Bristol Hackspace Manual

Revision 1, 2012

Welcome to Bristol Hackspace. We hope you get a lot out of being a member. The space can be a bit daunting at first, so we’ve compiled this manual to tell you briefly about most aspects of it.

(Picture of hackspace)

In particular, it’ll give you some idea of how the space is organised, what’s available within it, plus some contacts & resources in case you have any further questions. Remember, though you might feel a bit awkward as a new member, you have as much right to use the space as anyone else has, and may attend Committee meetings, news of which can be found on our Wiki.


The Bristol Hackspace is for people to come and build or re-purpose anything electronic (or sometimes not electronic). We meet regularly every Thursday evening from 7pm and the Hackspace is available to members at other times, when a keyholder is present. Just check on line.


Studio G11
BV Studios
37 Philip Street

Access to studio G11 and G12 (the rooms we use) is also available via the BV Studio entrance

(Picture: The Front Door. The logo was created by a members POV display and is not generally there!)

  • The health and safety of both yourself and those around you is paramount. As they say in Nottingham Hackspace: “DO NOT BE ON FIRE!” Within the Hackspace area there are numerous potentially dangerous tools and equipment. It is the duty of every member to make sure they operate safely and do not endanger themselves or those around them.
  • If you become aware of an unsafe item or practice please do intervene directly if appropriate. However DO NOT put yourself or others in danger in so doing. Should you wish to bring something to the attention of others please use either the members email list or contact the committee directly
  • To use some tools and equipment you will require specialised training. It is your responsibility to ask another member to train or supervise you until you have the necessary skills. For details of how to arrange training, email the mailing list. Be aware that specialist training may be subject to a charge additional to the usual membership fee.
  • If using tools producing noxious exhaust gases or dust, then these must be safely vented/protected and must not create a hazard or endanger those around you.
  • For specialist advice, you can use the mailing list/IRC to contact the relevant members and ask their availability.
  • Ensure that you use safety equipment such as protective goggles where necessary. If you believe some safety item is missing or absent you should not proceed ahead regardless. Bring this to the attention of a committee member and do not put yourself in danger.
  • Remember, YOU are responsible for what you do. Your actions within the Hackspace area are not the liability of Bristol Hackspace or its sponsors.
  • Be aware of the location of fire exits and safety equipment such as fire extinguishers while using the premises. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with the safety regulations. If in doubt – Ask!
  • Also note that this is largely an Adult environment and as such Under 16s will have to be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all times.
  1. Do not be on fire!
    First and foremost look after the safety of both yourself. And those around you.
  2. Pay Membership Monthly (via Bank Transfer)
    It does cost money to run the Hackspace. You may make as little or as much of the facilities as you wish and we ask that your subscription covers the benefit that members get from the space and its resources. To cover expenses we propose a minimum of £10 per month, however if you make extensive use of the space please consider paying more. If you are an infrequent visitor you may wish to reduce your monthly payments to reflect the usage you make of the space. Essentially the idea is to “pay what you think the space is worth to you”. Only members who pay an identifiable regular contribution will be covered by our insurance policy as it's the only real way we have to track who is a member at any given point. There is an exception for people at public workshops as these are covered in our policy.
  3. Tidyness
    Clean up after yourself. We know you're busy but don’t leave a wake of tools, offcuts, dust or cables. The Hackspace has Members, not staff.
  4. Donations
    Cash is great; but we do accept donations of equipment that are open to members to hack too. We do not however want old discarded TV’s or unreliable equipment that properly should be thrown away. If in doubt - Ask.
  5. Identify your stuff
    Use the date stamped coloured coded stickers to mark your items or project boxes. Unmarked / overdue items may be disposed of or marked FOR HACKING at the quarterly tidying up weekends.
    Means DO NOT HACK! There are things which you are open to hack in the space. These are marked. Equally there are things which MUST NOT be hacked. It should be obvious which category something is in. If not, ask that it be clearly labelled.
  7. Knowledge & Skill
    Ensure you have the knowledge & skills appropriate to the equipment you use.
  8. Hours of Use
    The Hackspace does NOT provide overnight accommodation.

