Diva does… Electronics

Of late I’ve felt an inexplicable pull toward all things geeky so when I saw a Beginners Electronics Workshop advertised where I could solder under the instruction of Super Geeks – I was sold.

Electronics workshop with Edinburgh Hacklab

Electronics workshop with Edinburgh Hacklab


It was run by new Geek Meet Edinburgh Hacklab and was organised as part of Granny Green’s Big Night Out a craft group which meets every Monday at The LOT in The Grassmarket. 

It was with much excitement and some trepidation that I rode to The LOT last Monday evening. The event had sold out so it was busy and buzzy when I arrived. I was greeted by Sarah  Barrie the fabulous woman who organises Granny Green’s and has made it a roaring success within just three months. As well as weekly crafts get togethers, there is also a book and film group plus workshops for a variety of crafts and new skills (ranging from electronics to cross-stitch). I really look forward to getting along again soon and reviving the knitting skills my Mum introduced me to years ago.

So back to electronics. I was on a table with a jeweller and an artist under the watchful eye of Electronics Geek and Founder of Hacklab, Alan Bennett. He has the patience of a saint. And he needed it!

Alan Bennett, Founder of Edinburgh Hacklab

Alan Bennett, Founder of Edinburgh Hacklab

The technical language was pitched at just my level:

“The soldering iron has a hot end and a cold end. Hold it by the cold end.”

So far so good.

“If you drop the soldering iron don’t try to catch it. Let it fall and then pick it up by the cold end.”

He’s obviously met me before.

We set about building a ‘Game of Life’ by attaching components to a circuit board. In case you are interested – resistors, leds, an integrated circuit and a switch [tech terms provided by Mr Mac].

Edinburgh Diva does Electronics

Towards the start when things were going swimmingly

Of course I managed to get some of the parts in the wrong place. Al assisted me in saving the day to get me flashing. On the plus side my soldering was very good. We won’t talk about the er… incident involving the solder iron cable and the hot end of my soldering iron…!

Electronic workshop with Edinburgh Hacklab

Oh dear, I've put the integrated circuit board in the wrong way. Thankfully it's not the bit that's soldered in so rescuable. Phew!

I loved this experience and am delighted with my new  er…  Well I’m not sure what it is but it’s green with flashing lights so perhaps a Christmas decoration or an earring!

Electronics workshop with Edinburgh Hacklab

Made by Diva, with very lovely soldering and only one or two crises

If they’ll have me back I’m quite keen to try out some of the projects in the fabulous Fashion Geek book (thanks for the tip Helena!). Fashion Geek  combines DIY fashion with electronics in ‘simple’ projects including a ‘Blooming Buttons’ jacket with flowers that light up with the jacket is buttoned. Ah what fun! My personal favourite is the red stilletto shoes with flashing lights. Who says that only toddlers can have flashing shoes?!

Fashion Geek book

Get your Geek Fix
Hacklab is ideal for electronics geeks who would like access to a fully-kitted-out workspace and community of like-minded people. 
Or if you’d like to organise the type of Beginners session I went to, I know they can organise that too.  
Find out more on the Edinburgh Hacklab websitefacebook and Twitter

Get Creative
If you are creative, or would like to be check out Granny Green’s, you’ll love it!
Find out more on the  Granny Green’s Big Night Out website, facebook and Twitter

Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you
If you have a creative blog or website, please leave a link in comments below


9 responses to “Diva does… Electronics

  1. Hi Steph,

    Wow what an interesting concept Granny Green’s is- must give it a crack sometime!



  2. Pingback: Diva’s diaries… Gives you wings! | Edinburgh Diva

  3. Hahaha Steph – you must make the red stilettos for the New Year Ball. You’d be the only one there wearing them! 🙂

  4. Fabulous. Loving your description of your experience into the world of geeks (having a geek living in myself and having several fabulous and incredible geek friends, we welcome you ;D ) and needless to say: we won’t ever mention the er… incident involving the solder iron cable and the hot end of my soldering iron…!

  5. Oh yes you can always rely on friends to remember all the things you try to forget! Hope all is good with you. S

  6. Pingback: Can you give Granny Green’s a venue? | UmeedainTimes.com

  7. Pingback: Fascinating Fascinators | Sunday Brunch Club Blog

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