Updated 2020 July 6
|Click for larger...|
|Photo by Al Loup
||Photo by Marc Haberstroh
Photo by Marion Redd
Square Dance Caller
Before COVID-19, I called weekly for 3 area square dance clubs, teaching classes from beginner thru A2.
More about square dancing below.
We all look forward to returning when it is completely safe, potentially far in the future.
My calling schedule: Rich Reel's Calling Schedule (calendar)
- Square Dance Calling Notes,
and host to several international square dance email discussion lists: sd-callers, challenge-sd, lgcwsd, gca
(please let me know if you'd like to join).
I also host websites:
This popular 'app' brings a lot of traffic to ALL8.com: Tap for BPM Beats Per Minute
Search "tap bpm".
"View Source" to see how I did it.
I love engineering and have been excited about it since childhood, with hobbies overlapping career interests my whole life.
I'm social, outgoing and love to teach.
I can easily get deep into a subject - if you're interested.
I own significant capital equipment, ideal for an early startup.
I can frustrate some managers that wish to steer me toward high-value tasks;
a balance of high-level and low-level tasks is actually essential to my health and happiness.
I've been with Genapsys since 2011.
We just announced the launch of our first product:
GS111 DNA Sequencer.
I'm responsible for electronics and firmware, and increasingly mechanical design.
Before that I was with Applied Biosystems
now ThermoFisher Scientific 21 years.
I've worked on a wide array of projects supporting scientists and engineers with many in the past 20 years in some way connected to DNA sequencing.
One particularly successful project was the (now obsolete) ABI PRISM® 3700 Genetic Analyzer
which significantly sped up sequencing the first human genome.
In addition to building the first proof-of-concept unit, I designed the final instrument's detector,
wrote firmware for instrument control, and had a hand in the detector design of its successor,
I do two basic types of work in R&D...
I work on teams of 1 to 20 engineers on projects ranging from hours to years long.
"Ph.D. scientists tell me what they want; I get it for them."
I take analytical instruments from concept to prototype, and sometimes to production.
- Instrument design/development (most recently)
- Fast prototyping to support research scientists (most of my career)
...and numerous special classes, seminars and all manner of on-line resources.
I regularly attend local trade shows in optics, electronics, embedded, semiconductor, plastics, medical device and machine tool.
I believe I have ADHD.
Too much of my early education wasn't right for my learning style,
a classic late bloomer.
The internet has profoundly accelerated my learning process.
With so many different ways of learning available that work, I'm rapidly 'catching up'.
The majority of my free time is devoted to education in all subjects, but mostly practical technology,
deepening and broadening skills ahead of need.
||Instrument R&D: DNA sequencing and sample prep product development
||Life Technologies / Applied Biosystems
||Sr Staff Engineer Electrical
||Instrument R&D: HPLC,
CE, Carbohydrates, DNA sequencing and sample prep
||Ultrasonic Systems Inc
||R&D, manufacturing, test, field service
||Switching power supply and UV measurement instrument design
||Modern Office Machines
||Commercial copy machine field service
||Vending machine repair, RO water dispenser installation
||The Ohio State University
||Semiconductor processing equipment repair/tune
||Pinball machine and jukebox sales and service
Perhaps with the exception of optics, most everything listed here is active, current and fast.
I maintain my own (separate from the company) licensed copies of Solidworks*, Altium Designer*, LabVIEW and AutoCAD (* = subscription active)
for both work and home projects.
- Systems Engineer - Innovator with over 20 years of experience with key roles on high-profile projects.
Can conceive, design, build, test and deliver complete working systems faster than some engineering teams.
Conservative yet ambitious with a high success rate: most designs work right the first time.
Can quickly troubleshoot system-wide problems and communicate solutions to a
wide audience from highly technical to completely non-technical.
I learn quickly and understand deeply to solve the really tough problems others can't.
Self-driven. Customer focused.
I thrive on projects with a moving goalpost. I'm most effective on small interdisciplinary teams.
Variety keeps me vibrant.
- Optics - 20 years of experience and patents - Successful designs include
diffraction limited multi-laser piezo-scanning confocal single molecule fluorescence detection breadboards,
and fast-frame-rate EMCCD
imaging with TIRF
or epi illumination,
high-sensitivity absorbance and fluorescence detection systems (and one doing both simultaneously),
detectors for CE,
micro-fluidic systems, and a 3D fluorescent plume imager for optimizing capillary tip shape in a sheath flow
electrophoresis application, to name a few.
Extensive experience in very high NA imaging and non-imaging optics, complex multi-component aberration
gratings, and aspheric lenses and mirrors.
