The vending machine now provides some more feedback after money is put in.
Source code associated with my contribution is here. I haven't documented
the other components of the vending machine.
Based on the implementation details, it appears to me that
the bill acceptor is in fact plugged into one board (Arduino Leonardo)
that is connected by serial to another board (Raspberry Pi). Why is
the former board used at all? That is, why is the bill acceptor not
plugged directly into the latter board?
Regarding furnaces, space heaters and CCL.
I don’t recall anyone asking CCL if we needed or wanted a furnace or a
I think the whole process of working on the furnace and space heater is
distracting to the lab work we are doing, it is also making extra work for
us, and putting an added risk factor in place.
I for one don’t want to repair the furnace or space heater in CCL.
Some of my reasons are:
1. Oakland, CA has the best weather in the world. As far as cold
weather, the thermometer only rarely goes below 45 degrees F at night in
winter. This is not Siberia or N. Dakota, it’s Oakland. Back in the 90’s
was the last time it got cold enough to turn on a heater for a few nights.
2. It’s true that someone brought in a small electric heater to CCL.
I think they were sleeping at the lab or doing some web surfing. The
Temescal library is only a few blocks away and they will likely have the
heat turned up for people to be comfortable as they read and snooze. I
have worked at CCL even late at night for 5 years and have not noticed any
extremes of cold there. CCL is a lab and it’s warm enough to do lab work
there year round. There’s some garments that used to be known as “Long
Johns” Those and a cap or hoody all anyone ever needs to keep warm in CCL
in winter. I think there should be a ban on heaters at CCL. The small
heater I found left on with no one in the lab multiple times and unplugged
3. CCL is about working on making a better tomorrow and we have a lot
of challenges to meet with things like global warming. That’s something I
think we all need to take responsibility for. Humans will soon be higher
on the endangered species list if we don’t. Furnaces and heaters, large or
small draw a lot of power, gas and/or electricity, and are not sustainable,
and not energy efficient by any means. It takes a tremendous amount of
energy to heat a space the size of the Omni commons building. What effect
does this use of gas and electricity have on global warming? Does it not
make perfect sense to put on warm socks and underwear, a wool cap and be
warm as toast without using large amounts of these resources to heat a
large space? Hello, this is the 21st century and we do need to mend our
ways for the sake of future generations, and life on earth in general. So
as far as CCL goes, I say no to heaters.
4. I have been informed by our treasurer, Michael Arent that CCL and
also the Omni are facing some financial difficulties. It seems like at
this time we need to be careful about spending money. There are a number
of projects at the Omni commons that would seem to have priority over
heating concerns. A roof that doesn’t leak when it rains, for example.
Paying for gas and electricity to heat the building doesn’t seem to be
necessary at all. Let’s consider selling the furnace as scrap metal and
raise some small funds for repairing the Omni.
5. Lab work takes a great deal of focus and we don’t wish to have the
disturbances of any work going on overhead. We have a great deal of
materials and time invested in what we are doing. I’m the one who asked
for the COI and an incident is fresh in my memory of a friend’s lab in
Oakland where some work was being done and a very heavy piece of metal came
crashing down from a high roof to land on a workstation, damaging
equipment. If anyone had been sitting at that workbench at the time, they
probably would have been killed or crippled. Of course I want to know who
is going to be responsible for any injuries or damage done and that
COI should be approved by CCL before any work takes place at the lab. Then
I wouldn't need to bring it up at an inconvenient time. We also strongly
feel that the labwork we are doing is so much more important than working
on the heating system. A couple projects at CCL are involved with public
health (matters of life and death) and we don’t wish to be distracted by
activities overhead or have to do additional cleanup work because of them.
We really have enough on our plates and would appreciate being left alone
to do our work undisturbed. Please desist. No need for heaters at CCL.
Let's hear from some of the others who are in the lab year round, are you
reasonably comfy or not? What concerns do you have and what improvements
would you like to see at CCL in the year to come?
Best wishes always,
CCL Lab Rat
Hardware hacknight will be happening tonight at sudo room starting at 7 pm.
