American Pi: details of the Raspberry Pi hackspace tour

Rob Bishop, our tech evangelist, developer and all-round good egg, has been finalising his itinerary for the first Raspberry Pi Hackspace Tour (previously discussed here). Here’s his updated schedule:

18th September – Make.SI (Staten Island, NY) – Evening event, starts at 7pm – Sign-up
19th September – NYResistor (Brooklyn, NY) – Evening event, starts at 6pm – Sign-up
21st September – MakerBar (Hoboken, NJ) – Afternoon event – Sign-up (3pm), Sign-up (7pm)
22nd September – HackManhattan (NYC, NY) – All day event – Sign-up (10am / 2pm)
23rd September – Alpha One Labs (Brooklyn, NY) – All day event – Sign-up (12am / 3pm)
24th September – Hive76 (Philadelphia, PA) – Evening event, starts at 7pm – Sign-up
26th September – HacDC (Washington DC) – Evening event, starts at 7:30pm – Details
29th September – Noisebridge (San Francisco, CA) – All day event – Details
30th September – Hacker Dojo (Mountain View, CA) – Afternoon event, starts at 1pm – Details
1st October – Stanford SVI (Stanford, CA) – Evening event, starts at 7pm – Sign-up
2nd October – Nullspace Labs (LA, CA) – Evening event, starts at 7pm
3rd October – 23b Shop (Fullerton, CA) – Evening event, starts at 7pm
4th October – Crash Space (Culver City, CA) – Evening event – Details
6th October – ATX Hackspace (Austin, Texas) – Evening event, starts at 6pm – Details

You can see all this data as a Google map – which I’m not embedding properly, because a bunch of you complained that it crashed your browsers last time. (Stop using IE and move to a proper browser.) Here’s a screengrab of the map, which you can click on to visit the map itself.

Hackspace tour map

Hackspace tour map. Click to view.

Special Guests

NYResistor Adafruit Industries: our good friends from Adafruit will be on hand to join in the Pi hacking and will be giving away this giant Raspberry Pi-looking back pack filled with awesome electronics and more. (They’re adding a new desirable thingy to the back pack every day, so it’s worth checking the link frequently.)

NoisebridgeOracle: The JavaFX engineering team will be coming along to demonstrate Java and JavaFX running on the Raspberry Pi

Follow Rob on Twitter

Twitter Feed: @Rob_Bishop
Hashtag: #AmericanPi


Plan a project, discuss meeting up, organise shared lifts and talk about the tour in our forums. Rob will also be answering questions in the comments section below this post.


We’ve been kindly donated 20 Pibows to give away for the best project at each event (thanks Pimoroni!) and we’ll be giving out highly sought-after Raspberry Pi stickers for anyone who has something to show! (If you’re extra-nice, Rob might give out stickers even if you don’t have something to show. He’s malleable that way.)


We’ve tried desperately hard to work a way to sell Raspberry Pis at the events, but sadly US state sales tax restrictions mean have made this incredibly difficult to arrange across four states, especially for an outfit like ours with no US presence. We’re all super-annoyed by this (especially Rob, who had visions of trekking across the US with only a gargantuan rucksack of Pis and Mountain Dew to sustain him – the big weirdo). We’re looking at handing out discount codes at the events – I’ll be confirming this later if we can sort it out.

If you have a Raspberry Pi already, bring it along!

Future Tours

Plans are underway for a US return covering the Midwest and other areas. We’ve already discussed visiting Boston, Chicago, Vancouver, Portland and Baltimore, but these locations aren’t set in stone yet. We know that a lot of you want Rob to visit your area on a later tour, so if you’d like to see him, please leave a comment below.

We’re also going to be doing the same thing in the UK: if you’re a member of a British Hackspace and would like us to drop by, please let us know in the comments section.

Europe and the rest of the world will be coming soon! We wish Rob the very best of British luck with the inevitable jetlag. Please be nice to him.


Marc avatar

Additionally, Oregon has no sales tax.

liz avatar

It’s my *favourite* thing about Oregon. (That and Tanuki in Portland, which is the best Japanese/Korean/Oregonian dive bar IN THE WORLD.)

