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“Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

This is the fist time I have ever started a forum post with a literary quote, but it seems so appropriate. So I shall begin.

 

In my secondary school I had an excellent group of physics and D&T teachers. I already had a tendency for taking broken electricals apart to see how the smoke had escaped, but these guys showed me how to really enjoy electronics. The projects we made where crafted, hands on and in my case always had some levels of electronics. A rolling ball maze with 555 timer and decade counter to give a sense of impending failure not seen since 80's computer games. A PIC BASIC project where so much time was spent trying to squeeze in a bit more code, the final project nearly failed.

 

This gave me the motivation to get on to an Electronics degree course at university. It was awful. Hands on had gone clean out the window. I could understand the digital elements, but some of the seemingly complex theory of antenna lengths and high voltage AC transmission just passed me by. Towards the end of the first year we where given a project to build a multi meter from a kit. We where given four afternoon 'slots' of four hours to complete this task. After two hours I was finished helping the rest of the class. This was not for me.

 

So I swapped to a more general Engineering degree and chose all the additional electronics modules I could manage. With a degree in hand I joined the working world, where I was carrying out a lot of bench testing in a very labour intense and slow manner. All of the equipment had some manner of control. MODBUS, proprietary serial comms and the like. There was only one thing for it, automation! And for those bits of kit I couldn't automate, I build new bits. Typically with Microchip 8-bit PICS. A lot of what I was doing was really simple, but I loved it and the results far surpassed expectation

 

I started building rigs and tools for all manner of testing applications across the company. It wasn't really part of my job but I was given the freedom, time and resource to do it and the company seemed to enjoy the success.  I've moved into arduinos now, and a different role in a different division. Most of my projects are very simple such as an automated PWM duty cycle, but I am seldom the end user of what ever magic box I have created so I have to design them, build them, validate them, package them and document them. Something of an all in one design team.

 

So that's my electronics history. I enjoy electronics as a hobby and sometimes I even get to mix it into my job!

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