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Visiting Alpha One Labs, Brooklyn NY

Visiting Alpha One Labs, Brooklyn NY

Alpha One Labs is a hackerspace in Brooklyn NY. It is located on the 4th (3rd?) floor of a relatively new building on Norman Ave. It is a single (approx) 500sqft work room plus a bathroom. But wow do they pack a lot in that small space.

Alpha One Labs from Door

The space is very neatly laid out. The wall on right as you enter is covered with tools hanging on pegboard, with small parts boxes mounted above. The bathroom (with soda machine) is directly back. A large 80watt laser cutter is to the left of the door as you enter. A Donation box is mounted on the wall next to the door. The far wall is lined with shelves fairly neatly stuffed with a wide variety of tools, projects, parts. The center area has a collection of work tables/chairs and a pair of standing workbenches. Once side of this bench has a drill press, small chop saw, vice, bench grinder, etc. The other side seems setup for electronics, with the shelf above holding a nice collection of oscilloscope, power supplies, meters, etc. The back corner of the space hides a vending machine (work-in-process) and the while board.

Alpha One Labs From Back of room

All in all this is an very very nicely laid out hackerspace. I commend the team for their design and organization.

The space is organized as an owner-board. That is, there is a small cadre of founders who serve as the board and control decisions, etc. Membership does not confer an authoritative vote. There are about 40 members of the space, paying roughly $40/mo for 24/7 access. The laser is the one piece of equipment for which they charge usage rates – to allow the owners to make back some of the expense. The space hosts a variety of meetups like robotics, 3d Printing, arduino, etc. (for past events see http://alphaonelabs.eventbrite.com/)

The night I visited (May 23 2012) was a special event to talk about Space Programs – specifically the Hackerspace Space Program. One of the founding members of Alpha One Labs, Psy Tek, was a co-author of the proposal. Since I was in town briefly (one night) we had arranged to meet. Psy Tek had put the word out and we had a decent turnout. I was surprised to see most of the people were there at Alpha One Labs for the first time! We even had a guy come all the way from Philadelphia, just for the meeting!

I’m looking forward to meeting up with this crew again in July when I go back to NYC for the HOPE 9 conference.

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.

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