Hornby Spark - A new MakerSpace requesting some help


Hi all you amazing Vancouver HackSpace folks.
Its been a long time sense I have been living in the city and been an active member however, I recently visited the new facility and had a tour around the space. Truly inspiring.

I have some questions and requests and wondering if anyone there would be able to point me in the right direction…

  1. I would really like to extricate our member chat / project management / documents, out of Facebook groups… I have kind of started a Slack group but I am not totally sure it is a good fit for the group / project as I am not sure how long we are going to be able to use it before it becomes a pay for use and it looks like it gets expensive fast.
  • Does anyone have any experience with any open source / free or cheep solutions?
    Is discord a viable option? I need it to be accessible to as wide a range of technical sophistication as possible, many are not even going to look at using something if there is not just a web interface…
  1. Does anyone have any sort of membership management software? right now we have a book with a name and date that the member signed up, and that has been OK when it is just one person / place that memberships have been administrated, however with this summer coming fast I would like to send out membership drives and not be the only one that can add new people to the system…
    any thoughts would be welcomed.

  2. We would very much like to get a key-fob system up and running as soon as possible, anyone have some direct hands on experience that wouldn’t mind sharing a little :wink:

  3. Aside from a laser cutter (that we have some grant funding earmarked for) what are some essential, must have start up tools that we need… Keep us in mind if you see a good deal somewhere :slight_smile:

This is what our little shack looks like…
oops sorry can’t include links in post… oh well its super cool!


  • Q


I upped your trust level, see if you can post the photo/link again :slight_smile:


You know for a starter makerspace its not bad… :wink:


Thanks :slight_smile:


Quana hi! It’s amazing to see another makerspace start up on Hornby. Wooo! Do you have any folks interested in electronics? If so I’d say a soldering station would probably get used a lot. A decent one that will take a good amount of wear and tear runs about 100bux or so but sometimes they show up used on craigslist. I’ll keep my eye out here for that sort of thing. do you have a sewing machine? There are quite a few that turn up on the Van craigslist. Please keep us posted and share your donations-needed list once you know more of what you’ll need.

I’m sure other vhsers will weigh in shortly with advice. Yay Hornby Spark!


Actually - here’s a pretty solid station from Lee’s (here in Van). We have a bunch of these and they’ve done really well for us. This one is 70bux.



Hi @Quana
I know you didn’t ask for this specifically. But if you are thinking of making your space a nonprofit, here are some resources



We are a registered nonprofit 2 years now… just had our second AGM on Monday the 25th
Thanks :slight_smile:

  • Q


Looks like sweet antenna for Ham radio!


Yeah! North Island 911 is keeping their gear on it and needs it to be VHF free, but there are still many other bands that we can play in :slight_smile:


Techsoup can be a good resource for subsidized software for non-profits: https://www.techsoupcanada.ca/en

Google also has a program for non-profits. I think @TyIsI jumped through the hoops to set VHS up with a Google Account for managing documents. We use Slack here a lot for internal communication, but the free version tends to fill up quickly and lose old messages.


We set up a Google for Non-Profits account through Techsoup (which @rsim set up).
I’ve set up the account in general, with users (with board/officers/representatives), groups (for internal groups, committees and and PR) and drives/docs.


that is super cool I will have to dig into that.