Saturday, July 20th, 2024

Good with my hands


When I was young I used to love building things. Well, that’s not the complete picture, I used to love even more taking things apart. My mother told me once that when I was 5 she was sitting with my grandma at her kitchen table, I was crawling underneath and they realised I was loosening the screws on the table ! Throughout my childhood I’d always seize the opportunity to take old equipment (like TVs, Radio’s, etc.) apart. The odd time I’d go to London on holiday and visit Tottenham Court Road and buy things to take apart – how things had changed dramatically since then.

From about 10 I would build electric circuits to check for water levels, flashing lights, etc. That all changed from 4th year at University when I discovered CAD tools that allowed you to do it all on computer, followed by early working life designing chips to go into real life devices. It’s always nice seeing a product in the stores, knowing that something you worked on is inside of it.

The past month or so I’ve been getting back to my early building days. This time going to Maplin, buying electronic components, soldering iron etc. Thankfully datasheets and information are all online now, so no waiting for it all to come through the post. Now I feel old realising that the consumer internet didn’t exist back then.

My creation- pretty simple box of tricks to power 4 devices (2x routers, AlertMe Box, Elgato Netstream) all from a single power supply. Saves energy and also makes things much tidier.

I’m now thinking about other things to build. My heart says to start building wooden things (I was the one bright kid at school who studied woodwork until exam time), but I know that probably means buying lots of woodworking equipment etc. Maybe I’ll do it.

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