There is a true spirit inside every maker. Not everyone grows up to be an engineer, but somewhere somehow when the door is open, it just can’t be resisted to take a step forward and start making something interesting. This time we have an interview with one of our recipe makers, who was just introduced into this world by an electronics workshop two years ago, and then started making his projects one by one, and finally show up on the Maker Faire New York. Let’s check out his maker story:
Your background is Architecture and MBA. How did you get started with electronics?
Two years back, one of my colleagues invited me to an electronics workshop with materials. It was a day-long workshop and introduced us to basic analog and digital electronics. We started with basic transistor circuits and ended the workshop with a bluetooth controlled light bulb. The workshop provided me with a basic arduino kit and there was no looking back.
Did you learn programming in the Architecture class? Have you done any DIY projects before?
Programming was not a part of architecture, however I had always been interested in computers and had been programming since I was 12 years old – starting with a ZX Spectrum. During the years I have learnt to program in Basic, C, C++, Java, etc; however had lost touch with all these as they were not part of my day-to-day work as a construction manager. The electronics workshop was a refresher and I started to pick-up programming again.
Before the electronics workshop, I had built a few artworks with my wife; I had always been interested in Origami and still love to create things using paper.
You made a very cool project the “Infinity Mirror Clock”. What do you think is the most difficult part?
The most complex part was getting the measurements for the base correct. Luckily I had the help of a professional carpenter, who helped create the enclosure based on my design. However, building the project was actually very simple because of the arduino platform and the WS2812B LEDs. Before this, I had created a Charlie-plexed LED clock, where the circuit was extremely complex and involved.
You’ve also done projects with Xadow and ESP8266. Do you think it’s easy to expand to other development platforms?
Having experience in multiple programming language helps, however, in this case I’ve worked on all these platforms using the Arduino IDE / language. So – it has been pretty easy.
Your projects will be shown on Maker Faire New York. Is this your first time in a Maker Faire? Would you like to come to Maker Faire Shenzhen?
I moved to New York last year and had missed the Maker Faire last year, so this is my first Maker Faire. I’ve never been to China, but would love to come to the Shenzhen fair if I get a chance.
How do you find the open source hardware or DIY culture in India? Do you have a space that gather DIYers for regular meetups?
Bangalore is a hub for DIY culture in India, there are a few spaces where people meet regularly. However, most of the interaction is online on the Arduino India and IOT Bangalore facebook groups.
Is there any chance to use the electronics knowledge in your job? What do you think about learning and playing electronics as a hobby?
Being a construction manager, knowing electronics helps me in a peripheral way and I can speak to electrical / BMS engineers with at least some knowledge of these fields.
I believe Electronics as a hobby is a great way to learn different concepts and apply them. It is also great for kids – my 4-year old son loves to sit with me when I’m tinkering and enjoys blinking lights, playing with robots, etc. Also, given the amount of information that is available on the net and the low cost of entry, I feel anyone can start making things. Unfortunately, the knowledge is constrained to people who already have a background in electronics. Had I not attended the workshop 2 years back, I would not have known about this wonderful world and most of the people around me are still ignorant about it.
Electronics workshops, Maker Faire and Makerspaces go a long way in bringing DIY to the masses.