Pleiades in Taurus

Pleiades in Taurus is a lovely project by N8velG8zer from QueererWorlds.

The small embroidered ornament features the famous Seven Sisters, a cluster of stars that is visible in the night sky to the naked eye.

Each of the stars using star stitch with three strands of embroidery floss.

The battery holder, seen below in the bottom left corner, is held in place on the back of the ornament with hot glue and copper tape. The copper tape is used to create the circuit.

For more information on this and other fun projects from N8velG8zer, please visit QueererWorlds.


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Weekly Maker Meetups!

That’s right folks, the Maker Meetups are now meeting on a weekly basis!

Starting September 2015, we’ll meet every Wednesday at our brand new home Watershed PDX!

We will supply wifi, and a place to share ideas and collaborate with a community of fellow creators and makers. We’ll share tips and tricks, and support your creative endeavors! The goal for the meetup is to support the local creative scene while providing an opportunity for people to build a network with people of varied skills. Makers, crafters, and creators of all ages, skill levels, and backgrounds are encouraged to bring your projects, supplies, and ideas.

From sewing to electronics to art projects, this will be an incubator for interesting collaborations. For example, if someone comes in to work on an embroidery project, another could show them how to incorporate conductive thread and LEDs to make that project light up. Tips and tricks that can be shared varied depending on who comes to the event. Things shared at previous events include working with Arduino, programming, sculpting, knitting, hand sewing, misc hobbyist electronics tips from component suppliers to soldering tricks.

When: Every Wednesday, 6-9pm

Where: Watershed PDX, 5040 SE Milwaukie Ave Portland, OR 97202, US (map)

Important things to note:

There will be a sign-in sheet at the door that everyone needs to fill out before entering the meetup space.

By attending this event you agree that neither Watershed nor myself is liable for any injury you may receive while working on your project, and that you will follow the Code of Conduct and be awesome to each other.

Hope to see you there!

Code of Conduct


A primary goal of Cacophonous Creations is to be inclusive to the largest number of contributors, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. As such, I am committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion (or lack thereof).

This code of conduct outlines the expectations for all those who participate in our community, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

I invite all participants to help create safe and positive experiences for everyone.

Open Culture Citizenship

A supplemental goal of this Code of Conduct is to increase open culture citizenship by encouraging participants to recognize and strengthen the relationships between our actions and their effects on our community.

Communities mirror the societies in which they exist, and positive action is essential to counteract the many forms of inequality and abuses of power that exist in society.

Expected Behavior

The following behaviors are expected and requested of all community members:

  • Participate in an authentic and active way. In doing so, you contribute to the health and longevity of this community.
  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
  • Attempt collaboration before conflict.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert community leaders if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.
  • Remember that community event venues may be shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations.

Unacceptable Behavior

The following behaviors are considered harassment and are unacceptable within our community:

  • Violence, threats of violence or violent language directed against another person.
  • Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.
  • Posting or displaying sexually explicit or violent material.
  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”).
  • Personal insults, particularly those related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or disability.
  • Inappropriate photography or recording. This includes, but is not limited to, taking photos or recordings of any kind without explicit consent.
  • Inappropriate physical contact. You should have someone’s consent before touching them.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes, sexualized comments or jokes; inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcomed sexual advances.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person).
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
  • Sustained disruption of community events, including talks and presentations.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior from any community member, including sponsors and those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If a community member engages in unacceptable behavior, the community organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the community without warning (and without refund in the case of a paid event).

Reporting Guidelines

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify a community organizer as soon as possible. [Contact].

Additionally, community organizers are available to help community members engage with local law enforcement or to otherwise help those experiencing unacceptable behavior feel safe. In the context of in-person events, organizers will also provide escorts as desired by the person experiencing distress.


We expect all community participants (contributors, paid or otherwise; sponsors; and other guests) to abide by this Code of Conduct in all community venues–online and in-person–as well as in all one-on-one communications pertaining to community business.

This code of conduct and its related procedures also applies to unacceptable behavior occurring outside the scope of community activities when such behavior has the potential to adversely affect the safety and well-being of community members.

 License and attribution

This Code of Conduct is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Portions of text dervied from the Django Code of Conduct and the Geek Feminism Anti-Harassment Policy.

Posted 2 September 2015.

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TransTech Helps Transgender People Get Jobs In Tech And, Soon, The White House

Transgender and gender non-conforming people are at risk of facing injustice and discrimination wherever they are: in their childhood homes, schools, the..

Source: TransTech Helps Transgender People Get Jobs In Tech And, Soon, The White House

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Female Funders Launches, Challenging 1,000 Women To Become Angel Investors

Looking to build a bridge over the technology industry’s (and the technology investment industry more specifically) chasm-sized gender gap, a group of..

Source: Female Funders Launches, Challenging 1,000 Women To Become Angel Investors

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Aipoly Puts Machine Vision In The Hands Of The Visually Impaired

Love assistive tech like this!

