The Hackery was most gracious to come on board as a community sponosor again for this year’s Maker Faire. The Hackery, located on the a block north of East Hastings on Victoria Drive, is a fantastic tech shop that repairs, recycles, re-purposes and re-sells computers and electronics. These services have expanded beyond just catering to Vancouver. Their highly active online eBay store has since become an integral part in the international electronics collector community.
When you walk into The Hackery, the first thing you will notice is the diversity of equipment they have on their shelves. From Commodore PET computers, to vintage radios, to even one of the first fax machines, they have all kinds of wonders you could just oggle at for hours. Aside from their thriving online business, they have all kinds of walk-in customers: people looking for laptop replacement parts salvaged from their scrapyard, people interested in recycling electronics (which they spend the time to fully dismantle for usable parts, before sending true end of life material to audited material handlers and refineries), and in my case, electronics for one of my Maker projects!
David Repa, The Hackery’s founder and owner, was kind enough to walk me through their back area where they do their repairs. At one table, a monitor repair was being diagnosed by a DIY tool that could determine whether a capacitor was blown without removing the capacitor from the board. At another table was a diagnostics computer whose own innards hung down from a wooden beam above the workbench. I also got a demo on how one turned it on, you woud have to hot wire the thing. Awesome!
David also co-founded Free Geek Vancouver, and rented the upstairs of The Hackery to the founding members of the Vancouver Hackspace, one of our sister organizations, making him deeply ingrained in the DIY community here in Vancouver. He really does know how to hack in Vancouver, and his scrap yard is no exception. The ‘Scrap Yard’, a garage filled with computers and other electronics waiting to be sold, repaired, recycled, or cannibalized, was massive! Stacked with laptops, flats of Apple IIs (and all of it’s periphreals), bins of components and boards, and a self-repaired forklift. They even have their own in-house metal waste compactor (DIY’d no less!).
In a time where throwaway culture is becoming more and more prevalent, the value of The Hackery’s venture cannot be understated. They fight through the flood of disposability and find the gems, find the salvageable, and help people continue to use electronics free of guilt knowing that they have a proper ethical recycling facility at The Hackery when it is needed.
The Vancouver Maker/Hacker community is extremely lucky to have a space like The Hackery. Their warm, friendly, and open nature is very approachable and even my brief time interviewing them has left me with all sorts of ideas and inspiration for my next DIY project. I recommend stopping by, chatting with their staff, as there is all kinds of great things you could learn. Thanks again David, you guys are great!