Tech Expo/Mardi Gras Pig Roast

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Born On:
09:16, 26 January 2011 (CST)
Last Updated:
22:47, 19 July 2014 (CDT)


Last November, we made a large profit for the shop by showing off our projects and equipment while we served food. Since the first pig roast, we've been getting bigger and better with each attempt. We've been better about the food, we've had more projects to show guests and we've advertised better. I definitely hope to benefit from the lessons we've learned with this event. I hope we can use some of the income to offset our winter heating costs and invest in long-term improvements for the shop, as well as recruiting members to keep us money-positive with long-term sustainable donations.

The biggest concern up front is who is going to pay for the pig, feel free to add yourself to the list below. You can pledge any amount of money, and you should get your money back after the event. We haven't had a loss on this event yet, so it's a pretty safe bet on your investment.

I'd like this one to have a Mardi Gras theme, since it'll be in that time of year. We could decorate a little, maybe acquire some silly hats, and I'm planning on making some small mardi gras case-mods for RC cars. If we want to drive around any other robots or rc projects, we could have a small parade. Opticron also suggested some kind of candy delivery system, something like a candy mortar.

Lessons Learned

  • Cooking the Pig
    • Pit Cooking was much easier than Spit Cooking. The pig can be left unattended for longer periods of time.
    • Need to open the Aluminum Foil not over the pit/fire. Can cause a grease fire: Video of the great Pig Grease Fire of 2010
  • Reminder email should be sent out a day before the event - some folks forgot to bring pledged items
  • Watch the weather - we soldiered the thunderstorm well, but thank goodness we started planning for it in advance and made sure we'd have a tent to protect the food. Imagine how awkward it would've been if we hadn't caught this.
  • Remember the name tags - sometimes guests have a hard time finding members to answer questions. Name Tags could identify members easily. Also, suggesting members wear makers local shirts on the day of the event in a reminder email.
  • Continue advertising with the Huntsville Young Professionals and NPR
  • Candy Cannon should probably be fired outdoors only. ^_^
  • Future events in this vein will have a different title, so as not to contradict or be confused with another event's intent.
  • For previous events Rocket City Meats complained that we called too early and needed to call 2 weeks before the event. Then we did that and they dicked us by doubling the price and leaving us with no time to find a competing offer. It was five days after we started calling before Mr. Philips answered the phone. Lesson learned is to call 4 weeks in advance anyway and to find a competing offer.
    • Omegix has a coworker named "Nick" that has 120lb pigs. We would have to pick up the pig and bring it to the butcher for kill / processing. We can find out a price closer to the next event.
  • We need to suggest that children be watched by an adult at all times.
  • Don't run out of bbg sauce.
  • Need to wear protective hand coverings (latex gloves will do) when pulling the aluminum foil off the cooking frame
  • Guestbook for prospective members to sign
  • Find a way to count plates, maybe use stickers instead of marker for the hand. (we can count the number of used stickers)

Basic Event Information

  • Name: Tech Expo and Mardi Gras Pig Roast
  • Logistics: MrWorld
  • Date: March 5, 2011
  • Time: Tech Expo from 12 to 6PM, lunch served at 12.
  • Location: Make Shop
  • Cost to Attend: $10 / person, or $15 for two people.

DIY Tech Expo

For the Tech Expo, we'd like to show off all the different things people can do at Makers Local. This isn't exclusive to finished projects, concepts and technologies. You could talk about what boards you've been experimenting with, why a specific environment or language gives you an advantage you prefer when you're working. If you have a project or a concept, or something you'd just like to share with anyone interested in the crowd, you can talk about it. We'd like to have some project demos going on throughout the day across the entire shop. Feel free to add yourself below-

  • Open manufacturing
    • 3D printing - mog confirmed
    • CNC machining - enabrintain confirmed
    • Vacuum forming
    • Forge/Foundry - gregabyte confirmed
    • Mold making - wayne and david pending
  • Computer vision
    • augmented reality
    • multitouch
    • 3D scanning
    • 2D barcodes
  • Robotics
  • Screen printing
  • Microcontrollers
  • Spaceflight -
    • Near-Space Photography
    • Rocketry
  • Local Resource Technologies
  • Ongoing talks and presentations - Strages handling

The Pig

  • Rocket City Meats.
    • Omegix calling Mr. Phillips at Rocket City Meats on Monday Feb 21st to reserve the pig
    • Last time: Half Headless 55-60lb Pig is $1.99 / lb (~$110)
    • This time: They don't do half pigs anymore. Head-on pig, 60lbs is going to run ~$150, $2.50 / lb
      • 80lb pig ~$200
      • Note from last time: We should go a size up from last time, we ran out of pig early.

Volunteering to buy the pig

The pig should be $150, and we'll need to pay that up front. If you help pay for it, you should get your money back from the proceeds. Pledging to help:

  • MrWorld ($50)
  • Opticron (up to $100 or so, flexible)
  • Omegix ($50)

Mardi Gras Theme

Preaux, MrWorld, and some other members miss being in those rare towns that celebrate Mardi Gras every year, and since it's happening during the season we'd like to have this event have a Mardi Gras theme.

  • RC Mardi Gras parade
    • Any robots or RC projects welcome
    • MrWorld pledges two cars to the event
  • Candy
    • Some kind of candy delivery system
    • Can nerf guns shoot size-appropriate sweets?
    • Candy mortar (merits its own page?)
      • Volunteers
  • Gregabyte
  • Preaux for oversight


  • Shop Cleanup - we'll need to make sure the place is clean for company
  • Wood Chips
  • Charcoal (6 bags) (size of bags?) - Opticron
  • Cooking - Alii handling logistics
    • Pig
      • Preaux
      • MrWorld
      • Your Name here!
  • Chairs
  • plates, cups, knives, spoons, forks, bowls


  • Drinks - shapr
  • Buns (basic hamburger buns) -crashcartpro
  • Plates, cups, plastic ware
    1. Cups - shapr
    2. Plates, plastic ware - brimstone
  • Ice and cooler -Strages
  • Chips, Dip - Gregabyte
  • A second main dish - Alii (vegetable lasagna)
  • Side dishes
    1. Deviled Eggs - Tuttle
    2. Potato Salad - Dusty
    3. Quinoa - MsEli
  • Desserts
    1. King Cake - Omegix
    2. Brownies, Apple Pie -Benalene
  • A green salad (as in vegetables not food coloring) - Ctzar

  • Flier: File:Mardi Gras Flier.pdf
  • Fliers going out 2/11
  • Facebook Event
  • NPR Service Announcement
  • Update email sent to general list (3 weeks out)

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