Cambridge Raspberry Jam – September 2014

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It’s the afternoon after the Jam before so I thought I would do a quick write-up of the 8th CamJam held on September 6th at the Institute of Astronomy (IoA). Due to the number of talks and workshops the start time was moved forward to 11am and this meant an early start for me and Graham (@rpiSchool) who were travelling from Bristol.

As with previous Jams the location was split in four areas. Show & Tell, Vendors, Talks and Workshops.

The Vendors

In the vendors area were Dawn Robotics, The PiHut, The Little British Robot Company, 4Tronix, SK Pang and Ragworm.

I like the vendor area as you can always pick up a few essential bits and pieces … and maybe a few non-essential bits and pieces. The 32×32 RGB LED matrix I somehow ended up buying from SK Pang was clearly an essential household item. Easy to justify the price if my son can squeeze into his worn-out shoes for a few extra months.

Chatting with the sellers behind the stalls is always worth the time as you realise they are as interested in their products as their customers. They aren’t just shifting boxes and are willing to help where they can.

Show & Tell

Gert Van Loo, Alex Eames and Average Man had tables in the Vendor’s area but they were showcasing items rather than selling anything. Gert (designer of the original Pi alpha hardware) was demonstrating a new addon for the B+. It was a very simple GPIO header device that allows the Pi to output VGA.

Gert VGA Adapter

The design is open source and is expected to be available for <£5. The magic all happens in software and may allow the Pi to operate dual screens. Yes, VGA and HDMI at the same time! Try doing that with a Ban*na Pi.

Alex Eames had some HDMI screens on show which are very close to being available to those that backed the project on Kickstarter.

HDMIPi

He also had the new Cyntech case designed for the B+.

Cyntech B+ Case

Average Man VS Raspberry Pi had a table showcasing some of his projects including a CCTV camera. He also had some free cardboard cases which proved popular with the kids.

Average Man VS Raspberry Pi Table

Elsewhere in the show & tell was an LED matrix showing an animated horse, a machine that told you how naughty you were (I’m really, really naughty apparently!), the PiPiano board by @ZacharyIgielman and “Slither“, a caterpillar robot. There was also a rather cute device showing pictures of kittens.

Robots

Not surprisingly there were a few robots in the building!

Harry Gee (@ThePiBot) was running a workshop so there were plenty of PiBots (the one with the speaker) and Tiddlybots (the one with the pen) on show.

Talks

There were a number of talks in the lecture theatre throughout the day.

Work Shops

There were a number of workshops focusing on robotics. I didn’t attend of them but managed to get a few photos once the crowds had died down.

CamJam Workshop

People

The technology, the tempting products, the talks and the projects make for a great Jam … but the best thing for me is the people.

CamJam crowdsIt’s great to catch up with Pi friends and meet new people who I’ve come across via social media. If you remember talking to me then you know who you are!

This Jam was slightly special as it had a number of (prepare to cringe) famous Pi celebrity visitors. These included Carrie Anne, Liz, Eben, Gert and Ben.

Behind the scenes Mike and Tim did an amazing job of bringing it all together and there efforts are greatly appreciated. This all combined to make for an amazing atmosphere and made the long journey well worth it.

Other Photos

Here are some of my other photos of various things :

Other Write ups:

Here are some other CamJam write-ups. :

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