Download from a selection of 3E-Manuals (Electrical & Electronic Equipment) here below. You can also do a keyword search using the search bar or browse the cloud of tags. Enjoy making and let us know any edits to amplify this initial work. We look forward to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org!
(A long-term goal of the AMP digital platform ~qampnet~ is to digitize material reality and better position automation to assist with ambiance creation. A first step is to help make people aware of what is inside their devices and equipment.)
Materials are usually classified according to their physical and chemical properties. New technologies today are making the identification of materials increasingly simple, fast and reliable. Building on our earlier research in using spectroscopy and the physics of light to visually differentiate materials, we are now ready to ask: Can we make a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer, locally in Ghana?
Two physics teaching assistants from the University of Ghana signed on with AMP team to help us find out: Nutifafa Y. Doumon (who already participated in #ampqamp), with an MSc degree in Nanoscience from University of Groningen, in the Netherlands and Rodney Abugre, who recently graduated with an MPhil in Physics from University of Ghana.
We first reviewed existing technologies and later performed our own experiments. Materials were sourced from Agbogbloshie, since the device will be used to test scrap metal from that location.
The goal for our first three experiments was to investigate the laser excitation process of the material surfaces. Apparatus include: Laser light source, converging lens, sample holder and timer. In the laser excitation process we expect the electromagnetic energy of the laser light to be transformed into thermal energy inside the metal and this based on the amount of energy absorbed by the metal. In our experiment we tested this principle using red laser of power 1 mW & < 5 mW, and an incandescent light of power 100 W. From the test experiments, we conclude that due to low power output of the laser light available, we cannot obtain the desirable results from the experiment (See pre-lab here).
The next step was to set up and calibrate the complete optical path with components such as, prism, diffraction grating, laser source, lens, filters mirrors and a camera. In this optical system, our major need is to find a laser with high enough power output to help us obtain the correct spectrum through excitation process.
We will use this system to record the spectrum for the different materials, analyze them using MatLab software and compare results to literature. In the latter stages, the Agbogbloshie community will be engaged in a workshop on spectroscopy.
E-waste workers in Agbogbloshie determine material type based on experience: years of dismantling and disassembly, visual examination and use of magnets to identify ferrous metals. However, in order to improve recycling practices — including protecting workers from hazardous materials — more advanced methods are required for identifying 3E-materials (i.e. materials present in Electrical and Electronic Equipment).
For the past few months, AMP team has been researching one technology that can help — spectroscopy, which detects the wavelengths of light unique to each material. First, we built a paper spectroscope that enables us see various spectra of light. Other DIY projects we have tried include foldable mini-spectrometer, and cd spectrometer. We used the spectral workbench software to analyze some spectra of light from different sources we recorded. Some of the sources were white florescent, blue light and candle light.
The goal of this research is to build a spectroscope that enables us to analyze the elemental composition of scrap materials in Agbogbloshie. A promising technique for identifying chemical elemental composition of a sample is called Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). Another DIY project of interest to this research is the ramanpi spectrometer which is based on raman spectroscopy. These and other techniques will be explored to achieve the goals of our research.
Could Agbogbloshie begin to supply low-cost upcycled computers to children in Old Fadama? Could this scope expand beyond this territory to other parts of Accra and to the under-privileged in Ghana? Could this net expand to cover the entire African continent? Imagine upcycled computers, supplied to all parts of the world from Agbogbloshie. There is a promising future for this and needs to start somewhere.
As part of engaging the Agbogbloshie community and STEAM professionals, AMP organized a ‘maker workshop’ to teach e-waste workers how to make a Jerry and install software on it. After a rainy morning, the AMP team arrived in Agbogbloshie in the afternoon. Most of the work-spaces in the scrap yard were partially flooded. Being Friday, and a majority of the e-waste workers being Muslims, they had just arrived from the Friday afternoon prayers. Since prior arrangements had been made with Sam Sandow (AMP agent in Agbogbloshie) and Zack (E-waste worker), the workshop started in one of the computer shops in Agbogbloshie located near the entertainment center. It is owned and operated by the Nigerian called ”Emeka”. The very same person from which components were sourced for the Jerry workshop in Kokrobite. The shop has shelves on which one would find hard drives, mother boards, circuit boards and many others.
