An interview with Jay Summet of the Musical Tesla Coil
In a garage near Decatur, Georgia, a maker named Jay Summet is hard at work on his latest creation. He’s assembling and customizing the oneTesla MIDI-controlled Tesla coil kit that he’ll be showing off at Maker Faire Atlanta in October. Like most makers, Jay’s garage-turned-workshop is filled with all sorts of tools, spare parts, and various odds and ends that may one day find a new home in some unique project.
If you’ve been to any of the previous Atlnata Mini Maker Faires, you’ve undoubtedly come across Jay and his converted S-10 Electric Pickup Truck which he drives to each Faire. Jay tries to bring something new to show off each year. You may have seen his large Bubble Display or his Rostock-mini Delta 3D printer. This year he’s bringing his one-Tesla musical Tesla coil.
Jay has been a maker for as back as he can remember, “I remember making a remote light controller with one of the original PIC micro-controllers (where you had to erase them with a UV light through a quartz “erase window” ) back in the late 1980’s.” He draws some of his inspiration from seeing things other makers build, but many of his projects come from a necessity that needs to be filled. And when a maker needs something, he makes it himself.
When he’s not making, Jay teaches computer science at Georgia Tech. For his thesis research, he developed a Virtual Rear Projection system that compensates for shadows cast by someone walking in front of the screen. He’s currently working with small, bluetooth-enabled robots to teach students how to program in Python.
Jay was nice enough to let us in on another project he’s currently designing: a 6-foot diameter spherical playhouse for his son constructed from CNC cut plywood. And if he find a way to lug it to the Faire, perhaps we’ll get to see it at next years Maker Faire Atlanta.