The online home of Toby Wilkinson

Hardware Skills

I have extensive expertise working with both analogue and digital electronic design, prototyping and fault-finding. I’m at home carrying all stages of the prototyping process from initial design, through breadboarding and testing to the layout and population of circuit boards. I’ve worked in a variety of fields including data logging, motion control, UAV control and navigation and environmental sensing / measurement.

Key Skills:

  • Excellent knowledge of digital electronic design.
  • Experience programming and interfacing to a variety of common embedded processors (PIC family, Atmel / Arduino family, ARM, Motorolla 68000)
  • Working knowledge of common communication protocols (I2C, RS484, SPI, Modbus / SCADA)
  • Good experience of gEDA / PCB layout tools, including ability to produce extremely densely populated circuit boards.
  • Understanding of analogue electronics both in an audio context and working with radio signals.

Whether you’re looking for someone to join your development team, looking to outsource extension of an existing system or you’re looking for someone to take your concept and design and build it from the ground up, I can help.

On site work is another of my specialties, so whether you need someone to perform calibration and maintenance work of existing systems or you’re looking for someone to project manage the installation of monitoring equipment throughout a new building, I can help you.

Some examples of my past work:

AJM Products – I carried out extensive work on AJM’s range of Comport mechanical handling robots. I was involved in a redesign of the motion control hardware, taking charge of the layout of the PC interface card which allowed a considerable reduction in cost over the previous system. I was also involved in programming the application interface of the system along with writing and testing custom code to provide the necessary business logic for individual customer’s needs. On-site work included the construction, commissioning and final testing of a number of robotic systems.

PPS Controls – I have assisted with the design and development of a range of PPS’ Jackdaw temperature monitoring systems. I supplied a .NET Windows application to interface the configuration and monitoring of the temperature measurement hardware with the end users in an user-friendly way. I have been involved in the installation and maintenance of the systems at a number of locations including project managing the installation of temperature monitoring system at a distributor’s £17M new cold store.

Helishield – I assisted Ed Simmons with the development and construction of the Helishield control system for the control of model helicopters with the use of an Arduino embedded controller. I laid out the required circuitry on a board which I then helped to fabricate, working through the entire process from transparency, developer and etchant. I was able to pack the circuitry onto a single sided board, simplifying the fabrication process and speeding up the prototyping stage.