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Great Global Hackerspace Challenge – Chill Box

Its official – Maui Makers has been selected to participate in the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge (Spring 2011 edition)!!

Here is the brief summary of The Challenge:

  • Your hackerspace will create a project to help with education, using US$900 (or equivalent) provided by Element14. The project must use a microcontroller and a portable power source.
  • You have 6 weeks to complete your project, documenting your project as you go. All spaces that complete their project will receive 10 soldering setups.
  • Three hackerspaces’ projects will be chosen as finalists to present at the Grand Finale at the San Francisco Maker Faire. All three of these spaces will receive some really nice electronic test equipment. One person from each space will be flown out to present their project at the San Francisco Maker Faire over the weekend of 21-May & 22-May.
  • One project will be chosen at the Grand Finale at the San Francisco Maker Faire to receive some extra goodies, including a very nice oscilloscope.

Detailed instructions can be found in the Participant Packet PDF.

Our plan is build a Chilled Soil Agricultural Demonstration – aka Chill Box.  This system will circulate chilled water through (above) soil in a window box sized container. The chilled water serves several purposes. The main purpose is to condense water from atmosphere onto the soil.  Secondary purposes are related to growing temperate and high altitude plants in a semi-tropical/sea level environment.   We have already had strong interest expressed by the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM) and representatives of the Maui County Dept of Water Supply.  Our intent is to use a peltier device to provide Thermo-electric Cooling controlled by a microprocessor using humidity and moisture and various other sensors to chill the water.  We intend to use a solar power panel to provide portable power, coupled with a deep cycle marine battery so the system can operate at night, when there may be higher humidity.

More to follow!!

UPDATE: check our Element14 ChillBox blog and find other posts here under the Chill Box Project Category

About Jerry

Founder of MauiMakers. Previously 30+ yrs as software engineer in bleeding edge tech such as UNIX(1978+), Computer Animation, Multimedia, Virtual Reality, Games, Location Based Entertainment, Military C4I, DARPA Research, etc. Thought FabLab was great new thing, so learned machine shop tech and moved to Maui to start one.


  1. I have no skills in any of the technologies listed. However, I’d love to watch/learn/help if possible. Is there any possibility of participation?

  2. Hi Eric – Makers is all about learning and helping. There is definitely possibilities. Check the google group for daily conversation

  3. First meetup including telcon with Element 14 folks today (Wed March 23) at 4pm – 395 Dairy Rd Suite C, Kahului HI 96732

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