House4Hack visits Linden High School 2013 Geek Week


House4Hack joined Linden High School in Johannesburg for a day at their 2013 Geek Week. Post invitation from the resident Linden High Computer Class teacher, House4Hack moved into formation to create an interactive day outing which closely resembled lots of geeking out in a flash-mob style. One of the objectives was to foster curiosity under the students regarding technology and to expose the students to the concepts and openness of a Hackerspace.

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Having my Raspberry Pi and eating it


So I have finally become the proud owner of a Raspberry Pi! Super exciting and as I have envisioned, have not been sleeping much since I took delivery on Monday afternoon 😀

To commemorate the 3 month wait since I ordered from Newark/Element14 in the States on that first release day, I took my Raspberry Pi for a spin the past 24 hours on 3 different distros: AlarmPi (Arch Linux ARM Pi), Debian Squeeze for RPi and Fedora Remix 14 for RPi, all ARM versions meant for the Raspberry Pi.

All I can say is:  “The Pi is tasty … very very tasty!”

To prep the arrival of more RPi’s onto House4Hackers, I wanted to share some basic “Have your Pi and eat it” advice and comments on what one could keep in mind once you find yourself to also be the proud owner of a Raspberry Pi 🙂

The following pertains to the Raspberry Pi Model B which is the only available model currently shipping:

  • Power: Micro-usb port. Micro-usb cellphone charger is ideal.  Need to be rated for 5V. The Pi can take up to 5.25V max, we don’t like burnt Pi! Your power supply should be able to deliver 700mA or more (1000mA thus also good). Apparently 280mA of the 700mA RPi requirement is reserved to power USB devices, thus RPi can run on only 420mA barring USB devices, wow and cowabanga! I used my Samsung Galaxy S2 charger @ 5V/700mA … perfect njum! (Here is the kicker, “she Pi” can even run off 4 x size AA batteries!)
  • Storage: RPi can only boot off SD card, not off USB. I got myself 8GB Kingston SD Cards (Class 4) for R90 (incl Vat). They are actualy Micro SD HC (HC=High Capacity) but these small form factor cards fits inside an SD adapter that is standard SD Card size . I have read that Class 6 seems to be buggy under RPi so I am steering clear for now on Class 6 cards. Any Class 4 SD Cards (2/4/8GB) should do. Raspberry Pi Linux distributions images usually come as a 2GB image file one can directly write to the SD Card. Effectively this means should you have a 8GB SD, you would be chucking away 6GB of 8GB as partition table is also contained as a 2GB in the image. Fortunately, utilities exist to easily expand and repartition once you are up and running, therefore availing the full 8GB for your pleasure.
  • RPi comes with high-definition 1080p HDMI out, this baby supports full 3d bluray playback with a fair amount of GFlops available on the GPU also integrated into the BCM2835 system on chip (SoC).
  • Composite RCA-Video works, but I feel is for emergencies or applications where you have no need for HDMI and/or poorer quality video would suffice.
  • Standard Network socket with 10/100Mbps is driven of the USB2.0 bus, therefore no 1Gbps 🙂
  • USB Keyboard and Mice can be plugged into the 2 x USB 2.0 ports.
  • USB Hubs can work but preferably externally powered ones.
  • The above is some basics, I’ll let ya all explore the rest yourselves.

Once you have a Pi and want to eat some 🙂 , browse over to to peruse the many options on Linux distributions available, but some still in the making, for Raspberry Pi. Lots of info all on one page in matrix format.

Also once you are an owner, if you like, go add yourself to the Raspbery Pi Tracker. Seems I was the 5th Gautenger to register.

Remember, it’s not a super computer, but have been compared to a PII 300MHz / 256MB RAM PC, just with a super duper kickass graphics card, freaking small and dirt cheap, yeah!

Be sure to visit House4Hack in Centurion next week Tuesday (5 June) if you want to touch, smell, work on, inspect or generally wanna eat some Raspberry Pi. I’ll try my very best to be in da house to avail my baby and give anyone the chance to see her in action or take her for a spin.

Philip (aka zer0tilt)

Posted in: Raspberry Pi

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House4Hack RapMan 3D Printer – First Build


We got off to a great start on Tuesday evening (22 Nov) with the build of the H4H RapMan 3.1 3D Printer!

Thanks to Andrew, Mikkel, Jossekin, Nick and Philip who made up the first build team.

Was funny to hear us referring to parts as “geared things” and “starred jobs”! 🙂

We learned alot and would like to share the experience and some tips with everyone. This way, future build teams can hopefully build on this methodology and the experience we picked up.

Below is the video of what we got up to and further down I wrote up lots more.

