Past Workshops & Events

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Date Event Name Description Run By
25 January 2016 Workshop &
Live Music Session:

How To Be a ZX Spectrum Chiptunes Rockstar
Our own Matt Westcott, aka Gasman, will be presenting a live chiptunes music hacking workshop and demo that is likely to be a heck of a lot of fun, and just in time to get people's imaginations going before this year's EMF, the last one of which was where a few of us first met his alter ego on stage among the lasers.

How to be a ZX Spectrum Chiptunes Rockstar

Chiptunes are pieces of music created for lo-fi sound chips using simple waveforms - the sort of thing you might know from 1980s video games. Matt Westcott takes chiptunes created on his Sinclair ZX Spectrum and trusty keytar, and turns them into rockstar performances at the likes of EMFcamp and CCC: <>. In this workshop, he will demonstrate the tools of his trade, and the creative challenges of making music on limited hardware, by attempting to create a chiptune cover version of a pop song chosen by the audience, in one hour.

Matt W., Lauren
7 January 2016 Talk:
Putting Code Club in Your New Year Plans!
On 7th Jan, Tim Wilson, our new regional co-ordinator for Code Club will talk to us at 7pm - the title he has suggested is "Putting Code Club in your New Year plans!" Code Club is now part of the Raspberry Pi foundation, so it will be interesting to find out what effect this merge has had on Code Club's plans. Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested: in particular potential volunteers and primary teachers, as well as existing volunteers who'd like to meet their local co-ordinator. Tim Wilson, Peter L.
17 December 2015 Workshop:
Raspberry Pi, PiTrol & Micro:bit
Nevil Hunt and his PiTrol game controller for the RPi (and other fun things) will be along on Thursday and...he's bringing along a micro:bit. (I did ask Nevil to last week's Raspberry Jam, but he couldn't make it). The micro:bit is an mbed based wearable microcontroller gadget with LEDs and every year 7 kid (1st year secondary in old money) in the UK is going to be given one courtesy of the BBC's Make it Digital project, so there'll be a huge number of them around very shortly, hopefully accompanied by interested kids. Nevil Hunt, Peter L.
10 December 2015 Workshop:
Making & Appreciating Cider--Workshop & Taster Session
This talk will cover the subject of cider: what it is, how it is made, and what factors give a cider its character. Part of the evening will involve a comparative tasting session of a selection of ciders and representative varieties of apple. If you wish to partake of this session then a recommended £2 donation to the hackspace to cover costs is required. Jenny, Lauren
9 December 2015 Meetup:
Oxhack's First Raspberry Pi Jam
Announcing Oxhack's first Raspberry Jam event for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts. Raspberry Jams are events organised by the community to share knowledge, learn new things, and meet other Pi enthusiasts. A typical Raspberry Jam will consist of a show-and-tell session, at which attendees give short presentations on the Raspberry Pi projects they have worked on. The projects will often be there for other attendees to see for themselves and seek inspiration from.

Our lovely member Jenny has been seeking to revive the Oxford Raspberry Jam scene, and the new space is the perfect place to try it. There should be a fair few outside enthusiasts coming to this one in addition to our own people, and projects will be show-and-told on the projector screen at the front of the main room. So come one, come all, grab a drink and see what zany things people have cooked up this time! We're hoping that this will become a regular event, to coincide with Wednesday microcontroller nights.

