Name: JC Whitsett
Home: San Jose, California
Day Job:  Consultant to several companies:
Operations, process and procedures for a DOD Engineering firm
Operations and product development for an EV Water Sports startup
Product development for someone making BT enabled security device for cars

Headshot

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How did you get started making?
I have been a hacker since I was 10 years old. Taking apart old TVs, building all kinds of electronic devices, model railroading, built a Battleship type computer game out of an COSMAC1802 design of my making, built my own water sprinkler controller because those on the market weren’t flexible enough, built my own wireless train control system for added flexibility, numerous Lego machines and the list goes on.


What type of maker would you classify yourself as?
Anything to do with electronics mostly. Followed closely by just working with my hands as evidenced by my model railroad.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve made?
A center piece for my oldest son’s wedding that unfortunately didn’t get used. It was supposed to be a surprise, but as is the case with some weddings the unrelated drama caused it not to happen. Since my son was a huge Star Wars fan it was an outgrowth of my Lego machines and this interest. You can see the video of what was supposed to happen here

I wont describe it since it was intended to be a surprise and is best viewed that way.

What’s something you’d like to make next?
I am working out a design for a wireless LED light controller for model railroad buildings. The controller has to have the ability to not only control the lights but dim the lights and simulate the characteristics of a sodium vapor lamp that would be used to light up a train yard.

Also I recovered over 1,000 small LCD displays headed to the dump to use for electronic billboards in a train layout.

Any advice for people reading this?
Have fun. Whatever you do has to be fun and enjoyable. Eons ago most people had hobbies as a way to relax, as a creative outlet and/or as a cottage industry. Sadly that was lost in the hustle and bustle of modern life. I see the maker community as bringing that concept back and continuing a long tradition of creating new and fun things.


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