August 2015

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[vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text css_animation=””]We are setting things up at the CoG version 2.0, and we’ve had so many people stopping in to ask about what we do, and whether they can take classes. It seems we are integrating into the community a bit better with this highly visible space! A young woman came in today and mentioned that she got a sewing machine for Christmas, but it was still sitting in the box because she didn’t know how to use it. Her next question? “Do you teach classes?” Of course we do! Check out our events calendar. I had a fleeting vision that people in Troy, NY would now be able to design, mend and update their own clothes, no need to throw them away!

 

Anyway, without further ado, here are the first photos of the setup. More to come!

 

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Yesterday we set up the main floor of the new space at the Quackenbush building!! Thank you to every who came to help lift, carry, setup and test equipment in the new space! Thanks to all your hard work, we are now partially online in the new space, and definitely making progress on the rest! Want to see some photos of the results? Erica Iannotti took some snaps at the end of the day, and they are now posted to our Flickr pool at:

With the new space now ready for members, we have the volunteer shifts operating out of the Quackenbush building now. So if you are scheduled for a volunteer shift, please contact Tom Tongue (president@techvalleycenterofgravity.com) to find out how access to the building is currently arranged. We are still working with the landlord and the security equipment contractor to get maglocks and RFID readers installed so that we can switch over to our new and improved access control system. Until then, we have KEYS.
Speaking of volunteering, Tom Yanuklis has put out the call for September volunteers!
We encourage there to be at least 2 volunteers on duty a a time, so don’t get discouraged from an ideal time if you see a name there. EMAIL: volunteer@techvalleycenterofgravity.com to be added, we’ll send a google calendar invite to confirm. Remember: 8 hours of volunteer duty gets you $20 off your membership renewal the following month!
This week we have a bunch of events! All of them will be at the Quackenbush building! Here is the list:
  • Shapecrete Instructables Build Night – with Jayme Wood! Monday, August 31st @ 6pm. We received quite a bit of Shapecrete to support this build night, so please come out and see what this stuff can do! More info: http://www.tvcog.net/index.php/my-calendar/?mc_id=54
  • Social Night! Come hang out on Tuesday night (Sept 1st) from 6:30pm – 8:30pm, check out the new space and think about the next project you want to make! Also… in the interests of full disclosure, there will probably be more setup and such to do. 🙂 More info: http://www.tvcog.net/index.php/my-calendar/?mc_id=11
  • COG Reads – hosted by Jayme Wood. Wednesday, Sept 2nd! Our first book club / reading group meeting! More info: http://www.tvcog.net/index.php/my-calendar/?mc_id=49
  • Arduino 101 – Friday, Sept 4th from 6:30pm – 9:30pm in the SEFCU Community Room. This class is taught by Tom Tongue and is part of the “Microcontrollers for Makers” series, and is limited to 10 students. You must register to attend through Universe, and the class is $30 per student. If you don’t already have an Arduino Uno, please contact Tom (email: ttongue@tungadyn.com) and there are kits available for $35 that include an Uno clone, LEDS, switches, breadboards and other neat stuff. More info and registration at: http://www.tvcog.net/index.php/my-calendar/?mc_id=18
Please help us fill our calendar with the exciting variety that will attract a diverse membership to the TVCOG. We’ve got a shiny new community room that is perfect for classes and workshops (available NOW)! If you’ve taught a class in the past, or would like to now, please contact Kathy Ceceri (events-coordinator@techvalleycenterofgravity.com) or fill out an event submission at
Just a quick reminder to consider these other modes of getting your TVCOG fix:
Thanks again for being a part of the growing Maker community in the Capital District. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, let me know!
All the best,
–Tom

Tomorrow, Saturday, Aug 29th starting at 9am, we will be moving out of the old TVCOG space and into the Quackenbush. This activity will focus on the following objectives:

  1. Arranging furniture (tables, chairs, etc) in the community room and main hall to prep for….
  2. Re-establishing equipment-use capabilities. This means setting up the 3D printers, laser cutter, CAD workstations, etc etc. Much of the TVCOG equipment is already in the new facility, but has been waiting for the floors to be complete before setup. The floors will be washed and waxed tonight, so tomorrow is the day!
  3. Move items from the old facility to the new one. This is only those items that have been TAGGED by an area leader!! If it is not tagged, it does not go yet! This includes members projects or member storage! Those will be moved shortly, but we need to get the essentials in place and operating first!
  4. Move the stock room and items from the super-secret storage facility to storage in the new facility. Our landlord has been very generous in making the storage facility available to us, but he has tenants for that space now, so we need to move.

It’s an ambitious list! So we need your help to lift, carry, setup and test. Hope you can join in the fun! Please show up at the new facility at the Quackenbush building if you can help! If you have questions, please contact the moving coordinator Jordan Munn (email: jordanmunn@yahoo.com)!

Thank you for being a part of the TVCOG community!

All the best,

–Tom Tongue

President, Tech Valley Center of Gravity

I think it is safe to say that the ribbon cutting on Wednesday exceeded everyones expectations, and was a fantastic celebration of all that we have built together as a maker community over the last 2.5+ years, and all that is to come. Much has been said in way of thanks for everyone that has made the ribbon cutting possible, but before I get to discussing what we’re doing to get the new space operational, I wanted to take the time to thank one of our under-sung heros of our big day: Sue Dunckel of Sweet Sues (http://www.sweetsuesweets.com/  or at 203 River Street, Troy NY) is a fantastic supporter of the TVCOG, and really came through for us with the catering. The amazing food that she provided for the crowd was perfect for the event, and she worked so hard to pull it off under difficult conditions and at great expense. So please stop by Sweet Sues and tell her thank you for all her support!

