Tag Archives: bayltc

Looking forward to Maker Faire

This coming weekend, May 18-19, I’ll be joining a bunch of LEGO enthusiasts from BayLUG (Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group) at Maker Faire yet again. This annual event has been going on every year at the San Mateo Event Center (aka Fairgrounds) since 2006 and BayLUG has been a part every year. This year we have a 40′ by 40′ space which will feature robotics demonstrations, a kids’ play area, a working train layout by BayLTC (Bay Area LEGO Train Club), and lots of LEGO models on display. I hope you can come and see the show, and stop by to say hi.

Besides our LEGO exhibit, there are hundreds of amazing exhibitors and vendors offering everything from knitting to welding, from woodworking to electronics. It’s a celebration of all kinds of do-it-yourself hobbies and homebrew activities, and always lots of fun. Many of the art exhibits that you would otherwise have to go to Burning Man to see are there, and there are lots of great hands-on activiites for kids of all ages.

In the meantime, or if you can’t make it, take a look at my photos from previous years’ Maker Faires.

BayLUG at Great Train Expo Sept 2012

My local LEGO train club, the Bay Area LEGO Train Club (part of the Bay Area LEGO Users Group) took part in the Great Train Expo model train show this past weekend in San José, CA. We set up a LEGO layout with two loops of trains (one freight and one passenger), a downtown area, suburban houses, a campground, train yard, and more.

A number of my things were on display, including Kermit, the Robert Indiana LOVE and LEGO sculptures, my City Park, a city block featuring the Blackburn Hotel and other buildings I’ve made, the Caltrain locomotive and cars, some freight cars, houses, cars and trucks, and RV’s. (Seeing this list, I realize I need to post some of these models – even though they’ve been around for years, they’ve not all been properly blogged…)

You can see photos of the layout on my Flickr set for this event. Click the image below or view it as a slideshow.
Group Photo

Four-Track Signal Gantry

A signal gantry I built over four tracks at Bay Area LEGO Train Club exhibit at the Train Collectors’ Association Cal-Stewart Spring Meet, Santa Clara, California, March 2-4, 2012. I built it Friday night after we finished the setup when I realized we would have a four track line without much decoration in that area.

The signals over each track are based on the Union Pacific Signal Rules. Over each track there is a signal facing each direction, and each signal has three lights which could be red or green. I set up the signals with two each track marked “Clear” in one direction (top light green, two lights below red), and “Stop” in the other direction (all three lights red), in keeping with the direction of travel we used on the layout, but after I set all that up, someone put trains on running in the opposite direction (as shown in the photo below)!

Four-Track Signal Gantry

BayLTC at TCA 2012

The Bay Area LEGO Train Club displayed a train layout at the Train Collectors’ Association Cal-Stewart Spring Meet, in Santa Clara, California, on March 2-4, 2012.

This is one of our favorite events to display at, as they have a fairly low stress environment and it is in a very nice facility. We set up our exhibit on Friday afternoon, March 2, and finished setup Saturday morning. On Saturday, however, the show was only open to members of the TCA who were there for the Meet, so the crowd levels were low-stress. Sunday was busier, as it was open to the public from 10am-2pm. In past years, the attendance for the public day at this event has been fairly light, and we haven’t bothered putting up our “sneeze guards” (Plexiglass barriers that keep the little kids from reaching into the layout), but this year we quickly realized they had done a much better job promoting it, and we had to scramble to get the sneeze guards up before too many fingers found their way into places they shouldn’t (or worse yet, took things they shouldn’t … you know how grabby little kids can be around toys). Once we had them up, the crowd lightened up again, but we were still glad we did it.

This event was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, where we will be holding Bricks by the Bay in two weeks. While we were there, I had a chance to meet with our representative from the Convention Center and tour the facilities we will be using along with some of the convention volunteers who were also participating in the layout. We finalized the BBTB event schedule and locations where all the activities will be held.