- Mechanical - 20 years of experience - Solidworks (since 2009), AutoCAD (since 1990) - Designs in robotics,
fluidics, micro fabrication, vacuum, thermal control, and optical mechanics.
With a prototype shop at home, I can quickly make many needed custom parts myself, and of course bring that insight into my designs.
(See Prototype Shop below.)
Exposure to GD&T.
Filling the role of Systems Architect at Genapsys.
- Electronics - 40 years deep experience starting at age 9 - First design from concepts at age 13.
Possess a powerfully intuitive way to visualize the dynamics of complex networks of electronic components that allows me to innovate.
Complete analog/digital/uC design.
PCB layout, rapid prototype,
assembly and test (and test software - see below), blazing fast component level troubleshooting and
SMD rework at the tiniest scale (under magnification).
100% RoHS since 2009.
I'm almost advanced level with Altium Designer including PCB stackup,
controlled impedance, differential pair, lane matching and high-speed interface having done USB3, Gigabit Ethernat, HDMI, DisplayPort and Mini DisplsyPort,
passing emissions testing the first time.
I build and maintain libraries with full color high-detail 3D mechanical models - many made from scratch on Solidworks.
I've laid out dozens of boards, up to 10 layers in Altium Designer and up to 6 layers in free PCB layout tools over the past 8 years.
I've worked with a number of PCB fab and assembly vendors and some outside PCB layout design service firms.
I have a professional quality, fully equipped, ESD
SMD workstation at home with a base set of mid-level test equipment
including EMC testing.
When needed I can make simple 2 layer PCBs at home in one day from design files including CNC drill and routed shape (hand soldered vias).
Successful designs include very low noise and drift analog sensor/audio/video signal path,
scientific grade CCD interface,
complete switching power supplies from mW to KW, and to 30KV, from discrete components as well as today's integrated ICs,
with and without custom magnetics.
I've done virtually all Genapsys' electronics (outside of our sensor chip) including system design, circuit design and PCB layout for all products.
Exposure to SoC/FPGA/CPLD
and IC AMS (Analog Mixed Signal) design.
You probably figured I build computers: 2 Intel/Windows boxes within the past 2 years, optimized for CAD, one also optimized for AI research.
- Firmware / Embedded - 40 years of almost continuous experience (starting in 1978) - Hard real-time,
Bare metal from scratch -
6800 and 68701 (5 years of machine code),
some ADI Blackfin),
C and some C++ - Low level boot code, hand optimized time-critical
kernel design and task management,
high performance control algorithms, human/computer interface, script engine, real-time instrument control,
multi-system coordination, multi servo loop, wide variety of stepper motor drive,
PID control (temperature, pressure, motion),
communication protocol, data collection, data processing and efficient
My code tends to be small, efficient and extremely stable, even bug-free (several shipping examples).
Compared to others, this is probably my strongest area.
I make processors with next to no resources do amazing things.
More and more exposure to Linux and open source tools.
Learning Raspberry Pi.
Exposure to NVIDIA Tegra2 / Windows CE.
- Software - 20 years of experience - Very strong LabVIEW,
some C and C++ - Soft real-time instrument control from PC with highly visual and easy-to-use script engine,
graphical user interface, complex CCD camera control (via FPGA
low level commands), data analysis, some 2D and 3D image processing,
audio processing algorithms and a range of web, DOS and other utilities.
I quickly wrote 2D electric field and single molecule kinetics simulators from scratch.
Still adding to an audio editor application started from scratch in 2003 that has some highly advanced features.
My forte is quickly building highly specialized in-house software tools (with and without accompanying hardware)
to enable a technical team to understand a problem and find a solution.
Through the Raspberry Pi,
actively and intensely learning
and application development using Tk
Genapsys originally hired me as a LabVIEW
programmer to write their instrument control software.
I remained the sole developer for over a year developing a codebase that's still widely used by engineers and non-engineers for instrument control,
data collection and test as well as special research not supported by the company's UI software.
After "extra effort" a single LabVIEW application now supports all products as well as new R&D projects by loading a companion
configuration file that's easily created within the application itself.
When you work a long time in this industry, you tend to accumulate some patents.
(patent numbers link to freepatentsonline.com)
Loving what I do, balancing tasks, and feeling a sense of forward progress has allowed me to stay sustainably
close to "100%" with little need of a break.
I believe the secret is dividing time equally between 'thinking', 'doing', 'education' and 'infrastructure'
without feeling guilty for working "only" 1/4 of the time.
This allows time to be productive, do the right things, stay current, accumulate new skills, and research,
purchase, install and maintain strategic capital equipment to greatly expand what can be done quickly.
