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Awesome audio spectrum analyzer using TONS of nixie tubes @yuna_digick (yuna.digick.jp).

Awesome audio spectrum analyzer using TONS of nixie tubes by @yuna_digick.

By Ian Lesnet of Dangerous Prototypes

Of all the Maker Faires we’ve visited in the last year, the Tokyo Maker Faire stands out as one of the quirkiest, funniest, yet most refined on the calendar. This year is no exception. Featuring a new venue in a prominent science and engineering museum, things are more exciting than ever. The tables are tiny, but the projects are huge.

Compared to last year, there are a bunch more hands on activities. About a dozen tables have soldering lessons, and the lines to sling lead are lengthy. As usual, there is a heady mix of art and technology, with distinctly Japanese features such as anime characters and robots with excellent manners. Exhibits are a good balance between individual projects and commercial makers trying to sell a product. As always, we like to use Tokyo Hackerspace’s table as our home base and then branch out from there. Here’s the ground we managed to cover during the first 5-hour day. We’ll be back first thing tomorrow to complete our coverage.

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Sabrina Merlo

Sabrina Merlo

Sabrina is the Maker Faire Program Director. She works on stage content for the flagship fairs (Bay Area & New York), and also runs Maker Faire’s licensing program for locally and independently produced “Mini” Maker Faires. She also co-creates the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in her town, Oakland, CA.