Yesterday, yet another edition of the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Fair was held. This was the ninth annual event. (I have a photo of myself at the 2011 event here on my blog.)
As we have from the beginning, we put together a team of amateur radio presenters, including:
- Arun, W8ARU, who brought his weather satellite receiving station and actually caught a pass of an NOAA satellite at around 3:30 pm.
- Joe, AC8ES, who showed his 3D printer and his Red Pitaya setup.
- Dave, N8SBE, who brought his complete K3 setup. This is very popular with folks who seem drawn to the panadapter display.
- Yours truly, who came with keys to teach kids (and adults) how to send their names in Morse Code.
While we all had a lot of fun, it was also somewhat disappointing. The attendance seemed way down to me, and there didn’t seem to be as many exhibitors as in the past.
Part of this might be the venue. The Mini Maker Faire was held at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor Public Library. The nice part about this was that it didn’t cost the organizers a dime. The bad part was that the exhibitors were in disjointed spaces, and both the exhibitors and attendees had to pay for parking.
I don’t know what the answer is exactly, but I’m hoping that the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire can get back on track next year. A change of venue might be part of the solution. More publicity among both potential exhibitors, as well as among the general public, is certainly in order. We have a lot of creative people here in Ann Arbor, and this should be its showcase.
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