Have you ever wanted to assemble a circuit board from scratch? Or build a functioning quadcopter capable of carrying a camera? Or maybe you just want to see a 3-D printer in action? Then you need to visit Vancouver Hack Space.
Located at 270 East 1st Avenue, this 3,300 square foot space (also known as the Bunker) is jammed full of some of the most creative projects and minds I've ever encountered. On October 5, the non-profit organization held an open house for the hacker-curious, and I got to see projects including a Raspberry Pi-powered arcade machine, a device that operates essentially as a wall-sized Etch-A-Sketch, and a rave-worthy LED array (pictured below).
I was totally blown away by the ingenuity of what's going on there, even though I can't claim to understand most of the projects that I saw. Two of the things I did understand? That a magnetic key lock can be operated by a Compass card—and you can buy mini-computers from the vending machine!
Hack Space isn't solely about building robots and repurposing tech devices, however. Every Wednesday is crafts night at VHS, so if you're the kind of person who's more interested in textile arts, knitting, crocheting, collage, and hot glue guns, this is a good way to connect with other like-minded artisans. Most Wednesday evenings have a specific theme; October 16 and 23 are planned as Halloween costume-making nights.
A membership is $25 a month, which means you can go down and work on projects at the space any time it's open. After three months, you can become a key holder member; for $50, you get a key and 24/7 access to the space.
Right now, the VHS has about 200 members, and 65 key holders, meaning there is generally someone on site whenever you want to be.
(Check out isVHSopen.com to find out if someone's in the space. The site is connected to an open/closed switch at the back door, which feeds updates to Hack Space's main website.)
Want to learn more? VHS holds open houses every Tuesday night, starting at 7:30 p.m. You can also visit them online.