About Me and why Dev255
I am a very enthusiastic and long standing Electronics Engineer, who grew up in the 80's; a time when technology was really kicking off and becoming more accessible to the home nerd/geek. For me 80's films such as The Explorers, Short Circuit, Flight of the Navigator and DARYL sparked my imagination and enthusiasm for electronics.
From 9 years old it was all I could think about and practice, making washing basket alarms (my poor Mum), modified toys and even flashing LED bike lights that I used regularly (yep, should have Patented that one). I can always remember being told off when toys were found in pieces at the back of the cupboard (especially if they were new), I just had to find out how they worked, something that I still do now (see my Vauxhall Vectra 3.2), but instead return to working condition.
On the left (above on Mobile) is me at the age of 18 playing Doom on a 486 DX2 66MHz PC I built in my bedroom ("dir /s/p" rocketed through on this bad boy). I'm sure I still know most of the secrets in Doom. Other items in this picture: - My Sasha tape deck radio player, a Phillips CD boom box, a Velleman 12 band graphic equalizer that I'd repaired from Maplin Electronics, a Sega Megadrive that I'd replaced the Motorolla 68000 processor in, a repaired desk mixer and a Casio keyboard that was wired for MIDI (something I used to remix music with on my Amiga 500+). Oh and the Amiga 500+ (in a cupboard) with 2.04 to 1.3 ROM swapper and extra memory. I'm sure if you are still reading this, most of this makes sense, and if not, I'm sorry.
During my college years (Seetec in Hockley) I studied Analogue & Digital Electronics Technology, Control Systems and Digital Techniques (C&G 224). From which I held various roles in a number of electronics firms repairing various technology, such as the Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, Mega Drive, Amiga 500/600/1200 and many other devices, such as TV's and video players. I naturally moved in to building, upgrading and repairing PC's and then on to small networks, although my passion was electronics. I made the decision to get back into electronics, secured a job with the Maplin Electronics servicing department and then went on to complete a BTEC National Certificate in Engineering; this being part of an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship.
This is when I got into cars a little...… Where the Escort Si (pictured left / below on Mobile) had a code to enter on a keypad before pressing the start button to fire the 1.6L monster (a whopping 88bhp). The only problem being, passengers would press the keypad whilst in motion cutting out the engine, where I would then have to coast down the road franticly trying to type in the code and restart the engine, doh! I fixed this by using the handbrake earth as the keypad common earth so that the keypad was disabled with the handbrake down. The ignition and ancillary circuits were controlled by hidden relays.
Having many cars over the years, I was forever exchanging them to improve engine size and power, going through 1.3L (Austin Maestro), 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.5, 3.0 (all Petrol's) to finally settling on the 4.2L V8 TVR Cerbera (pictured left / above for mobile). Where I have learnt over the years (25 Years of driving) that a passion for cars does not lend itself well to a healthy bank balance, especially if nature decides to take one out......
It had to be that one, doh!
At least we got the fuel out of it.
So I decided to get a sensible car (3.2L V6 GSi Vectra) and carry out the servicing on it myself. Sounds simple right? Well I'll come back to that in a tic.
Going back to my electronics, I realised other skills were required to bring my ideas to life and started to venture down other avenues, like programming, milling, 3D CAD and anything else that was required to enhance my many ongoing projects (see the projects section).
This is where I found my passion, and realised where my strengths are. I have never focused on one subject throughout my career, but instead, enthusiastically learned new skills as and when I need them; ones that will benefit the many projects/ideas I work on. I grasp subjects extremely well and can apply them to real life physics, not resting until I understand every intricate detail. Also, all this experience allowed my to passionately teach communication electronics to new technicians for over 4 years, something I thoroughly enjoyed.
Blimey I can waffle!
Anyway, the Vectra, picture the scene....
A carless Essex boy flicks through the many car sales sites, hunting for a motor that will not only put a smile on his face, but also offer a good degree of reliability and cheep running.
Enter the Vectra GSi to the left (yep, above for mobile, I know). A fine specimen with Adaptive Forward Xenon Lighting, dual climate control, full leather interior, etc, purchased from a reputable dealer from their forecourt. Or so I thought, when I got the car home I had a thorough look around, only to discover leaking shocks, broken springs, worn bushes, shredded tires, broken window winder, etc, etc, etc. Trading standards came to the rescue and I rejected the car, only to find that 2 weeks later the company disappeared and left an empty forecourt, never to be seen again.
So, time to use them learning skills to fix the car from the ground up, there was no way I was going to scrap a £4K car, plus it looked pretty.
For the first year I focused a lot of my efforts on getting the car fully roadworthy, then the last 5, well finishing off most of the other little niggles. I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey and have learned a lot more than expected, most of the time thinking of new ways to overcome a huge range of old engineering problems. Which takes me on to this and my Patreon page.
I love to teach and want to share my engineering experiences and knowledge throughout my life; this from the past, present and future endeavours.
My family have passed down engineering skills through a number of generations, from my Great Grandad who was a watchmaker, Grandad a skilled tool maker and my Dad who is a very skilled cabinet maker that can turn his hand to anything (well apart from plastering, but who can do that). What has been passed down, through my Dad showing me, is fundamentally the skill of problem solving. This is important as it gives me the ability to look at every problem in it's own right and work out bespoke solutions, not showing me how to do one task in a set way. This is what I want to pass on to anyone wishing to follow or support me.
I am yet to record a video whilst talking into a camera lens, so hopefully by the time you read this I will be in full flow. It does not come naturally for me to talk on camera, but I am determined to reach my audience (if I get one).
I also love constructive feedback, as it enhances the work that I am doing for all, so please feel free to talk to me or ask questions. Hopefully I can build an engineering community on Patreon and Discord (see links above) where everyone can discuss any project.
Thank you and well done for reading this far down.
Here are a few pictures of the Vectra GSi as it is now (Apr 2019).
So why Dev255,
Well, Dev is short for Development and 255 is the Decimal value of a full Byte of 1's (8 bits = 1 Byte) or ff in Hexadecimal.
Plus if you add the ASCII Decimal equivalents of DeV (68+101+86) together it equals 255 (yep I know, a weak link).
So that's me, Thank you again for reading.