My Projects

Along with being a photographer, I'm an Electrical Engineer.  I've worked with hobby electronics since early high school, and below I've written pages on a few of my projects. 

Click the "Read more" button to see a more in-depth article about each project (if it has a "Read More" button).  


A 2' by 2' Clemson Tiger Paw laser cut from wood, with edge-lit acrylic pieces.  It is back-lit by individually addressable RGB LED strips, remote controlled, and can react to music.

Christmas Light Show

I created a Christmas light show to Tiger Rag and some other songs.  The lights change to music and the show can be started by pressing a button beside the sidewalk.

Iron Man

A hand-painted geometric Iron Man laser cut from wood and lit with LED strips.  It is 3.5 feet tall by 2 feet wide.  The lights are controlled by a phone app through Blynk and an ESP8266 microcontroller that is powered by a large battery pack on the back. 

Nixie Tube Clock

Nixie tubes are gas-filled tubes with the numbers 0-9 inside of them.  Nixie tubes were commonly used in the mid-1900's for displays on electronics.  I used an Arduino Mega to display the time using four nixie tubes. 


These are projects that I've done that either didn't take very long, or aren't big enough to deserve their own page.  I learned a lot from most of these projects, as small projects are often my way of testing ideas before implementing them in a "real" project.  

Star trail night sky photo stack
Arduino Controller for Ceiling Lights
October 2017
I made a controller for WS2812 lights on my ceiling that uses the same light functions as the WallPaw.  It has an Arduino Uno and Mega, a boost converter for voltage, a microphone, an IR receiver, and a RF receiver. 
Star trail night sky photo stack
Edge-lit National Champions sign
March 2017
I wanted to test out edge-lit acrylic using the addressable LED's before I made a big project with them.  I learned a lot from this little test project. 
Star trail night sky photo stack
Heater Alarm Clock 4.0
My room is often really cold in the mornings, so I programmed a heater to turn on before my alarm.  Now my room is nice and toasty when I need to get out of bed.
Backlit LED Horse Head
November 2017
This project was a present for my friend Lauren Smith.  It is a laser cut+etched horse head with battery-powered LED strips behind it.  There are ~20 built-in functions it cycles through with a button. 
Sports Photography Tutorials
January 2019
I wrote short blog posts about taking pictures for a variety of college sports.  Each post covers where to enter and put your bag, where you can/can't go on the field, and recommended camera settings. 
Painting Pottery
Motorized & Automated Window Curtains
February 2019
I used a stepper motor to open and close my window curtains.  It is connected to my Echo so "Alexa, open the curtains" does exactly that.  Scheduled to open every morning at the time of my alarms. 

Project Ideas

Welcome to the list of project ideas/plans! Feel free to leave suggestions.

Completed projects are linked(maybe) and highlighted green
Projects in progress are highlighted blue.
Projects abandoned are highlighted red.

  • Capacitor/resistor explosions with high voltage

  • Fiber-optic lights in canvas print pictures

  • Automated window curtains

  • Wifi-connected LED tiger paw

  • Fractal Iron Man with LED's 

  • Mini infinity box for rings

  • Iceland cutout wall art 

  • Set up Alexa recipe to change a lot of lights in our apartment

  • Before/after editing tips page for my pictures (just how I do it)

  • Infinity table/stand/something in my room

  • A page for my brother on my website

  • Play with thermite

  • Learn how to juggle (not how I want to spend my time)

  • Raspberry pi motion camera (just buy one for $30)

  • Flour flash photography photo shoot

  • All the projects on this page

  • Wedding present for friend Shelby

  • Make hamburgers with 50% bacon and 50% ground beef (It was tasty, but normal burgers with bacon on top are far better)

  • More Christmas lights!!!




I made this piece using laser-cut wood overlaid on a printed picture that I took in Iceland.  I hand painted the sides and "ICELAND" text.  

Laser Harp

It uses 13 red laser diodes and 13 photo-resistors to simulate harp strings.  When you break a laser beam with your finger it will play a note.  The front panel has buttons that let you change the key (Chromatic, B-flat, F, C, etc), octave (low, medium, high), and volume.   

Jacob Thompson

Clemson, SC

© 2020 By Jacob Thompson

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