By day, he’s a software developer. For Jason, hacking on Arduino and PIC took code and made it fun again – from something that’d become work to something that was an escape. He sees his foray into digital electronics as an extension of his coding. He’s slowly learning the “black arts of ‘proper’ electronics”, and his goal is to be as comfortable with analog technology as he already is with digital.
When did you start building electronics? What was it about the hobby that got you interested? When I was a kid I loved taking things apart and find out how they worked. I used to make simple stuff out of batteries, light bulbs, motors and the like. I only rediscovered this love quite about five years ago when I was inspired by a friend on Kompoz (a music collaboration site) to build my own Weird Sound Generator noise synth (Ray Wilson’s design). From there I started learning about MIDI then discovered micro-controllers, got an Arduino, and I was hooked! I am a software developer in my day job. I was a teenage home computer geek and loved the quick creativity and immediate gratification of coding games on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum. After many years of coding in industry, the joy was all but lost in procedure and corporate drudgery. Hacking code on the Arduino and PIC took me right back into that world where coding is spontaneous and fun – it was an escape and I was hooked again!
What would you say is your specialty? At the moment I am in a kind of MIDI niche, making devices aimed at musicians, although I do also have a thing for flashing LEDs and have a few ideas in the pipeline. I’d like to think that my kits that are fun to use and fire up the imagination a bit, hopefully providing inspiration and being something people can build upon. I do take a bit of pride in trying to squeeze in as much functionality as I can while trying to keep things easy enough to use.