Hello interwebs, my name is Damage aka Tom and I originally started up this site to enter a project in to the 555timer.com contest. However I have done other “hacks” which I might document here at a later point.
A little about me: I am an amateur electronics/computer hobbyist, "civilian drone pilot" and unapologetic geek. I currently work full time, and at nights I am going to school to get a degree in computer science. In my spare time I like to tinker with electronics. Like most people, I am a consumer of electronics and technology products, however I have gained a strong interest in giving back. I eventually would like to create devices that others can use bringing the process full circle. This blog site will serve as a place for me to document my journey from beginner to intermediate and beyond. Over the years I have made (or modded) everything from my own Guitar Amp Switchboards to modding a 3.5″ all-in-1 card reader to include an integrated Xbox 360 wireless controller radio. My interests jump around a lot so you may find that I go cold on a particular project for a while. I almost always come back to them. Sometimes the time away from a particular project I may be stuck on, helps rejuvinate my creativity and I am often able to approach it with new ideas. Here are just a few projects that I am currently in various phases of development.
Arduino Powered Midi Foot Controller: My goal here to to emulate the complete functionality of the Rock-tron All Access at a fraction of the cost my own way. Using an arduino and the midi library this project should not be too hard. I have ideas to expand upon what they have done by adding more features, (LCD display panel, Encoder based programming option, as well as customized to work with my equipment set). I hope to not just make a clone of what they already have, but to design something new and better from the ground up.
Arduino Danger Board: I was fascinated with the Sparkfun Dangershield as a tool for learning Arduino. I wanted to expand this concept to an entire panel. Complete with a keypad, LCD Display, more buttons, more pots, encoders (rotary and positional) and anything else I could cram in to the 18×12 inch enclosure I had planned for this. My vision was to recreate an arduino version of those RadioShack 200-in-1 electronics kits I had as a kid.
Custom Xkeys Keyboard: Being a huge fan of computer games, I want to create a custom gaming keyboard. The Xkeys Matrix Board seems perfect for this, it can support up to 128 keys and is ready to go out of the box. All I need to do is layout all the buttons I want to use and wire them up.
My biggest setbacks currently are on the mechanical fabrication side of things. I can imagine a lot of ideas, but I currently lack the skill-set & tools to realize them to completion. With 3D printing becoming more available and cheaper as well as laser cutting, this problem will hopefully go away with further advances in technology. Hopefully it will get to a point where I won’t need to know how to operate a mill, but rather I can draw it on CAD, point/click/upload my drawings to a machine house and for a modest price, the finished part shows up at my door. I do believe we are already to that point with sites like ponoko and shapeways.
Anyhow, Thank you for taking the time to visit my page.
If you want to reach me please use the contact page. Please follow me on twitter here @TomMinnick