Saturday, October 10, 2015

Milwaukee MakerFaire

Finally getting around to updating the blog!

MakerFaire was two weeks ago and it was fun, frantic and just a wee bit frustrating. 

The organizers combined my booth with my friend Bob Trocke's booth and that of another builder, Craig Smith. We three builders got a 20x20 corner booth and it was a great setup. Craig had a lot of cool droids he had built over the past 20 years or so - scratch built R2 (with awesome Weber grill dome), naked C-3PO from Episode I, the spider droid from Return of the Jedi - to name a few. He has some mad building skills and was an excellent booth mate!

Things got off to a rocky start. During setup on Friday, a freak accident short-circuited my Sabertooth 2x25 motor board in an impressive cloud of grey smoke. Fortunately,  I had a spare at home that I swapped out that night and got him operational. Then unfortunately the next day I soon discovered that I was getting crazy amounts interference on my Vex 72Mhz controller. R2 had a tendency to dart off at full speed in random directions. Very scary. Could the interference be from, say, the robotics competition that was across the aisle from my booth? I wonder!

That was disappointing since I did not really get the chance to try out the new scooter motor drive at the show.  I have since upgraded to a 2.4Ghz controller an hopefully this will avoid any future interference problems.

Regardless of R2's performance, the show was amazing! My brother, Pat came up for the day from Chicago to help out at the booth along with my son, Austin. I was glad they were there since there were over 30,000 visitors on Saturday and at times the crowd was 4 or 5 people deep around the booth. Despite the crowd, people had fun taking pictures with R2, and I enjoyed talking to people about the Builder's Group and showing them the Dremel 3D printer. It was especially nice to see friends and coworkers who came to the show.

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