Desk of an Engineer: the Andrew Edition

Time to see what Andrew's up to in there.

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We’re back with more desk details! This is Part 3 in a new series where we barge in on our engineers while they’re working and kick them out so we can document their desks in all their chaotic glory. And because we know that just isn’t enough information, we ransom their offices back to them in exchange for some details on what they have on their desks and why. We do this for you!

Clicking the image will enlarge it, so you can experience the full resolution of each engineer’s home away from home.

Today’s victim is ANDREW! Let’s do this.

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As SparkFun’s newest Engineer (I’ve worked here since early June) I haven’t had a whole lot of time to fully organize and make this space completely mine. This means that right now, I’m living with something I have a love-hate relationship with: organized chaos. Let’s start above with the area I spend most of my time, the computer.

I’ve recently moved everything around in this little space to create a makeshift standing desk so I can maintain a little blood flow in my legs throughout the day. Due to the improvised nature of this desk, many of the items serve a dual purpose. For instance, the cinder blocks are great for holding any boards or projects I’m currently working on. I also enjoy heading down to SparkFun’s laser cutter if I’m not too busy and cutting out the logos of my favorite artists. (Boogie T. is in between my computer monitors, GRiZ is right in front of my mouse).

Another object with dual use is the box my mouse is on, which keeps all of my various components and boards nice and organized. All of this should change soon once I build my new desk. The notebook in front of the computer is how I keep track of pretty much everything and stay organized. What needs to be done on which projects is all organized by date, so I can find something based on when I did it.

The phone on the notebook plays music through a Bluetooth speaker just loud enough to annoy the rest of engineering (especially Chris, who doesn’t really like dubstep and insists that I “keep it Detroit”). Most board design happens digitally, so making this space easy to work in was my number one priority.

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As we move over to the area where I physically work on things, you’ll see a large clump of wires. This would be the project I just finished up, which I call the Light suit. It is a wearable fiber optic set of arms that change color based on the movements of the user’s fingers (you can see it lit up below). This thing is a constant project for me until I can get it to fully survive a weekend of shenanigans at Red Rocks, so it’s kind of a permanent fixture on my desk. I also have a few exceedingly useful tools over in this area.

Hidden under the clutter are the beginnings of a few other projects. One is an IoT fish tank with automated feeding, heating, water chemistry and an r/Place style lighting array. The other project will be an MP3 player/two-way radio to help keep track of your friends while skiing and listening to music.

The Gratten GA1102CAL oscilloscope was hijacked from Alex, another Engineer, while I stole the old Mastech HY3005D power supply from the Engineering common area. They’re both fantastic for all of my current purposes. One of the most useful tools I have, however, is the third hand. This thing is such a great advantage to have when soldering and makes it easy to quickly knock out pretty large jobs. Once I create my new desk, the fan (which came without a stand) will be mounted somewhere where it can be decently functional at removing fumes created by the Hakko soldering station.

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Thanks Andrew!


Comments 6 comments

  • This entire mess looks like a holiday in the dark. My children would have adored staying in your room. Oh, let alone children, I would have adored too! lol Yet, after several years my desk closely reminds yours… Looking forward to seeing your creative solution to the chaos problem.

    • Oh yeah! Since this, the only thing that’s changed is that the “holiday” has moved to the floor where there’s room for it. I do have a laptop but use it relatively sparingly. I’ve been unable to settle on a final design as I keep coming up with new ideas to implement into this desk, trust me, I look forward to organizing the chaos as well!!

  • The skiing radio system sounds like a great idea! Would it have a built-in GPS as well?

  • So about 25 years hence (in about 2042) are we going to see a report on the newest engineer Irma’s desk? (All my sympathies to those who have suffered from Hurricane Irma’s visit…)

  • Windows 98 ?????

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