Jenny, Lauren
9 December 2015 Open Evening:
"The Basement" Official Opening
This was an open evening for the basement floor of the Oxford Centre for Innovation building, which is being marketed as The Basement, where Oxford Hackspace has our facilities alongside a classroom educational space operated by The Oxford Trust. Political people, trustees, stakeholders of other TOT projects, and some other occupants of the OCFI building joined us to take a tour, have a chat, play with 3D printed ukeleles and laser cut quadcopters, see the shiny new 106w A0 laser cutter, see a persistence of vision light painting demonstration, observe the robot glockenspiel playing Christmas music, have the machine tools demoed for them, get 3D scanned and 3D printed as miniature figurines, see a decapped microchip through our microscope, and play with an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Lauren, Oxford Trust
14 November 2015 Hackathon:
Ada Lovelace Hackathon 2015
Celebrate Ada Lovelace’s 200th birthday in style by joining the Ada Lovelace hackathon! We’ll be using the equipment and expertise of the Oxford Hackspace to create new physical computing projects, inspired by her works. We’ll have access to 3D printing, laser cutting, electronics, CNC machines, and much more.

Projects suggested so far include: Laser-cutting cogs and carrying arms to build the adding mechanism of the Analytical Engine; Building a card reader; Using a card reader to make other things happen – a music box, bells, whistles, puppets, or automata; A new robot version of the “calculus of the nervous system”, or 3D printing of some or all of the real neuronal network of a nematode worm; A music machine.

Beth M., Lauren, Phil B.;
~60 people attended
28 October 2015 Talk:
"Nanotechnology & 3D Printing:
AI and Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM): Don't Expect One Without the Other
Both artificial intelligence (AI) and atomically precise manufacturing (APM) are self-applicable technologies that could potentially reach threshold capabilities that enable rapid and far-reaching progress. In addition, however, each of these technologies has the potential to advance the other, AI by facilitating the design of physical systems, and APM by multiplying computational capacity. What does this prospect suggest for the general contours of the future, and for the nature of the challenges we face?

Often described as "the founding father of nanotechnology", Eric Drexler introduced the concept in his 1981 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which established fundamental principles of molecular engineering and outlined development paths to advanced nanotechnologies. His doctoral thesis at MIT has been the basis for the book Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation (1992). This talk was organized by the Oxford Transhumanism and Emerging Technologies student society, and is being hosted jointly by the Oxford Uni 3D Printing Society, with whom we are partnering around 3D printing, and us.

Lauren, Oxford Transhumanism & Emerging Technologies student society, Oxford University 3D Printing Society
17 September 2015 Group Project:
Transforming Simon the Skeleton into a Robot, Part 1
This is an ongoing project. Simon the skeleton has lived at Science Oxford for a bit. His joints need minor repair and he needs his skull re-attaching. Once he's feeling better, he can then be donated to a school. I offered to help with this, which is why there's a skeleton model in the new space. [...] Executive summary: yes we can animate Simon's jaw and skull. I also like the idea of LEDs (blue?) in his eye sockets. If we can do some of this by the time of SO's Halloween themed workshops next month, so much the better. [...] If we have to make a part for the skull, let's try to leave enough space for a small breadboard and an Arduino Nano inside and make a swivel than can be servo operated, so he can turn to glare at terrified children. I don't suppose anyone can equip him with a hooded cloak and maybe a scythe or hourglass? Peter L., Paul M.
15 April 2015 Workshop:
Light Painting, Part 2
We held the first part of the light-painting workshop series in the space last Monday, and it was awesome fun. We took a bunch of photos using Tim's LED strip and Hugh's various light-sources (including EL wire, colour-changing LEDs, torches, and laser pointers). For part 2 of this series, I'd like to spend some time helping you to make your own LED painting rig. To do this, you'll need to go shopping for some parts (or you may have some of them kicking around at home). I've made what I think is a complete bill of materials below. Once everyone who's interested has bought the parts, we'll arrange to get together to assemble the strips and make some more pictures.

The Oxford Times sent a photographer to this event after we advertised it on Daily Info, and a photo of one of the two people running it made the front page of the Oxford Times.

Tim S. & Hugh
23 February 2015 Workshop:
Light Painting, Part 1
Tim and Hugh have agreed to jointly hold us some persistence-of-vision light painting workshops over the next few weeks. These will teach us how to use light strips and an open shutter on our cameras to fill public spaces with ephemeral light graffiti and art of any design we can think of. This should be excellent, as both Tim and Hugh have a lot of experience with light painting.

