Have you ever wondered how the control boxes that Ecotrust Canada produces in-house for the Electronic Monitoring program work? Well good news, fair reader, for I, the residing box-building tech lackey, am here to tell you.


Well, at least that was the theory that I came up with a few years back during my first round of building, wiring, and soldering the boxes together. I was taken under the wings of Ecotrust Canada’s tech team who constantly spewed gibberish words and phrases at me like “GitHub”, “Arduino”, and “screen /dev/ttyUSB.” I deployed my patented “smile and nod” and, hoping for the best, did what they told me.

Box building_Channing Mar 2016

My understanding of the boxes didn’t improve much during last year’s box-building extravaganza either, though my theory evolved to include possible witchcraft. At the end of the build I was told I’d be shipped down to Westport, WA to install and diagnose systems there. I re-read Harry Potter to prepare.

After this year’s rush to boost Ecotrust’s EM inventory levels, I’ve finally figured out what actually makes these things tick: dogged determination to excise each and every little fault that I come across during the build process and the ability to laugh at myself after I miss something obvious.

A lunchtime falafel from Einstein’s Wrap House doesn’t hurt either.



Channing Guenther has been building electronic monitoring boxes for Ecotrust Canada since 2014.