LOCATED IN FRANKLIN PARK, ILLINOIS, USA
I have been interested in electricity and electronics since I was about five years old. At that age I was simply fascinated with nothing more than some wire, flashlight bulbs and some batteries. My interest was further fostered by my grandfather, by giving me all sorts of simple electrical kits that grew more complicated as I became older and my skills progressed.
I started learning about microprocessors in the mid 1970’s when Motorola (now Freescale Semiconductor) released the 6800, one of the first 8-bit microprocessors. I began programming them in machine language and also assembly language. I found that the instruction set for the 6800 was very intuitive and easy to learn. Motorola must have thought so to as they continue to use many of the same instructions, with additions and improvements, in their current 8 bit and 16 bit microcontrollers – the HCS08 and HCS12 series. As you will see in posts on this blog, I have continued to use Freescale Micro’s for this reason, although I now primarily program in C / C++.
My first electronics job came in 1978 when I was hired by Midway Manufacturing which was a subsidiary of Bally Manufacturing in Franklin Park, IL. At the time Midway was licensed by the Japanese company Taito to build the very popular arcade game Space Invaders. Working on video games was kind of a cool job for someone in his early twenty’s. Midway and Bally also produced many other different pinball and video games as well and they were selling hundreds of them every week, making both companies huge profits. Of course, this was well before home video games became popular or even possible due to the state of electronics at the time. The sophisticated microprocessors and microcontrollers that we take for granted today were still many years away.
Later on, I spent 22 years designing laboratory ovens, incubators and shakers at Lab-Line Instruments in Melrose Park, IL.
Electronics can be considered a fascinating avocation for anyone regardless of skill level. You can learn a lot by simply reading some of the many introductory books on electronics that are available. There are also plenty of websites that have step by step instructions for making simple electronic devices.
I also have a life long interest in Astronomy as you can tell by the sidebar on the right. Unfortunately, I also live in a western suburb of Chicago where light pollution is a serious problem.
One goal for this website: I hope that as this electronics blog continues to grow, some web surfer out there may be inspired by one of my posts to take an interest in electronics either as a hobby or maybe even as a career.