Upon arrival, the team pitched tent and Daniel (AMP intern from creativity group KNUST) briefly introduced the Jerry concept to the community. After we explained the concept to Emeka, a monitor, keyboard and mouse, were made available for us to use. He also gave us a compact disc (CD) with an operating system. The team installed it and allowed the participants to familiarize themselves with the Jerry whilst interactively exchanging ideas with the AMP makers collective.
It’s highly informative and exciting to think that, these same e-waste workers who are among the most marginalized and least literate are actually computer literate- and that some of them are even self-thought. This reveals how much youthful potential is being lost to class stereotyping and the resultant marginalization.
The team later presented the concept of the Quadcoper to the workers by Samuel Amoako (AMP intern and student from KNUST). It was then flown on the football field to demonstrate how it will help AMP map Agbogbloshie and also monitor air pollution levels.
All through history, some of the most fascinating discoveries have come about as a result of conversations between two unlikely parties or people from highly divergent backgrounds who would ordinarily not interact. The creation of a community space where such interaction can happen and spark new genius via the crafting of the ground breaking ideas and objects is one of the central objectives of AMP.
As usual, the workers were busy with their activities: dismantling, loading trucks with scrap metals etc… but some were able to spend time with us and expressed their interest in making one themselves. One of the common questions asked was..whether the plastic will melt when the computer overheats? We answered them by discussing the physical properties of the type of plastic used, such as its melting temperature which is about 130oC and it’s combustion point which is between 340oC to 380oC. Another major concern was the market for the product and the price one should be sold. In effect they appreciated the fact that, parts of old computers can be sourced and used to make a server that works and are cheaper. The AMP team hopes to transfer the knowledge in assembling Jerry computer to making a Jerry Laptop (‘JerryTop’) in the near future.
Agbogbloshie has suffered incredibly from the single story syndrome, imposed on it by the media and those with the opportunity to tell its story. Beyond the e-waste, the burning and the hardship, that usually characterises the gruesome descriptions of this urban enclave and its surroundings, there are several industries and practices within this urban site that gives it the kind of rich urban flavour that the space has. One major way of way of dealing with this threat of the single story, is to engage directly with a people. To see through their eyes and to feel what they feel. At AMP, we have made it our lifetime goal, to change first, the story of Agbogbloshie, for “he wields power over you who tells your story”.
In the last few months, the AMP team have sought to hear the stories of e-waste workers in Agbogbloshie through the use of interviews. For us, these are the voices that should be heard. It is our primary aim, through these interviews, to give a voice to the voiceless, to inform the E-waste workers and invite them to be a part of the AMP makers collective. The team recruited and trained two of the e-waste workers (Sam & Iddrisou) to help with the process and they have been engaged in all AMPs activities for the past five months. They participated fully and performed tasks from translation to administering the questionnaires themselves as well as photographing the work spaces of the interviewees. As part of the interview process the team continued to map the e-waste landscape, this time, with specific reference to the interviewees and the location of their workspaces. From this data a detailed map of the Agbogbloshie ecosystem is being constructed. The process is helping the team better understand the working conditions of e-waste workers, the various relationships that exist between them, their future aspirations and the nature of the Agbogbloshie site itself. Hopefully, this will help the team better integrate their needs into the project. So far, over 500 workers have been interviewed. The interviews, which started in May 2014 and are still ongoing and have four main areas of interest:
E-Waste Expertise 2. Training 3. Health Awareness and Practices 4. Aspirations
So far, certain patterns are beginning to emerge- majority of the population in Agbogbloshie are from the Northern part of Ghana especially towns and villages near Tamale, the lingua franca of Agbogbloshie is Dagbani, though some have good command of the English language, majority do not. Most of them dropped out of school at the Junior high school and primary (P5 & P6) levels.
E-waste workers engage in various forms of purchasing of equipment, disassembly, weighing and sale, and provide several tons of urban mined materials like copper. There are also many industrious and entrepreneurial individuals who make highly useful objects. Indeed, Agbogbloshie is more than just an e-waste dump. During the survey we took photographs of some of the activities that go on in the yard and here is a field note.
