Announcing Arduino Day 2020

Saturday, March 21, 2020 will be Arduino Day 2020, a worldwide collection of public events where computer hobbyists get a chance to exhibit their Arduino-based projects. Each of the past few years has seen about 600 such events on Arduino Day.

This year, the Makers and Microcomputers Meetup group (https://www.meetup.com/Makers-and-Microcomputers-Woodbridge-VA/) will be teaming up with the Chinn Park Regional Library in Woodbridge to put on an Arduino Day event. The event is tentatively planned to run from noon to 4 PM that day in their large meeting room. The Library is located at:

13065 Chinn Park Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22192

More details as the date approaches. Watch for it!

Disclaimer: I’m the organizer for Makers and Microcomputers. ūüėČ

New pages: Turntable

I’ve added two new pages to my build blog, both describing the newest subproject of my model railroad electronics project: an operating locomotive turntable, driven by an Arduino-type microcontroller.¬† The first page gives background information on the turntable project, and the second page goes into more detail on how the drive train between motor and turntable was created.

New page: Throttles – Implementation

I’ve added a new page,¬†Throttles ‚Äď Implementation, which describes the current implementation of my now-working Arduino-based model train throttle system.¬† This system was successfully used for the first time at the 2017 Ekoji Obon Festival, an annual event held each July at the Ekoji Buddhist Temple in Fairfax Station, Virginia.¬† Our club, Japan Rail Modelers of Washington DC, has set up a display of our Japanese train models at this Festival for several years now.¬† This year’s display included a double-track loop with a pair of my N-gauge PORTRAM models, and powered by my new throttle system.¬† Festival visitors, especially kids, had the opportunity to drive the trams using a control lever modeled after the actual hand controls used by the drivers on the Toyama Light Rail system.¬† There’s more information on Toyama Light Rail and my models on my¬†Overview page.

Arduino Day in Rockville, Maryland – a video

The first Arduino Day event to be held in Rockville took place at the Rockville branch of the Montgomery County Public Library on April 1, 2017. ¬†Arduino Day 2017 saw 499 different events take place in 78 countries worldwide. ¬†The event in Rockville¬†was a collaboration of the Montgomery Village Arduino Meetup group (for which I’m the organizer), MoCo Makers group (co-organizer), and the Rockville Science Center, and took place in the library’s Maker Space. ¬†The event had over a dozen displays and activities, and we estimate we drew about 50 visitors of all ages.

We have a YouTube video posted here:¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAmIZ5HyrRA¬† I’m the guy in the red shirt demonstrating my Toyama Light Rail trams being controlled by my Arduino-based throttle with visitors getting a chance to take the control and drive a tram. ¬†Yeah, I look just like my avatar, don’t I? ¬†ūüėČ