Working from Home

A friend of mine, Shawn Tierney from The Automation Blog challenged us on Linked In to post a picture of our hobby space, the place where we spend our time at home when we aren’t working. In my case, since I am now working from home after the tornado, I had to carve a working space out of my hobby space.

Part of my music man cave

Of course with the Covid19 situation, a lot of people are working from home. My office was less than two miles from my house, so if the tornado hadn’t wiped it out I would have probably still gone there to work, after all I am the only one in my company. But in a way its a blessing in disguise that its gone, since I am not paying rent or utilities during this time.

So what do I do from home now? Well, one thing is, I finished my first full PLC training video! I have actually divided it into two modules, the first generic and covering what a PLC is and where they are used. It also covers the history of PLCs and computing devices. It can actually be used by managers and the like, it doesn’t cover troubleshooting or programming.

The second module covers Allen-Bradley’s RSLogix 500 software, which is used for the SLC500 and Micrologix platforms. A customer wanted me to make a video for their interns and didn’t mind if I also rebranded it for my own use. I plan to host it on Thinkific and a company called Tabletwise, and I may float the generic module on Udemy.

“Fischertechnik Cleaning Station”

When I get tired of tapping on the computer I go downstairs to the garage and work on cleaning up and organizing my Fischertechnik parts and trainers. Unfortunately my Mini-Factory didn’t make it through the tornado, in any case it wouldn’t have fit in the garage. As you can see in the picture below, the factory simulator models themselves didn’t do real well either, but I still plan on developing my ideas.

What’s left of my trainers…

Everyone is having to adjust during this pandemic. Some have to work from home, many have lost their jobs completely, and many of those who go to work as usual are worried about bringing the virus home to their families, especially those in the medical field.

Last week’s post was pretty depressing, and I thought about deleting it completely, but it reflects the way I felt at the time, so I decided to leave it. I feel a bit more optimistic this week, as I said I completed the videos that I had been working on for a long time, I celebrated my 60th birthday with family, and cleaning these little Fischertechnik parts is actually kind of therapeutic. I am certainly getting to know the little parts a lot better, and I plan on building some fun little automation toys when I’m done cleaning.

Who else is working from home? have you carved out a little space somewhere in your house? What kind of challenges are you facing?


Electrical Engineer and business owner from the Nashville, Tennessee area. I also play music, Chess and Go.