* An old laser was torn down into its useful components
* Some folks repaired a broken stereo amplifier
* Some of us opened up an old Macintosh SE/30 and got rw access to the
ancient 60 MB harddrive from a modern linux PC, then set up System 7.5 in
an emulator and attempted to talk to the old Mac over serial
* We'll be trying to get the old mac browsing the modern web and set up at
sudo room's front table.
* We'll attempt to turn two broken very high pressure syringe pumps (HPLC)
into a single working one.
* <insert your project here>
Come hang out!
Mask required at all times when indoors and vaccination required (proof of
vaccination not required). If you want to eat you must do so outside (last
week we had a pizza break out on the sidewalk).
There's a new doorbell on the front door that should get our attention in
case you don't have an access card.
We're rebooting the sudo room meetings. Last week we tried to do an
in-person only meeting but I gave late notice and very few people showed.
Let's try this again with a virtual _and_ in-person meeting.
I'll set up some microphones, speakers and webcam to connect those of us at
sudo room to those joining online.
We'll send out a link to the video conference when we're about to begin.
If you're joining in person, remember that masks and vaccines are required
(though not proof of vaccine). There is a new doorbell on the front door if
your access card isn't working (or you don't have one).
I think six months ago or more, we talked about trying to figure out where
these emails are coming from and whether they're accurate. If they're
accurate, it would be nice to get a clarification of the situation and what we
need to do about it, otherwise if this is an automatic message that is sending
out confusing and incorrect numbers, we should figure out where it's coming
from and turn it off.
Does anyone control the email address "Omni Commons <quickbooks(a)notification.intuit.com>"
it's coming from o4.e.notification.intuit.com [184.108.40.206]
also, we need to remove the email address rcsheets(a)acm.org from these automatic
messages, i'm pretty sure they don't want to receive these messages anymore or
hear anything about us.
On Tue, 28 Sep 2021, Omni Commons wrote:
> Dear Sudo Room,
> Just a reminder that we have not received a payment for this invoice yet. Let us know if you have questions.
> Thanks for your business!
> Omni Commons
> ---------------------------------- Invoice ---------------------------------
> 4799 Shattuck Ave
> Oakland, CA 94609 US
> Invoice #: 2407
> Date: 09/01/2021
> Due Date: 09/25/2021
> Terms: Net 25
> Amount Due: $20,000.00
> Bill To:
> Sudo Room
> 4799 Shattuck Ave
> Oakland, CA 94607
> ****************************** Account Summary *****************************
> 08/01/2021 Balance Forward $20,000.00
> Other payments and credits after 08/01/2021 -2,000.00
> New charges (details below) 2,000.00
> Total Amount Due (activity through 09/01/202 20,000.00
> <u> Date </u><u> Activity </u><u> Qty </u><u> Rate </u><u> Amount </u>
> 09/01/2021 Furnishing Fa 1 2,000.00 2,000.00
> Total Of New Charges: $2,000.00
> Total Amount Due: $20,000.00
> Greetings Sudo Room!
> This is your monthly donation invoice. Thank you for stewarding the
> Love and solidarity,
> Omni Commons Finance Working Group
Dear Sudo Room,
Just a reminder that we have not received a payment for this invoice yet. Let us know if you have questions.
Thanks for your business!
---------------------------------- Invoice ---------------------------------
4799 Shattuck Ave
Oakland, CA 94609 US
Invoice #: 2407
Due Date: 09/25/2021
Terms: Net 25
Amount Due: $20,000.00
4799 Shattuck Ave
Oakland, CA 94607
****************************** Account Summary *****************************
08/01/2021 Balance Forward $20,000.00
Other payments and credits after 08/01/2021 -2,000.00
New charges (details below) 2,000.00
Total Amount Due (activity through 09/01/202 20,000.00
<u> Date </u><u> Activity </u><u> Qty </u><u> Rate </u><u> Amount </u>
09/01/2021 Furnishing Fa 1 2,000.00 2,000.00
Total Of New Charges: $2,000.00
Total Amount Due: $20,000.00
Greetings Sudo Room!
This is your monthly donation invoice. Thank you for stewarding the
Love and solidarity,
Omni Commons Finance Working Group
Hi CCL and Sudo,
Forwarded below is my update to consensus list on the present status of
omni's various furnaces / heaters, including those situated within
CCL/Sudo. I encourage all to read through it, and I wanted to extend my
gratitude to everyone who allowed the safety of the furnace and space
heater to be assessed on 9/23.
