ABOUT Smoky Mountain Scientific

Smoky Mountain Scientific is a 501( c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to advancing scientific education.



Yeah, just one dude selling stuff out of his house. 


No, this is not my day job. By day, I'm a mild mannered chemistry professor.  Doing my best to stamp out the ignorance that runs rampant in my little corner of paradise.   Problem is, my employer can't get involved in commercial enterprises so I was stuck starting SmokyMtSci.  Truth be told, it is kind of fun and hopefully I won't lose too much money, get fired, or go to tax jail.



This guy named Ben and I designed the WheeStat potentiostat and I want to put it out there for other people to use. At first, I thought that if I published the design, people would make their own.  That didn't happen.  Instead, people kept asking if they could buy one. I tried to get my employer interested in building and selling these but they said no.

If you need help with a project that looks like traditional academics (research, education, community service), then I might be able to help you out as part of my day job. 





I'm involved with a non-profit called the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (also called Public Lab or PLOTS). Here is a link to their home page


2014 Atlanta Maker Faire, First weekend in October, 2014, Atlanta, GA


2014 SE Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Nasheville, TN


2013 Atlanta Mini-Maker Faire, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA.


2013 OSHWA Meeting- Open Source Hardware Association annual meeting, MIT, Cambridge MA.

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August 2020:

  Work during summer 2020 focused on the WheeTrometer spectrometer and on the WheeStat potentiostat.

  The spectrometer is coming along.  We are currently working to improve the intensity resolution by adopting a high resolution analog to digital converter.

  Our work on the WheeStat is focused mostly on increasing the current output available.  In addition, we hope to increase the range of frequencies that can be obtained by adding a digital to analog converter.

August, 2017:

   Work during summer 2017 focused on two projects, the WheeStat potentiostat and the stopped flow spectrometry apparatus.

  •    Work on the WheeStat included changes to the user interface, firmware and hardware.  The newest version of the user interface, WheeStat6.0c, has a new zoom feature and a few bugs from the older interface have been fixed.  We believe the new hardware will be out by the end of 2017.  The new hardware will have an improved method for turning off applied voltatage between experiments.  This is a hardware fix that requires modification of the firmware as well.  We will offer an add-on for our earlier hardware versions that incorporates this feature.  Addditional changes include increased current ranges and the potential for significantly increased scan rates.

  • Work on the stopped flow spectrometry project focused on increasing the injection speed.  Our initial effort focused on developing a rack and pinnion drive for the syringes.  This improved injection speed relative to the lead screw drive but failed to meet target speeds due, we believe, to limited torque provided by the small NEMA 17 motors we chose.  Our next attempt employed larger NEMA 23 motors.  These have significantly higher torque.  Unfortunately, our flow cell was unable to contain the generated pressure and began leaking.  Current efforts are focused on developing a lab-built UV-vis cell that will hold higher pressures.


September, 2016:

  • Our work to automate solid phase synthesis of peptides / DNA, etc has progressed well, although the chemistry is more involved that I had origianally thought.  We have made our first attempt at synthesis of a cystiene modified tri-peptide

  • Our application for recognition by the IRS as tax exempt under 501(c)3 has been approved.

  • We have begun work on a low cost visible spectrometer that will use home built reflective optics.

  • We are working on developing a stopped flow kinetics instrument based on commercially avialable spectrometer.  Our current prototype is able to acquire spectra within 120 ms of mixing.  This dead time appears to be limited by the power of the motors we used.  We are investigating the use of larger motors and hope to get the dead time down to below 12 ms.






Presentation  in Atlanta, GA,  March 6-10, 2016

Our talk was well recieved at the Educational symposium at PittCon


4989 Tilley Creek Road

Cullowhee, NC 28723

Tel: 828-293-7781


Mail:  summers@wcu.edu


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Oct 23-27, SouthEast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Columbia SC

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