Become cool instantly

Create your profile like Mike Szczys and many others

Mike Szczys

Managing Editor of, Orchestra Musician, uC Enthusiast

Madison, WI

Followers 105 Following 71 Projects 8 Skulls 136
Who I am

Up to this point most of my projects have been stored over at my personal blog: I enjoy working with microcontrollers, starting with the Basic Stamp 2 I quickly moved on to AVR 8-bit chips which I've loved for years. Recently I've been getting into ARM development with both Texas Instruments and STM chips

Why I'm on Projects

I want a corner of the Internet (that doesn't suck) to post about my projects. I'd also like to meet some more hackers with similar interests.

Projects I contribute to
28 106 85
Project Owner Contributor


by Ben Delarre

Things i've Built

Hand soldered LED matrix

I learned about multiplexing with this build. SO MUCH SOLDERING.

Battery operated Menorah

I wanted to learn about low-power modes for microcontrollers. I had a colleague staying with me during Hanukkah and decided to build this gift as an excuse for doing a project ;-)

Tetrapuzz -- ground up Tetris clone

I wanted to try out modular coding for AVR. I used a graphic LCD and ATmega168 to program Tetris from the ground up. Coding was a ton of fun!

Snake game on ARM

I used an LCD cut from a Nokia 3595, the STM Discovery F0 board, and a 5-way momentary push switch as a platform for a game of snake. Fun way to play with ARM for the first time.

Ping Pong Clock

Grid of ping pong balls on a pegboard face wrapped in plywood. There are green LEDs behind some of the balls to build 7-segment displays for time.

Troll-sniffing rat

Silly project uses Python, Arduino, stuffed rat, and red LEDs to notify Hackaday of when a troll is active in the comments section.

Binary Burst Clock

This round PCB has a spire for each station of an analog clock face. Each spire has three LEDs, with the middle one being bi-color. 3 blue bits for minutes, red for hours.

My Pages
  • Sci-Fi Contest Shirts - Status Page

    2 months ago • 3 comments

    Shirts are now shipping!

    We are finally starting to ship the shirts. The United States addresses are being shipped starting today and we'll move onto International shipments as soon as we work our way through those. Oh, and there will be stickers too (of course)!

    Actual print example:


    Behold, the final design for the Sci-Fi contest shirt... I love it! I'm always looking for T-shirts that I would actually wear in public and this really hits the spot!


    6/30/14 - First off, sorry for the lack of updates. Great news, after much head-scratching about how to get the beautiful artwork to look nice on a garment the problem has been solved. CustomInk sent us the test print shown at the top of this page and we may have the shirts delivered as early as July 1st! I will update as soon as we start packaging shipments.

    6/9/14 - We put in the order for shirts on 6/4/14. CustomInk is printing them and warned us that the image may not look very good with 4-color printing. We don't want to send out crappy shirts so we've asked for a sample to see what it looks like. Once we've got the quality dialed in the orders will be printed, shipped to us, and then we'll ship them to you. Thanks for your continued patience. This is going to be worth it!

    5/29/14 - We are waiting for the stragglers to get their sizes and addresses to us. The cut-off date is 6/2/14 at which point we'll put in a production order. Shipping will most likely not happen until two weeks after that date. Thanks for your continued patience!

    Sci-Fi Novel Suggetions:

    We asked you to recommend some newer science fiction for our reading list. Here are the responses we've received so far:

    • Nexus and Crux by Ramez Namm are awesome...Ancillary justice by Ann Leckie was good too
    • Metro 2033
    • Are you sure you've read *all* the good older stuff, lol? Julie Czerneda's Web Shifters series is awesome, and I didn't hear about it until well after it was published. The first one is called Beholder's Eye, and is well worth a read.
    • If you haven't read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, you should. Oculus Rift recommends their new employees to read it. It is a dystopian Sci-Fi VR book.
    • This is not a novel, but I believe any sci-fi enthusiast would be interested in the works of Eric laithwaite and Alex jones (strange stuff)...
    • read the futurist manifest by adolfo natalini :)
    • Tbqh there hasn't been a recent novel that comes anywhere close to matching the depth, excitement, or intrigue of what E.L. James has been putting out in the last few years
    • The Killing Star or anything by Stanislaw Lem. (start with Return from the Stars, and keep going)
    • Handmaids Tale -
    • Only Forward -
    • Arabesk Trilogy -
    • Philip K.Dick ROCKS !
    • I'm not really into books but love the canadian show "continuum" - which you already have seen, I guess..
    • The Honor Harrington series are great military (naval) sci-fi books.

