2017 Maker Faire Detroit

On Sunday I spent almost 6 hours at the Henry Ford Museum for Maker Faire Detroit. It was a great venue for it because attendees had access to the museum as well.

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Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects.

We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.

Glimpse the future and get inspired!

Maker Faire Detroit

It was inspiring to see all of the makers and I had a blast geeking out.

Other posts about the event…

5V Relay Module – Part 1

You can buy all sorts of 5V relay modules on Amazon for as little as $3-4 (probably even less if you get really cheap). They even sell boards with multiple relays if you need to switch more than one thing. Since I had all of the necessary parts I built my own. Yesterday I finished the board, because I had to do something before National Week of Making ended.

It worked great switching power from a 9V battery, but the real test was hooking it up to mains power. Electricity gets a lot more dangerous at 120V! It was a little scary plugging everything in and flipping the input, especially after reading so many warnings online, but there were no sparks.

Tester shows the wiring is correct.

I need to pick up a plastic outlet box to house everything so it’s safer with the exposed soldered circuit board in there; I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought a metal one. I’ll publish a more detailed post this weekend when it’s complete.

Update: I realized the relay I used in this module can’t handle the amount of current I need, so I ordered a different type of relay and will be making a new module. I’ll take the opportunity to make a more compact design as well. I did shrink this one a bit and cut off some of the board. I’ll save this module in case I ever need it for a project.

Check out Part 2.

The Joy of Computing

The thing those computers didn’t do was tell me that I couldn’t do something because a marketing department or executive or shareholder wanted to prevent me from doing it, so they could sell me something else that would do that thing. Once we bought the computer, we owned it, and as much as I enjoy my tablets and smartphones and iMacs and whatever, getting back to my Linux command line and learning Python and talking to other enthusiasts online about what they’re doing with their little Raspberry Pis is reawakening this passion and joy that has been dormant inside of me for a long, long time.

rediscovering the joy of general purpose computing by Wil Wheaton

I’m having a similar reawakening as I mess around with Pis and microcontrollers.