Visit to a Beirut Hackerspace

Lamba Labs @ Halloween

The Lamba labs new hackerspace is located in Karaj beirut, a coworking space that is started and affliated with Ayah Bedir (little bits founder, TED speaker). It is a really nice old building just to the east of Genmayze, the party central district in downtown beirut. 

The first night I arrive, the Lamba locals help me plan out a beginner’s Arduino workshop for Lamba Labs, a hackerspace. I only heard about this place a few weeks ago from Bilal Ghalib who is working on an initiative to start Hackerspaces in the Middle East ( see  Since Istanbul is so close, and I’ve always wanted to see Beirut, I volunteered to help out (as part of my vacation) with the fledgling hackerspace.

Arduino Light Painting @ Lamba Labs

It was of good fortune to work with such talented and energetic people which made organizing really easy!  In my week in Beirut, I also helped create some marketing materials and participated in the weekend hackathon where we did had fun making light paintings with arduinos!  

Iraq’s First Hackerspace Will Run on ‘Irrational Optimism’

The Middle East and the Global Hackerspace Movement

Lamba Labs

All in all, Beirut was a productive, exciting and busy visit. If the opportunity arises again, I certainly hope to contribute to more hackerspaces internationally during my travels. Its nice to get to know locals and also feel like I’m contributing as a traveler, not simply passing through.  I hope that Lamba Labs has a great future. The hospitality and the energy of the people were wonderful as well.


Wheaton Crimper Hack

The rubber push button on the Wheaton Crimpenstein can be tough to push after crimping several hundred vials, so I rewired the switch to an arduino. With the help of the CapSense Library a baby transistor and some copper tape + aluminium foil, we have a simple touch driven switch!

Arduino Setup: It should probably be transferred to an ATTiny, soldered and packaged properly but here it is for now:

The dark grey rubber button on the front of the crimper still works as normal. With only 2 simple wires coming out the back of the unit, the crimper can be easily disconnected from the breadboard if needed for unclogging cap jams.

Photos of the Wheaton insides (top piece removed):

The Switch where I soldered extra wires to:

Videos from Maker Faire 2012

How does it work? Find out more in the Tire Swing Poster

more videos at

Maker Faire Electronics Setup

We are using the following setup for the Musical Tire Swing at the Maker Faire: iPhone + Redpark Serial Cable to Arduino.

The iPhone contains a gyrometer an accelerometer. We wrote an app in openFrameworks to handle all music. The Redpak serial cable connects to the 2 led strips that flash lights when the rider exceeds an acceleration or roll/yaw/pitch threshold. For long lasting battery support we have the LED strips connected to separate power source.

We decided to go with a commercial speaker setup with a battery powered bluetooth transmitter (triangular blue and gray unit in 1st photo above).