Minutes from the Jan. '99 CRS meeting:

Total attendance: 18

The meeting commenced at 1pm with a viewing of "Silicon Magic", a great documentary on how ICs are fabricated provided by Bill Ruehl. Good film - thanks Bill.

The master e-mail list was passed around for updates and additions.

Next, we had introductions by Jake followed by giveaways of some CD-ROMs. Jake also brought robot related literature that everybody was welcome to take.

Bill Ruehl then gave a presentation on "PC board creation in the home". Bill concentrated on different techniques for transferring artwork to the PC board. If you missed the talk I'm sure Bill has some extra handouts. Thanks Bill, fine job.

This led the group into a discussion of soldering.

Next, came demos and show & tell time.

First, Bill showed off his mouse robot. Completely built in a PC mouse enclosure, this robot uses two HO racecar motors for locomotion and an analog brain (instead of a PICSTIC or STAMP) built around OP amps, transistors, a 556 IC, and a 555 IC. Bill machined all his own parts and he hopes to do line tracking with his robot.

Next, Kyle showed off a robot he made with his Lego "Mindstorm" kit. The robot was in its preliminary stages and I believe it also will be a line tracer.

Scott Boyton also received a Lego "Mindstorm" kit for the holidays and he built a six legged walking robot that responded to light. Very nice.

Scott got his parallel port relay board working so he brought in his PC and connected it to the relay board and demo'ed a couple of applications for us. One was a mobile robot platform that he tethered to the relay board. The other was a stepper motor demo using the relay board.

Next, Jake hosted another round of giveaways - a printer cable, IR emitter/detector pairs, RJ45 cables, and some sound actuated relay boards.

Jake told the group that Joe Yacobucci (860-284-6214) from Bristol-Myers had called to say that he had some electronics jobs that needed to be filled. So, if there is anyone in the club that is interested in a new job, give Joe a call.

Next, Marc Warren told the group about the Delphi forum that he set up for the club. This is a web site were we can post messages to each other - a great way to stay in touch between meetings or to get and give assistance on our robot projects. See Marc or refer to the e-mail he sent to find out how to use this neat tool.

Marc Warren provided the final show for the day and demo'ed his monster robot. Powered by four hefty motors and tethered to a 15 amp power supply, this robot could bash through walls - and to the excitement of all present this is exactly what it did. Getting away from Marc, the thing took off at full speed and crashed into an unsuspecting wall leaving a pair of black rubber tread marks on the University's freshly waxed floor. A good size dent in the cove moulding on the wall was also left. Bravo Marc!

The meeting adjourned around 3:45pm.