Come join us on the 19th February

Medway makers have our next social gathering on Sunday 19th February.

Come and join us. it’s FREE!

Are you looking for a new hobby or a way to bring your creative ideas to life? Look no further than Medway Makers.

Makerspaces like Medway Makers are community-run spaces where people can gather to work on projects, learn new skills, and collaborate with others. They often feature tools and equipment that might be too expensive or difficult for individuals to acquire on their own, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC machines.

But a makerspace is more than just a collection of tools. It’s a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about making and creating. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s always something new to learn and discover. Plus, the community aspect of a makerspace allows for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and inspiration.

So why should you attend a makerspace? Here are a few reasons:

Access to tools and equipment that you might not have at home

Opportunities to learn new skills and techniques from other members

A community of like-minded individuals to collaborate with and share ideas

A space to work on personal projects and bring your ideas to life

If you’re looking for a fun, creative outlet or a way to take your projects to the next level, a makerspace is a great place to start. So why not check out Medway Makers and see what it has to offer? You might be surprised at what you can create!

First social gathering of 2023 – 15th January

Happy New Year folks.

Our first social gathering of 2023 is on the 15th January kicking off at 11am.

Join us either virtually, via Skype, or in person, any time between 11am and 4pm. Come and go as you please. Stay as long or as short as you like.

Come join us for a chat and a cuppa. See what we are all about. Make new friends. Learn some new things.

Get your FREE tickets below.

Christmas Meetup – 11th Dec 2022

Come and join us at our next social meetup which will be held on Sunday 11th Dec. This will be our last meetup for 2022. Mike will be learning how to make games using the Godot Game Engine. Other members will be building circuits using Arduino’s and Raspberry Pis. Don’t be shy. Come along and see what we are all about.

FREE tickets can be obtained using the link below. Join us in person or virtually using Skype.

Next social Meetup – 20th November 2022

Come and join us at our next social meetup which will be held on Sunday 20th November. Mike will be learning how to make games using the Godot Game Engine. Other members will be building circuits using Arduino’s and Raspberry Pis. Don’t be shy. Come along and see what we are all about.

FREE tickets can be obtained using the link below. Join us in person or virtually using Skype.

Next social Meetup – 9th October 2022

Come and join us at our next social meetup which will be held on Sunday 9th May 2022. Mike will be learning how to make games using the Godot Game Engine. Other members will be building circuits using Arduino’s and Raspberry Pis. Don’t be shy. Come along and see what we are all about.

FREE tickets can be obtained using the link below. Join us in person or virtually using Skype.

Game Development using the Godot Game Engine

Recently our leader Mike has been getting back into game development using the Godot Game Engine after learning it a year or so ago. Godot uses a node based system with scriptable objects meaning each object in the game can be programmed with its own script to make it do something, e.g. player, background, enemies, power-ups, etc.

The language Godot uses is called GDScript which is very much like Python in its syntax. It is easy to learn and intuitive.

At the moment Mike is trying to recreate some classic games using Godot such as Space Invaders and Centipede. If you wish to see what Mike is up to or to learn game development yourself using Godot then come and see us at our next social meetup (Click the events tab). Tickets are free.

TailQuest: Defense by Kivano Games made with Godot

New meetup dates for 2022 added

We’ve added some new dates for the 2022 meetups. From January onwards the meetups will now be held on the THIRD Sunday of each month, with additional meetups advertised when we get volunteers to host a meetup at their house.

You can find all of the new dates on Eventbrite HERE.

Medway Makers Tech Meetup – 9th May 2021

Our next social tech meetup will be held on Sunday 9th May 2021. Please come and join us, even if you just wants a non-tech related chat you are welcome.

We have members joining us from all over the world now with regulars in Italy, California, Italy, Portugal and Belgium.

If you want a FREE ticket to join us in our next online Zoom call then go to Eventbrite and sign up…

Next Online Event- 24th Jan 2021

Happy New Year everyone. Our next online tech social event will be held viz Zoom on Sunday 24th January starting at 11am and going on for 2-3 hours.

Everyone is welcome, no matter who you are. You don’t need to bring anything or have any prior knowledge of anything, this is mainly a social gathering with a tech slant. Sign up for free below:

Kerbal Space Program: 10 Axis Controller with Arduino Mega.

by Declan Heard

How about a custom 10 Axis Controller?

Kerbal Space Program is a brilliant game/Space Flight Simulator, it teaches the basics of rocket science, and aerodynamics, and lets you test out crazy contraptions that only exist in science fiction and never before realised concepts.

The scope for this project was to replace the typical keyboard game controls, with a far more interactive, intuitive and fun Analogue Stick control layout. I wanted to be able to assign different controls depending on whether a Rocket is being flown to orbit, a Spaceplane was lining up on final approach to a runway, or a Rover was being driven across the surface of The Mun.

The controller runs off an Arduino Mega 2560 and uses the Kerbal SimPit Mod installed in the Game Data folder of Kerbal Space Program. The ready-made Arduino library, Kerbal SimPit is available from the Arduino Library Manager, and this handles all the communication between the controller and the game.


As well as the typical flight controls, Pitch, Yaw, and Roll, the controller also handles translation controls, i.e. movement in the X, Y and Z direction when the Reaction Control Thrusters (RCS) are enabled and Rover Wheel commands, Throttle and Steering when in Rover Mode.

To be able to control each of these parameters in unison, I used two 3 axis joysticks that would operate most of the main flight controls, and two 2 axis joysticks to cover rudders in plane mode and some of the RCS translation controls. This is way more options than is really needed, but it gives the pilot scope to adapt the controls to suit different vehicles and flying styles.

