Total Attendance: 16
The meeting commenced at 1:00pm with the showing of two videos: "Powers of Ten - Model of the Universe" and a Robix Construction video on servo arms.
Next, Jake did the usual intros followed by the passing around of the club e-mail list for updates and additions.
Jake then relayed to the group that Circuit Cellar, Ink wants to hire a person to redraw schematics for their articles - John Gorski is the contact person from the magazine.
Next, Jake spoke about Walter Poland in California who works in the movie industry making gadgets and robots for the motion picture and television industries.
Jake spoke of a Y2K seminar - ask him to fill in the details if you are interested.
Giveaway items were then put out for the taking and the few remaining club tee shirts were hauled out to be sold.
With all the preliminaries out of the way, Bill R. got up and told the group about the neat BasicX development kit that he found on sale from NetMedia for $50 (half price). You get a development board, BasicX chip, cables, and a CD-ROM with the docs and software. The BasicX touts full multitasking, 8 bit - 8 channel A/D, interrupt handling, 16 bit floating point, 32K EEPROM space, and ease of programing in a Visual Basic like language. Check out www.basicx.com for more information.
Next, Bill told us about some right angle drive Omeron motors he found from All Electronics.
Bill then reviewed the agenda for the club trip to the MIT flea market to be held on June 20th. The swap fest is sponsored by the Harvard Radio Club, the MIT Radio Club, and The MIT Electronics and Computer Club. At 8:30am we will car pool from the University of Hartford lot to MIT in Boston, take in the "flea", then head over to the Boston Science Museum in time to catch the lightning show. See Bill R. for more info.
Next we had an appearance from Marc Warren and his faithful robot companion, Max. Max is really gearing (excuse the pun) himself up for the Trinity Fire Fighting Contest next year. He sports a really sophisticated flame scanner which Marc instructed the group in. Max also has a piezo gyroscope and a CO2 flame extinguisher for those nasty candles.
Kevin and his amazing limping anamtronic squirrel were up next. The squirrel had the usual long tail, four legs, and lego gears. Expect to see Kevin working in Hollywood making all the creatures that we see in the movies - he is doing some good stuff.
Having received a free stepper motor at the last meeting, Walter was told to come back this month with a working demo - which he did. Walter decoded the stepper wiring, found the correct stepping sequences, drove the stepper with an L293C dual H-bridge, programmed his Rug Warrior board in IC and made that stepper spin - good job Walter.
Not to be outdone, Jake came in with his own stepper motor demo board. We all learned about half and single step, and double phase stepping sequences. It was noted that for those interested in working with steppers, All Electronics sells stepper motor driver chips.
Next I have a note that OOPIC developers are looking for beta testers. I don't remember exactly what this means - ask Jake.
Jim's robot Mips was greeting folks when they came into the room today so it was only fitting that Jim gave a little update with what Mips is up to these days. Radio control, Hall effect sensor for a tachometer, battery level sensor, and IR for line following are some of Mips's features.
Hasan came in late with some computer equipment to give away - a complete 286 system, SVGA monitor (needed work), and mono monitor - see Hasan if interested.
The group broke up for extended demos - Bill fielded questions in one part of the room about the BasicX, and Marc put Max through his paces for an adoring crowd in the other end of the room.
The meeting adjourned around 4pm.
Editor's note: It is with regret that we bid a farewell to Mike M. Mike is moving with his family to NC in search of better opportunities (and a warmer winter). Mike has been with the CRS from the beginning of the club's current iteration. He is well known for his butler robot. Good Luck Mike and stay in touch with us "yankees"!