Hi, I'm Dillon Nichols

I’m an electrical engineer who loves to tinker with electronics, especially hardware design and writing microcontroller firmware. My passion is taking a project from an idea, to a design, to a physical product. Nothing beats having a functional device that you've worked on from start to finish.

Hughes Network Systems

I work on the Terminal Hardware Team designing satellite internet routers. I’m familiar with the complete ISO hardware development cycle - including requirements, specifications, development, testing, and support after release.

I have been in charge of writing microcontroller firmware for both our indoor (IDU) and outdoor (ODU) units.

The Pennsylvania State University

For my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, I primarily studied electronic circuit design. I also took courses in C programming and computer design. Those courses laid a foundation for me to pick up microcontroller firmware development in my free time and at work.

MSP430 Reaction Game

When the MSP430 series of microcontrollers were released, Texas Instruments offered their development board for $4.30. I ordered one and learned how to program it via tutorials on the internet. I developed the idea for a game based on arcade games where you have to stop a scrolling LED at a specific spot. This project was my first experience into creating a PCB and the supporting firmware.

Homebrew Gameboy Cartridge

Growing up, the original Nintendo Game Boy is what got me into video games. The translucent Atomic Purple Game Boy Color was the spark that ignited my interest in electronics. Being able to see the circuit board made me wonder how it worked. I designed this circuit to recreate the original hardware while allowing the user to switch the game by reprogramming the ROM.

The Open Bar

I’ve long had an interest in web technologies and have created simple static web pages in the past. My friend Tyler and I had the idea of creating an automatic cocktail mixer. He designed the hardware and I created the website to control it. This ambitious web development project exposed me to the Angular JavaScript framework for client-server interaction with a MongoDB backend.

3D Printing

I built a Printrbot 3D printer from a kit in college and have used it often to create cases for my homemade electronics or to fix broken objects. It feels like the future when you can design an object to fix something without ever leaving the house.