Sunday, March 21, 2010

Northern California R2D2 Cookout 2010

On Saturday, R2 Builders from all over the area converged on my garage to showoff their R2s, check out parts, eat, and have a good time.  The event went on all day and it was a lot of fun for everyone.  We had 5 functioning R2s, and a couple more that are on their way.  Grant McKinney from San Ramon, Chris James from Montara (near Pacifica), Steve Simmons from Pacifica, Ryan Goff and Mark Chu Lin from Sacramento, John Burns from Sacramento, Gerard from Martinez,  Marc Verdiell from Palo Alto, me, my wife Rebekah, and a handful of kids were present.  Here area few pictures.  One of the coolest things of the day was getting a close up look at the ingenious 2-3-2 system that Marc Verdiell is working on.  He's not ready to go public with it, but from our preview it looks really great.  I'm generally a 2-3-2 skeptic:  the mechanical and engineering problems that one needs to overcome to get a system that works reliably and looks right are substantial.  Despite lots and lots of ambitious builders putting lots of energy into a 2-3-2 system, very few of them ever seem to get them working well.  Marc has the mechanical  and engineering skills, and he's been attacking the various problems with some analytical zeal.  And his preliminary results look really promising.  Anyway, I'll post those pictures when he's ready.  Here are the others:

That's Gerard, Steve, Ryan, Chris, Marc, Ryan's boy Charlie, Grant, and me from left to right.  

Chris showing his new Return of the Jedi drink tray to Ryan.  

Steve's had a transmitter/receiver problem that he described as R2 with Tourette's.  But Gerard and Grant seem to have gotten it worked out with him.  

Now my table saw has been used for everything.  I kept it together and didn't even freak out a little bit that all that food and the drinks were all over it.  

Lots of inspections, debates, and problem solving.  

Thanks guys for loading up and driving to Davis.  It was a great time and I hope to do it again next year.