Earlier this month we were visiting with family down in South Florida. While we were there we took the opportunity to set up at the Hamboree Mini Maker Faire. This was the first year for the Hamboree Mini Maker Faire but the 47th year for the Hamboree! I was excited when I found out they were combining a maker faire with a ham radio convention. We're not Hams but are big fans of the community.
A "Ham" is an amateur radio operator. Amateur Radio has been around for a long time. To transmit as an operator, you need to pass a licensing exam and receive a call sign. Hams often build and maintain their own equipment. Many electrical engineers got their start as kids building radios and becoming licensed. Hams and makers have a lot in common. Ham radio conventions are great places to find stuff. Old electronics. Inventions. Tools. Radios. Test equipment. They are great places to browse and find some good deals. As a maker, I enjoy attending a ham radio convention so I was excited about having a combined Hamboree and Mini Maker Faire.
The Mini Maker Faire was on the Saturday. There were a small number of makers attending, it's just the first year. There was a VEX IQ Challenge robotics competition that brought in a lot of kids and their families from area schools. We set up a booth where we showed some sample projects, photos of artwork that kids in our workshops have done, and made electro-cards with many of the kids attending the event.
Terry and Mary Alice were there with Yourduino. They had a couple of neat projects set up to show what you can do. Mary Alice gave my son a starter kit that he's had a lot of fun with - more on that later!
We were mesmerized by Artisan Kelan's steampunk creations. The kids attending the robotics competition loved his work and touched everything. I was impressed with his patience.
We also had a chance to play with a MaKey MaKey with Vincent. Always fun. We particularly enjoyed the Munching Banana Keyboard.
Round that off with with telescopes from the Southern Cross Astronomical Society and more robots from StarBot , it was a great show. Thanks to the organizers for pulling it together, I am looking forward to seeing it grow!