From Hack Manhattan Wiki

Class Offerings

Since this should (hopefully!) be an ongoing topic, this page is a place to collect ideas for classes that can be offered. When it gets too long and/or some of the classes are actually run, somebody should update it with links to individual class pages, and generally clean it up. Until then, it can serve as brainstorming space.

NOTE: Please include a name/contact for the person who came up with the idea in question, and anyone who's offered to teach.

Basic Electronics Workshop

This is a basic electronics class we could teach in cooperation with NYPL, both to attract a broader membership base and as a community service.

Intermediate Electronics Workshop Digital

Logic, switching.

Intermediate Electronics Workshop Analog

Transistory theory, MOSFET amplifier, op amps, relays, RF.

Intermediate Circuit Design / Analysis

A class or ongoing workshop on circuit analysis / design for intermediate level folks would be awesome. I recently went through the exercise of scouring the NYC continuing ed scene for something like this, and came up pretty empty. (Eventually Joel Murphy stepped in and set one up from scratch, which was great - but at just 5 sessions, it's left me wanting more.)

The idea would be to transfer some of the practical knowledge that people who actually do this stuff every day have ("how to analyze an op-amp circuit", "amplifier design", "what's this circuit doing?") to those of us who understand the principles, but are weak on working knowledge.

It could be an ongoing thing, where an instructor (or rotating pool of instructors) would pick a circuit or three each week for group discussion & analysis.

Idea: Mitch Deoudes, who would also volunteer to moderate / organize, if someone smart would volunteer to teach.

Bike Maintenance / Repair / Modding

If anyone's interested I could do a bike maintenance/repair/modification session. It could be setup where someone brings in their bike and we overhaul it while I explain what we're doing.

Idea / teacher: Joe Sadusk


I'm not sure who mentioned this, but: sewing. I'd be psyched to learn how to use a machine, and even psyched-er if anyone knows about CNC-controlled sewing stuff.

Idea: Probably not me (Mitch Deoudes). Two people who indicated on the list that they know such things: Ceren Ercen, Chris Stratton

FPGA Development

Using inexpensive dev boards (hopefully donated), teach a class on basic Verilog/VHDL using a standard dev environment (Xilinx most likely since I've gotten large donations from them before, or possibly Altera). Use the HacDC workshop as a template and build on that:

We can start with the basics of computer architecture and try to implement a chip as a class. We can either use exisitng IC code from opencores or develop our own. We can play with existing Verilog and VHDL such as the games at

Idea: Daniel Packer and at least a couple of others have mentioned an interest in FPGA development or teaching about it. I have no professional experience with FPGA work, just some hobby playtime.

Basic Robotics

Look at basic robotics based on analog (see BEAM or braitenberg vehicles) or digital (arduino, AVR, pic, etc.) microcontroller based robots. Look at the basics of motor control (h bridges, etc.). Build a basic bot from scrap/kit parts.

Idea: Daniel Packer, though I'm hardly the most qualified... anyone else want to help?


Idea: Daniel Packer -- Schuyler Towne as agreed to come do a workshop with us!

Keysigning Party

Overview of public key cryptography and a practical tutorial for generating and using a public/private PGP key followed by a social exchange of PGP keys (known as keysigning) which expands a "web of trust". It's great to have these a few times a year because it combines crypto, socializing and putting names to faces, building trust and familiarity, and enabling privacy.

Idea: Daniel Packer -- I've done this at HacDC a couple of times and it was a lot of fun. Would be great to do this with someone with deep crypto experience or who just is really into PGP. Any takers?

Biosignals & Microvolt Analog Signals

Let's build and analyze a basic microvolt amplifier for bio signals. Covers basic theory but is a practical hands on workshop on building a basic analog amplifier of the type used to process EKG or other biosignals. Covers basics of analog signal processing (filtering noise and use of instrumentation amp IC). We can use a laptop set up with scope software or a scope for visualization, or build a holter-type monitor in a subsequent class with an LCD display.

Dave R also interested in biosensing projects - past experience with single cell electrophysiology

Idea: Daniel Packer -- I'd been working on this for a while and then stopped but would like to pick it back up and work with others on this. Chethan for example is an expert on biosignals processing. <nudge nudge>

3D software/OpenSCAD/Sketchup

Would be good to do a quick tutorial on hints and tricks with OpenSCAD. From my limited experience, it seemed like it was easy to do simple things but there are a lot of tricks which would be very helpful for more complicated items. Presumably we have the class and then print the stuff to take home.

Idea: Jonathan -- I've used this software some but someone else should really do this who really knows what he/she is doing

Tool Time Series / Woodshop Workshop

The Router (the other kind) Workshop happened and it went pretty well! Adding my notes on here from that.

Another Tool Time workshop or a Part 2 workshop with a little project building on the things learned from the router workshop was discussed during the class.

Idea: Citybadger -- for other Tool Time classes on useful tools or the same one again