I believe that accomplishment is fundamentally correlated with organization.
When things are set up with everything needed close by, easy to find and easy to use, doing many things becomes easy.
I maintain a private prototype workshop in Hayward with additional equipment in Brisbane and at Genapsys.
Everything is paid for and maintained in excellent working condition.
Other equipment: 2HP 21" metal band saw, Burr-King belt grinder
(which I love!), diamond grinder, small sinker EDM (eats broken taps), deburring, surface plate w height gauge,
basic wood-working equipment and a full complement of high quality tooling.
I keep thousands of dollars of common materials in stock for rapid turnaround.
I am our company's model shop.
I've been able to meet the everyday needs for special parts and modifications across multiple projects on-the-side, typically overnight, while maintaining a full workload.
I've made many interesting parts over the years including complex flexures, highly polished and fully functional acrylic aspheric lenses and aluminum aspheric mirrors,
thermally bonded COC +
TPE pneumatically-actuated microfluidic lab-on-a-chip w 100um channels (machined),
holes in glass as small as 75um (0.003") diameter 1mm (0.040") deep, custom odd-shaped 2-sided circuit boards in a day, gears,
fluidic and pneumatic manifolds (some used in our instruments for production), intricate seals, and machined insulating firebrick.
All machines are set up with high magnification.
Without correction my eyesight is marginal, but with aids, I can confidently "eyeball" within +/-10um (+/- .0005")
and have made whole functional parts smaller than a millimeter.
I started dancing with Foggy City Dancers in 1995 as a new year's resolution.
I dance at these local clubs.
Square Dance Calling
I call and teach for Western Star Dancers,
El Camino Reelers,
and when COVID-19 passes, my new club Swinging 21'ers
I first picked up a mic at the GCA caller school
at the 1996 IAGSDC Convention in San Francisco.
I didn't do much with calling the first couple years while I focused on Challenge dancing.
My first calling was filling in at a C3 workshop (tape group) with thanks to Pete Herman.
My first real calling was a tip a week of Mainstream at Santa Cruz Squares (currently on hiatus)
with thanks to Neil Heather.
My Santa Cruz Squares tip became a Plus teach tip and I graduated my first dancers 6 months later.
I began calling club nights (Mainstream and Plus level) for local clubs August 1998 including
Diablo Dancers (my very first "club night"),
Foggy City Dancers, and
Santa Cruz Squares (as substitute caller).
Diablo Dancers was the most supportive of my calling in the critical first years.
I graduated my second bunch of Diablo Dancers Plus dancers April 2000.
October 2003 I accepted an unexpected offer to teach Western Star Dancers'
beginner class which is the moment I say I became a "real caller" calling regularly.
Since then I've been calling 3 nights a week on average with a variety of additional
engagements including dances, club nights, review tips, demo tips, picnics, parades, and even
while on tour in China.
Since my first Advanced class in 2006, with loving support from El Camino Reelers,
I called a tip or so per week of Advanced until joining Ranchero Squares as club caller in Apr 2018.
2009 marked some important 'firsts':
Me and Calling
Square dance calling is a unique blend of music, kinetics, puzzle solving, teaching, showmanship and of course social skills.
I primarily 'sight call', which is making up choreography on the fly from a menu of calls the dancers know then observing the dancers to
resolve the square allowing true connection between caller and dancers.
As square dancing doesn't so-much reward in dollars (but does reward!),
I'm thankful I have a good job that allows me to enjoy it without having to make a living at it.
I have no plans to make calling any more than a hobby - albeit a serious one.
My joy is teaching, both dancers and callers.
When I sense interest, I organize a
Newer Caller Workshop and Hoedown for local budding talent.
Calling is just one aspect of square dancing that has been an important catalyst for my own personal growth and
development, in more ways, and for far longer than I ever imagined.
Random videos of my calling (YouTube)
ALL8.com Web Site
ALL8.com was started as a place to keep my square dance calling notes.
Instead of writing on scraps of paper, I write it here.
I invite you to discover my 'secrets'.
I hand-code all HTML using Notepad and/or Textpad for the PC
(as if you couldn't tell) mostly to ensure pages are light-weight and work internationally.
I have no time to pursue actual website design.
- Music editing, mastering, composition and recording
- CW dancing and some ballroom (East/West Coast Swing) ... getting rusty lately
- Wood working / home improvement
- Education - any and all subjects, with interests broadening every year
"Never seek for love.
Those that seek for love only manifest their own loneliness.
Only the loving discover love and they never have to look for it."
D. H. Lawrence
Please let me know what you think about www.ALL8.com and
of course, ask any question at all.
or call me: 415-990-6751 or find me on Facebook