Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Displaying your modules at a public event

So you want to bring your GBC modules to a public event?  A GBC Layout can be exciting and sometimes stressful if you aren't prepared.  Here are a few tips on what you should be doing before and what you should be bringing to the event.

Before the event
  • "Soak test" each module for at least 15 minutes to make sure they are not dropping balls or jamming.  The more reliable your modules are, the more you will enjoy the event.
  • Run a small layout at home to see which modules will work best next to each other.  If you have a few configurations planned out ahead of time, it can make setting up your layout a lot easier.
  • Make sure you have all your power needs sorted out, how many modules will you run off each 9 Volt Train Controller.  Do you have enough Power Function extension cables?
  • Label things that matter to you with your name.  Use tape or a label machine.  I label all of my 9 Volt Controllers, and extensions cables.
  • Plan your transportation strategy.  How will you bring your modules to the event, what will you pack them in, will everything fit in your vehicle?
List of things to bring in addition to your modules
Power Strip - So you are able to power multiple 9 Volt Train Controllers from a single outlet.
Power Extension Cable - To get power to your power strip from a wall outlet.
Lighting - Desktop or Freestanding Lamps.  Sometimes your display space may not have the best lighting to show off your modules.
Ball Poker - Something to unjam or clear balls easily (lego axle, chopstick, screwdriver, forceps)
Retaining Wall - Something to surround your display so that dropped balls don't roll away from the display.  Brick built walls can add some nice flair to your layout.
Extra Parts - Extra parts for most moving mechanisms, motors, gears, axles, pins
Promo Materials - Want to advertise your modules?  Pamphlets, Business Cards, LUG information.
Camera - Phone or dedicated camera to film your display.  This is good for debugging your modules later.
Table Cloth - Can help prevent balls from rolling too far when dropped from a module.
Water Bottle - Stay hydrated, modules that are jamming and malfunctioning generate a lot of sweat. 😅

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