UX Designer | Photographer

Thoughts, ideas and current projects :)

My thoughts and the projects I am currently working on :)

My fascination with electronics and DIY

I think I was 5 when I first saw a fleeting glimpse of some show on TV (Doordarshan) where I saw some kids in a camp carving out wood and making DIY airplanes. They even added the motors in front of them and operated them through radios. That, apart from watching Jurassic Park, was the most amazing thing I ever saw and I wanted to make something similar. 

I remember asking my dad to change the channel back to what it was but we couldn't find the show. 

I don't remember exactly when after that point but we used to get to see Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (humming in my head, "Chi-chi-chi-chip and dale... the rescue rangers!") on TV and the show blew my mind away. These two tiny smart chipmunks made their own hovercraft out of a toothpaste tube, used an air balloon to levitate themselves and other nifty tricks! 

chip n dale rescue rangers hovercraft

Motivated and inspired, I started working on my own hovercraft convinced that it will totally work! I got the talc powder tube which looks similar to the tube they used and begged my parents to get me a helium baloon. I still couldn't get the thing to fly, though, so I started looking for a DC motor. After some time, I found one but I failed at making what I envisioned. 

After a few years, I went to visit my cousin and saw him work on this super cool tape recorder. He was using the soldering iron to connect some wires and working on this green circuit thing. I asked him to teach me and he taught me the basics of soldering. I wanted to make something cool right away so he gave me a bunch of LEDs and asked me to connect them to the wires that connected the main device with the speakers. 

The lights started blinking to the music! The louder the music, they brighter they glowed! Mind equals blown! 

Unfortunately, I couldn't hangout with him more and since I didn't see him that frequently, the DIY stuff stopped with that as well. I had a few failed attempts at building my own quadcopter back then but without proper knowledge or info, it was easy to give up on the hobby. 

Many years later, my friend Xavier bought his first DSLR camera and we both went nuts with it. He knew how I loved making things and showed me the below plan to see if I can make it. With a huge grin on my face, I accepted the challenge. 

diy shutter release

I wish I took a picture of it but it looked something similar to this: 


This was a lot of fun. It helped Xavier capture the below image:

Photo credit: Xavier D'Souza

And I was able to capture this a few months later when I bought my own DSLR:


Flash forward a few years later. Now I have my own Canon 60D and I am with my friend Bhupesh in Hyderabad, India where he gave me an opportunity to shoot two high end weddings (link). He shared awesome timelapse videos from Yosemite National Park and we talked how, one day, we will capture such awesome timelapses too.

When I arrived back in Pune, India, I started looking up DIY intervalometers so that I can build this and we can try timelapse photography ourselves. After going through a lot of projects that felt way too complicated for me, I finally found the below:


Image credit: Marco Jetti


It was time to go to Pimpri which was a hub of all the electronics stores where one can buy the electronic components from. I had learned this back in the day from my cousin. It was a pain to find all of the components but I finally was able to gather them all. 

I made 5 of those which failed miserably and the sixth one finally worked the way it was supposed to. I had a DIY Intervalometer that made my camera take pictures with the intervals I specify. 

Here's a video explaining how it works:


And here are the samples of the timelapses I shot with it.


Audio credit: Ef - Give Me Beauty... Or Give Me Death!


This is why I absoutely love companies likes littlebits.cc and Makerbot which not only make awesome products but also empower makers/creators like me to create cool stuff.

Darvinder Kochhar