Painting begins T minus 3 days before the fundraiser. Electronics are removed and front panels are pulled in preparation. Jamie begins working nonstop to get paint on pieces in a sequence that allows reassembly start before all the painting is complete.
I picked-up a nice power switch/fuse/socket to tidy-up the input side of the power supplies (and make tripping over the cord less disastrous). Also having a fuse is always a good idea.
About 24 hours later, control panel reassembly begins and touch-up paint is applied. The weather decides to be uncooperative so operations move from the garage to the livingroom.
Final assembly commences and breaths are held as power is finally applied. To everyone’s relief, beeps are heard, backlights illuminate and the machine comes alive.
Now that everything is done, the question “how do we get it there?” makes its way to the front of the consciousness. Mike agrees to save the day.
The next day DONOR 1 makes its way successfully to the venue and to my surprise, weathers the ride with aplomb. A few quick test games with all systems nominal and we put the machine to rest until the following night.
Overall, DONOR-1 faired well and the party was a success. There were no technical problems and we received lots of complements about the machine from players and attendees.
We also spoke to a number of people at the party who inquired about having DONOR-1 raise money for other events. This has been something we’ve wanted to do all along, so it was exciting to hear that there was some interest in putting the machine to work elsewhere (I’ll be sure to post here when it’s going to make another appearance).
I’ve learned a lot since first putting pencil to paper designing this machine, some of which can be applied to improving DONOR-1 and some that will need to be used in the next iteration of the design. For now we’re discussing how best to share DONOR-1 with others so it can continue to fulfill its mission as a fundraising machine.
The long-term goal is to produce a “reference design” that we could use to create additional machines or could be used by anyone to build their own. Plans like that might take some time to put together (there are a lot of notes to sort through) but in the meantime if you are interested in building a machine like this (or would like to use DONOR-1 as a fundraising tool) get in touch and we’ll share the information we have available even if it’s not in “final draft” form.
I want to take a moment to thank the team who made DONOR-1 possible. Given the array of skills needed to come up with the idea and turn my pencil sketch into a working machine on a very aggressive timeline, it would have been impossible to have done it alone (and a lot less fun!).
Thank-you Jamie, Libby, Jim, Patti, Justin, Jameson and Alyssa for all your hard work and patience in making DONOR-1 a reality.
Thank-you Jeff for technical support and input on the electronics, and thanks Mike for coming out on a moments notice to help us get the thing delivered.
I also want to thank Kristin for providing a “totally rad” venue for DONOR-1’s debut, and for enthusiasm and encouragement throughout the project.