Marc avatar

Try Horse Brass Pub next time. many flavors of Scotch Whisky to try.

John avatar

How about Toronto??

liz avatar

If you’ve got the details of a local hackspace, we’ll definitely look into it.

Adrian avatar

I second the request for Toronto. How about this hackerspace?

Rob Bishop avatar

I’ll add it to the list!

Yves McDonald avatar

Montréal would be more fun :-P but, seriously, it would be nice to hold one in Eastern Canada

Dinesh avatar

A Tour to India (hopefully in near future)……we r waiting……:-)

liz avatar

Definitely on the cards – probably some time late in 2013.

Joe avatar

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. You get to visit two cities for the price of one!

liz avatar

It’s really helpful for us if you can link to (or at least mention) local hackspaces when you add the name of a city here!

Joe Dobmeier avatar

The community organisation is called Twin Cities Maker and their hackerspace is “The Hack Factory”

Peter Fleck avatar

In addition to Hack Factory, Minneapolis has The Mill, Leonardo’s Basement, and a Free Geek site.

Rob Bishop avatar


Eric Howland avatar

In Madison WI, the Hackerspace is Sector 67

Tom avatar

San Antonio, Texas, would be happy to have a visit.
The hackerspace is called 10BitWorks. It is infested with Propellers, Arduinos, PICs, and some Raspberry Pi.

liz avatar

Our kind of infestation!

Rob Bishop avatar

It would be great to see your members at the Austin event if you can make it!

Temia Eszteri avatar

No love for Washington: the State: the Movie: the Game. :(

liz avatar

As we mention in the article, Rob’s going to be doing more of these tours; he can’t visit every city in the country in the time he has available for this one, much as he’d like to! If you’d like to invite him to your local hackspace for the next tour (as we mention in the article), please do so in the comments here.

Geordie Birch avatar

Washington state would dovetail nicely with Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Geordie Birch avatar

Vancouver Hack Space:
Victoria Makerspace:
Washington State:

Rob Bishop avatar

I’ll add them to the list!

Robert avatar

Chicago please! There are plenty of retrogeeks (old farts like myself who learned to program on a Sinclair ZX81) and geeklets (like my son) living in and around Chicago.

Rob Bishop avatar

Pumping Station: One is top of the list for the next trip so we’ll definitely be in Chicago soon

Mac Rutan avatar

Orlando, FL is ready and waiting. The Central Florida Raspberry Pi User’s Group and FamiLAB hackspace would host! We have so much mountain dew it’s absurd.

Rob Bishop avatar

You’re on the list!

Waterbury avatar

Rob, I’m from the Central Florida Raspberry Pi User’s Group and FamiLAB as well. Our members are all about the Pi. Check out this picture from the first week after the first shipment of Pis started hitting Orlando!

We also had a member make a Raspberry Pie to honor the Raspberry Pi! :D

I made a derivative of Adafruit’s Pi case:

and lead engineer and founder of, lrvick has been working on a camera control system:


Rob Bishop avatar

That’s awesome! Hopefully I’ll get across to FamiLAB soon and I can see all these cool projects in action. In the mean time please blog about it and tell Liz!

Cormac Something avatar

You should do a tour across Europe. I live in Galway, Ireland which has many great places to host such an event such as the University NUIG. There is an organization called Coderdojo which is a voluntary run organization which teaches young people such as myself how to code in cities all across the world, including Galway. Everyone there would love for an event such as this and would love to buy a Raspberry Pi. Their website is
I myself am a keen coder and a big Raspberry Pi fan.
Yours Truly,
Cormac Something

P.S. It would be a good start for a west-to-east tour. Or end of an east-to-west.

Rob Bishop avatar

Hopefully we’ll be able to arrange a European tour soon

Cormac Something avatar

That would be great!

Ron Lindsey avatar

You folks partial to being near water? There be a whole chunk of land in the middle that you MISSED! (Nashville,TN bring one of them…)

Rob Bishop avatar

We’ll hopefully cover more of the US in future tours – there’s a lot of it to visit in one trip!

