We’re on the Move!

Columbia Gadget Works is proud to announce that we’re moving spaces! By the end of the month, we will have all of our belongings over in our new shop at 1404 Grand Ave.

The building has been divided up into sections, and CGW has our very own office and shop space. The office space is still coming together and our members are still working on getting the finishing touches taken care of, but we’re all very excited and looking forward to seeing what we’ll all be able to build here.

With Thanksgiving next week, we won’t be having our regularly scheduled Open Hack Night again until Thursday, December 3rd, where we will be meeting at our new space! Come on out at 7pm.


Here’s a shot of a couple members working on the walls for our new space.

CGW Space Wall Build

Global Space Balloon Challenge

For some time, members have talked about launching a CGW high-altitude balloon, but we never get around to it. In order to light a fire under our collective butt, I have entered us as a team in the Global Space Balloon Challenge.

There are surprisingly few regulations for us to follow for the challenge. Most importantly, we have to launch our balloon (or balloons) between April 10th and 27th, 2015. That gives us right around two months to prepare. The design and build process will involve work in many different fields, including:

Mechanical Design of the capsule to survive the harsh environment of near-space and of a return mechanism to keep everything together during ground/capsule interaction.

Electronics for the tracking system, photography, and any scientific experiments we want to send to the edge of the atmosphere.

Lighter-Than-Air Aeronautics that will let us use helium or hydrogen to send our balloon into the sky.

Weather Analysis and Prediction to make sure that we launch at a safe time and have some idea where our capsule is going to end up.

If that sounds like fun to you, sign up on the CGW DragonTwo team page. We will have an introductory/strategy meeting on Tuesday, February 10th at 7:00pm in the hackerspace. Afterwards, the GSBC team will have weekly build meetings on Tuesdays at 7:00pm, with weekend build meetings if appropriate.