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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Daytrip to Margate

About three weeks ago I bought a log flume from a seller on Ebay. It was definitely an impulse buy. The auction was due to end one evening and I put in a cheeky bid expecting it to be declined and woke up the next day to find I was the new owner of a used log flume for £120.

When I told my colleague at work he also temporarily lost his sanity and bought a roller coaster car from the same seller based in Margate. These things really don’t come up for sale very often and we both felt we could create some crazy projects around VR using these.

After some difficult communication with the seller, we finally departed Slough on Sunday at 8.00am to drive the 100+ miles to Margate to collect both items.

It was a cold day with snow on the ground but we made good time and arrived around 10.30am in my colleagues van. The seller was still on holiday in the U.S but his colleagues were on hand to show us the items. It immediately became clear these were very large and very heavy requiring 4 or more people to lift and there were two of us. After an hour and half of lifting, winches, ratchet straps and to be honest Chris’s lifting ability more than mine, we managed to get the rollercoaster in the back of the van and turned our attention to the log flume. It was quickly obvious the log flume was too big and heavy to fit in the van with the rollercoaster. I remembered the seller was also offering some smaller log flumes for the same value and after a quick discussion it was agreed we would take one of these instead and again loaded in the van after some time and effort.

By this point it was early afternoon. Chris’s van has no heating and after loading these items we were cold and thirsty. We were told of an indoor market called the Old Kent Market where we could get some refreshments and walked around the corner to see what they had to offer. Its a fantastic little indoor market with lots of character offering food and beverages and some small indoor market stalls. We had a lovely coffee and warmed up then visited a couple of the antique shops nearby before making the 2 hour journey home in the fresh snow.

The last picture shows my log flume hidden in our server room at work after loading into the lift and taking it up to the first floor.

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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Trip to Southampton

We had an early morning start, driving down to Eastleigh near Southampton. We left at 7.00am and arrived about 8.30am to collect an Ebay purchase.

Last weekend, I took a punt on buying a Dragon 32 computer with accessories. The listing said it had not been tested but was working when put away in the loft. I managed to buy it for £21 but the seller would only allow collection. Normally I would shy away from these but the price was good and so I decided to take a chance as I don’t have one of these in my collection.

6 X C15 cassette tapes, Mined-out, Dragon Selection 2, Cave Fighter, Examples from manual, Personal Finance, Keys of the Wizard, Leggit cassette games, Meteroids cartridge game, Home Computer Weekly  No 43 Jan 3-9, 1984 Magazine, Computer & Video Games January 1984 Magazine, Dragon User December 1983 Magazine, Dragon World No 3 April 1984, Dragon User November 1983 Magazine, Dragon User January 1984 Magazine, Dragon 32 computer, Joysticks.