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Who is Custom IDEAS?

Our Address:

Custom IDEAS
9100 Cascade Rd. SE
Ada, Michigan 49301-9337

Our Services:

Custom IDEAS provides engineering expertise in computer hardware, software, and electronic systems. Our integrated hardware, software, and system experience, along with creative insight and an aggressive desire to solve problems, assures our customers of quality solutions on time, within budget and well ahead of the competition.

Our target markets range from factory floor automation to consumer goods, from furniture manufacturers to automobile companies, and from engineering consultation to end-product design.

The services we provide include:

  • Hardware and software system design, prototyping, and light subcontracted manufacture.
  • General software design.
  • System architectural consultation and problem solving.
  • Product line evaluation.
  • Program Management

CI Logo reducedOur Mission:

Custom IDEAS is a broad-based engineering service firm specializing in computer hardware, software, and electronic and electro-mechanical products for the industrial, commerical and consumer markets. Our services include system and product design, engineering consultation and light to medium subcontracted manufacturing.

We offer our customers a quality service at a reasonable cost. Our people possess the creative technical-design talent, high-level organizational skills, and common sense to perform a wide range of engineering services. An efficent and close-knit group of service bureaus, subcontractors, and contract manufacturing firms handles the services we do not directly provide.

Custom IDEAS is a capable, reliable, and distinctive company which highly values and respects its customers and employees.

CI Logo reducedOur General Experience:

The members of Custom IDEAS possess broad backgrounds and experience ranging from the design of microcircuits to the implementation of complete computer systems including both hardware and software.

  • Computer Systems
    • Embedded controllers
    • High-performance single- and multi-processing CPUs
    • General purpose and application specific computers
    • Fault-tolerant systems
    • Cost-sensitive commercial and ruggedized, high-reliability designs
    • System architectures based on VMEbus, VXI, Future and Multibus
  • Software Systems
    • Embedded software applications
    • Real-time, multi-tasking operating systems
    • Single- and multi-processor executives
    • Human factors and human interface designs
    • UNIX, Open VMS VAX, MS-DOS, and MacOS experience
  • Data Acquisition and Signal Processing
    • Digital and analog input and output
    • Closed-loop servo control
    • Power monitoring and diagnostics
    • High-performance communications
    • Digital signal processing
  • Support Software
    • Device drivers
    • Graphics system drivers
    • File management
    • Built-in self test and diagnostics
    • Data tracking, logging, and analysis
  • Peripheral Hardware
    • High-resolution graphics
    • Linear and switching power supplies
    • Power amplifiers and drivers
    • Power conditioning and filtering
    • Telecommunications
    • Programmable logic devices
    • Digital gate arrays and custom integrated circuits

CI Logo reducedOur Specific Experience:

Custom IDEAS' diverse capabilities include a working knowledge of the following systems, software, components, buses, and peripherals.

  • Software Experience Complement
    • General Development Complement:
      • Communications Packages (TCP/IP, HDLC, ARINC-429)
      • Analog and Digital Interface Drivers
      • I/O Device Drivers
      • Bootstrap Code
      • File Systems
      • Real-Time Operating Systems
      • Display Engines
      • Language Definitions
    • Languages:
      • C and C++
      • Basic
      • FORTRAN
      • Pascal
      • Assembly
      • Forth
      • Ada
      • APL
      • COBOL
      • Custom Microcode
      • PL/I & PL/M
      • JOVIAL
    • Operating Systems:
      • Unix - BSD
      • Unix - System V
      • Unix - Linux
      • MS-DOS
      • MacOS
      • CP/M
      • Concurrent CP/M-86
      • Open VMS VAX
      • TurboDOS
    • Real-Time Operating Systems:
      • pSOS
      • VRTX & MPV
      • RSX-11
      • Proprietary
  • Data Communications Complement
    • Electrical Serial Buses:
      • RS-232
      • RS-422
      • RS-485
      • I2C
      • SPI
      • AMD Taxi
      • ARINC-429
      • ARINC-717
      • MIL-STD-1553
    • Optical Serial Buses:
      • FDDI
      • MIL-STD-1773
    • Parallel Data Buses:
      • VMEbus interfaces
      • VXIbus
      • ISAbus (PC/AT)
      • Future
      • STDbus
      • Multibus
      • SCSI
      • IEEE-488
      • Q-bus interfaces
      • SMD
  • Microprocessor Design Complement:
    • Motorola:
      • 88000
      • 68040
      • 68030
      • 68020
      • 68010
      • 68000
      • 6809
      • 6800
    • Intel:
      • 80286
      • 8088
      • 8086
      • 8085
      • 8080
      • Zilog:
      • Z8000
      • Z80
    • Other:
      • AMD 29000
      • 6502
      • MIL-STD-1750
  • Microcontroller Design Complement:
    • Motorola:
      • 68340
      • 68332
      • 68HC16
      • 68HC11
      • 68HC08
      • 68HC05
      • 6801
    • Intel:
      • 80186
      • 8096
      • 80C51
  • Digital Signal Processor Complement:
    • Motorola 56000
    • TI TMS320
    • Digital Filters
  • Display Technology Complement:
    • Stroke and Raster Display
    • Motorola 6845 CRT controller designs
    • AMD QPDM experience
    • RS-170
    • RS-343
  • Integrated Circuit Complement:
    • Programmable Logic Devices:
    • Standard 20 and 24 series
    • Actel
    • Altera MAX family
    • Xilinx
  • Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) Foundries Used:
    • LSI Logic
    • Motorola
    • Unitrode
    • UTMC

