The 8th CamJam was held on September 6th 2014 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.
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.
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.
He also had the new Cyntech case designed for the B+.
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.
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.
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.
There were a number of talks in the lecture theatre throughout the day.
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.
The technology, the tempting products, the talks and the projects make for a great Jam … but the best thing for me is the people.
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.
Here are some of my other photos of various things :
Other Write ups:
Here are some other CamJam write-ups. :