These are projects we’ve worked on in the past, and some that are ongoing.

DCAT Chorus

DCAT (Drum Corps Alumni Toronto) Chorus is a performing choir consisting of past Toronto drum corps members, friends, and family. Jamie Hale actively maintains their website, and since fall 2017 has been transitioning the site from hand-crafted HTML to modern Jekyll and Tachyons.


(Candu Energy Inc. for Bruce Power)

The CIGAR (Channel Inspection & Gauging Apparatus for Reactors) system is a remotely operated inspection tool for CANDU reactor fuel channels. It delivers spinning ultrasonic and eddy current probes into the reactor pressure tubes to look for cracks and flaws, and to trend growth and wear.

The system comprises a large electro-mechanical drive unit, motor controllers, PLCs, ultrasonic and eddy current instruments, and a full suite of data acquisition and analysis software.

Jamie Hale has been developing, supporting, and maintaining aspects of the CIGAR system since 2001. The entire Small Army is now dedicated to providing the same services to Bruce Power.


(Candu Energy Inc. for Bruce Power)

The SLAR (Spacer Location And Relocation) tool is used to find and reposition the loose-fitting spacers that sit between the pressure tube and calandria tube in CANDU reactors. These spacers - or garter springs - ensure the pressure tubes and calandria tubes do not touch, an event that could result in a ruptured fuel channel.

The system comprises a control system and software, eddy current data acquisition and analysis software, and a variety of interfaces to a variety of hardware (including a 600V electromagnet!).

The Small Army was engaged to help Candu Energy Inc. support inspection campaigns through critical-path troubleshooting and bug-fixes.

LEGO Robotics


Small Army Of Nerds Corp. owns a small fleet of LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits, and Jamie Hale volunteers at Alvin Curling Public School in Scarborough, coaching and mentoring their robotics club. In the spring of 2016, the Alvin Curling robotics club built 5 battle bots and competed within the school to see which robot would be victorious. In the fall of 2016, Alvin Curling is putting forth their first FIRST LEGO League team, and Jamie Hale is helping to coach grade 7 and 8 students through their preparations.


Since 2014, Jamie Hale has volunteered in classrooms throughout the Toronto, York, and Durham school boards, presenting material about computer science and life in a programming career, and coaching students from grade 2 to 9 through the programming exercises on He has amassed a lovely scrapbook of “thank you” notes and posters and will post them presently. Find his goofy Scratch games here.


(Internal, currently offline)

Jamie Hale has started to convert his entire workflow - personal and professional - to free software. He intends to convert his willing friends and family along the way. Follow his progress here.


(Bruce Power)

The Small Army was engaged to help Candu Energy Inc. and Bruce Power develop specifications for the next generation reactor inspection tool. Tool development and consultation is ongoing.


(Ontario Power Generation)

The Flaw software is a visualization and analysis tool that assists ultrasonic technicians in identifying and measuring cracks and flaws in reactor pressure tubes. It is used during data acquisition for data quality verification, and during play-back for flaw assessment. The Flaw software provides automated probe calibration, rescan and detailed scan identification, and a variety of other features through its embedded Python interpreter.

Jamie Hale was a principle developer of the Flaw tool at Ontario Power Generation during the conversion to Windows in 2001. He is responsible for much of the optimization and automation.

In 2011, the Small Army was engaged to help Ontario Power Generation develop a business plan to upgrade Flaw. The business plan resulted in a $3.3 million project, and OPG is using the upgraded software today.

In 2015, Jamie Hale was engaged by Candu Energy Inc. and Bruce Power to upgrade Flaw to modern development tools, and to run on Windows 7.

AGS Leak Test

(Candu Energy Inc.)

The Small Army was engaged by Candu Energy Inc. in 2012 to help support development of the Annulus Gas System (AGS) leak test tool. The tool measures the change in dew point in the annulus gas after isolating fuel channels. Changes in dew point indicate a leak from the pressure tube into the annulus gas.

The Small Army provided specialized laptops configured for remote monitoring of the data recorders.