Minutes from the Feb. '00 CRS meeting:

Total attendence: 37

The meeting commenced at 1pm by viewing a couple of short videos about robot arms from ABB Robotics.

Next, we had introductions by Jake followed by the usual literature giveaways.

Jake has a lending library of other group's newsletters (the Seattle club, for example) that CRS members can borrow.

The master e-mail list was passed around for updates and additions. Also Jake reminded everyone that the membership list is now available in hardcopy format. The list has e-mail address, name, and phone.

Next, Bill Ruehl got up and spoke about what will happen with the club from March through next year.

Marc Warren was up next. Marc had a vintage Heath oscilloscope to give away (editor's note: at the end of the meeting Marc tried to demo it for some unsuspecting members and the beast belched out some very acrid smelling white smoke, good try Marc - it was the thought that counts). Also Marc told the group to check out pictures of Max on www.acroname.com

The tee-shirt order came in. See Jake for pickup. The cost is $15.

Next, Jake spoke about his and Bill's hack of Chris Graf's power supplies that enabled them to be variable via a pot.

Jake brought in a big box of Airpax stepper motors that he would sell to the members present for 50 cents each - a real steal. The money went to the club. The motors run on 6-12 volts, and Jake made up some documenation that shows the stepping sequence.

Jake also had a stepper motor demo that he showed off. A photocell controlled the speed of the motor.

Next, one of our new members, whose name I neglected to get, showed off a robot arm that he build for a science fair back in the '80s. The arm sported DC motors to threaded rods and a car windshield wiper motor in the base. He wants to rejuvenate it with current micros, etc.

Jake then gave a brief discussion on using a PC parallel printer port for real world i/o.

Bill talked about the CRS PIC programmer bundle consisting of ME Lab's PBASIC compiler, SuperPIC programmer by Bill, and improved manuals (one written by Jake). We need 8-10 orders to get the ME Labs 50% discount off the compiler. (editor's note: By the end of the meeting, nine members committed to purchasing the bundle and a 10th contacted us via e-mail).

The discussion then turned to PC board layout software. It was stated that Eagle makes some good free software for this purpose.

A request was made for someone willing to work with (i.e. mentor (for pay)) 2 kids in East Haddam, CT in getting started with robotics. These are 7th graders who have Lego MindStorms. If you are interested contact Pam G. at ppbg@aol.com.

The meeting was then opened up for show and tell. First Scott demo'ed his Fire Fighting robot. It was our hope to have the practice session for the March maze running contest but it appeared that Scott was the only one who brought in a robot to run so we didn't get to go downstairs to the Trinity maze for the practice session. Thanks to Scott for bringing in his contestant.

Kevin made a little walking robot out of two R/C servos. It had wire legs and did an excellent job of moving around. Good job, Kevin!

We have had a friend from India following the CRS via the web. He has come to the USA to work on a Master's degree and he was at the meeting this month. Bhargav talked about a walking robot that he was familiar with.

Scott showed off his copy of Mobile Robots the second edition.

And finally there was a fellow who had an electric car in the parking lot that he wanted to show to all interested parties. It was a converted Geo Metro.

The meeting ajourned around 3:30pm.