Well I’ve been bit lapse. This post is supposed to written in July.

Another year, another Maker Faire. Yes! for this year it is nolonger “Mini Maker Faire”, we’ve just upgraded to the full fledged “Maker Faire” event. As Singapore Maker Faire has grown 10 times compare to 3 year ago, I am not able to cover every single booth or exhibit in the event. I only write about those I’m interested in.

An Augmented Reality Sandbox is a perfect application of Kinect. Originate at UC Davis, this construction is made by the students from Temasek Secondary School.

Augmented Reality Sandbox
Augmented Reality Sandbox

Benjamin Low and “Art makes us” team, who made the “Synesthete’s Music Machine” last year, have came back with “Neobombe”, a simulation of   Turing machine inspired by the movie “The Imitation Game”. This setup contains 11 Arduinos driving 36 step motors. The motors spin according to the enigma decipher algorithm running at backend. Since I’m too late to write his, Ben has already published his “making-of” article here.

Neobombe
Neobombe

Leon Lim, who is the “go-to” person for DIY PCB etching in the community, bought us two day’s worth of live etching and soldering workshop. Participants have experienced PCB etching using household suppliers, drilling and soldering. The end product is a cardboard dome with colorful LED lighting, very nice!

Live etching-soldering workshop
Live etching-soldering workshop

This ball shaped robot is developed by IDA Labs. It travels on the ground and also in water. But I really do want to see a BB-8 leh. Maybe next year?

Ball Robot
Ball Robot

Here comes some heavy weight electronics project. Design by Adnan of 2-Watt Elements,  Chippy is an “Intel Edison powered USB hub” Intel Edison breakout board that helps developer to access Edison peripherals much much easier. Interested people please take note, Chippy is coming to market coming September.

Chippy
Chippy

More interesting projects from local and overseas guest are better capture using video format:

Yearly Review

As I said Maker Faire is like a new year’s day to me. The past year is an exciting year, that I am able to monetize my project. I designed an ESP8266 breakout board and start selling on Tindie since February. As of today, I sold total 332 boards across 29 countries.  And this is mainly why I have not been updating this blog too frequently, because I totally underestimated the effort went into the production and sales of these boards. My initial idea was just to sell some extra pieces from my prototype lot and recover part of the cost. But in the process it becomes so welcomed that my I can hardly fulfill orders. I’ve not able to write too much code for ESP8266 either, which is a great pity.

A “good” news is ever since Adafruit, OLIMEX and Sparkfun start to produce their versions of ESP8266 development board, my sales drops like brick wall. But this gives me more time to work on the software side and do some new projects, stay tuned 😉

And since I’ve done so much on ESP8266, I can’t help bring a project to Maker Faire. So this is my selfie with ESP8266 clock. The clock synchronize time from NTP, gather temperature/humidity and push to a MQTT broker, and display MQTT messages from my webpage (more on this in the following posts).

Baoshi & ESP8266 MQTT Clock
Baoshi & ESP8266 MQTT Clock

A big THANKS to Mr Teo Swee Ann and Espressif Systems to make this possible.

Rant

I hesitated a bit before write this part. It will hurt someone, for sure.

ARDUINO IS NOT ELECTRONICS!

I have been talking to some makers, attending some events, and people seems to mistake Arduino as the only electronics platform.

ARDUINO IS NOT ELECTRONICS!

I have to admit Arduino helps to lower the entrance barrier, bring people onboard electronics, which is fantastic. But do not claim you understand electronics because you can follow some online tutorials and create some Arduino projects.

The same applies to Raspberry Pi, Banana Pi, Beagle Bone, etc.

I don’t know whole lot of electronics either.

I come across the Nah’s family who present this electronics learning kit in the Maker Faire. I personally give them the best project award.

Electronics Learning Kit
Electronics Learning Kit

This basic components block kit immediately reminds me of the Radioshark laboratory kit (clone) I started with. There is no shortcut to learning electronics. You still have to start with basic components and Ohm’s law.

For more expert advise, I highly recommend this eevBLAB episode.

/Rant over.

One thought on “Maker Faire, Yearly Review, and Rant

  1. Pingback: ESP8266 MQTT client on RTOS - Digital Me

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