Recently I joined a hackerspace in Downtown LA called Null Space Labs. What is a hackerspace you ask? A hackerspace is a communal workshop where folks can work on electronics, programming and basically whatever tech stuff they're interested in. NSL was started by a group of people from the local computer security (hacking) scene earlier this year.
Here is the description from the website:
Null Space Labs, a hackerspace in downtown Los Angeles a place for people who do interesting things with tech.
We offer wifi, coworking space, an electronics and hardware lab with soldering stations and rework equipment, a small wet lab, simple wood and metal working tools, public computers, and most of all a creative environment that's open to visitors.
Fields of interest of people you might find at the lab include DIY electronics, hardware hacking, lock picking, game development, entrepreneurship, security, graphics programming, AI, photography, privacy and civil rights, etc....
The group that operates Null Space Labs sees itself solely as an infrastructure provider and exerts little influence over projects and events carried out at the lab. We are trying to be financially independent, and finance our operations through membership fees. The space was opened in May 2010.
I joined NSL a few months ago, and this month I took the plunge and became a keyholder, granting me access whenever I feel like working on my projects. The space is great, there are tons of really knowledgeable people who are always more than willing to assist you with pretty much anything related to electronics, microcontrollers, hardware hacking, network security, and more.
The members of NSL are working on a plethora of interesting projects. You can read all about them on the wiki, but here is a selection of some that are particularly interesting:
- Proxmark3 LCD
- GoodFET31L / GoodFET31
- CNC Pick and Place Machine
- Gene Sequencer DIYBio LA's Gene Sequencer
- Nixie device
- Plasma Speaker
- NSL Sceptre
- USB Infrared Toy
- Hard Button
- NSL Cylon
- Bus Pirate
We have a ton of great equipment for use by members and non-members alike including over a dozen Metcal soldering stations, hot-air and plate rework equipment, oscilloscopes, function generators, a PCB CNC machine, stereo microscopes and much more. We frequently do group buys on parts and PCBs. We also have a large collection of part in house, available for use in your project (donations appreciated).
If you're in the neighborhood, come by and check out our space. If you want to learn about electronics and soldering we have a fun board you can put together in an hour or two if you're new to SMD soldering. You can tell if we're in by looking at this wiki page or by following the NSL Status twitter stream. Here is our address:
- Null Space Labs
- 1015 S Main St - 3rd Floor
- Los Angeles CA, 90015