In addition to that update, based on feedback from folks in the lab at the
time, *I also wanted to develop a better protocol for the scheduled
maintenance of these fixtures and for infrastructure issues generally with
CCL and Sudo, in particular CCL*.
To this end I had the following questions for CCL:
1. I was told there was a Lab Manager -- I believe whose name is Dave? May
I have this person's contact info?
As moving forward, it would be great to ensure this person is directly
apprised of any maintenance work which may affect CCL.
2. During the work, a CCL'er demanded that the HVAC person present their
Certificate of Insurance (COI). I wanted to respectfully ask that in the
future, if such questions be directed at me or whomever is coordinating the
maintenance for omni, rather than of the tech performing the maintenance.
As I don't believe this is the sort of paperwork that tradesfolk carry
around with them on their person while on ladders etc., and it can feel
vaguely threatening, whereas I am happy to provide this if this is
(Parenthetically on this topic - I also was hoping CCL might provide their
annual COI to me or to the finance WG, to aid the pursuit of re-applying
for cheaper building/fire insurance for the whole building.. I've been
meaning to gather all these)
3. Per my update to consensus, I would like (w/ zero pressure) to ask if
CCL might consider voluntarily safely undertaking a cleaning of the furnace
platform upon which there is a layer of dust (such as wiping down with wet
wipes i imagine, or some other manner involving a minimum of air
disturbance). This way, the furnace could be occasionally serviced or
accessed in an emergency with a minimum chance of dust disturbing CCL areas
I ask since I was informed there are special cleaning and associated
protective procedures in use within CCL, which it was made clear to me,
neither myself as a lay-person nor other non-CCL omninoms may be familiar.
So, I recognize that CCL is itself probably better equipped to do the best
job possible of this.
If that sounds reasonable to CCL, it would be great if this task could be
undertaken sometime in the next week, ie before an HVAC person is scheduled
See the forwarded message below with regards updates about specific HVAV
Thank you so much CCL & Sudo! and have a great weekend :)
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: David Keenan <dkeenan44(a)gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 3:12 PM
Subject: Omni HVAC status 9/24
To: consensus <consensus(a)lists.omnicommons.org>
Cc: building <building(a)lists.omnicommons.org>, <
The HVAC tech came out on Thursday 9/23 and completed an assessment of the
two fixtures mounted halfway up CCL's north wall, being (a) gas furnace
serving the adjacent disco room and (b) gas space heater serving CCL /
Sudo's room. In addition, I discovered (c) a small modification we need to
make to the furnace serving the ballroom.
*A. Space heater serving CCL/Sudo*:
*This unit was found to be safe & 100% functional; it can be turned on by
activating the switch in the BSL room that has the brown cover plate* (mounted
a bit high up on the wall, but still reachable from a standing position).
In the tech's professional opinion the unit is appropriately sized for the
room and will adequately heat / take the chill out of the room.
Therefore in my own opinion, CCL might consider giving the space heater a
try as an alternative to multiple small electric space heaters that I have
heard have been used in lieu during colder months, due to the increased
life-safety hazard and energy use imposed by multiple small electric units,
and because omni's electrical budget (total available amps) is limited
whereas gas is barely utilized. If the space heater is found to be
effective, I would propose CCL consider stopping the use of multiple
That said, by design the unit is not attached to a thermostat -- and so
once it is on, it will stay on until it is turned off. This isn't a safety
issue per se, but if left on accidentally, it could lead to energy waste.
Therefore I am recommending the following modest improvements be made:
1. The on/off switch controlling the unit be converted to a timer switch
(e.g, a 30-min-max dial).
This way, the unit will not be accidentally left on, and a timer switch is
an easier / cheaper improvement than adding a thermostat.
2. Lower the switch box a couple feet to a more accessible height (as a
person in a wheelchair cannot reach the present switch location.).
2. The unit's gas valve be lowered to an accessible height, so gas service
to the unit can be easily turned off should the pilot light become
extinguished. At present, a ladder is needed to reach this gas valve.
3. Off-the-shelf CO/explosive gas sensor & a smoke sensor (w/ 10-year
batteries) are mounted to the wall the code-required distance above the
both the space heater and furnace. For the safety of folks working in this
room, imo this should probably have been done a long time ago.