W. H. Heydt avatar

I’m not the least surprised that you’re being tripped up by state sales taxes…particularly in California, which cracked down on flea markets and conventions a few years ago.
I’m sure it’s too late to make arrangements now, but perhaps in the future you could find local SF or SCA vendors that could work with you that have reseller licenses and have already dealt with the states you’re going to.

Marc avatar

It should be no trouble to find an enthusiast that is sales tax knowledgeable. Here I am for Washington State.

liz avatar

We’ve actually been trying for a month or so to get things sorted, and finally threw up our hands at the start of this week. Ho hum.

Eric P. Scott avatar

This doesn’t fall under California’s Swap Meet/Flea Market/Special Event criteria; it’s a lot closer to Trade Show sales. See State Board of Equalization Publication 77, “Out-of-State Sellers: Do You Need to Register with California?”

Eric P. Scott avatar

There’s definitely still time to make this happen.

I checked with the San Francisco Field Office of the State Board of Equalization to find out exactly what the foundation would have to do to sell Pis in California. It turns out to be quite simple, thanks to recent procedural changes that went into effect in June. You’d need to fill out an online application for a Temporary Sellers Permit (valid for 90 days), and leave fields blank for things like bank account information. The system would place the application in a pending state. Next, you’d telephone during business hours to discuss your situation; they’d unlock the application and issue a permit the very same day. No fees are assessed, and a deposit should not be required.

Then, keep track of how many Pis you sell at each event, and as long as Rob’s backpack holds less than a pallet load, this should be easy as … well, you know.

Scott avatar

We’d love to host y’all at Pittsburgh’s maker space HackPittsburgh!

Rob Bishop avatar

Thanks for the invite!

Rob Beard avatar

Hi Liz,

If you’re looking to do a UK tour, could I suggest the Exeter LUG? Rick Timmis who runs the Exeter LUG has access to a reasonable sized community centre with hall, internet access and even a Linux based internet cafe (which we were looking at trying to setup a couple of Pi’s as LTSP clients sometime). There’s usually a LUG meeting there on the second Friday of every month around 7pm but I’m sure with a bit of planning something could be arranged for a weekend. The community centre is close to Exeter’s main railway station (so there’s good rail links for anyone visiting the city) and I’m sure a band of merry geeks from across Devon & Cornwall would probably be interested in coming along :-)


Rob Bishop avatar

Get in touch via Liz and let’s see if we can organise something :-)

dbh937 avatar

I’m a New Yorker, and I love what Raspberry Pi is doing, but if I’m not mistaken, there isn’t a any town or city called New Jersey, NY.

Rob Bishop avatar

Good spot … I think we meant Hoboken, NJ!

Chris avatar

Yes indeed, I noticed that myself. Being from N.J. that one confused me until I followed the MakerBar link and saw it was Hoboken.

Rob Bishop avatar


Javier avatar

I’m kind of disappointed that the NYC area is already sold out. Oh well

Rob Bishop avatar

I think there are still spaces at the HackManhattan event if you’re quick!

Brian avatar

C’mon guys!! You don’t have time for Atlanta, GA?!? Also, Be Warned… American Mountain Dew contains Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO), a product also used in Flame Retardants. Enjoy your CONUS tour!

liz avatar

Rob is already AFLAME. With awesomeness.

David Monks avatar

We (Open Shed) would be very happy to welcome you in Penzance, when you do your UK tour.

Rob Bishop avatar

Get in touch with Liz and we can see if we can work out a visit soon

Ryan avatar

Bring it to Kansas City!

Rob Bishop avatar

Kansas City Hackerspace is on the list for a future trip!

Harrkev avatar

Wow! A WHOLE FIVE STATES represented (if you include DC as a state). A tour is traveling AROUND. This map looks more like a visit to a couple of relatives.

liz avatar

You read the bit about more being planned for later in the year and our seeking requests for hackspaces to visit, didn’t you?

You didn’t? Go back and read again (developing skills in reading comprehension is not what the Foundation is about, but we’re happy to support it as a secondary goal), then try commenting accordingly.

m0ntala avatar

Looking forward to a future UK tour! :)

m2xtreme avatar

Come to Boston, MA please! We are full of college students; a great market for the raspberry pi. I would think MIT is a good hackerspace, they’re notorious for clever hacks (though technically MIT is accross the river in Cambridge, not Boston).

