Countdown to Maker Faire

Nothing clarifies the mind like a hanging.

This week we’ve been extra busy getting stuff actually working for Maker Faire.  Deadlines are always helpful in forcing prioritization of features and tasks, and this one is no different.

Highlights:

  1. Version two of magnet hanging apparatus (made from plexiglass) doesn’t block the spotlights.  This was John’s brilliant upgrade to the wooden prototype we had built earlier.
  2. All of the LED lights are working.  I mentioned in an earlier post that we decided to opt for ‘buy’ and not ‘build’ when it came to soldering a gazillion LEDs.  Now we’ve got half of them mounted (for real) and the other half done temporarily.  It looks great.
  3. Last night’s two-magnet test was pretty sweet.  The increase in light intensity and the fact that it comes from the top and bottom really made the magnetic field visualization pop.
  4. The ‘switchbox.’  It’s not done yet, but it’s looking good … a separate control module to allow observers to safely switch the polarity of any magnet on or off.

Lowlights:

  1. Explosions.  We had one thermistor explode (with real flames) on Wednesday night and one magnet melt down fairly spectacularly.  We changed the design of the mount to reduce the likelihood that the enamel on the magnet wire gets damaged while being mounted.
  2. Glare.  As new information trickled in from Maker Faire about the booth setup and various restrictions around fireproof fabric, it seems that we’re going to have to get this thing to look awesome even in a well-lit room.  That’s too bad because the thing really looks its best in the dark.  We’ve got a few schemes to reduce glare, but we haven’t exactly figured out what we’re going to do.  Major project for tonight.

More to come!

Also … there are no more friends and family tickets available.  But you can still buy ahead of time!

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