Derby Makers

The heart of Derby's Maker community

Tony Brookes

I’ve been a maker for years, and just didn’t realise it! Electronics, IT systems and cars. Latterly, I make Open Source electronics and use open source software (Qgis) to make maps. My main project at the moment is seeing if it’s possible to make three items of home made Geophysics equipment for £1000 using Arduino or similar items. Thanks are due to the Derbyshire Archaeological Society for their kind £1,000 Pilling bequest award to help fund the research.

The research has 3 elements: A GPS with with location accuracy better than 1m; a magnetometer; and a resistivity probe. All 3 items are of great use to Archaeologists as they are used to investigate what is in the ground without necessarily digging or to survey the area and (hopefully) help locate where to dig with confidence. I have helped out on a couple of resistivity surveys and in one case used Qgis to overlay modern OS Open Data maps, 1901 OS map & a 1768 inclosure map. The survey gods obviously were in a good mood and everything just lined up and when dug the buried building rubble was found where the maps & survey said it would be. [Note, the resistivity survey was conducted using a commercially available unit as we have simply not started that part of the research]. There is a related blog at

Of course, I get diverted onto other things, but at present the GPS project is the main focus of research.  The use of the laser cutter and 3d printer to help make a case for the Arduino is a case in point. More skills to learn from other makers.

I simply would not be able to  enjoy what’s become a very enjoyable hobby without the help of the rest of Derby Makers, thanks all!

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