The above suggested improvements would not involve a significant
disturbance of dust, are inexpensive, and are projected to take <2h.
*B. Furnace serving the disco room*:
- It was determined that the blower in this unit needs replacement (keeps
blowing fuses); we are waiting on a cost estimate for this. This fix would
have to be effected by the HVAC tech.
- It was also previously recommended that a separate, small water pump be
installed adjacent to the unit to push condensation down the existing
flexible drip line running to the floor drain. The flexible drip line was
not run at a consistent downward slope, which led to water backing up into
the furnace unit, in turn rusting the bottom of the unit and causing water
damage to the platform visible from below (which presumably, dripped down
onto CCL's workspace). It appears this can be self-installed, and is
anticipated as a low cost improvement.
- The water damage to the platform holding the furnace needs to be assessed
a bit more to see if any structural reinforcement is necessary. Due to the
relatively small quantity of water produced during condensation, I don't
anticipate that the water damage will be all that bad, but we don't want
the platform failing at some point in the future and hurting anyone
beneath. The need for any reinforcement here is TBD.
- I would like CCL to consider whether they as a group might (?) prefer to
take on cleaning this furnace area of accumulated dust (such as wiping it
down etc) prior to additional servicing of the furnace.
The reasons are:
-- The furnace must be able to be accessible for occasional maintenance or
in an emergency, preferably without creating any potential dust headaches
for CCL work going on underneath.
-- I have been informed that there are lab standards for cleaning, with
which lay people / non-CCL volunteers may not be familiar.
-- Although the furnace does not serve CCL, the furnace is in CCL's space,
and it makes sense to me that CCL would participate in the upkeep of
building infrastructure within its space in the interest of collectively
maintaining the building.
*C. Ballroom furnace*:
The ballroom furnace works well, but in the process of trying to assess /
replace the old filters for all these units, I discovered that the filters
are not presently accessible for the ballroom furnace.
The reason is: Studs for the west wall separating the furnace area from the
kitchen were placed literally right up against the filter door. Therefore,
a simple access panel needs to be created in the perpendicular side of the
filter housing, to allow for filter replacement. This fix represents some
light sheet metal work and is not perceived to be a major expense. We are
awaiting an estimate for this.
Having decent air filters in place is of increasing importance due to COVID
and the worsening air quality in CA. We plan to replace with MERV-13
filters to make the omni less friendly to COVID spread for any time when a
furnaces may be in use (MERV 13 isn't HEPA, but does block sneeze-size
droplets along with bacteria etc).
Apologies for the late notice, but HVAC professionals from AAPH will be
returning Thursday sometime in the afternoon to further test the large
hanging space heater and the disco room furnace, both of which are adjacent
to CCL’s north wall. In broad terms this assessment is being undertaken in
a) lower Omni’s monthly insurance costs;
b) assess if the large gas-powered space heater is a safer and more
efficient solution than multiple smaller electric space heaters;
c) restore heat to the disco room if reasonably possible, in order to aid
This work will require placing a large ladder beneath these items. *Dust
from these high-up areas may be disturbed, and so we ask that anything
potentially affected at ground-floor level be secured.*
As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Let's try to have an in-person meeting tonight at 6 pm.
We had hardware hacknight last night and I'm excited to get sudo room
If you have ideas for what you want post-covid sudo room to look like or
just want to see some hackers in person then come on by!
Masks and vaccines required but no proof of vaccine necessary.
We're limiting total number of people in sudo room and CCL to 24.
Hope to see you tonight!
tonight some sudoroom memberds will convene in sudoroom to repopulate the space
and discuss interesting projects, brainstorm ideas for moving forward, improve
internet and airflow infrastructure, and etcetera.
This is not a call for more people to show up, because i'm more worried about
having too many people rather than not enough. But I wanted to send out the
email to let people know that it's happening.
i still think that sudoroom members should make use of the space outside of
normal scheduled times, rather than at organized times, in order to avoid too
many people meeting in the space at the same time.
That said, I think it's time to start using the space again, and people will be
wearing masks of course, and we'll be running the new ventilation fan as well
as the fan near the laser cutter.
Hopefully CCL doesn't have a meeting scheduled for tonight as well.