Upcoming projects

Since this is a blog about projects I am working on, I thought I would start out with a  update on what some of my upcoming projects I will be working on are. I’ve been on an analogue electronics kick for a little while, and I figure it would be good to implement my interest in them into building some things. The beauty I find in analogue “stuff” is that it very openly displays it’s function, which is to say that if you open an analogue device, you can usually trace what happens by following the wiring from component to component. I find that there is a simplicity in this and that such a method of construction opens the door to many creative and artistic designs. Also, home-built analogue things tend to look really “cool” and make for great conversation pieces. With all that said, here are some projects I am planning on working on

Re-habilitating my AR-4 speakers with new drivers

A few years ago, my father gave me some old speakers. They were his old AR-4’s from when he was in college. I wired them in not too long ago and the tweeters no longer work, and the mids sounded muddy, so I’m convinced the drivers are shot.  My plan for this project is to replace the speaker drivers, change the connectors on the back and install a crossover so that I can tune the speakers. I saw an article on building speakers in Popular Mechanics, and I think I am up to the task.

Building a tube amplifier

I’ve been wanting a tube amplifier for my stereo for a very long time. To me, there is some appeal in attempting to build one. I’ve always found tube amps to be interesting, because as a child I could never figure out how they work. Now, I think they just look cool, and this project would make for a perfect partner to the speaker re-habilitation.

Building a nixie clock

I discovered nixie tubes on the internet a few months ago, and ever since that point, I’ve developed a bit of an obsessed with them. Nixie tubes, in case you are unfamiliar, are sort of like lightbulbs filled with neon gas and containing multiple filaments inside of them shaped like the numbers 0-9. When a filament is turned on, it glows a warm orangey-red. Nixie tubes were used as components of numerical displays in high end electronics from the 60’s and 70’s. Check out the Wikipeida article on them. I think they look really neat in this sort of retro-futurist way, and I think it would be really cool to make a clock with a display featuring them. There are some really impressive ones posted on instructables, two of my favorites can be seen here and here. Since I am a amateur at this, I will be seeking out kits and try to build my own custom housing.

Frosted backlit coffee table top

As mentioned in a previous post, I saw a really cool glass coffee table with a frosted top and a overlay pattern shaped like tree branches. I’d like to build something like this for my current coffee table and back light it to give some neat contrast and additional light at night.

Homebrew beer

Winter is fast approaching, and in Wisconsin, that means finding things to do indoors. We all know that projects get done better when you have tasty beer to drink while working. I thought it would be fun to go one step further and create an all-out mock brand for my beer. I figure making labels and possibly a website for it would be a neat experience, and if I really like what I come up with, it could be something I add to my portfolio.

That’s about it for now, with school right now, my plate is rather full, so I will hopefully be giving updates on these project soon


About Andre Simms

Professional Ever since I was a child, my interests have always been in discovering how things work. By breaking down complex operations into their smaller components, I've grown to appreciate how things work together; finding more efficient ways of completing tasks is a creative challenge that I enjoy. Recently, I earned my bachelor's degree in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with a focus on American politics and public administration. I now work as a government professional with 3 years experience in both executive and legislative work. Many of my skills have grown from my experiences of studying problems in government operation, critical analysis and complex problem solving. Personal I am an avid photographer, and have been actively shooting for 10 years. My style has grown to focus on lifestyle photography; I love capturing my everyday experiences through the lenses of my camera. While I enjoy many types of photography, my favorite method is the long exposure. This method, when applied at night allows colors to saturate themselves in an unique way. At night, the world we are familiar with transforms into a new place, the night world is a reflection of the day. View all posts by Andre Simms

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