This year the layout was a rather unusual shape for us. Usually we make a big ring of tables, and Bruce brings a gate that carries two tracks across it, so we can have two loops of track circling the entire layout. But Bruce wasn’t able to attend so we tried a new design, making a large “C” shape instead, with the two loops of track doubling back at each end, making a total of four tracks around the layout. It worked quite well, but it presented us with a new esthetic challenge, as there was now a stretch with four parallel tracks and no structures. When I saw that Friday night, I decided we needed a signal gantry, so that night I whipped one up and I am quite happy how it came out.

Take a look at the pictures from the show. Click the image below, or view all the photos as a slideshow.

BayLTC at TCA 2012

Wrapping up the Living LEGO-cy Show

The last day of BayLUG‘s annual “Living LEGO-cy” show and teardown took place on Sunday, January 15th. My pictures are available online. This is an event we do every year at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto, CA, as a fundraiser for the club and for the museum. This year we had excellent attendance, with a peak of 841 people coming through on the 30th, which was the most people we’ve had in one day since we started keeping track (and charging $2 admission).

Here’s a group photo of club members taken during teardown. Click the photo to see the rest of the images, or view them as a slideshow.

Group Photo

Our next event is the Train Collectors Association Cal-Stewart Spring convention, open to the public on Sunday March 4th, from 10:00am-2pm. It’s a toy train show and one of our favorite events of the year. Two weeks after that is the Bricks by the Bay 2012 convention – the convention runs Friday through Sunday, March 16-18, and is open to the public on Sunday the 18th.

Nice article about BayLUG museum show

A local newspaper has a great story on their Web site about the BayLUG/BayLTC exhibit at the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto. The article comes with a gallery of photos and videos, and I’m pleased to report that three of the four videos show my models (City Park, Caltrain, and Scrambler). [Aside: I just noticed that the pages for those last two are out of date, and I never blogged about the Caltrain cars I’ve built… sorry I will update that soon.]

There are only three days left in the show: Fri-Sun, January 13-15. If you haven’t made it out there yet, best do so soon!

Brick Show now open

This was the opening weekend for the the Brick Show in San Leandro, CA at the Bay Area Family Church, organized by Johannes van Galen and featuring BayLUG/BayLTC. The show is ongoing through July 25 so come on out and check it out!

The show features a large train layout and various other displays in all themes of LEGO. Admission is $5 each for adults (age 16+) and $3 for kids ages 3-15. Kids under 3 are free.

I took a bunch of pictures around the display today. Click on the image to see them:
Brick Show (June 27)
You can also view the pictures as a slide show on Flickr.

BayLUG at Maker Faire 2010

Here are the pictures from the Bay Area LEGO Users Group & Train Club‘s exhibit at Maker Faire 2010 Bay Area in San Mateo, CA.
BayLUG at Maker Faire 2010
We had a 40′ by 50′ space just like last year, but this time we set aside about half of it as a play area for the little ones. We dumped out loose LEGO parts on the floor (including a DUPLO area for the really little ones) and spread them out on some tables as well, so that fairegoers could build whatever they wanted. We then had some tables set aside to display these MOCs (My Own Creations), and had volunteers who would take pictures of the models and put them up on a computer. I brought my video projector and we had a continuous slideshow running all weekend with pictures of these MOCs.

Besides the play area, we had the usual train layout, and a row of tables for other themes such as space and sculptures.

You can see all my BayLUG pictures from Maker Faire in the BayLUG at Maker Faire 2010 photoset (slideshow), or see Maker Faire 2010 for all my Maker Faire photos, including both LEGO and non-LEGO displays.

BayLTC at TCA 2010

Last weekend I, along with other members of the Bay Area LEGO Train Club, had a display at the Northern California Train Collectors Association Cal-Stewart Spring Meet in Santa Clara, CA.  This is one of our favorite locations to do a train show – the hall is beautiful, and the crowds are manageable enough that we don’t have to put up our “sneeze guard” plastic barriers on the layout.  It was open to the public only on Sunday for four hours.  Pictures from the show can be seen on Flickr (or view as a slideshow).  Enjoy!