This is a selection of some of the many varied projects upon which, I have worked. Please refer to my CV for more information. The pictures are of a few of the devices I developed at Granada. The images have been captured from my old camcorder tapes which is why they are not too sharp.
Click on any image to see a bigger version.

The Wall
The pcb wall. Every pcb made ended up on 'The Wall'

The first one! An ATE system for the original IBM PC

Mk1 IBM cable tester, tests co-ax multicore cables in situ

Mk2 IBM cable tester, fully automated version

IBM Channel Tester, and first patent. Exercises I/O channels

IBM 3270 Tester, to allow the testing of 3270 tape drives

AIMs cable Tester, built for a customer, tests any cable

ICL remote monitor, allows monitor and remote re-boot of system.

Floppy Disc System
After finally learning Assembler with my first micro, a Commodore VIC20, I set about building an 8" floppy disc controller and writing a DOS for it. The VIC Assembler could only be used to enter op-codes and addresses, no labels, and all jumps had to be calculated first, and it worked! It was building this that made me decide I needed to upgrade my home micro, to a BBC model B. It was around this time that the IBM PC was launched.

Skills: Digital Hardware, Assembler.

Lightpen software
The idea of the BBC was that it had 'everything' - all I had to do was to program it. This idea lasted well over a week before I started to build add-ons. I also wrote a number of articles for 'Computer Answers'. My first commercial commission for a program was from Stack Micro, for some lightpen software. This was the first lightpen software for the BBC micro that could plot pixels.

Skills: Assembler.

Schematic Capture
Following on from the lightpen sofware, I developed asimple multi screen lightpen program for circuit design. This allowed the user to pick a symbol from one screen layer and place it onto the schematic, andincluded a file compression method.

Skills: Assembler.

Video digitizer
Video digitizer for the BBC, adaptation of a published design. Many improvements to hardware. Wrote complete software suite including early image manipulation techniques.

Skills: Assembler, hardware (analogue and digital).

IBM PC ATE system
As the PC began its steady march, I became involved in the maintenance of the PC and of DEC mini systems ( PDP, VAX). I designed an option card for the PC that was an ATE system. It would map a known good PCB or IC which was then used as a reference when fault finding a suspect board :

Skills: PCB design, interface to PC bus, 8086 assembler (MASM), GWBasic.

Vehicle test
An Interface to Austin Rover test system for checking circuits in Rover/Honda legend dashboard during manufacture. The system in place would test (a dashboard) by virtue of a special connector that joined all the wires and hence total current was measured. By module grabbed a signal from the host system and then scanned each circuit in turn hence testing each circuit individually.

Skills: Low speed digital design, interfacing

IBM 370 Channel Tester
A portable test unit that emulates an IBM370 mainframe IO channel. The test unit can exercise and debug a channel in place of the mainframe. This product resulted in my first patent.

Skills: Digital design, PCB design. 6502 Assembler, own OS, firmware downloader.

IBM 370 Channel Monitor
Sister to above unit - a test unit that can monitor the IBM370 channel and take a 'snap shot' in the event of an error. This resulted in my second patent.

Skills: 16 bit CPU (8086), multi-layer PCB, high speed data capture, own OS, LCD display, serial comms, parallel port, MASM

Interactive TV
Long term project with interactive TV system in the US. Redesign system from set top box to internal TV card. Reduce costs by 75%. Convert from NTSC to PAL for use in UK/Europe. Convert from Philips TV to Sanyo. Recode IR TV control sections. Rewrote much of OS. Develop code for Philips 'smartport'. Custom RTOS.

Skills: Hardware, PCB design, video, IR control, Assembler (630x). Some C. Use of TCP/IP and SCO Unix.

Environmental Monitoring
Specify and then adapted a Trend environmental monitoring system for use in computer rooms. Added a system to detect worn disc drive bearings and also falling CPU coolant pressure. Designed a PC security system to interface with thissystem.

Skills: PCB design, PIC embedded controllers, Analogue, digital.

Asset tracking system
This evolved from the security project. Handles 32,000 unique IDs on own custom network. Devised unique fast current loop using two wires for bi-directional comms (half duplex master-slave). Own design comms controllers use own design token ring protocols.

Skills: PIC, PCB design, Serial comms, Assembler, Visual Basic, Windows 95

3D Imaging
My brief was to take an application written for Labview and code it into C++. Some simple hardware was designed ( useing PICs) as serial devices to allow the control of IR lighting and arrays. The original system used an expensive FireWire camera and part of the brief was to use a web-cam.

Skills: PIC, PCB design, Serial comms, Assembler, C++, Borland SDK, GUI, Labview.

Wireless control
This was a private project that developed two ways. The intial design was a system to detect 'bites' from a fishing line - it could detect current and wind effects (and provide cancellation), rate and direction of line feed, and real bites. The system could handle up to four rods and sent a radio message to the user ( who might not be by his equipment. From this a simple means to control mains power points was designed ( and is still in use in my home).

Skills: PIC, PCB design, RF interfacing, telemetry.


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