Hackspace activities are many and varied and are not limited the electronics field. You may choose to spend you time using an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, but members also build robots, create lighting demonstrations, modify old hardware and generally cover most electro-mechanical things. We are not beyond investigating knitting machines for example. Members have also created flying drones and 3D printers to make the required parts for other machines. Pictures below give a flavour of what we do.


Above you can see examples from a Raspberry Pi atop a BBC Micro, to an Arduino at a Hackspace summer workshop; Arduino driving LED strips and a VFD

Below is a summary of tools available for use on the premises:

  • Screwdrivers, pliers, snips
  • Hacksaw
  • Electronic
  • Multimeters
  • Signal generator
  • Oscilloscopes
  • Power supplies
  • Dummy load
  • Soldering irons
  • Magnifying lamp
  • 20x microscope (eg, for soldering tiny devices)
  • Breadboards
  • Column drill
  • Hardinge Lathe
  • Dymo Pocket label printer
  • Reprap 3d printer
  • Laser cutter

Tools and consumables are available for your own use. Please treat tools with the same care and attention afforded your own. Breakages, issues or potential hazards must be brought to the attention of the Committee.

The odd screw or bolt, resistor or diode, bearing or bar, plastic filament etc may be used without prior notice if required. You are however expected as a Member to replace components that you use within a reasonable timescale.

If you find a part you need amidst the items freely available to hack, then make use of them. Equally if you can donate some equipment containing things other may find use for then please do so (old PC’s for example). Where appropriate, cash donations in lieu may be acceptable.

Remember that the items held in the Hackspace are not intended solely to source your particular project to the detriment of others.

The main website for the hackspace is

There is a communal mailing list. Follow this link for details

You don’t have to reside in Bristol to be a member. We have group discussions via the online mailing list.

There is also a Twitter account relevant to the hackspace: @bristolhackspc

Within the Hackspace a wireless LAN is locally available identified by an SSID of G11. This is password restricted and accessible by registered members only. Refer to the on-line Wiki page for the latest information.

(Pictures show a BBC micro with Raspberry Pi resting on top, and below work is progressing on a table based touchscreen.)

Hopefully, this manual should answer a lot of your questions, but if there’s anything else, please use the online form on the website or you can contact us on the Freenode IRC network in the channel #bristolhackspace. The Wiki can be accessed directly at [[].

Bristol Hackspace is itself an offshoot from BOTlab. It is a social enterprise which aims to open up technology to anybody who takes an interest in it. We want to ‘open’ technology both in the sense of taking things apart to learn how they work, and how to mend or adapt them; and in the sense of sharing the knowledge we gain from doing so. We are committed to the principles of Open Source and Open Knowledge There is a five person board of directors elected to oversee the hackspace & vote on critical issues.

All of the board of Hackspace are Dorkbot volunteers, (Dorkbot being an organisation within BOTlab and based in the Watershed.) Board meetings are held publicly, in the hackspace on the last Thursday of each month. Votes conducted at meetings are also open to all members. If there is any surplus after rent & other expenses have been paid, it is spent on tools, safety equipment & consumables. At present, the board members details can be found in the on-line wiki.

Building access is available during the week whenever a keyholder is present. Access to section G11 (the room we use) is also available via the BV Studio entrance

On site, toilets and washbasins are available. Food can generally be obtained from local shops.

Car parking nearby can be problematic however there is a local Asda car park. Asda hours being 09.00 am to 08.00 pm weekdays.

The nearest rail link is Bristol Temple Meads.