A simple slide pot enables fine control of the Main Engine Throttle, which makes precise landing burns easy and fun to pull off. No more need for parachutes, just make sure you have enough fuel to complete your suicide burn!

A large Staging button in the centre of the console takes the place of the spacebar. Press this button to go to space. Always make sure you check your staging before hitting the go button.

Once underway, its often prudent to lock the staging button until it is required again. A handy toggle switch is provided to lock the staging button, ensuring your rocket doesn’t break into different pieces at an inopportune moment.  

The other switches let the pilot raise and lower the gear, apply brakes, toggle SAS (Stability) and RCS modes, or trigger any of 10 or 20 different custom actions depending on which other mods you have installed.

Of course, any Rocket is incomplete without some way of aborting the flight and saving the cosmonauts when everything is going wrong. In case of RUD, Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly, pressing and holding the Abort Switch prompts the pilot to press the stage button to engage Abort Mode.

Once Abort Mode is engaged, there is no turning back. If you have set it up your actions correctly, your crew capsule separates, the abort motors fire, and your crew is dragged, kicking and screaming away from any impending explosions, and..…are safe. You remembered to pack parachutes, right?


On boot up, if the Arduino finds a config file saved to the CD card it applies the last saved settings, if it cannot find a file it boots with factory settings, and creates a config file to save settings into. It then runs a self-calibration to make sure all the joysticks are outputting zero.

The OLED screen displays various actions, like which SAS mode has been triggered, and the status of Brakes and the Gear. It also lets budding Astronauts change and save the different options for each of the flight modes, Rocket, Plane and Rover, run the calibration routine, and set the SD card to restore the factory config file on bootup.

The front panel was designed in Fusion 360, and 3D printed to fit an off the shelf Hammond, although this version was measured slightly inaccurately and required a small amount of filing to get some parts to fit.

The wiring was planned using DIY Layout Creator, I wanted every connection on header pins, allowing easy maintenance and future expansion or improvements. All the power, GND and Signal wire to and from the front panels, including pull up and pull-down resistors would be over two daughterboards.

Organised Chaos. Imagine how it would look without planning.


Due to the limitations of the mod and the game functions, several of the switches for the SAS autopilot do not function as well as hoped and occasionally cause the game to crash when operated.

These controls are also assigned to the keyboard numpad, so a second controller could be used to handle these commands, as well as some other keyboard shortcuts the game relies on, like changing camera views and controlling the time warp functions. This could run on an Arduino Leonardo, which would show up as a keyboard or Joystick input to the computer.

I would really like to improve the front panel, possibly make it into a single PCB that can have the control labels silkscreened directly on. This could also save all of the offboard wiring, and a single ribbon cable used to connect the Arduino to the front panel.

For the source code for this project, see my GitHub repo @:

Full instructional writeup due at some point.

The Phone of Positivity

by Tom Sparrow

I came across an old military field phone for sale in a junk shop and loved the look of the phone,. However, I wanted the phone to be functional in an interesting way and no just something to look at.

So after speaking to Mike, he gave me the brilliant idea of having the phone speak inspirational quotes. We discussed how we could go about doing this and decided to buy and mp3 module that could be triggered via a set of buttons on the phone.

So I took the MP3 module and soldered the speaker output pads to the handset of the phone, added some buttons such as play, next track/quote, pause etc. then I took an audiobook full of quotes and converted it to MP3 format, then separated each track with Audacity to have its own file which could be stored on a micro SD card and played on the MP3 module.


Nixie Clock Upgrade

After making the quote speaking phone, I decided to take the project further by adding some front-facing nixie tubes soldered to a nixie clock circuit board purchased from eBay.

I made a template of the clock, taped it into position on the phone, then drilled and filed out the oval shapes that would fit the nixie tubes. Then I wired the MP3 module and nixie clock to one USB input at the back of the phone case so one power supply could be used for both functions.

A final check to make sure all cables and connections were well insulated and safe from touching the metal phone case and then the clock was fired up. It really does look great.

Controlling 2 LEDs with 1 pin

Not many people know that it is possible to control 2 LEDs individually with just a single digital output pin. See the video below for proof. These 2 LEDs are both connected to the same pin, digital pin D5 on a Wemos D1 mini.

How is this magic possible? Take a look at the circuit diagram. As you can see we have both of the LEDs connected to the same digital pin. However, one LED has its cathode (negative leg) connected to ground and the other one is connected to 5v (or 3v on a Wemos D1).

To light up LED 1, make the digital pin an output and make the pin HIGH. Electricity will flow from the digital pin to ground, lighting up LED 1. To light up LED 2, make the digital pin go LOW. Now the electricity will flow from the 5v (0r 3,3v) pin to ground via the digital pin that has been pulled low.

To turn both LEDs off, make the digital pin an INPUT, which will prevent the voltage from going anywhere and both LEDs now turn off.

So, how do you light up both LEDs? Well, it is not possible. However, you can trick your eye into seeing they are both on by turning each LED on in quick succession very very fast.

Take a look at the entire code below and you will see how to turn both LEDs on at the same time in the do…while loop.

unsigned long counter;

void setup() {
    pinMode(D5, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
    // Turn LED A on B off
    pinMode(D5, OUTPUT);
    digitalWrite(D5, HIGH);

    // Turn LED B on A off
    digitalWrite(D5, LOW);

    // Turn LED A and B on (very fast)
    counter = millis();

        digitalWrite(D5, HIGH);
        digitalWrite(D5, LOW);
    } while ((millis() - counter) < 1000);

    // Turn LED A and B off
    pinMode(D5, INPUT);

The only disadvantage to this is when both LEDs are apparently on they re slightly dimmer then when on individually. However, for the sake of saving 50% of he number of pins this is a small trade-off.

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