  • Sci-Fi Contest on Hackaday Projects

    5 months ago • 16 comments

    See current entries: ​sci-fi-contest tag

    Entry Deadline: 12:00:00am PDT on 4/29/14

    Let’s face it… you want an excuse to build something cool. In addition to the notoriety of winning a Hackaday contest, we have a number of very respectable prizes this time around. All you need to do is assemble a team and build something awesome inspired by your favorite Sci-Fi. It must include some type of electronics but the rest is up to your imagination and hacking skills. We’ll be judging on quality of the idea, the build, how well you shared the details along the way, how useful the project is for future hacks (open hardware/open source!), and how well you worked as a team. Pluse you don’t even need to win in order to get something. Everyone who submits an entry which we deem to be “complete” will get a T-shirt. But we know most hackers are in this for the big stuff:

    • one Grand Prize
    • four Top Prizes
    • five Most Skulled prizes
    • five Most Followers prizes

    Just for clarity: Most Skulled and Most Followers prizes will go to teams who did not win the Grand or Top prizes.

    Winners will be (seemingly arbitrarily) chosen by the Hackaday staff. All judging decisions are final and whining about it is fully expected. Giving prizes out to teams raises some issues so we’ve put together a few packages that each winning team can choose from to suit their needs:


    We reserve the right to add more prizes and options to these lists during the contest.

    Grand Prize (1 awarded, choose a package):

    • Package A

      • OWON DS7102 Oscilloscopes (100 MHz, 2-channel)
      • Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope
      • Avnet Spartan-6 LX9 MicroBoard (FPGA Dev Board)
      • Open Workbench Logic Sniffer and cables
      • Spark Core
    • Package B
      • Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope
      • Aoyue 968a+ Rework Station
      • Weller WESD51 Soldering Station
      • TWO Open Workbench Logic Sniffers and cables
      • Beaglebone Black
      • Spark Core

    Top Prize (4 awarded, choose a package):

    • Package A

      • Aoyue 968a+ Rework Station
    • Package B
      • Weller WESD51 Soldering Station
    • Package C
      • Beaglebone Black
      • Raspberry Pi
      • Spark Core
      • Bus Pirate

    Most Skulls (5 awarded) and Most Followers (5 awarded)

    Choose ONE from List A and TWO from List B:

    • List A
      • Enterprise Bottle Opener
      • Bladerunner (Blu-ray)
      • Dalek and TARDIS ice molds
      • Firefly complete series (DVD)
    • List B
      • 2001 A Space Odyssey (DVD)
      • 2001 A Space Odyssey (Blu-ray)
      • Dune (1984) (DVD)
      • Dune (1984) (Blu-Ray)
      • The Fifth Element (DVD)
      • The Fifth Element (Blu-Ray)
      • Star Wars Toothbrush
      • Star Wars Duct Tape

    Official Contest Parameters:

    • Your entry must be documented as a project on Hackaday Projects. Sign up for ​a free account.
    • This is a themed contest — pick any theme you wish as long as it somehow fits in as “Sci-Fi”
    • Work as a team; this means adding at least 1 other person to your project as a collaborator
    • There must be some form of electronics involved in the project
    • Two tags must be added to your project:
      • Please create your project Read more »

      • Hackaday Projects opens to the public

        5 months ago • 0 comments

        Hackaday Projects is opening up to everyone on Monday, March 10th, 2014. Since our soft launch back in January, accounts have been available by invitation only. Thanks to all of the hackers who got in here early, tested out the features, and gave us the feedback we needed to keep making it better!

        We aren't done yet. The site is still considered in the alpha stages, but we have had enough time to test the serves and make sure they can handle a much larger amount of activity.

