Apex Nerd

We have legions of geeks and nerds around the world. But what of the leadership cast? From where does the average nerd recieve guidance and inspiration?

I give you the Apex Nerd. This uber-geek is distinguished from amongst his pimple-faced peers and socially awkward virginity-clinging DM’s by taking it to the next level. This is a nerd who willing to risk life and limb to explore technical sciences for the benefit of all Nerdery.

Here then is a glimpse into the passions of a dangerous Apex Nerd First Class.

What is Arduino? It’s an electronics development platform that allows rapid prototyping of basically any micro-controlled electronics device you can imagine. It’s programming language is simple, elegant and versatile. It comes in enough flavors to satisfy any need. I have been a devotee for many years. My very first Arduino experiment was a motion activated Larson Scanner. I have since moved on to more complex and practical projects.

larson scanner

My obsession with the technologies of Nikola Tesla is legendary among my people. I was building Tesla coils before I could drive. My first real father-son project was teaching my middle son how to build home-brew high voltage capacitors out of beer bottles. Over the years I have replicated and expanded upon many of his designs including a miniaturized (only 18′ tall) Wardenclyffe tower on my property in the North Reno valleys. This can be dangerous stuff to the uninitiated. Be warned.

I invent solutions. Some are elegant and beautiful. Some are ugly and highly functional. One project that comes to mind:

The Switcher
I was tasked with building a device that would flip a light switch, on or off, at predetermined times throughout the day.

Super easy right? Well I had to use only parts that were developed within the country that the device would be used. These were 1950’s era solid state components. No micro-controllers or modern capacitors. It had to be battery powered and last for at least a week between battery replacements.

After a month or so of development I was able to create a new type of tiered-discharge capacitor that would actuate the solenoids with enough force to flip the switch while preserving battery life. I used double concentric cirlces that accepted small plastic pegs to set the timers. It was a true feat of ingenuity. Unfortunately the whole project was stolen from an unscrupulous “partner” and a curiously similar product appeared on the market within a year. Young and dumb. Never again.

The Switcher

That’s all I care to share for now. Maybe I’ll add more at some point.

Misc Tech
Mustang Display

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