If you'd like to come along, please bring a computer if you can, ideas and/or pictures you'd like to use. Pictures are best in 24-bit bitmap format if possible, with a maximum 60 pixel height. In theory though, any picture can be used, so long as it fits in 60px height and/or you're ok with resolution not being great.

Here is some of Tim's previous work:

And here is some of Hugh's previous laser and light work, though no light strip stuff:

Tim S. & Hugh
29-30 November 2014 Group Project:
RC Dalek-Building, Part 3
If anyone has any remaining energy to work on this project, finishing off whatever we were doing in the warehouse previously and/or working on the next part up the stack (the shoulders and gun/plunger mounting boxes, which are complicated) or possibly the bit above that (the neck area) depending on how everyone's feeling at that point. Phil B.
21-22 November 2014 Group Project:
RC Dalek-Building, Part 2 (as part of Make:Shift:Do 2014)
Esther has been working on the voice modulator, so hopefully we'll be in a position to finish that off and test it out, possibly even to see about connecting it up to Festival and enabling it to read twitter. Additionally, I'm hoping we'll be able to look at either some 3d printing of parts, if one of the printers can be persuaded to work reliably enough to make the bulk of a part (which can subsequently be sanded down and filled to final shape) and/or some work on remote control, though I need to do some research on how that should work. Alternatively there are a bunch of smaller-scale parts which we could work on during these couple of days. Or possibly, we could look at getting a bit messy (I'll bring dust sheets!) and papier macheing the dome, assuming I've worked out a way to make the form by that point! (most likely at this stage either pepakura or a set of MDF/plywood ribs).
Voice modulation here.
Phil B.
15-16 November 2014 Group Project:
RC Dalek-Building, Part 1
In the warehouse, doing physical construction. Aim: to wind up with the fender section and the skirt section (the bit covered in the hemispheres) constructed (though, probably without the hemispheres attached), and to have built the means of attaching these two pieces to the wheelchair itself - most likely each will be split vertically to allow the whole shebang to fit into my car! I've already done some bits of cutting out, and will bring (in addition to the chair, charger, and materials) down my jigsaw, drill and driver, and assorted other measuring, marking, smoothing, filling, and cutting tools as appropriate. Ideally we would be looking at sealing the finished parts before we're done (using watered down PVA) as I understand them to be prone to warping if un-sealed, especially as they're to be stored in a fairly damp bin-store. Phil B.
13 November 2014 Workshop:
Introduction to CSS
An introductory talk, initially an introduction to CSS itself followed by an introduction to CSS layout. Not venturing into elite CSS trickery, CSS frameworks, or other Dark Arts.

This will be everyday CSS from a journeyman CSS author and geek-of-all-web-trades. Slides at

7-9 November 2014 International Hackathon:
Aaron Swartz Memorial Hackathon
Aaron Swartz was a developer who got in trouble for trying to free knowledge. He felt in such dire straits that he took his own life. The basic idea is to try to accomplish something over the few days. That thing should probably related to giving knowledge to people in some way. (Legally, though.) Ideas will be debated beforehand and worked on on the day. Matt E.
6 November 2014 Workshop:
Open Source Architecture:
Soil is the Most Open Source Material
Charlie Fisher is a local architect and activist who will be talking to us about the open source architecture (OSA) movement, the development of the WikiHouse open source construction set, and about a local citizen-surveying project using smartphones.

Charlie has been involved with the WikiHouse platform since 2012, when they began to discuss how to parametrize the kit in order to automate as many of the processes as possible, and the talk will include a live demo of the software on our TV.

He will also talk about OSA projects that are starting up or ongoing in the Oxford area, how to get involved with them, and how skills in web dev, engineering, and/or interest in housing social justice could be put to good use in these projects if you want to help.

Charlie Fisher, Lauren
1 October 2014 Workshop:
Microcontroller Night
Microcontrollers, Electric Imp, flood network sensors, fancy free beer and pizza. Nick K.
10 September 2014 Workshop:
Microcontroller Night
We'll be having another microcontroller night on Wednesday. Everyone is welcome to drop in, try out programming microcontrollers like arduinos, etc. or to bring any projects they are working on. Participants will be hacking a robot arm and a wheelchair controller. Nick K.
29-31 August 2014 Festival:
Electromagnetic Field 2014
OxHack brought many members and projects out to the Electromagnetic Field 2014 hacking festival, producing a night of chiptune music, assembling a 3D printer in a field, and inventing trebuchet cricket, as well as building and contributing a 8-foot-tall, upholstered red letter 'M' for the festival's hillside sign. Lauren, Jane, Paul M;
~20 people attended
13 August 2014 Workshop:
Microcontroller Night
Everyone is welcome to drop by on Wednesday night for a microcontroller night. There'll be some arduinos, mbeds and components for people to play/learn with. Bring along any microcontroller/FPGA/embedded system projects you are working on. Nick K.
3 August 2014 Workshop:
Introduction to Programming in Python
There will be another Introduction to Programming workshop this Sunday, August 3rd, from 3:30-8pm. This one will be taught in Python by Elizabeth, and is suitable for complete beginners. Come give it a try if you're curious, we're a friendly bunch. :) Please bring along a laptop, or if you haven't got one, let us know. There is a desktop as well as a spare laptop in the space and we'll make sure at least one of them will work for you. We'll also have a short break for dinner.

Resources here.

Elizabeth W., Lauren

30 July 2014 Workshop:
Microcontroller Night
Everyone is welcome to drop by on Wednesday night for a microcontroller night. There'll be some arduinos, mbeds and components for people to play/learn with. Bring along any microcontroller/FPGA/embedded system projects you are working on. Nick K.
1 July 2014 Workshop:
Microcontroller Night
Microcontrollers are simple, generally cheap microchips that allow you to control electronic components by writing software. In recent years learning how to use them has become a lot easier, mostly due to the arduino development board that does a lot of the hard work for you, letting you concentrate on making something fun.

We're going to have a second microcontroller night at the hackspace tomorrow. If you are working on any microcontroller projects or are interested in doing so then come along. I'll try to arrange to have some development boards (probably arduinos or mbeds) and some components available if anyone new to microcontrollers wants to try using them.

Nick K.
17 June 2014 Workshop:
Microcontroller Night
Microcontrollers are simple, generally cheap microchips that allow you to control electronic components by writing software. In recent years learning how to use them has become a lot easier, mostly due to the arduino development board that does a lot of the hard work for you, letting you concentrate on making something fun. If you are working on any microcontroller projects or are interested in doing so then come along. I'll try to arrange to have some development boards (probably arduinos or mbeds) and some components available if anyone new to microcontrollers wants to try using them. Nick K.
15-18 May 2014 Open Days:
Oxfordshire Artweeks 2014
OxHack moved into the main warehouse space at OVADA for the weekend during Oxfordshire Artweeks 2014, and taught a number of members of the public to solder, assembled a giant Heath Robinson contraption, and made copious 3doodles with the newly-acquired 3Doodler. There was also a signing staircase that recorded and emitted sounds when you jumped on the individual stairs, interacting tiny soldered boards that communicated with each other, and banana-controlled music. Neil, Lauren, Nathan
7 May 2014 Workshop:
Introduction to Computing Security, Part 2
The second workshop will go in deeper, and cover making our own tools, as well as:

- Demonstration and instruction in more complex network vulnerabilities

- Understanding buffer/stack overflow and integer overflow

- Protection of programs with licenses and serial numbers

It is more necessary to have a Linux computer and ethernet port for this one. Network knowledge and good programming skills are necessary. To do the exercises, you need to have some experience of Assembly, but to simply follow, programming experience in any language is enough.

