Ace Monster Toys as a real hackerspace


ace-card I’ve been meaning to post an update for Ace Monster Toys, the hackerspace that I co-founded recently in Berkeley. I last posted about it in mid-June. We had just elected our board and begun collecting dues while we were looking for a space to rent.

I’m happy to tell people that we did find a space and moved into it at the end of July. We’ve been there for an entire month now. It is at 6050 Lowell Street in northern Oakland, which is the tri-border area where Oakland, Emeryville, and Berkeley come together. We’re a 20 minute walk from the Ashby station in Berkeley or a quick bike ride. I don’t have any great photos of the space except some I took of the space when were were examining the building.

We have 800 sq ft in two concrete floored rooms downstairs and 800 sq ft in one larger room upstairs (pictured below) giving us a fairly large overall space. The build out of the space has taken a little longer than we initially expected but we’re making progress. Right now, we have a conference table, a couch, and about 10 desks upstairs along with a packet radio station, a broken makerbot, and an unassembled makerbot. The downstairs is full of tools from building our desks (which is an interesting project in and of itself). Soon, we’ll have at least one more couch and conference table upstairs as well. It took us a few weeks of fighting to get high speed Internet but it is finally working (Comcast sucks, by the way) so people can actually get work done while in the space. Dr. Jesus, one of our board members, also built an electronic entry system for our door, giving us 24 hour access to the space. Another member, Dennis, who is an architect, has been working on designs in Google Sketchup for the space but we’re kind of jury rigging things as we go right now.

214 - Room from top of stairs, looking left

AMT has somewhere between 16 and 20 active members and seem to be picking up a few a week right now. We continue to meet every Monday night at 7:30 PM for a general meeting, demonstrations, and workshops. Our first quarterly meeting is in two weeks where we will induct new members officially into the organization. You can join our e-mail list if you’re interested in the group or go to the wiki for more information.

My next personal projects at AMT are:

  • Finally building my makerbot
  • Building my Zen Toolworks CNC mill (from a kit)
  • Beginning to work on my DIY Drone using a megaduino and some off the shelf electronics inspired by DIY Drones and a Defcon 18 talk that showed how easy it really is (by some definitions of “easy”)
  • Building a trike with Mike G. (who is building a tandem trike) using plans from Atomic Zombie (This will involve a bit of welding so we’ve been delayed by ventilation needs)

Other people are working on far more interesting projects as we get tools into the space.

I encourage anyone local to the Bay Area, especially the East Bay, or coming through to contact us and stop by.

AMT Warning

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