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Welcome, Stefan Dzisiewski-Smith! (@stefandz)
- Chris and Stefan met at Resonate.io, through mutual friend and former guest Mike Harrison.
- He studied EE at Imperial College, both undergrad and grad degree.
- An early project was writing assembly on a PIC16F87.
- After that, he was convinced to apply to the Royal College of Art for a multidisciplinary Industrial Design Engineering.
- It required a portfolio, much of which was created right before applying.
- The first job out of school was working at a high voltage power supply company. The floor started on fire at one point after an arcing supply.
- Xray tubes are hard to simulate so they would test real ones in lead lined boxes.
- One large project after joining Jason Bruges studio was the Matthew Knight arena (Eugene Oregon). This project uses Shutterglass.
- After leaving the studio, Stefan joined the company that became Buffalo Grid. The initial project concept was a bicycle generator to charge phones in Uganda. It later switched to being solar. The business model was to give away equipment, do profit share
- Internally, there was an MPPT board from NXP and a BeagleBone Black. These days it’s a more integrated solution and a MPPT unit from “Roc Solid Solar“.
- Stefan now works at Bare Conductive, which makes capacitive sensing using carbon paint. It was started by 4 RCA grads, including his former roommate Matt.
- Listeners may have seen the Touch Board an Arduino compatible project with SD card, audio output and a capacitive sensor. It was a key part of their first Kickstarter, which rasied nearly 122K pounds.
- There will be a new product in September meant for the RPi Zero. Chris mentioned these are hard to get, to which Stefan mentioned the site “Where is my Pi 0?” Chris heard rumor there are some available at his local MicroCenter.
- Unicorn Poo?.
- The chip behind it is the MPR121. It was originally created by Freescale but then sold to Resurgent Semi. Stefan wrote a new low level library for Arduino
- Stefan brought up current events, how Analog is buying Linear Tech.
- These days Stefan is working on an Induction cooker.
- You can find more about Stefan and his past work on bycgwtsf.com and you can follow him on Twitter
Many thanks for Stefan sharing his wide variety of knowledge and experience!
Thomas A says
Interesting guest and interesting subjects!
I like that in most guest episodes, you manage to get a nice “flow”, and it does not feel forced or awkward.
Keep it up!
Im not an EE but what an amazing conversation, and a really easy guest with more than engineering skills.
I loved this interview. To me it is a great example of the best amp hour episodes – just people talking and rambling about interesting things they have done and cool electronics.
ru4mj12 (@ru4mj12) says
Maybe Martin Lorton, resident solar expert, could have pointed you to an mppt solution!
There was a great npr money podcast on the social challenges with bringing high tech (like an ATM or M-PESA) to places that keeps their money in gold under a mattress!