Green Dragon Maker Space

The Green Dragon Maker Space is aimed at both adults and older kids. We make useful and fun things from reclaimed electronics and share sustainable off-grid technology skills. It’s all low voltage with an emphasis on basic principles and safety. We offer 2hr courses that include presentations and discussions along with hands-on activities. All but one of our workshops has something people can build and take away and many involve circuits and PCBs (printed circuit boards) that we have designed. They come with all the components, equipment, online documentation and risk assessments.

In Summer 2023 we will be running courses at:
The Bodger’s Ball, Cambridge, 4th May
bodgers.org.uk
Radical Bakers Summer Gathering 7th July
radicalbakers.org/summer-gathering
and Harvest Camp 8th September.
radicalbakers.org/harvest-camp
If you are interested in having the Green Dragon Mobile Maker Space at your event, please email info@greendragonproductions.co.uk

Green Dragon Maker Space Courses 2023

18650 lithium cells in 3d printed holders ready for testing

Activity: Build a USB Powerbank from reclaimed 18650 Lithium Cells.
Time: 2 hours. Cost: £40. Places: 6. Takeaway: 4 cell 5V USB Powerbank

Learn to test and match reclaimed 18650 Lithium Cells and to build larger packs from them. Use a Kweld Mini Spot Welder to weld cells into packs with Nickel strip.
How do Lithium batteries work? How do we safely charge and discharge them? Find out about BMS (battery management systems) and Lithium protection circuits.
Materials provided: 4 x reclaimed 18650 Lithium cells and a 3D printed holder, 1 x 2A QC 3.0 5V Powerbank Module PCB, solder, Nickel strip, Copper cable, Heatshrink.
Equipment provided: Kweld mini spot welder, 18650 tester, battery ISR tester, soldering iron, heat gun, snips, scissors, safety glasses.
Online documentation HERE.

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Activity: Wire LED strips to a 12V battery. Beginners Session!
Time: 2 hours. Cost: £25. Places: 8. Takeaway: 1m of 12V WW COB LED strip with fuse, switch and splice connectors.

Basic low voltage DC wiring, Fusing and Safety. Learn to use Multimeters and other electrical testers and what the numbers mean. We will cover cable sizing, fusing, connectors and the very basics of electricity (simply put).
This is a session aimed at beginners with an emphasis on safety and plenty of time to ask questions.
Materials provided: 1m 12V LED strip, 3m dual core cable, inline blade fuse holder, blade fuse x 2, Wago connectors x 3, Splice connectors x 2, solder
Equipment provided: Multimeters, screwdriver, snips, cable strippers, pliers, soldering iron
Online documentation: HERE.

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Solar panels and blue sky with clouds

Activity: Wire up a demonstration solar power system and program a solar charge controller.
Time: 2 hours. Cost: £30 Places: 8. Takeaway: The Knowledge!

Small scale Solar installation following on from the basic low voltage DC course. We begin with a hands-on session with cables, fuses, bus bars, solar panels, lithium batteries and charge controllers. Then we will look at a high-end 2400W Victron/Outback Solar power system with 6kWh LiFePO4 battery and talk about Off-Grid Solar power practicalities, costs and calculations. We will finish by taking a look at the Grid and Green Tariffs.
Materials provided: Cable, fuses, bus bars, screws, cable clips
Equipment provided: Multimeters, laptop, charge controller, spanners, screwdrivers
Online documentation: HERE.

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Blinky! Solder a board of flashing Reverse Avalanche LEDs.
Time: 2 hours. Cost: £25. Places: 8. Takeaway: Take your Blinky home (power supply not included) or add it to the Wall of Blinky.

Learn to solder through-hole components in this relaxing session using retro old stock transistors and reclaimed capacitors.
Learn about the RC time constant and series/parallel resistors. We can salvage capacitors from old and broken electronics by desoldering them with hot air. By using Light dependent resistors, we can make some interesting cascading LED effects and rhythmical modulated audio oscillations.
Materials provided: 12V Blinky! PCB, Through-hole components, solder
Equipment provided: multimeter, oscilloscope, audio amplifier, soldering iron, heatproof mat, soldering iron holder, PCB holder
Online documentation including schematic: HERE.

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Activity: Build a 12V LED PWM driver/dimmer using surface mount components.
Time: 2 hours. Cost: £35 Places: 6. Takeaway: PWM LED driver for 12V LED strips

LEDs! (Light Emitting Diodes) How they work and how to power them. Using a multimeter and an Oscilloscope to see how LEDs are driven by Pulse Width Modulation.
A look at addressable LED strips and Arduino and a breakdown of the different LED lighting products available on the market.
Materials provided: 12V PWM Dimmer PCB, SMD Components, Through-hole components, solder, solder paste
Equipment provided: Multimeter, Oscilloscopes, soldering iron, heatproof mat, soldering iron holder, PCB holder, hot air gun, SMD reflow hotplate, solder paste dispenser, tweezers
Online documentation including schematic: HERE.

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Activity: Build your own Analogue Oscillator circuit.
Time: 2 hours. Cost: £45 Places: 6. Takeaway: One Horrible Noise Machine or Pure Sine Generator.

A look at and listen to some different types: 555s, Transistor based Phase-shift and the Reverse Avalanche used in Blinky!, Wien Bridge, Logic IC based. Use a power amplifier and speakers to listen to audio frequency waveforms from a Signal Generator.
I have designed several 5V usb and 12V DC jack analogue tone and noise generator circuit boards to choose from with all components supplied. (all with minijack output, power supply not included)
Materials provided: Analogue Oscillator or Noise Generator PCB, SMD Components, Through-hole components, solder, solder paste
Equipment provided: multimeter, oscilloscope, audio amplifier, soldering iron, heatproof mat, soldering iron holder, PCB holder, solder paste dispenser, tweezers, hot air gun, SMD reflow hotplate
Online documentation including schematics: HERE.

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Activity: Build a small switch mode boost type 5V USB Powerbank module from scratch using SMD Components.
Time: 2 Hours Cost: £30 Takeaway: A 5v 1.5A USB Powerbank module for use with Lithium cells.

Switch Mode power supplies, basic operating principles of common ICs. Includes a deep dive into DW01 lithium protection circuits.
Materials provided: USB Powerbank module PCB, SMD Components, solder paste
Equipment provided: multimeter, oscilloscope, PCB holder, solder paste dispenser, tweezers, hot air gun, SMD reflow hotplate, soldering iron, heatproof mat, soldering iron holder, PCB holder
Online documentation including schematic: HERE.

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Activity: Print a case for a previous project such as the Powerbank or the 12V LED Dimmer.
Time: 30 mins Cost: £10 Takeaway: A case for your project.

Print a functional object using our Solar powered CR-10 3D printer.
Materials: 1.75mm PLA, hairspray
Equipment: Creality CR-10 3D Printer, Laptop, memory card

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The Green Dragon Maker Space is totally solar powered and we provide a 3D printer, a Kweld mini spot welder, soldering irons, heatproof mats, soldering iron holders, PCB holders, solder paste dispensers, SMD solder reflow hotplate, several SMD reflow hot air guns, a projector, laptops, screen and PA, lots of multimeters, Oscilloscopes and Signal Generators, 18650 testers, power supplies up to 18A 50V, LEDs of many different kinds, microcontrollers and lots of other electronic components and equipment. All the activities are risk-assessed and we are self contained within a 6 x 6m white canvas structure.

Low voltage electrics and electronics courses for everyone from total beginners to the totally jaded!