Uses This

1212 interviews since 2009

A picture of Helen Leigh

Helen Leigh

Hardware hacker

in hardware, hacker

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Helen Leigh. I am a maker, hardware nerd and writer. I mostly make experimental instruments in my own work (one example here), and I wrote a book about craft and electronics, published by McGraw Hill. I am also Head of Community for Crowd Supply, which is a curated crowd funding platform for open source hardware.

What hardware do you use?

I use all sorts of microcontrollers and single board computers in my work, from Arduino and Pi to Beaglebone and Adafruit. I try to purchase open source hardware whenever possible. I also like to support indie hardware creators so I have lots of cool boards.

And what software?

I started off with the Arduino/Wiring version of C++, but I use CircuitPython a lot these days. I also love using block code on the Circuit Playground Express for quick and dirty prototyping. For coding sounds, the open source software Pure Data (or, ideally, my preferred fork Purr Data) is great, as are the Teensy libraries by Paul Stoffrogen.

What would be your dream setup?

My favourite combo for making embedded instruments right now is probably a PocketBeagle with a Bela cape, paired with a Trill cap touch sensor and Purr Data software.

Uses This is supported by ZSA, makers of the Moonlander, ErgoDox EZ and Planck EZ keyboards. They also publish an awesome newsletter.