from knowing), and fun slang that helps paint a picture of DIY subcultures. If you have any terms or slang you want to share, send them to gareth@makezine.com. In honor of the latest MAKE magazine theme, this month's Maker's Dictionary is devoted to R/C-related terms. --Gareth

BNF (Bind-N-Fly) – A brand name for R/C hobby manufacturer Horizon Hobby's RTF (see below) models that make use of DSM (see below) radio technology. The reciever on the model locks onto the transmitter code on the R/C transmitter, in a process called binding.

Chunky Rain – Slang for a mid-air collision of R/C flyers.

DSM (Digital Spectrum Modulation) – The latest technology used in R/C. Uses the 2.4GHz band and auto-scans 79 channels to find an open one, preventing glitching (see below).

Glitcing – Loss of control over an R/C vehicle due to radio interference between the radio transmitter and the vehicle. Also called a hit.

Foamie – An R/C plane, usually homemade, constructed from foam (such as home insulation foam) and other cheap, lightweight materials.

Parkflyer – A small, manuverable, electric R/C plane that's designed to require only a small airspace, such as a park or large yard. Also "ParkZone," used by Horizon Hobby.

RTF (Ready to Fly)/RTR (Ready to Run) – An R/C model that is sold with little to no assembly required and that's basically ready to go right out of the box. Also, ATR (almost ready to run) and ATF (almost ready to fly).

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Our friend Kent Barnes sent us one of his easy 5-Minute Hacks, perfect for spring/Easter holiday. Just take an LED tea light and place a blown-out eggshell (that you've dyed, marker-painted, or otherwise decorated) over the LED, having cut a whole in the egg just big enough to accept the bulb. Kent aplogizes for his lack of artistic talent, but we find his little Peter Cottontail charming in an outsider art sorta way.




Over on Instructables, Kent also has another project to turn dead compact flourescent bulbs into LED Easter lights.

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Arduino Nano v3.0 in the Maker Shed!


The Arduino Nano V3.0 is the latest addition to the Arduino-compatible line. This new version plugs right into a standard breadboard, making prototyping your next project super easy. The board features an Atmel ATmega328 with 32KB of flash memory, 14 digital I/O pins, 8 analog pins, integrated USB, and automatic power selection. All of these features are packed into a small footprint of only 0.7”x1.7”. Learn more about this amazing little microcontroller in the Maker Shed. – Marc de Vinck


  • Automatic reset during program download
  • Power-indicating blue LED
  • Green (TX), red (RX), and orange (L) LED
  • Auto-sensing/switching power input
  • Small mini-B USB for programming and serial monitor
  • ICSP header for direct program download
  • Standard 0.1” spacing DIP (breadboard friendly)
  • Manual reset switch

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