motion activated LED coffee table (2011)

This table delights small and big kids alike. It was a labor of love that spanned at least a year from start to finish but oh so worth it. The table has transformed our living room into a playful and inviting space.  

Interactive LED Coffee Table

My mom gave me these Evil Mad Science panels for my birthday years ago that but the soldering required for 600+ LEDs seemed daunting. But when our crappy Ikea coffee table wasn’t cutting it anymore, we finally took the plunge. We went to Building REsources and picked out some reclaimed wood full of character and old nails. Nate’s dad had the great idea of taking a wire brush to it to remove the grime while preserving the surface texture.  Nate and his dad cut and assembled the table and I worked the soldering iron. I didn’t care for the grid layout of the LEDs so I bent the leads to vary their positions. A couple of polyurethane coats later and voila!


wedding 2.0

When 2 nerds marry each other, there’s no choice but to take it to the next level.  The Apple contingency was especially enamored with the Apple IIe Wedding Reception Assistant, complete with ASCII wedding cake art.  Since my first foray into the joys of programming was writing BASIC in the third grade, we had to incorporate this somehow.

Our Apple IIe Wedding Reception Assistant

My husband Nathan is from Atlanta, which inspired the casual southern theme for the reception. Nathan has fond memories of catching fireflies so we thought it would be cool to capture that feeling at the tables, but with an electronic twist.  We found these really neat itty bitty incandescent bulbs that made wonderful “fireflies” which I animated using custom picaxe microcontroller firmware.  Nate and I worked together to design and construct an original PCB cut on his homemade CNC router.

Incandescent “Firefly” Jarsnerdout

uh oh… now do that 15 more times.

Uh oh... lots of work to do

the Naked Shifter (2007)

Way back in May of 2007, I made an analog 8-stage phase shifter guitar pedal for my ex-boyfriend’s birthday. The PCB came from and was intended to be a rack module based on the panel template and power requirements. I thought it would be more fun as a foot pedal, especially for performance situations.  Finding the parts and soldering the board wasn’t too hard but when it came to creating the 80’s punk rock inspired enclosure, I needed help. Luckily, my friend Mike was kind enough to volunteer his time, tools and expertise to make my vision a reality! And he helped me add more blinky blinky which is always good.  Major kudos to Ray Wilson at MFOS – this pedal sounds AMAZING – bubbly warm and totally yummy.  I hope it is still being loved on somewhere out there…

Ben trying out the new toy

check out the design at MFOS: