Maker Faire Highlights: What's Old is New Again

Maybe it's due to the rapid pace of technological development, but for some reason, nothing seems to bring a smile to a geek's face quite like antiquated electronics. If you have a soft spot for such relics, Maker Faire was a good place to be. Faire-goers constantly stopped by our booth to marvel at Keith Bayern's transistor clock, the winner of IEEE Spectrum's digital clock contest. Completely devoid of integrated circuits, Bayern's clock uses nearly 200 transistors and took him nearly two years to design and build. The finished product, in addition to keeping time, is a beautiful piece of technological art. (If you're interested in building one of your own, Bayern sells kits at http://www.transistor-clock.com) Keith explains his project below:

Like one of our runner-up clocks in the contest, nixie tubes are also a popular blast from the past. In Eric Schlaepfer's booth, he had a variety of clocks utilizing both nixie and cathode ray tubes. He also showed off his collection of vintage oscillograph machines. Check out the old-school paper capacitors:

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