Updated 2016 Sep 03
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|Photo by Al Loup
||Photo by Marc Haberstroh
Photo by Marion Redd
Square Dance Caller
I call weekly for 3 area square dance clubs, teaching a total of 4 classes from beginner thru Plus.
More about square dancing below.
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 I was a kid with hobbies overlaping with my engineering interests my whole life.
I'm social and outgoing yet still a bit of a nerd.
I am extremely detail oriented and learn super fast at a highly technical level.
And I own siginificant captial equipment making me ideal for an early startup.
I love to teach so my diverse skills benefit the entire team.
With high level and low level skills, I can frustrate some managers that wish to steer me toward high-value tasks;
a balance of both is actually essential to my health and happiness.
I currently work for Genapsys after a layoff from
now ThermoFisher Scientific after more than 21 years with the company.
I've worked on a wide array of projects supporting scientists and engineers across the organization.
In recent years most projects were in some way connected to DNA sequencing.
One particularly successful project was the (now obsolete) ABI PRISM® 3700 Genetic Analyzer which helped complete the first human genome.
In addition to building the first proof-of-concept unit, I designed the final instrument's detector, wrote firmware
including the operating system 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 on-line training.
I regularly attend local trade shows in optics, electronics, embedded, semiconductor and machine tool.
Much of my education comes from an inner drive to be useful.
The internet has profoundly accelerated my learning process.
I believe I have ADHD.
Too much of my early education wasn't right for my learning style.
A classic late bloomer.
Now with so many different ways of learning available that work, I'm rapidly 'catching up'.
||Instrument R&D: DNA sequencing and sample prep, product development, basic all-around guy
||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
I try to divide my time roughly equally between 'thinking', 'doing', 'education' and 'infrastructure' ...and not feel guilty about it.
This allows me just enough time to be productive, do the right things, stay current, accumulate even more broad and useful skills,
and research, purchase, install and maintain strategic capital equipment to help speed the whole effort.
Perhaps with the exception of optics, most everything listed here is active and current.
I maintain my own licensed copies of Solidworks*, Altium Designer*, LabVIEW*, MATLAB and AutoCAD (* = current paid subscription)
with home projects advancing my knowledge.
20+ years in the biotech industry has allowed me to develop important vendor relations and accumulate a large
network of friends who are specialists and industry professionals.
- Systems Engineer - Innovator with over 15 years experience with key roles on high-profile projects.
Can conceive, design, build, test and deliver complete systems faster than many 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 experience - Countless successful designs including 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 (and patents) in very high NA imaging and non-imaging optics, complex multi-component aberration
gratings, and aspheric lenses and mirrors.
- Mechanical - 20 years experience - Solidworks (since 2009), AutoCAD (since v10) - 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.
- Electronics - 40 years deep experience starting at age 9 - First design, a transistor amplifier, at age 13.
Posses a powerfully intuitive way to visualize the dynamics of complex networks of electronic components that allows me to innovate.
Complete analog/digital/uC design.
Strong analog, strong digital, PCB layout,
rapid prototype (I can make 2 layer PCBs from design files with CNC drill and routing at home the same day),
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've worked with outside PCB layout design service firms and a number of PCB fab and assembly vendors.
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 descrete components as well as today's integrated ICs,
and also custom magnetics.
Exposure to SoC/FPGA/CPLD
and IC AMS (Analog Mixed Signal) design.
I'm transitioning to advanced level with Altium Designer including PCB stackup,
controlled impedance, differential pair, lane matching and high speed interface including USB3, Gigabit Ethernat, HDMI, DisplayPort and Mini DisplsyPort.
I maintain libraries with full color 3D mechanical models - many with Solidworks source.
I've recently laid out boards up to 10 layers in Altium Designer, and dozens of boards up to 6 layers in other mostly free tools over the past 5 years.
I have a professional quality, fully equipped, ESD
SMD workstation at home with a base set of mid-level test equipment
including in-house EMC testing.
- Firmware / Embedded - 35 years experience (starting in 1978) - Hard real-time,
Bare metal from scratch -
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.
Actively learning Raspberry Pi.
Exposure to NVIDIA Tegra2 / Windows CE.
- Software - 20 years experience - Very strong LabVIEW,
some C and C++ - Soft real-time instrument control from PC,
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.
Am working on an audio editor application with 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
(patent numbers link to freepatentsonline.com)
I maintain a private prototype shop in Hayward in a 2-car-garage-sized separate building.
I also have some equipment in Brisbane and at Genapsys.
Everything is paid for and maintained in excellent working condition.
Other equipment includes a 2HP band saw, Burr-King belt grinder
(which I love!), diamond grinder, deburring, surface plate w height gauge, basic wood-working equipment and a full complement of high quality tooling.
I stock common materials for rapid turnaround.
I do prototype work; I'm not set up for manufacturing.
- Sharp milling machine: LMV-50
Bridgeport copy 3HP 50" w DVS electronic speed control and 2 axis DRO
- Feeler toolroom lathe: Hardinge HLV-EM copy (imperial and metric threading) w 2 axis DRO
- 3 axis CNC router Jindiao JD6090L - 600x900x125mm (2'x3'x5"), 3HP 2400RPM ER20, 1um resolution in X Y and Z
- Laser cutter: Redsail X700 50W 500x700mm (20"x28") w rotary
- 3D printer Solidoodle Gen 3 (8"x8"x8")
and a new Tiko from Kickstarter
- Sheer: 36" 16ga steel
- Brake: 48" 10ga steel
I've made some interesting parts including complex flexures, prototype quality aspheric lenses (acrylic) and mirrors (aluminum),
and small holes in glass: as small as 75um (0.003") diameter, 1mm (0.040") deep.
I am set up to work at all machines at high magnification.
Without correction my eyesight is sliding, but with aids, I routinely do amazing things at the tiniest scale.
I've made whole parts smaller than a millimeter and when needed can confidently "eyeball" X Y and Z position to within +/-10um (+/- .0005").
Regular (fast) tolerance is +/-100um (+/- .004").
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
and El Camino Reelers
and teach two classes at Sunnyvale Squares.
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 call a little less than a tip a week of Advanced.
2009 marked some important 'firsts':
Videos of me calling (YouTube)
Me and Calling
Square dance calling is a unique blend of music, kinetics, puzzle solving, teaching, showmanship and a wide array of 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 is an activity that doesn't so-much reward in dollars (but does reward!),
I'm thankful I have a good job that allows me to enjoy square dance calling 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.
ALL8.com Web Site
ALL8.com was started as a place to keep all of my square dance calling notes.
Instead of writing on scraps of paper, I write it here.
I invite you to discover all of 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.
If I had time (!), it'd be fun 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