VLSI Technology

  • Custom Integrated Circuits Foundries Used:
    • VLSI Technology
  • - Analog Design Complement:
    • Signal Conditioners, Buffers & Drivers
    • Phase Locked Loops
    • Telecommunications Direct Access Arrangements
    • Data Track/Hold
    • A/D & D/A Converters
    • Precision Voltage Reference
    • Temperature Sensor Interfaces
    • Motor Controller/Drivers
    • Switching Power Supplies
    • Linear Power Supplies
    • Modulators/Demodulators
    • Instrumentation Amplifiers
    • LVPT
    • LVDT, Synchro/Resolvers
    • Transducer Excitation
    • V/F and F/V
    • Oscillators
    • Signal Multiplexing/De-multiplexing
    • Analog Filters
    • Data Samplers

CI Logo reducedOur People:

Custom IDEAS consists of talented engineers who are not content to rest upon past accomplishments. Our people continuously improve their capabilities, expand their experience base, and refine their skills both in their personal and professional lives. That personal growth, coupled with our perfectionists' attention to detail, ensures that Custom IDEAS provides its customers with innovative products and quality services - now and in the future.

The three directors listed below are equal owners and co-founders of Custom IDEAS. The personal profiles convey each director's talents; however, their collective enthusiasm can only be experienced in person.

  • Hardware:
    • Mark M. Beatson
  • Software:
    • Jon M. Diekema
    • Gerald W. Van Baren

Who is Mark M. Beatson?

Hardware Engineer

Mark brings more than ten years of experience in both the commercial and military electronic fields to Custom IDEAS. That experience equips Mark with the ability to develop reliable, high quality solutions on time and within budget. His goal to participate in a company that meets customer needs, expands employees' skills, and respects all parties involved drives Mark's commitment to a venture like Custom IDEAS.

Mark's most recent activities involve marketing Custom IDEAS, writing technical proposals, and assisting in the design and productionization of a power monitoring system for the utility industry. Other experience includes designing an armored vehicle control system; an avionic-based flat-panel control/display unit; several 68030 based embedded, single-board computers; secure communication interfaces; and radiation-hardened CMOS integrated circuits for the military arena. His previous commercial activities include the design of several full-custom integrated circuits and host controller boards used in a commercial logic simulation product; application specific computers; a custom digital signal processor integrated circuit; and electronic equipment enclosures.

BSEE, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 1982.
MSEE, Stanford University, Stanford, California, 1983.

Who is Jon M. Diekema?

Chief Financial Officer/Secretary
Software Engineer

Jon brings a background of both hardware and software expertise to Custom IDEAS. His education and work experience furnish him with a thorough understanding of computer systems. Jon has been fascinated by computers, software, and information communications since he purchased his first computer, a TRS-80, in 1976.

Jon's most recent activity has been the system administration of over 130 Sun SPARC workstations. Jon has also been involved with the network modernization effort to partition a campus size LAN into several smaller networks. Jon's numerous other accomplishments include the configuration of a board support package for a Motorola 88000 based CPU running under the commercial real-time operating system pSOS+m and the intimate involvement in the software compatibility of hardware design for a multi-processor, fault-tolerant computer; a Macintosh based rapid prototyping tool to aid in user interface design; partitioning of a dynamic programmed trajectory generation algorithm for a multi-processor environment; static path analysis algorithm used to detect coding errors; and UNIX system administration experience on System V.3, Solaris 1.x, and Solaris 2.x. He also has extensive experience in embedded device driver development, serial communications driver development (from the physical through the network layers of the ISO model), start-up ROM development, and built-in-test routines.

BSEE, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, 1984.

Who is Gerald W. Van Baren?

Vice President
Software Engineer

Jerry brings to Custom IDEAS a broad background and familiarity with both hardware and software. His invaluable strengths lie in his intimate understanding of hardware, software, and their interdependencies providing very effective low-level hardware and software integration. Jerry's strengths are one reason that Custom IDEAS delivers complete systems--not just components.

Recently, Jerry's responsibilities include developing diagnostic software to detect and identify hardware faults, significantly improving manufacturing efficiency. He is familiar with communications protocols and has designed and implemented software drivers for several commercial and proprietary protocols. Jerry has developed high speed graphics display routines based on GKS and CGI, both with and without hardware graphics acceleration. He also designed and implemented a real-time file system for data recording. Jerry's entire career has involved real-time system design and control.

BSEE, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1984
BSCS, Hope College, Holland, Michigan, 1985
MSCS, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 1992