Archive for June 2013

NC Maker Fair 2013

Just got back from my first (mini) Maker Fair held at the State Fair grounds in Raleigh, NC. Neat things abounded. Everyone and their brother had a 3D printer it seemed like. Which is great! It means that the tech is accessible to loads of people on many different levels of skill. I have access to a Makerbot Replicator 2, and we’ve decided to take a look at running ABS through it at some point. More on that whenever it happens, hehe.

Of particular interest was one booth featuring the TI LaunchPad, an eval platform for the MSP430 chip (among others). RobG from had a really neat display of a bunch of booster packs (like Arduino ‘shields’) that he’s made. Everything from MIDI controllers to LED displays to touchscreen LCD modules. Very cool stuff!


Image from

Rob’s Booster Pack display

See the post about the NC Maker Fair here:

So I’ll be poking around with the LaunchPad kit. More on that to follow!


Thermal Printer, the Pi, and GoFreeRange

Came across this neat write-up from on how to take the Adafruit Thermal Printer, mash it together with the Raspberry Pi, and get a neat internet-accessible printer.

Making a GoFreeRange internet printer with a Raspberry Pi

The GoFreeRange printer allows you to send data over the interweb and have it spat out in thermal-printed-monochrome gloriousness. Also referenced in this write-up were instructions and python scripts provided by Andrew Nicolaou to get the GFR printer working on the Pi: Use a Raspberry Pi to control your Freerange printer

I had played around with connecting the printer to the pi before. I sort of have a project on the back burner to take the RSS feed and have the printer spit out a note whenever there is a News or Newsflash item posted. More on that at some point in the future if I ever get back to it, hehe. For now, I have a printer that I can send stuff to over the internet. Along with the guide on how to set up the GFR RasPi printer, also has a post on incorporating If This Then That and DropBox to have a daily weather report printed (see here).

So it would seem I have another bit of kit to throw into my bag of tricks. If I find anything cool/somewhat useful to do with it, I will, of course, detail it here.