I’d also like to express my deepest gratitude to the construction crews and help from Atrium Services, who really stepped up to get the space in amazing shape in time for the big event, and were patient and professional under mounting time pressure. Rodney Armstrong of T&J Electrical Associates is a fine example of the energy and get-it-done spirit that made Wednesday possible, and if you get a chance to see him or any of the other crew that are *still* working at the Quackenbush making the other floors ready, please tell them how much their work matters and how much we appreciate everything they do. We never say it enough, and it’s important that we do. 

So….

We had a ribbon cutting. Now we need to actually get the TVCOG online in the new space! This weekend is pretty low key in terms of activity in this direction for a number of reasons:

  1. COG Fatigue – many people were pushing 40+ hours a week as volunteers to make the big day happen. THANK YOU!!! But really, after running a marathon like that, it’s only reasonable to expect a breather.
  2. The first floor is not ready. In some cases the prep for the ribbon cutting needs to be fortified before it will put up with the rigors of full-time operations. So some of the flooring still needs to be laid, and a few areas around the floor boxes need to be re-done. And then it all needs to be washed and waxed again. So this weekend was out for major moving & setup operations on the first floor.
  3. Ok, there is more than that, but no need for a laundry list, you get the point. So what’s the plan? 

On Tuesday during social night we will be going through the old COG location and separating the chaff from everything that we’ll be taking over to the new space. This process will involve setting aside good stuff that we’re not keeping for a garage sale this coming Saturday, Aug 29th, and throwing out the garbage that no one in their right minds would want. So please come, if we have enough people we may broaden the scope of our activity to include other important areas that need to be addressed prior to “The Big Move”(TM).

This coming Saturday, August 29th we will be moving tools, setting up storage, arranging the basement workshops and getting the major areas of operation ONLINE. If all goes according to plan, we may also be moving the lathe and bridgeports! So we need the area leaders to let Jordan Munn know if they can or cannot assist in the process on that day so that we can plan to find an alternative leader for each zone. Jordan will be reaching out to each of you to confirm. 

Once next Saturday is done, we should be nominally operational in the new space! Please let me know what questions, comments or concerns you might have!

All the best,

–Tom Tongue

President, Tech Valley Center of Gravity

Check it out! We’re on Hackaday! Many thanks to Dan Maloney for making the trip to visit us!

This evening the “3D Printing Syndicate of Albany” had the privilege of being the first meeting held in the new SEFCU community room at the TVCOG! Great turnout and discussions, including some show and tell featuring the Monoculight by Art Davis found on Thingiverse.

Great start to the community sharing experience in the Quackenbush building!2015-08-20 18.22.07 HDR 2015-08-20 18.22.56 HDR 2015-08-20 18.20.07

So many people are talking about our new space in the news!

Here’s what we’ve got so far, and you can follow along on our facebook page too. All these images are courtesy of Heather Otis.

http://www.areadevelopment.com/newsItems/8-19-2015/tech-valley-center-of-gravity-troy-new-york389234.shtml

http://m.timesunion.com/business/article/Photos-Tech-Valley-Center-of-Gravity-opens-6454020.php

Less than 24 hours until the ribbon cutting at the Quackenbush building! Tonight we finished compressive staging in the community room in preparation for deployment of furniture and materials across the main hall floors tomorrow. Many thanks to the dozens of volunteers tonight who helped move items from the TVCOG, our storage facility and down from the 3rd floor to prepare for the big day! Tonight the flooring crew is finishing up the area under the mezzanine and waxing so it will be beautiful for tomorrow morning.

Anyone who can help during the day tomorrow is encouraged to meet us at the Quackenbush starting at 9am. We will start by moving the furniture into place and wiping it down, and then setting up the equipment and making sure everything is operational. From 10am – 2pm, exhibitors will be setting up their displays, with a goal of having everything ready and in-place at 2pm. The ribbon cutting is at 4:30pm, and this will give us the margins to accommodate special requests and last minute details.
Hope to see you all at the event, but on the off chance you cannot get away, we will have a live feed through Ustream starting at 4pm, and it will include interviews with COG notables and attendees along with live coverage of the ribbon cutting itself (if the WiFi holds out!). The Ustream feed can be accessed from:
      http://www.tvcog.net/index.php/2015/08/18/ustream-i-stream/
Thank you for being a part of the growing Tech Valley Center of Gravity community!

We will be broadcasting the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony over Ustream.
Wanna see the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, along with interviews with our makers?
Tune in here Wednesday 8/19 at 4pm to watch!


Live streaming video by Ustream

Live streaming video by Ustream

So close, you can taste it! Tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug 18th) we will begin staging the furniture and equipment starting at 6:30pm. Due to the schedule for completion of the floor and waxing, we will be “compressive staging” the furniture and equipment in the community room, which consists of placing items in that space in order of deployment onto the main hall floor. This process will let us move swiftly on Wednesday morning when the floors are shiny and dry after waxing. The plan is to unfurl all the staged items in the community room from 9-10am, and then get the displays and equipment up and running from 10 – 2 while assisting exhibitors with their displays. We have over a dozen exhibitors coming to show off their #MadeAtTheCOG and TVCOG associated awesomesauce!

Opportunities to help abound! Join us for Social night (Tuesday, 6:30pm) and help us get things staged! We’ll meet at the old COG and give an overview of what is left that needs to come over, and break into work crews to get it done! Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns!

–Tom