So, my name is Alan and I like to create items that can either make my life better or as a proof of concept simply because I can.
I started paying with electronics and started to create things around 1985. Sadly digital cameras weren’t around back then and it cost too much for 35mm film and to get it processed so I haven’t got any real evidence of my work earlier than 2002 as a result. In 2015 I started to create my own PCBs, then in 2016 I started to design them myself in CAD software, then paid a Chinese company to fabricate them for me.
So that’s me. I am also a keep brewer or beer, ale, stout and cider, but sadly I don’t get much time to do it anymore. I still work on the odd project for myself and occasionally I will create something for somebody else.
Back in the day I used to bread Bearded Dragons, Gerbils & Mice (which were sold as pets to pet shops, NOT AS FOOD) and I had some Corn snakes, Royal Pythons & Anols. I am also the only person I know of in the UK who used bread Silk Worms which I sold to pet shops as they were dream food for reptiles (they are not easy to hatch and feed!).
When I had my Bearded Dragons, I loved creating advanced automated vivariums for them which knew what season it was in and the required heat and daylight hours for that time & could analyse the temps in 6 different parts of the Viv and even had 2 sets of emergency heating and lighting systems for disaster recovery! Writing the code for them in Visual Basic for Windows was difficult, but I loved the challenge of it. Below is the last Viv that I made back in 2008. If you would like to read more about my Vivs, click here.
I also designed some small power supplies (usually around USB Micro connectors) and some Arduino kits that I used to sell on ebay. I went by the company ‘Uno Shopper’ hence why many of the projects you will see on the web site and that name printed on them.
This site is not to show off my work or to get people to admire me (although, you should), it is here as a mental reminder to myself of what I have done and how I have done it. I also want to help people who like to adapt or invent. You may have a project that you are working on and you are not sure if it will work or how to do it. If you can go through some of the tings that I have done and it can help you to save time or money to see my failings, then it would make me happy. Back in the day when I started, there was no internet so you couldn’t post a question in a forum and ask for help. Hopefully my projects may give you ideas.
That’s about it really, not much else to say. If you want to comment on any of my projects or coding examples, by all means do. I am no programmer, my code is very basic and sloppy and there are far better and more advanced ways to do it. Please don’t have a go at me if there is a better way, be constructive and tell me what is the better way. If I agree, I will gladly update my code on the web site and post that it was you who helped update my code. Go on, help me and others who stumble across my site.
Cheers & thanks for all the fish. Actually, scrap that. Thanks for all the Pizza, I hate fish…