If you have launched EV3-G recently, you probably discovered that there is a new update! LEGO has released version 1.2.2 to address the “VM Program Instruction Break” bug. Be sure to update your software to the latest version. The bug did not affect the firmware on your EV3, just the compiler in EV3-G.

The Seshan Brothers, over at, have an excellent overview of the bug.

You can download the latest versions of the LEGO MINDSTORMS programming software here!

LEGO was all over World Maker Faire! Besides FIRST LEGO League, LEGO was a common sight. LEGO provides a flexible building platform and Makers love LEGO. While it might not ship in a final project, the iconic, modular bricks provides an unmatched ease of use for prototyping. This has been one of my favorite posts to write, showing off all the awesome creations of the community! Follow me after the break to check out more of the LEGO sights of World Maker Faire 2016!

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As I mentioned last week, I want to share a really fun robot. Sorry for the delay in this post, but I needed to make a quick video of the footage for Youtube. The Maker movement is all about fusing different mediums to create something unique. For this ROBOT MAK3R, that means mixing 3D Printing, LEGO MINDSTORMS, Spider Wire, and a GoPro action camera.

Capturing events is always a challenge for me. While I am displaying, I am typically very busy answering questions and meeting everyone. I really wanted a way to document these awesome events that still allowed me to be social. Sounds like a robot to me! With some on-site programming I was able to achieve this goal! While the bot needed a bit of tuning, movement along its wire was smooth and pan and tilt controls worked as designed! Not bad for a quick build! Check out the footage from World Maker Faire 2016 and learn about this awesome bot after the break!

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This past weekend was World Maker Faire 2016 in New York. Maker Faire is a celebration of creativity, technology, and invention. I was lucky to attend the event again this year, showing off some LEGO robots at the ILUGNY booth. While the booth was constantly busy, I was able to explore and see some truly amazing projects. Follow me after the break for more photos from this incredible event!

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20160928_211917679_iosEveryone knows they should read the manual. But let’s be honest, we don’t. Maybe it’s because you’re already an expert in that new gizmo you just bought or maybe you just don’t have time. Rarely do we want to follow instructions unless something is really wrong.

For a maker, the manual or instructions is a great source of creativity! I love reading LEGO instructions. I learn new building techniques that help me make better creations. For example, a bot I am taking to World Maker Faire this weekend has some components that are modified from a LEGO set. I built the part according to the manual and then decided to enhance it and tweak the design to fit my project.

This works beyond LEGO sets. Remember that radio I took with me to the Caribbean? I modified the schematic to add in the transistor. I could have also made other tweaks to change frequency or power output.

So the next time someone says RTFM, don’t feel offended. Look at it as an opportunity to learn something new, a starting point for your own creativity, or a solution to a problem.

Tonight at 7:30 PM EDT, I will be giving a presentation on Amateur Radio at the University of Florida. The event will be live streamed via the YouTube link above. If you are interested in making with electronics, getting your amateur radio license can open up a whole new world of opportunities. Come learn a little about the original makers and the various aspects of this exciting hobby!

UPDATE: I was asked to share some of the links in a clickable form. Check out the links below!

Remember you can use Amazon Smile to donate to the Gator Amateur Radio Club! Just search for “Alumni and Friends of Gator Amateur Radio”.

Maker Tip: Label Your Tools

Posted: September 21, 2016 in Maker Tips
Tags: , ,


One of the great joys of making is building things with friends. However, sometimes tools end up going home with the wrong maker. Typically in the rush of cleanup, tools get misplaced. Labeling tools is an easy way to ensure they end up going home with the correct person.

This lesson I learned from my grandfather, a master plumber. He would work on job sites with multiple other trades. Keeping track of tools was very important, especially moving from job site to job site. Most of my tools have been passed down to me from my grandfather. Many already are marked with my grandfather’s last name and my middle name, Jesse. As I have acquired new tools, like the work light pictured in this post, I have kept the tradition of marking my tools with “Jesse”. Using the same name makes it easier to keep track of tools and even though he lives nearly a thousand miles away in Ohio, it ensures he is part of every project I make!


This week I want to share a video of a presentation I made back in July on Digital Mobile Radio or DMR. DMR is a cool technology for commercial and amateur radio. It uses TDMA technology to enable two independent conversations on one frenquency at any given moment. Check out the video above for an overview of multiple digital voice options in amateur radio, as well as some in-depth discussion on DMR. Sorry the lighting on me is dim in the video. It was lowered to help the contrast for people attending live.

If you enjoyed this video, I will be hosting a live Introduction to Amateur Radio next week on Thursday! Stay tuned for more details and links to the live stream in a bonus blog post next week!

Test Setup

This past summer my brother and I ventured to the Bahamas for a short vacation. As amateur radio operators, we thought it might be fun to work from a different country. Several weeks before our trip, we received our reciprocal licenses from the Bahamas. Assigned the suffix “/C6A”, it was then time to figure out my rig.

Traveling with a radio is hard. Antennas for HF typically require lots of area, and people ask lots of questions.I wanted to have a small radio that I could operate from the beach. My brother brought his Elecraft KX2, but my Icom 706MKII would be too bulky. Follow me after the break to learn more about my solution.

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This week I thought I would write an extra post to share a couple of links that I was involved with. The first comes from an outstanding MINDSTORMS resource, I was offered the opportunity to write a guest blog post. Naturally, I took this opportunity to share my thoughts on Build Robots with Gracious Professionalism. Head over to EV3 Lessons and checkout the post!

The other link comes from Sketchup. Last year at World Maker Faire in New York they had a camera crew capturing the event. They interviewed me, asking about making. The video is above. I did so many interviews, it was tough to keep with all the final videos. A friend of my brother found this video and shared it on social media. Check it out the awesome video and learn a bit about us Makers!