Buses and Coaches Guide: (Refer to official timetables for updates)

(10/2/16 - This needs updating)

Num. Service (From/To) Times Route
24 Bristol (Ashton Vale) to Bristol (Muller Road) Mon to Sat (20 mins) Sun (30 mins) Via Bristol (Risdale Road)-Bristol (Ashton Drive)
25 Bristol (Ashton Vale) to Bristol (Muller Road) Mon to Sat (every 20 mins) Via Bristol (Risdale Road)-Bristol (Ashton Drive)
52 Bristol (Highridge) to Bristol (Broadmead) Mon to Fri (4 trips) Via Bristol (Highridge Green)-Bristol (Bridgewater Road)
52 Hartcliffe (Imperial Park) to Bristol (Broadmead) Mon to Fri (4 trips) Via Hartcliffe-Bristol (Highridge)-Bristol (Highridge Green)
75 Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove Mon to Sat (every 10 mins) Sun (30 mins) Via Bristol (Coniston Road)-Patchway-Bristol (Gloucester Road North)
76 Bristol (Crow Lane) to Hartcliffe Mon to Sat (every 20 mins) Via Bristol (Southmead)-Bristol (Knole Lane)-Bristol (Pen Park Road)
76 Bristol (Crow Lane) to Hengrove Mon to Sat (every 20 mins) Sun (every 30 mins) Via Bristol (Southmead)-Bristol (Knole Lane)-Bristol (Pen Park Road)
76 Bristol (Tormarton Crescent) to Hengrove Evenings only, Mon to Sun (every 30 mins) Via Bristol (Station Road)-Bristol (Crow Lane)
90 Bristol (Broadmead) to Hengrove Mon to Sat (12 mins) Sun (20 mins) Via Bristol-Prince Street-Bristol (Redcliffe Way)
132 Clifton to Kingswood (John Cabot Academy) School terms only, (1 trip) Via Bristol (Jacobs Wells Road)-Bristol (Hotwells)
161 Bristol (West Street) to Bristol (Winterstoke Road Sainsburys) Shop Service, MonFri (1 trip) Via Bristol (Sheene Road)-Bedminster-Bristol (St Johns Lane)
161 Bristol (Winterstoke Road Sainsburys) Circular Shop Service, Mon Fri (1 trip) Via Bristol (Sheene Road)-Bedminster-Bristol (St Johns Lane)
510 Bedminster Down to Bristol (Hotwells) Mon to Fri (4 trips) Via Bedminster-Bristol (Bishopworth Road)-Bristol (Ilchester Road)
511 Bedminster to Hengrove Mon to Sat (6 trips) Via Bristol (Bedminster Parade)-Bristol (East Street)
512 Bedminster Circular Only this direction, Mon to Sat (4 trips) Via Totterdown-Bristol (Windmill Hill)-Bristol (Redcliffe)
512 Bedminster to Totterdown Only this direction, Mon to Fri (1 trip)
512 Bristol (Broadmead) to Bedminster Only this direction, Mon to Sat (3 trips) Via Bristol (Temple Meads)-Bristol (Redcliffe)
512 Totterdown to Bristol (Broadmead) Only this direction, Mon to Sat (1 trip) Via Bristol (Windmill Hill)-Bedminster-Bristol (Redcliffe)
672 Blagdon to Bristol Mon to Sat (3 trips) Via Ubley-Compton Martin-West Harptree-East Harptree
672 Bristol to Blagdon Only this direction, Mon to Sat (1 trip) Via Bristol (Temple Meads)-Bedminster-Dundry-Chew Stoke
A1 Bristol to Lulsgate (Bristol Airport) Mon to Sun (every 10 mins) Via Bristol (Temple Meads)-Bedminster
A2 Lulsgate (Bristol Airport) to Clifton Only this direction, Mon to Sun (every 20 mins) Via Bedminster-Bristol (Temple Meads)-Bristol
N6 Bristol Circular Evenings only, one way, FriSat (7 trips) Wessex Connect Apr 2012 Via Bristol (Redcliffe Way)-Bristol (Bedminster Parade) ….. more
U1 Frenchay (UWE) to Bower Ashton College terms only, (every 30 mins) Via Bristol (Coldharbour Lane)-Bristol (Filton Road) ….. more
X5 Bedminster to Ham Green (St Katherines School) School terms only, (1 trip) Via Shirehampton-Avonmouth

Individual pictures Copyright retained by members.

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  • Last modified: 3 years ago
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