has new design

Nicholas Watkins reports that is now sporting a new website design.

For those of you who haven’t seen this site, it showcases a VERY COOL animated Christmas light display that is (in 2010 at least) dedicated to raising money for Riley Childrens Hospital.  $2,848 was donated in the 2010 season!

The lights are off now at the house, but you can still go check out the videos at the website!

January Meeting – Saturday the 8th

It’s a brand new year!  Why not start it with some good old fashioned invention.  Come join us at the Fort Wayne Inventors Club.

  • Saturday, January 8, 2011
  • Northeast Indiana Innovation Center
  • 5236 Stonehedge Blvd.
  • Fort Wayne, IN 46815

Dave has arranged for the inventor of the Doggie Fountain ( to attend and show off his product!  It won top honors in the home products category at the National Hardware Show!

TekVenture Monthly Maker Meetup

Time for another TekVenture Fort Wayne Maker Meetup at my house. All are invited!

It’s a week early this month because of Christmas.

This Thursday December 16th 7:00PM at my house.

The big news is that Sayaka Ganz has agreed to collaborate with us on a group kinetic sculpture project built from recycled plastic and lots of electronics and motors!

Here are some links to work that has inspired Sayaka and I

We will be starting on design work for this project with an exploration of slip-rings.

Work on the Kickstarter site is progressing. We will unveil the video of greg asking for moola and finalize the reward levels.

I’ve got some information about the mini-mill that Greg has been hiding away in his mobil shop of mysteries.
The it is a Rong Fu RF31 or a clone circa. 1995. You can google this for specs. These are popular inexpensive mills. Grizzly, Jet, Emco and others still sell them.
The mill has a CNC upgrade produced by a third party. The CNC upgrade uses stepper motors and a parallel port interface to the computer.
The mill would benefit from a newer computer and a little TLC.

It might need new stepper drivers or other parts but we might be lucky and it will work as is.

Here is information on a company that sells a RF31 with a similar CNC upgrade.

Here are my pictures of the mill and some other machines.

We need to plan strategy about renovating the mill.

I’m throwing down the gauntlet to Scott to come and show his remote control Halloween creation.

So we have to get to work this month. No free desserts!
As my Dad used to say “Everybody works, everybody eats”

Bring your friends.
Send this email to others who build stuff.
Eat cookies cake.

Jim Merz

4224 River Bluff Drive

Chain Reaction Challenge Demo at December Meeting

At today’s meeting, Casey Drudge showed off his creation – a Rube Goldberg device that demonstrates what someone could make for TekVenture’s Chain Reaction Challenge.

When you pull the string to trigger Casey’s device, that starts a 28-step process.  Of course, preparing the device to be triggered takes some time – those are a lot of steps to reset.  And since this is the Inventors Club, Casey spent even more time explaining how each of the 28 steps works.

Once it is set up physics and mechanics take over to produce a device that runs anywhere from 1 to 1/12 minutes (depending on how long it takes one particular pendulum in the system to trigger the next event).

TekVenture Chain Reaction Challenge 4 is Saturday April 30, 2011 at the Allen County Public Library.  Each participant will build a device that can be triggered by and provide the energy needed to raise a golf ball an inch.  As the name implies, they will all be strung together to form one ginormous chain reaction.  Be a participant!  For details, see TekVenture.  If you don’t participate, at least come and watch the fun!