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Thanks for taking the time to stop by my new site. Please bear with me while I whip it into some kind of shape!

In the meantime, feel free to have a poke around; you never know what you might find!

You can now follow me on Twitter - not that I tweet that often but when I find something interesting I'll post it there.


Silicon Chip Link and Logo

Silicon Chip magazine is a legendary Australian hobby electronics magazine and one of the very few such publications still available anywhere. With both hard-copy and on-line subscriptions available at very reasonable rates, the magazine is chock-full of commentary, industry information, useful projects and circuit design ideas for everyone, no matter what their level of ability.

I am also honoured to write a regular column for the magazine called The Serviceman's Log, a collection of service-based technical tales and stories from my own experience and readers' submissions. If you are an electronics enthusiast, I urge you to take a look at Silicon Chip; it really is a bloody good read!

syntom image

I am also into all things music and especially music electronics, from building a humble fuzz-box when I was 16, (my first guitar effect) to an entire guitar when I was 20, (more of which will be featured on this site in coming months).
Years ago, in the mid 80s, a magazine appeared called Electronics and Music Maker, (E&MM), which covered the areas of electronics and, well, music, especially the type of music that was 'in' at the time. This magazine featured profiles of the likes of Richard Burgess, Thomas Dolby, Gary Numann and others at the forefront of the electronic music revolution sweeping the charts in that zany decade of shoulder pads, bizarre makeup and 'waterfall' haircuts. It also featured many electronic projects specifically designed for the working electronic musician and was thus a valuable source of information and inspiration for me and others into both hobbies.
Needless to say I bought every one of these magazines but alas, like all fads, it soon faded as the publishers found it too difficult to maintain a reader base and the magazine folded, along with just about every other 'niche' magazine, but the mag's legacy was several excellent projects and other circuits that have been used and built by fans all over the world and even today these projects are finding new favour with today's musicians after a genuine 'retro' sound.

Back in the day I built a couple of the projects featured, including a couple of 'syndrums'; electronic percussion instruments that produced a range of sounds when whacked with a stick (or even hit with your hand!). These 'drums' were used by various drummers around town both 'live' and on record. Sadly none of those original units survive (at least I don't know where they are today) but I whilst clearing out some boxes the other day I found the stack of E&MM magazines and while still in excellent condition, the one with Warren Cann of Ultravox on the cover and featuring the Syntom project inside is sadly not among them. This prompted me to search the web for reprints of the original article, but the only copy I could find is a very poorly scanned PDF, which while readable as far as the text goes is all but illegible as far as the circuit diagrams and PCB overlays go, meaning building a Syntom from these pages is a non-starter.

With this in mind I set about re-drawing the circuit diagram and re-creating a usable printed circuit board. While I possibly could have decrypted the original, it was too shabby and required too much guess work to be sure I'd get it right, so I decided to re-do the whole thing and present the files here for anyone who wants to build one of these great-sounding electronic drums. Click here or on the image above to go to the Syntom page.

howfar cover

If you are interested in learning more about my first novel, "How Far is Home", I have written a page with everything you need to know about it and uploaded it here. You can download the FREE pdf version of the book directly by clicking here, though I encourage you to check out the wealth of information on the book's 'home' page before doing so!

 CAC Logo

If you are interested in learning about the incredible martial art that is Aikido and the way we do things at the Canterbury Aikido Club, you can discover the magic by clicking here. Because you don't need to be young or even very fit, it is never too late to start learning this zen-based, defensive and yet incredibly devastating martial art.

Update October 2013: The Canterbury Aikido Club Site is currently undergoing a revamp so only training times are listed there. If you are interested, by all means contact me or better still, drop by the dojo at 250 Stanmore Road (which is attached to the Christchurch Martial Arts Supplies shop) and have a go. You'll be amazed....

pca logo

I also write a newsletter that goes out via email every now and then, (it all depends on when I have time to compile it). It is mainly to do with my computer repair company, PC Anytime Limited, so is technology based, but I also include bits and pieces of anything I find interesting and feel worthy of passing on to my readers. It doubles as a virus alert bulletin, so if I hear of something you need to be aware of, I let you know before it hits and you end up paying to clean up your machine. Forewarned is fore-armed! There is an online copy that you can view but it often goes up after the email version, so isn't always as up-to-date. You can view the current online version of the newsletter here.

If you'd like to sign up for the newsletter, please do so via my contact form; if you get sick of it or it doesn't blow your hair back any longer, you can always unsubscribe by sending a simple email; the link is included with every newsletter. I also encourage you to send it on to as many people as you can. I don't condone spamming, so please do not send it unsolicited; however, if you know someone who might like it, point them in the right direction and they can sign up for themselves and get it delivered directly into their inbox as soon as it comes out.


I welcome all feedback and comments and reply to all emails. If you want to contact me, please fill out the contact form on this page.

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