Neil Jansen Email Website



I work for a large aerospace company, working on a team that is designing a next-gen aviation-grade GPS receiver that also handles Russian and European satellite constellations. Past projects have included collision avoidance, transponder, VHF COM/NAV radios, LCD cockpit displays, and autopilots. My job is to write automated tests that determine whether or not that all of the code and electrical engineering that went into the project is actually performing to its required specification. For example, with collision avoidance systems, all of the logic that determines whether an airplane on a collision coarse with another aircraft pulls up or down to avoid a crash needs to be checked, and there are countless different scenarios to test. Sometimes we get to go on flight tests and wear those cool David Clark headsets. I get to subject the various avionics boxes to vibration, humidity, RF emissions, and lightning. Sometimes our units are even put into rotary supercolliders to test for SEUs. That is freaking cool no matter how you look at it.

Current Project - FirePick Delta The Open Source Pick and Place / 3D printer

An affordable electronics manufacturing system for hobbyists, students, & small businesses. Inspired by RepRap. Powered by OpenPnP/FirePick.

Older Projects

  • 2014, Prusa Mendel i2 3d printer - Researched and sourced parts for five (5) Prusa Mendel i2’s, for myself and a few coworkers. Total BOM cost was <$300 each, and are performing extremely well.
  • 2013-2014, eMaker Huxley RepRap 3d printer kit build. First introduction to 3d printing.
  • 2011-2013, Mini Cooper S Audiophile Sound Quality System and CarPC
  • 2012, FrankenDAC, an audiophile digital-to-analog converter with insanely good noise and jitter specs. Built like a M4A4 Sherman tank.
  • ~2012, IN-18 Nixie tube clock (kit build, ~$500-600 in parts, still need to get around to designing a case for it)
  • ~2012, Philco Model 81 repair/re-wire (circa 1931 vacuum tube AM radio)
  • ~2011, custom heavy-lift UAV running Ardupilot Mega. Six 350 watt motors, mkTR 2-axis stabilized gimbal, G10 and carbon fiber frame, 13.2 amp-hour LiPo battery, Xbee 900 mHz digital two-way link, lots of electronic goodies and sensors. This project was set aside for cost reasons, will probably pick it up soon.
  • ~2010, PPA V2 Audiophile Headphone amp (kit build only)
  • ~2009, designed Intelligent LED lighting platform (contract work for Aquallusion Inc)
  • ~2006, designed custom CNC breakout board for bench top CNC milling machines (contract work for LoCoCNC)
  • ~2005, custom Vacuum tube microphone preamp design in a 1U enclosure (contract work for [b]audio, intended for recording studio use)
  • ~2002, Commodore SX-64 (a suitcase-sized laptop from the 1980’s) with retrofitted Mini-ITX Windows XP-based system, done to be completely stealth, using a slot-load DVD drive underneath the 5-1/4" floppy drive bezel and other hardware mods that involved custom printed circuit boards, and using a C64 emulator to run hundreds of original games. ** Made the front page of Slashdot on Monday, October 28, 2002: ** Was featured as an front-page article on, where it is archived to this day: ** Was featured in PC Extreme, a print gaming magazine, on July 2003, along with a few other magazines in that time period.
  • ~1993, Commodore 64-controlled mobile robot with gripper arm. From a book, checked out of my elementary school library. This, along with a book from Radio Shack by Forrest Mims, jumpstarted my electronics hobby and career.


Guru Skills

  • CNC, Robotics and automation
  • Arduino programming and custom hardware design
  • Schematic capture and PCB design, primarily with Cadsoft Eagle
  • Electronics fabrication, including pick-and-place, reflow, stencil printing, etc.
  • 3D printers (building, designing, using)
  • National Instruments Labview
  • 2D / 3D CAD. Solidworks, Cubify Design, AutoCAD, and others

Casual Hobbyist Skills

  • Vacuum tubes, nixie tubes, antique computers, and other vintage gear
  • UAVs
  • Photography
  • C, C++
  • Audiophile and sound quality
  • Libertarianism, Objectivism, and other relevant philosophies
  • Growing facial hair

Newb Skills

  • Java
  • Python
  • Computer vision (OpenCV)
  • Higher mathematics
  • Entrepreneurial skills


Random projects!

image image image image image image image image image image image