Electronic Pirates

‘Electronic Pirates’ is a hacklocal program that recycles and reuses old, broken, discarded, and/or donated electronics. hacklocal offers classes to teach members how to disassemble these old electronics and ‘steal’ or ‘pirate’ the many usable components and test them for functionality. Members will learn how to identify, remove, and test usable parts and components from electronics that are safe to handle and disassemble. hacklocal will also have regular collection times for donated electronics, so please stay tuned to our blog for additional information.

This program is a great way to promote being “green” by responsibly recycling and re-using electronics. These old, broken, unwanted pieces of electronics should never be thrown in the trash. Here in the State of Pennsylvania, it is actually prohibited to throw these items away or leave out at the curb (refer to Covered Devices Recycling Act (CDRA), Pa Act 108 of 201). We would love to take these devices off your hands, and we can turn them into something new and exciting. Please stay tuned to our blog for updates on this program.

Arduino-based Coral Tank Control system

hacklocal is working with local aquarists on a research project to build a control system that will mimic the ideal conditions for coral reproduction. Following the groundwork of a project at the Horniman Museum and Gardens (hackathon link here), hacklocal is developing an arduino-based aquarium controller that will translate temperature and illumination cycle data in order to control LED lighting and tank temperature control systems. This controller can use static data or real-time data as in the Horniman experiment. We will be mimicking lunar cycles of the coral’s natural environment, including the color temperature and illumination intensity. The goal of this project is to facilitate coral reproduction in an aquarium environment.


In 2014, hacklocal will organize and launch the inaugural “Riverbot Challenge”, an autonomous watercraft competition among schools, universities, hackerspaces, and other groups. This competition will seek to encourage innovation and creativity in the fields of open source electronics, robotics, and more. Other goals include increasing interest and awareness of the power of open source micro-controllers and embedded technology, growing STEM programs in local schools, and demonstrating the positive impact of hackerspaces and makerspaces in local communities.


We recently picked up a discarded (but perfectly good) full-size arcade game from someone’s curbside. Their trash is our treasure. hacklocal hackers will turn this game into a free MAME box offering thousands of classic arcade and console games to hacklocal visitors at our new location, which is yet to be announced. oh the suspense and anticipation! check the blog/front page for updates.

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