House4Hack RapMan 3D Printer Build Session #1

We finished the following (refer “D100239 Build Manual Printed .pdf”):

  • Practice Parts (Page 12/13)
  • 1.01 Bttm Corner Block R x 2 (page 15)
  • 1.02 Bttm Corner Block L x 1 (page 16)
  • 1.03 Z Motor Block x 1 (Page 17/18)

Next build team should carry on from page 19: “1.04 Top Corner Block R x 2” .


  1. Have at least 2 tables to work off – also suggested by the manual
  2. Tools – We almost had a problem here, Nick came to the rescue
  3. Stress test on acrylic part’s tensile strength -> Finger tight screws! (See our video)
  4. The nice big LCD display at h4h + more laptops to display all manuals/videos
  5. A projector would come in handy, could be projected onto wall in build space
  6. Label completed build sections / parts. Still outstanding!
  7. First 14 pages printed with Laser Cut Panel ID’s is available in 3D Printer build space
  8. Main manual to work from is “D100239 Build Manual Printed .pdf”, we viewed page 15 and onward on screen
  9. 3D parts in 3D-PDF (On screen, can rotate parts in 3D! Need Adobe Acroread 9)
  10. Use the printed Workflow chart (page 4) to encircle built parts in pen and depict in there which team built what on which date, this way next team would also know where to carry on from

Most important manuals:

Sources :


b) :: Support :: Technical Resources (takes one to same link as above, logging one into 3dpedia. Permalink not possible so will try to upload manuals to github, also available via certain H4H members. Once Technical Resources linked was followed and one is logged into 3dpedia, direct access to manuals via this link:

  1. D100239 Build Manual Printed .pdf (Main manual)
  2. D100240 Rapman 3D Build Manual V3-1-0 Part 1.pdf
  3. D100240 Rapman 3D Build Manual V3-1-0 Part 2.pdf
  4. D100242 Extruder Manual V3-1-0.pdf
  5. D100245 Extruder Manual V3.1 issue 2.pdf
  6. D100244 Hot End Manual V3-1-0.pdf
  7. D100250 Double Head Installation Manual 3-1.pdf

Build methodology:

A good build methodology one could use (from our experience).

Work from the Workflow chart on page 4 of “D100239 Build Manual Printed .pdf”.

  1. Everything broken down into Build Sections.
    • There are 18 Build Sections with sub-builds under each.
    • Depicts which parts to build first
    • Depicts which finished parts makes up bigger parts
    • All Build sections eventually comes togeter as the complete 3D Printer
  2. Follow instructions from “D100239 Build Manual Printed .pdf” for each part being build.
    • First 14 pages printed and is available in build space
  3. To identify parts refer to printed pages :
    • Parts list (page 5)
    • “Laser Cut Parts ID Main Panels” (pages 6 – 10)
    • Bolt Tray Contents (page 11)
  4. What worked for us, seeing that we were 5 members during this build :
    • One could assign 2-3 members to:
      • ID parts
      • Remove parts from laser cut panels
      • Build parts
    • Assign another 2 members to
      • Drive computer / cameras / setup manuals on LCD/projector
      • Quality Assurance on built parts
      • Guide team on progress
      • Make coffee / Bring cookies / Moral support 🙂
  5. What could perhaps also work is when having enough members involved in a build, split the Build Sections between subgroups, work faster, get printer build done quicker 🙂

Tools needed:

We might need to invest in an Allen Key set, or perhaps get a member to share theirs.

Nick fetched his awesome tool set which assisted us a lot, still we did not have Allen Key’s or all specs on tools at hand.

I made a list from the RapMan PDF manual on what we need. On my Linux system I could run :

$ pdftotext “D100239 Build Manual Printed .pdf”  – | sed -n -e “/Tools/,/^$/p”  -e ‘/^$/d’

This extracted only the tools mentioned on each page’s top right hand corner for a specific build section or part’s build. It got me a decent tool list which I made a frequency histogram of most referred to least referred tool in the manual:

18    2.5mm Allen Key
15    5.5mm Wrench
8    4mm Allen Key
7    Tweezers
6    Setting Jig x 2
5    8mm Wrench
4    13mm Wrench x 2
3    1/16” Allen Key
3    Foot Jig x 4
3    Wire Cutters
2    2mm Flat
2    Needle File
2    Screwdriver
2    Wire Strippers
1    1/16” Allen key
1    13mm x 2 Wrench
1    20001 Steel Rod
1    2mm Allen Key
1    5.5 mm Wrench
1    608 Bearing (Bin 11)
1    8mm Wrench x 2
1    Allen Key 4mm
1    Files
1    Ruler
1    Test Filament
1    Wrench 13mm x 2
1    Wrench 8mm x 1

Anyhow, there should be enough info in here for House4Hackers interested to come help build our own 3D Printer!

Awesome! We are actually building our own 3D Printer!

Posted in: Builts

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