By Lori Kimbel
Tucked away in a modest office in the heart of Baker City is Hawk M2M, an electrical and electronic design firm owned by Baker County native Orrin Bigelow.
Shelves are lined with circuit boards and all of the intricate parts that go along with them.
A desk, free from clutter, sits along one wall and a white board with brainstorming notes grabs each visitor’s attention immediately.
I stood in the office, clueless of what all these bits and pieces of components and circuit boards could do. I soon found out these circuit boards may be small, but they were mighty.
“We specialize in custom electronics design for commercial applications,” said Bigelow.
“M2M is short for Machine-to-Machine Technology, which allows both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same type across multiple communication networks. An example would be a sensor and a valve installed in a field, mountain side, or stretch of highway. The sensor and valve communicate with the cellular network, which acts as a bridge to the Internet. Once connected to the Internet, the sensor can provide real-time data to a user on a mobile device, or on a computer dashboard. The user can view the status of the sensor or receive alerts, while also exercising full control of the valve remotely or automatically. Hawk
M2M can build the entire system, including a custom electronic device in the field.”
Bigelow received his Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from Eastern Washington University before moving to San Diego where he worked at SeaBotix, a manufacturer of underwater robotics. It was during his time with SeaBotix that he realized he wanted to pursue electronic hardware design, so he would work his day job, then go home and teach himself how to design circuit boards. Eventually, he began moonlighting for Seabotix designing circuit boards from his home.
At Hawk M2M, Bigelow invented a circuit board that is installed in hotels around the world, which is an integral part in fire and smoke suppression during the event of a building fire.
The boards are assembled, tested, sold, and shipped from Boise, Idaho.
Bigelow, in collaboration with Boise State, Stanford, and the USGS, is currently working on a circuit board that wirelessly transmits data from underground wells to create hydraulic tomography, a 3D image of groundwater movement, a necessity when dealing with environmental cleanup throughout the world. Hawk M2M is also providing solutions on how to monitor thousands of miles of electric fence in real-time, as well as developing a new RFID tracking system for very large cattle operations.
Perhaps the most exciting development at Hawk M2M, is the development of new electronics for hobby and commercial UAVs and drones. “We’re developing the world’s best electronics for a niche market in drones, and I want to manufacture them right here in Baker City.”
Hawk M2M is a creative company and ready to monitor and control the most valuable
assets to an organization, or bring an entirely new invention to market.