James and Marc are two neighbors and friends who run a small business in Columbus, GA called S&T GeoTronics LLC. Together they’ve worked on electric car conversions, arduino-based Segway’s, and a number of geocaching projects. This April they successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign for The Open Enigma Project. Their projects and products can be found at www.stgeotronics.com.
Q: For Maker Faire Atlanta, what are you planning to showcase?
A: This is S&T Geotronic’s third year at the Maker Faire and second year having a booth. We will demo our Open Enigma Mark 4, our electric car drive, and our geocaching location based entertainment devices. Hopefully we will be in the middle our second Kickstarter showcasing your intelligent display devices
Q: Why did you decide to release the Open Enigma Project on Kickstarter?
A: The Open Enigma Project was an accident. We were planning a Georgia Geocaching mega event and thought it would be cool if you encrypted a message with an enigma machine. However, we couldn’t find one so we made one. Using it at the mega event wasn’t a success, but we published an instructable. Soon after publishing, people began asking us to build the device. We set the price at $1000.00 thinking only a few people would want one, but we kept getting orders. So we launched a Kickstarter project to collect a large number of orders at once and get volume discounts. We aren’t cryptologist or WWII fans. Our real intent isn’t to sell a product but enable people to do things.
Q: Tell me about your gas to electric car conversion?
A: In 2010 as gas was approaching $4.00 per gallon, We made a bet that James couldn’t adapt a 3 phase induction motor to power a vehicle. After a year of R&D failures James built a working electric drive unit. It took a couple weeks to scale to size and we presented it via our EV Maker Tumblr. Our electric drive unit is a core any one can build an electric drive around. It’s just like any other motor drive except it’s open source and running on an Arduino.
Q: How did you guys start working together?
A: James is lifelong tinkerer and Marc is a network engineer. We’ve been neighbor’s just three doors down from each other for close to a decade. We began to become closer as friends four years ago. Just this spring we started a company together. The Maker movement is growing we want to be apart of it.
If you’re interested in James and Marc’s projects, you can follow their progress at
*This MakerMonday Blog Post was written for your reading pleasure by AMF volunteer Matthew Carson.