Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August Meeting

We met last night in the warehouse and began to plan more seriously for the year ahead. Last year's group was able to plan and execute projects within just a few short months, but we are looking forward to having a longer planning stage this year.
We are also fortunate this year in having the mentorship of Jim Stewart, lifelong inventor/designer/engineer and president of JK Microsystems. Jim talked to us about how he got started in inventing at age 8, and about his work now as a creator of DOS and Linux microcontrollers. He told us about the importance of integrating design, electrical circuitry and programming in his mechanisms; and he also showed us his current project, an LED radiation detector that looks like a flashlight until it senses radioactive material.

Next on our club agenda: an outing to Jim's office and workshop to learn more about his work.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

County Fair

The county fair is many things: food, music, animals, rides...and exhibition halls full of things made by your friends and neighbors. There are quilts—
 t-shirts and other decorated objects—
even giant Adirondack chairs—
Our own Leo entered his Young Maker controller project in the Junior Exhibit Hall and won second place. Congratulations, Leo!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Use For Sugru

I picked up an old drawing board for free a while back. The board was fully functional except for two suction cups on the bottom, which were probably for keeping the board still when drawing but had long since dried up into hard, brittle rubber. One was actually broken off. However, when I took the cups off, I discovered that the bare bottom edge of the board would touch and probably badly scratch any surface that the board was sitting on. Then I remembered the small pack of Sugru that I had been given. I stuck two blobs of it to the bottom of the board, and after they had cured overnight the board was ready for use. The new 'feet' may not look like much, but they made the difference between me using the board and me not being able to use the board. They are also fairly sticky, so there is no trouble of the board moving around when I draw on it. The top picture is what the board looked like now, and the bottom picture shows what the board looked like before I modified it.