My name's Mike and I'm very happy to have you here!
In 2011, a simple flashlight modification sent me down a wild road of learning and experimentation that continues to this day. My projects center primarily around electronics, portable lighting, machining and design.
A bit about me: I'm Canadian, a proud father of two, and a sysadmin by trade. I have no formal electronics training - it's taken nearly 10 years of evenings and weekends to learn what I know today. Sometimes I wonder if a night course in electronics might have been easier. :P
I started out as most other flashaholics did: on CandlePowerForums staying up way too late sharing in the love of flashlights with other like-minded folk. My very first project was a drop-in replacement LED ring for the Surefire A2 Aviator. I designed, etched and assembled the boards myself:
In 2013, I bought a little Taig watch-makers lathe from a coworker and entered the wild world of metalworking.
A couple years later I traded it in for a 10x22 benchtop lathe that scared the crap out of me when I first turned it on. It still does.
The lathe + electronics lead to all kinds of fun projects!
Nowadays, I don't have as much time to spend in front of the lathe as I once did. After an awful lot of searching I found a local machinist willing to take a gamble on me. His name's Juan and he's the owner of a small machine shop just down the road. He finds this hobby fascinating and he's helped bring a couple of my crazy ideas to life, including:
Above it all, my most obsessive project is hands-down The 1.5V Project. Originally started as a way to obtain a AA boost driver when none were available on the market (in 2013 mind you - like I said: obsessive) this project has taught me dang near everything I know about electronics. I won't tell it all here - it's a long story. Short version: it's in a good spot these days! The Leash Lantern proudly sports a 15VP driver and I intend to use it in a couple more creations before I'm done. We've come a long way, baby.
Now, I'll warn you: between my day job and my kids I have 1 hour per night to spend on this passion. So my pace is glacial compared to a lot of other makers. But I've been at this a long time now and have no plans on stopping. So tag along and let's light up the dark together.
All the best,