Pablo, Lauren
16 April 2014 Workshop:
Introduction to Programming, Part 2
This is the second Introduction to Programming workshop, out of many projected, in this series taught by Yves. New joiners are still welcome and we've not gotten very complicated yet so you'll still be able to follow if you join in, I think. We had a great turnout last time including lots of women (so don't be shy if you are) and even a child who will be teaching programming to other children soon. Yves, Lauren
9 April 2014 Workshop:
Introduction to Computing Security, Part 1
Morality in hacking, security risks, attacks and defenses, network scanners and other tools.

Emphasis is on increasing awareness of security. This is a hands-on workshop with exercises, so please bring a laptop with Linux (and an ethernet port) on it if possible. Knowledge of programming will help, but is not necessary for part 1.

Pablo, Lauren
31 March 2014 Workshop:
Travel Hacking, Part 2
This is for both new people and to hear people's success stories from the first batch.

In our last travel hacking session, we covered a lot of the basics, investigated some simple ways to get started, and shared lots of resources. This time we'll start with a recap for anyone who's new, get our trainee travel hackers to share what worked well and what they hit problems with, rate some of the resources, and plan out next steps for people.

As a reminder, we're not looking at how to hitchike around Europe on under $5/day, but more about how to have a 4-5* experience without the normal cost! Topics covered included loyalty programs, credit card signups and spending points, hotel discounts, ways to fly nice airlines for budget prices, tricks for UK and European train travel, cashback, making the most of disruptions, and importantly how to work out which things are for you and which aren't! Oh, and where your towel is...

Nick Burch, Lauren
12 March 2014 Workshop:
Introduction to Programming 1
Yves will be bravely leading the first workshop in a new series called "Introduction to Programming" on this Wednesday night. These workshops will be recurring at an interval to be determined, and they're suitable for complete beginners to come along and learn early programming. Yves is very conscious of differing learning styles and will be careful to tailor the class to those who turn up. The things to be covered depend a bit on the skill levels of those who come, but they may include working on Code Club modules, Javascript in the in-browser console window, and talks about the basic concepts of programming, classifications, and why learning the skill is important.

There is a good chance that this set of workshops will culminate in a (pressure free!) group project of some kind, possibly for the space.

Yves, Lauren
17 February 2014 Workshop:
Travel Hacking, Part 1
Wondering about how best to hitch-hike around Europe, survive on a few dollars a day, and see the universe for less than 30 Alterian dollars a day? Best speak to Lauren and organise a different night! [Ed. note: :p ]

Wondering about how to stay for free in a nice 4* hotel, how to get a night in a 5* place for under the cost of a 2*, how to fly business class for less than the normal cost of economy, how to profit from disruptions, how to get invited into airport lounges, and how to turn your credit card into a ticket for a pacific island vacation? If so, then this is the night for you!

Come along to learn the basics, to learn how to pick what's a good fit for you given your travel patterns and risk profile, and discuss the best resources to learn going forward...

Nick Burch, Lauren
15 February 2014 International Hackathon:
Food Hackathon
Synchronously with ProgressBar of Bratislava, Slovak Republic, and possibly others, we will spend the afternoon cooking up seitan sausage, vegan Balkan goulash, apple and pineapple jam, matcha (powdered green tea) chocolate, almond milk white chocolate, and algae chocolate in the OVADA kitchen. Igor, Jane
30 January 2014 Open Evening:
Oxford Hackspace Stammtisch
Come and join Oxford Hackspace at the OVADA warehouse for a Curious Extravaganza of DNA cocktails, banana pianos, paper folding, ice cream making, interactive projections, Schlieren photography, programmable LEDs, Johan Sebastian jousting, and much, much more! Additions include a 3D printer that sings the Star Wars Imperial March, an electromagnetic levitation machine and disk launcher, and large lightning-filled Tesla coils that make the lights go dim! Come one, come all! Lauren

Old thread with workshop requests here.

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