Despite all of these very positive aspects of Agbogbloshie, there still remains the blight of filth and cable burning which means the risk of contamination and disease are highly pervasive. In general, there is a fair level of awareness about health risks amongst the e-waste workers. Thanks to the ubiquitous media coverage of that specific issue, e-waste workers are at least vaguely aware of the adverse effects of burning on their health. They however said that since it was their job, they felt as if they had no option than to do it. In reaction to this discovery on health, the AMP team have designed a utility shirt for the workers. When the second prototype of the utility shirt (the spacesuit) was showed them, e-waste workers insisted on the face gear (with possible embedded gas mask). It was observed that, workers in Agbogbloshie start their day early with the cart pushers, moving out early in the morning to source electronic equipment. Our discoveries provide us with information about Agbogbloshie but this is helping us understand the workings of informal communities, and people who are surviving on the “peripheries” of our awareness and yet contribute significantly to our lives. More than just an e-waste dump, Agbogbloshie is a huge open air manu-factory.
All members of the Woelab (Togo first makerspace) who came to visit us in Kokrobitey were proudly wearing their African print Woelab shirt… It’s because “we are a community!” they proudly said. This is when I realized that the spacesuit that we were designing was more than a utility shirt to carry things around, gas mask, electronic add-ons (such as the speakers that Daniel from the KNUST Creativity Group salvaged from a dead laptop) or tools to disassemble e-waste. Seeing the youth happily wearing early prototypes (version designed by Dk Osseo-Asare for his Low Design Office crew of builders) confirmed the fact that the spacesuit was a tool to bring together people of the AMP maker community.
Emmanuel wearing the first prototype
Kuukuwa and I tweaked the original design, thinking about how to optimize its production process and improve usability. For example we used 1 inch straps in lieu of the hand-made ribbons structure running across. This allowed for the sewing to be faster and more precise. We opened the sides of the utility shirt to ease movement—it now unfolds “like an apron” and eventually could be hanged in the spacecraft and used as soft storage. We also reallocated some of the pockets and minimized cuts in the pattern. Inspired by the way kimonos are cut, we used a folded rectangular piece of fabric to create a back pocket that would nicely fold around the side and close the utility shirt, hence minimizing the number of cuts. We added to a hood to the original design, prospecting for a way to integrate a gas mask eventually developed by the AMP Poly-Science team—the Poly-Science team who also experimented with weather proofing fabric using plastic, which can become handy for the utility wear.
With Emmanuel (AMP maker and model =) and Martine (Woelab), we produced a first prototype using African fabric. While I was getting my head around designing the hood, Kuukuwa drew the overall pattern to pass on to Master Chamil who is the production manager of the Kokrobitey Institute. Million thanks to him and his magic abilities, the second prototype he produced helped further develop the design. A third (final?) prototype is now in the making. We found that collaborating with skilled and open-minded people as Chamil, master maker at heart, was extremely important to advance our own skills as “fashion designer apprentice”. Making is about trans-disciplinary and peer-to-peer learning. It particularly expands your ability as a designer.
Chamil working on the second prototype
There is much more to do for the space suit—a number of electronic add-ons made of e-waste, speakers, solar charging station for mobile phones and finally detailing the cost of the suit, yards of fabric (could this eventually be recycled advertizing material?) needed to finally go into production of a number of them.
Martine, Yasmine and Kuukuwa working on the Spacesuit
Find below a couple of pictures of the Q&A session organized for the Makers & Development (M&D, aka QAMP) seminar at l’ESA this past Wednesday. Marie Aquilino’s seminar Make joined the session. Thank you for making this collaboration happen !!! The conversation that took place revealed the many dimensions of the AMP project, social, environmental and economic, how for example e-waste was brought to site and how did we map the ecosystem of e-waste and deeper insights into current e-waste handling practices as observed during these months of fieldwork. Thank you Dk Osseo-Asare and Emmanuel Kusi Ofori-Sarpong for taking the time to answer the many questions that students had. We look forward to share with you the progress of the class !