Aipoly Puts Machine Vision In The Hands Of The Visually Impaired.

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Kickstarter White Paper Part 1

Lee Moyer pens some great thoughts on bringing a project into production using crowdfunding.

Lee Moyer

This is Part 1 of two parts of our Kickstarter White Paper. You can view the intro here and Part 2 here.

Recognizing Your Value Proposition

Kickstarter is a value proposition. You are offering people, your “backers,” a product or service in exchange for their support. In the majority of cases on Kickstarter, you are essentially offering people the opportunity to “pre-order” your product before you actually produce it. Backers of Kickstarter projects are not loaning or “donating” money to you, they are buying a product from you and therefore they expect to receive value for their money.

That being said, some people will in some cases actually want to give you money. This is a beautiful thing. We recommend you take it. But understand this is the minority position and not something you should expect or rely upon.

Acknowledging Your Backers

Your Kickstarter backers are special. They are…

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Learning Tips: PCB Circuit Design*

Learning the art of crafting your own PCBs? Yay! There are manywebsites that go in to great detail on how to use the various kinds of software, the nitty gritty of how to design a circuit, and all that jazz.

I’ve always found that there are tips, tricks, and “oh, hey, that thing I just scanned over was really important after all” moments. Maybe you’ll find a list of those things to be helpful? Yes? You’re in luck! This post is a collection of those tips, tricks, and moments.

Have one or a few to add? Please submit them in a comment below!

Physical Practicality:

  • Print out a 1:1 version of your PCB on paper, tape it to cardboard, and test fit all mechanical before releasing your board.

PCB Layout

  • Create your board frame on a 0.05″ grid. Make the lower left corner start at 0,0.
  • Stick parts on a 0.05″ grid. You should not break this rule unless you have a very good reason.
  • Separate the power grounds, signal grounds, analog grounds, digital grounds, control grounds.
  • Keep power and ground traces close to each other.
  • Keep inputs and outputs separated and isolate to prevent oscillations.
  • Place Capacitors that bypass supply voltages or decouple very close to the IC chip pins.
  • Give good spacing and clearance between tracks and pads
  • Put Reference designation on the schematic and on the PCB silkscreen to help troubleshooting
  • Put several test points that can isolate each section of the board from the power supply. This can help with troubleshooting or separate the power supply if it gets blown.
  • Put connections on the edges of the PCB
  • If you have 7 input molex connectors and 7 output molex connector and their is a SHORT from VCC to ground it will damage every single input and output IC chips.
  • Any LED should be labeled with its purpose (power, status, D4, Lock, etc).
  • Idem for connectors, pins, switches, and switch states: e.g Vin, Port1, Batt, 5V, TX, Power, +, -, Charge, On, Off, USB etc.
  • When applicable, it is better to avoid having vias go through the silkscreen when adding labels.
  • Group components together. For example the resistors surrounding a transistor in your schematic will also be grouped together on the PCB.
  • To minimize the chances of interference, rout data lines using short and symmetrical traces. Keep power carrying traces at about 7 mil from data traces to reduce capacitance/coupling.
  • When possible try to keep the traces size to 10mil. and use thicker traces for power lines. 12mil=100mA max, 16mil=500mA max etc.
  • Avoid 90 degree corners. Straight lines with 45 degree corners are preferable.
  • Where applicable use a ground pour on top/bottom layers.
  • To prevent pours from shorting to traces make sure you use a 10mil isolation setting on any of the ground pour.
  • Lay the PCB out at least twice. When finished, put it away for a day. Then come back and walk through the whole design again.

Schematic Layout

  • Use a GND symbol for all the GND connections.
  • Use appropriate power symbols for All VCC, 5V, 3.3V etc.
  • Add color notes to separate a complex design into various smaller bits (for example,charge circuit, accelerometer, etc).
  • Use DRC all the time!


  •  All footprints need a reference designator {{refdes}}. If you come across a part on a board that doesn’t have this, you should change it and save the library. Verify ALL symbols and footprints you use and add known-good ones to your own library. For parts requiring it a pin one marker should be defined.
  • Order parts from Adafruit or Sparkfun? They’ve got their own libraries. Download them, but be sure to double check the footprints just in case.
  • All footprints need silkscreen indicators showing mechanical sizes, dimensions, or anything wired about the part.
  • To prevent it from flaking off easily silkscreen within a footprint or board should not go over pads or metal that will be exposed.
  • Top component layer should be marked by a red center cross.
  • Package outline layers should outline the actual package size.
  • The Top Courtyard layer should include all of the pins.
  • When adding a footprint make sure you add a solder mask.
  • Know your soldering skill level. Don’t think your up for soldering to the small pad that’s included for the part in your library? Create your own library with longer pin traces, to increase ease of soldering.
  • Every new footprint should have a human readable description.


Credits, hat tips, and thanks to:

*This post was originally written for the OSH Park blog, and published on November 5, 2013.

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