Rob Bishop avatar

Boston / MIT are definitely on the list for a future tour!

schneidz avatar

seems like this wouldve been a great oppertunity to present at the embedded systems conference in boston:

liz avatar

We do have to watch what we spend the Foundation’s money on; and we get invited to present at a lot of conferences (more than we’re able to attend) for free, so we don’t tend to attend conferences which require us to pay for a booth or a speaking slot.

schneidz avatar

speaking of mit… a pi/olpc mash up would kick a lot of ass.
although they are two totally different design philosophies and target audiences.

Jim Manley avatar

I’ll be at the San Francisco, Mountain View, and now Stanford gatherings to help show off Pi boards, cases, the Atrix lapdock “PiTop” conversion, a GertBoard, an Arduino Uno, and software, software, and more software than you can shake a stick at … well, you can shake a stick at it, but it won’t pay any attention. I’ll also be available to help herd cats, I mean, visitors and let everyone know about our ongoing Raspberry Jams, the Peninsula Raspberry Pi Meetup group, etc.

Someone’s going to have to take up the slack once Rob whizzes in and out of town, and Hal Heydt, and the rest of us Pi aficionados will be ready to do that over the long term. If someone can PM me the Stanford point(s) of contact, I would be more than happy to help in any way needed.

Maybe we can talk the campus bookstore into carrying Pi boards, etc., and we also should get Fry’s Electronics to stock them while we’re at it. The Palo Alto store that serves Stanford has a Wild West theme – each Fry’s has a different kitsch theme reminiscent of the 1950s/1960s theme park destinations built back then. We can only hope and dream that someday they will feel the need to build a Pi themed store ;)

cave avatar

Hi Liz,
It would be nice to plan some visits in Austria too.



Les avatar

Chicago would be nice but Indianapolis is friendlier :) The traffic is no where near as congested and the city doesn’t gouge one for parking!

Mark avatar

Looking at the “Bramble” it highlights a need for “Power over Ethernet”.

Actually, a little hardware device that pulls power of the ethernet, regulates it and shoves it down a rat’s tail into the USB power “in” on the “Pi” while letting through the ethernet connections “sans power” into the “Pi” ethernet port might be a way forward… We could call it a “Rat’s Arse”…

I’m sure someone’s already thought of that though… Anyone?


Al Bennett avatar

Come to Edinburgh Hacklab! I heard you guys nearly made it during the Turing festival, you should *actually* make it this time…

Have fun over the pond!

Lee Haelters avatar

Rob, welcome to our side of the pond. Probably you are no stranger here (as in “one who is already familiar”, not “stranger than fiction”!)

Would anyone care to trade a ticket to the Philadelphia/Hive76 event for one to the Staten Island/Make.SI event? Got mine before the event in Philly was published, now it is closed.

Lee Haelters

schneidz avatar

i was unable to get a ticket for philly either. it is weird that they sold out the day after liz posted this.

what do you think the chance is to view the presentation if i show up without a ticket ?

Lee Haelters avatar

@ schneidz – I am not sure that I would go on record about my intention in advance, as that just gives someone the opportunity to say “No”. Also may boost the number of those with the same idea, thereby decreasing one’s own opportunity! Lee

Bob C avatar

“(Stop using IE and move to a proper browser.)”

Oddly enough IE had no problem. It is Chrome that has given me the most grief with Google maps the past two months. A source of much hilarity in our IT dept.

DK avatar

Seattle hasn’t been mentioned yet? I’m shocked!

Here are some local hackerspaces: (they’ve blogged a bit about raspberry pi)

Also can hook you up!

Bill Carver avatar

The chances of visiting rural Idaho are slim to none, but if Rob or Liz are in the area stop by for a brew, a great view of Idaho’s Grand Canyon, and crash for the night between Denver and Seattle.

Randolph avatar

Ah, man, not going to make the Pacific Northwetwest?

In Seattle, you might try CreateSpace: and Jigsaw Renaissance: In Portland, you might try The Backspace Cafe: You might also try Eugene Makerspace in Eugene, Oregon; they’ve already got a Raspberry Pi project going.

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