FAQ

 

What is Hackerspace Charlotte?

Hackerspace Charlotte is a location where people with common interests, usually in computers, technology, or digital or electronic art can meet, socialize and/or collaborate. We have a 2000+ sq. ft. facility that acts as a workshop, community electronics laboratory, classroom, and meeting space. Hackerspace Charlotte can be viewed as an open community lab incorporating elements of a machine shop, workshop and studio where hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make cool stuff with technology.

That’s great, but what’s a hackerspace?

A hackerspace is an open technology lab, where people who are interested in working on interesting projects can meet and work together. The first hackerspace opened in 1981 in Berlin, Germany. According to hackerspaces.org , there are now more than 350 around the world, of which more than 150 are in the United States.

Wait a second – hackers?  Are you the jerks that steal people’s credit card numbers?

Nope, that kind of malicious and illegal activity is quite opposite to what we hackers actually do.   To paraphrase Wikipedia’s description, a hacker is someone who “delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular.”  Hackers are concerned primarily with:
• sharing, openness, collaboration
• creating software and sharing it with each other
• placing a high value on freedom of inquiry
• information-sharing as both an ideal and a practical strategy
Recently, the idea of a hacker has expanded to include people interested in DIY technology, artists, and makers.

Will Hackerspace Charlotte cost money?

Many of our classes and events are free and open to the public.  If there is a fee, most of the time it’s to cover any material costs for the event.

We do collect monthly dues from our members. These dues help pay for things like rent, utilities, insurance, and general upkeep of our facilities.  Dues also help us acquire more great tools and equipment for everyone to use – like laser cutters, arc welders, electronic testing gear, and a wide array of electronic parts and gadgets for members to use.
Our current monthly dues are $50 for individuals and $75 for a two person friend/family combo pack. You do not have to be a member to visit or attend an event at HSC…but if you have been coming for a bit, and see value in what we do we would love to have you as a member.

Why should I become a member?

You don’t have to be a member to visit or attend most of our events, but membership does have some perks.  If you’ve been coming for a bit and see value in what we do, we would love to have you as a member. Some advantages to being an HSC member:
• Full 24/7 keyholder access to our facilities.
• On-site storage for your current works-in-progress
• Ability to schedule events, lead workshops, and teach classes.
• Full voting rights and responsibilities and the ability to help write our future plans.
• Most importantly, knowing that you’re participating and supporting your local community of hackers, artists, makers, and technology enthusiasts.

How can I join?

The short answer? Go here: http://hsc.lt/JoinHSC

The Long Answer: Well, first, come by and say hi on the IRC channel or in the HSC Forum. Also we have meetings every Tuesday @ 7:30pm, join us. We will probably single you out at the beginning of the meeting, and ask you to introduce yourself. Don’t be shy, tell us what you are into and what you want to learn. After hanging around for a bit, ask one of us for membership info, dues, etc; and we’ll go from there.

Membership requests are held for 14 days. In the meantime feel free to come by and join in the fun!
Have you filled out your liability waiver yet? [http://hsc.lt/hscwaiver]. Please turn it in to a boardmember.

Are there requirements to join HSC?

For insurance reasons you must be over 18 to be a member or visit Hackerspace Charlotte. People under 18 are welcome if accompanied by a parent/guardian.

I’m a bit broke at the moment – are there other ways I can be a member?

Absolutely!  We understand that some folks might not be able to swing the monthly expense, but we’d still like you to be able to participate.  In exchange for a couple hours a month doing service work for the space (facilities maintenance, assisting board members, etc.), we offer service memberships at a reduced/no-cost rate.  Service membership is also great for college students seeking internship experience.  These are handled on a case-by-case basis, so see a board member for more details.

Can I bring my kids?

There are potentially dangerous things at Hackerspace Charlotte – like power tools, electronic equipment, and – possibly the most dangerous of all – new ideas. We also do a wide-range of activities at the space, some of them more appropriate for younger folks than others.
We do have some events, like the Learn to Solder class and our monthly Hacker Friday open-house, are appropriate for hackers of any age.
We welcome young hackers under 18, but we ask that they’re accompanied by a responsible parent or guardian.

How do I get to HSC?

OK, navigate to this page here and look at the map, it can only help. We’re at 1111 D Hawthorne Ln in the Aloha lot. If you’re turning off of Central onto Hawthorne it is the building with a rustic porch on the left just after you go under the bridge. If you’re coming towards central it will be on the right just past/across the street from Barnhardt Manufacturing. Hopefully by the time you read this we will have our own sign instead of the old one that simply read “The Spot.”

I am looking for a person to: develop an app, make a website, fix my computer, track down a haxor…help!

Sorry, that is not really what a Hackerspace is about. We do have members who develop apps, make websites and fix computers however we are not here to connect them with work…in fact quite the opposite.

That is not to say that you can’t come by HSC during the Tuesday meeting and introduce yourself. Feel free to tell us about your Job/Project/Need for Help during our ‘Project Assist’ section at the end of every meeting.

Have a question for us? Ask away!
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