        Polish Up Your Profile

        With an influx of new visitors I highly encourage you to put the old spit-shine on your profile page. I just did a bunch of work on mine last week so take a look if you need inspiration. I don't particularly care if you use your real name or an alias, but it's really nice to see a picture or avatar to help recognize people as you poke around looking for awesome. I also took advantage of the "Things I've Built" summaries to show off past projects, and this post is the first "page" that I added to my profile. Come on, brag about yourself just a little!

        .Stack and .Heap

        We just finished preliminary work on "The Stack" which is another tool for getting the word out about... well, about anything you want, really. I made this page as part of my profile and threw it on The Stack so that any Hackaday Projects users could find it. Ask for help, share a trick you just figured out, or promote a page you made calling for more hackers to join in on your project, all is fair game. We're not quite ready with "The Heap" but keep your eye on that nav bar up top because it's coming.


        I figure nobody reads this far so it's safe to give you the inside track on some stuff we have planned. In the past we've hosted contests which you entered by emailing links to your entry. This turned into an impossible task for the editors to manage (once you get past about 30-40 entries it's tough to keep track of who's been featured, etc.). We're going to take Hackaday Projects for a test run as a contest hosting platform. The thought is that you will make a project documenting your entry. When the entry is ready you just add a couple of custom tags to it and you're in the running. Watch the front page for the first one which will be announced very soon. We're pretty excited about the prizes for this one... it'll be worth blocking time out of your schedule for a shot at some loot.

View all 3 pages
Projects I Like & Follow
13 38 24
Project Owner Contributor

Chord Keyboard

by jmptable

2 10 5
Project Owner Contributor

El Dance

by Artis

0 4 4
Project Owner Contributor


by will.sweatman

3 5 3
Project Owner Contributor

Hexy the Hackaday Hexapod

by Emerica


scott.hasse wrote a month ago null point

Mike- thanks for following our NSA Away project, we're looking forward to a fun Hackaday prize competition!

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

equityengineers wrote 4 months ago -1 point

There is a growing need for accurate land surveying data to be a fundamental requirement for government level geographic information systems. As an example for the USGS National flood inundation mapping science initiative a professional survey level data layer would be of great benefit to help determining exactly which structures in or out of the flood zones. Second only Government would be public and private utilities. When armed with the proper equipment our surveyors could also very accurately locate components of underground systems. Of course the most obvious user would be our current customers that are already using survey data. Real estate related users such as banks, title insurers and mortgage companies. Private individuals who are affected by flood insurance requirements who are planning home improvements, ie. building a fence, adding a pool or an addition to their house would also need access to our site specific information not currently available in digital form.

Greetings my name is John W. Veatch. I am a land planner, a professional land development engineer, professional land surveyor, a Realtor and I suppose because I have been issued a patent by the US Government you could call me an inventor of GIS (geographic information systems). My partners and I are about to launch a flood mapping pilot project in S.W. Florida. My patented system uses conventional land surveying instruments, GPS, Lidar and HD computer rectified 3D aerial imagery to product land survey maps. This process has been endorsed by the Virginia Land Title Association, First American Title Inc. Lawyers Title Corp. and has been used to produce ALTA ACSM (American Land Title Association & American Congress of Surveying & Mapping) land title surveys for commercial transactions from Baltimore MD. to Palm Springs Calf.

Our companies located in Reston have been involved in this technology for the past two decades. We have produced over 140,000 land title surveys and collectively we have provided over $40 million dollars of GIS data for Government clients such as the states of Texas, New York, Michigan, Virginia, local governments including Los Angeles county, the Dallas/Fort Worth municipal area and major utilities such as PAC Bell. We are now about to launch the next level of information technology that will add the layer of information to these systems that will have the force of the law behind it. We have now incorporated 3D into our system and this technology has opened the door to several new business opportunities for the companies that use our surveys. Once we have proven the concept of our new system we will be in a position to launch this process nationwide. Strategic partners wanted
John W. Veatch PLS

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

tEEonE wrote 5 months ago null point

Hey thanks for the Skull!

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

kender.arg wrote 5 months ago null point


Are you sure? [yes] / [no]