Maplin’s Sale

Maplin’s prices have generally always been much higher than other retailers. This is probably a large part of the reason why they are closing down.

They have been slowly selling off all stock from their stores including fixtures and fittings. We’ve been going there every couple for weeks and looking to see if there were any bargains. Even with 50% discount much of their stock is better priced elsewhere but in the past couple of weeks they have been increasing their discounts and selling some stock at one-off prices.

We popped into the Slough branch yesterday and managed to pick up some bargains. A Samsung Smartthings hub for £50 (usually about £100), a Meccannoid robot for £50 (usually £200+. This one has no box was but was fully working), a MakeyMakey for £24.99 (usually £49) a Makerbuino about £20 (usually around £70) and an aluminium display stand for £3. Apart from the robot and sign, all new and boxed. The only thing you have to consider is they will not accept returns unless the items are faulty but you still get warranty with the manufacturers so this was not really a concern for us. Now to do something with the Makey Makey and get the smartthings hub working in our house.

Meccano Meccanoid Robot

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Shop display sign from Maplins £3

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Samsung Smartthings Hub £50

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Makerbuino ready assembled

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Makey Makey

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Brighton Bank Holiday Monday

Last Bank holiday Monday Anita, Debbie and myself went to Brighton for the day. We parked at the Marina where the car park is free although you have to walk the mile or so along the beach to get back to the Pier and the town centre.

We arrived early and made our way to the Post & Telegraph Weatherspoons for a full English breakfast.

IMG_0088The Marina car park at Brighton

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Brighton Beach in the glorious sunshine. A long walk ahead.

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Anita and Debbie walking ahead. The Pier is in the distance.

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Debbie trying our Hula Hooping in the Tiger store.

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Cloud Gallery. One of our favourite art gallery’s in Brighton. We usually buy JJ Adams prints from here. Anita decided to sit down and eat the free sweets whilst Debbie and I browsed.

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This is a print we bought from JJ Adams. Love it or Hate it?

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We would never visit Brighton without a quick stop at Choccywoccydoodah

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So much for our diets. Milkshakes. Mine was peanut butter flavoured. Yum!

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We like to visit this Mexican restaurant for lunch. They do a fantastic chocolate Chile brownie. Dos Sombreros.

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Bowling Night

Thursday was bowling night at Maidenhead 10 pin bowling. We were the only people there most of the evening and enjoyed two games of bowling, food and a drink for £10 each (Paul won).

Luke, Rachel, Anita, George, Eileen, Paul, Debbie attended and Chris (aka Lord Long) never quite made it although he scored quite well on the bowling whilst not even there.

After this we battled it out on the air hockey (Luke was the winner), arcade machines and then 6 of us played Laserquest (Luke won). Can’t believe how much we were all sweating at the end.

 

Lego Weekend

We didn’t plan for a Lego weekend but none the less, its seems to be a weekend dominated by Lego.

Debbie’s birthday is coming up soon and she has wanted the 70922 Joker’s Manor set for some time now. Just by chance, I noticed that Smyths Toys had a sale on and it was reduced from around £260 to £170 so we bought this as its a fantastic set and price along with a similarly reduced BB8 set.

I also received an email newsletter from Lego promoting their new Tron cycles set and then found buyers on Ebay selling the set from the official London launch signed by the designers. Again, we had to have one of these and after some bids and offers on Lego managed to pick one up for £60. This should arrive early next week and hope its as described?

I also mentioned to Debbie that the Lego store in London has a Mosaic booth which takes your photograph and turns this into an image with all the bricks you need to make your own portrait from Lego. You get the large photographic plan with a box of Lego bricks to make your portrait. We noticed they also have the same at LEGOLAND in Windsor and decided to pop there this morning.

You have to go to the LEGOLAND Hotel reception. There the staff give you one of the security cards that guests normally use so you can access the lift. When you get to the right floor, you are right next to the bar, restaurant and other children’s attractions inside the Hotel. You present your voucher (£99 cost) and the staff help you to use the photo booth. It takes about 10 minutes after which you get your box of 1×1 bricks and your photographic plan for making your own mosaic. The box also includes a large base plate. This will look great when framed.

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Debbie has just gone into the booth.

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Debbie holding her box of 1×1 bricks and base plate for the Mosaic

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The restaurant and Mosaic maker area.

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The animated clock and Dragon at the Hotel entrance who snores and breathes smoke from his nose

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Arcade Machine Project Part 1

This is the start of another arcade machine project inspired by something similar I saw being sold on Ebay. It was an arcade system using Jamma or Raspberry Pi made using recycled wood.

I found someone selling old pallets on Ebay for a £1 in Slough and bought 3 thinking this should be more than enough wood for the job. The intention is to break up the pallets into strips of wood, remove any nails and then sand and varnish. I will then cut the wood to make a table top arcade machine big enough for a at least a 19″ TFT monitor or whatever else I can scrounge. I will buy some arcade joystick, buttons, speakers and then I haven’t yet decided whether I go down the usual Raspberry Pi route or with some sort of Jamma/MAME system, perhaps even one of the Pandora boxes that come with hundreds of game ROM’s already built in and can be bought cheaply from Ebay sellers?

Total cost to date £3 for pallets

More to follow…

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