Archives 2017

Thursday, 28th December 2017 - 19:27:51


Today I built up three Sonoff boxes which will be used for controlling various mains things. The two smaller black boxes used cheap extension leads. The larger box with two sockets uses an old IEC lead. They work well and are easy to use with the phone app, however, I will be eventually replacing the firmware on these so that they don't have to connect to AWS every time I want to toggle their state. Something with a local server and state tracking would be much more responsive and reliable.

Sunday, 24th December 2017 - 07:52:03


8 Racks of ribs on the BBQ for Christmas lunch! They look like they are good enough to eat already!

Saturday, 9th December 2017 - 14:20:15


Today Emily helped me restore (with thick gloves!) a string of cherry lights which we've had for ages. Lucky we had plenty of spare globes, just about every second one needed replacing.

Sunday, 19th November 2017 - 22:33:44


I had a little time so I built up some more garden light boards and installed them into the fixtures. They look great. There is still quite a lot of software and API work to be done to ensure they are secure and reliable.

Wednesday, 1st November 2017 - 23:24:53


Three favorite kernel arguments for installing CentOS7! net.ifnames=0 biosdevname=0 inst.gpt

  • Uses nice ethX names for NICs
  • Forces GPT partition table

Thursday, 5th October 2017 - 16:23:58


Time for some new brake pads in the Barina, what do you reckon?

Saturday, 9th September 2017 - 17:15:38


Today I cut some pockets in the skirts for the table hold downs. These figure eight washers are designed to allow the table top some movement separate to the legs and skirts so that nothing cracks. One screw does downward into the skirt and the other goes up into the table top.

Sunday, 3rd September 2017 - 13:42:11


Today I applied a tung oil finish to the table and the legs. It looks great.

Sunday, 27th August 2017 - 12:28:10


Pancakes and bacon for breaky as a special treat. They are the letters of the kids first names.

Monday, 14th August 2017 - 11:47:30


Today and yesterday I finished the joinery on the bench. It's only a simple tennon arrangement using 40mm x 40mm pine for legs and 70 x 19mm pine for the skirt. It came out really nice, but the glue-up was a bit of a pain to manage. I also completed the table top and trimming the edge trim flush with the table top. There are more photos in the gallery.

Sunday, 6th August 2017 - 16:00:04


Added the merbau end trim to the table top today.

Saturday, 5th August 2017 - 17:34:15


Started work on a long thin table for the kid's PCs to go on. The table top is a piece of recycled kitchen melamine chipboard. The edges are merbau which I cut a rabbet in using the router. The table top sits in the rabbet and will later be trimmed flush with the table top.

Friday, 28th July 2017 - 19:48:15


Cooked a great steak with mushroom sauce. It was pretty delicious. Probably not super healthy though - but that wasn't the aim was it! =)

Thursday, 6th July 2017 - 15:59:18


Today some cheapo eBay adapters arrived which were advertised as headset splitters, ie one socket for mic and one socket for earphones. These were not them. They were simply two way splitters. They were cheap enough not to complain about so I hacked the plug off and got to work. PS4 controllers use the CTIA standard of plug. So the tip is left, the first ring is right, the second ring is ground and the sleeve is mic. There are some other images if you click the thumbnail to see the gallery.

Saturday, 24th June 2017 - 13:57:40


Pretty good display of how much the pantry shelves had sagged. I fixed this by glueing, clamping and air nailing a 20x40mm piece of pine under each of the long sides of the shelves. Unfortunately there isn't a pic of the completed shelves.

Monday, 19th June 2017 - 10:46:32

More eBay Loot

A bunch of stuff from eBay turned up at last. I probably won't have to buy a coloured SIL header ever again. More ESP8266s. Some teeny tiny PIR modules which only have a 10mm dia. Some soil moisture sensors and some USB to ttl serial converters.

Wednesday, 14th June 2017 - 22:50:04


Made a batch of pea and ham soup. It came out awesome and the kids loved it.

Sunday, 11th June 2017 - 18:23:07


The new circular 7 way WS2812 boards arrived from eBay and they fit perfectly in the top of these solar lights with some small modifications. Click the image to see the other photos.

Wednesday, 24th May 2017 - 21:34:32

Roadrunner Coloured Wire

My Element14 order turned up with my Roadrunner pencil wire. RRW-A-105 0.19mm solderable enamel wire. The colours will help distinguish some different lines in some upcoming projects (garden lights) where I need to run vcc, gnd and a data line. They need to be fine so as not to obstruct the light.

Saturday, 20th May 2017 - 18:23:40

2gig LAG to Shed

2gig LAG established from the Cisco 2960G-48 in the house to the Juniper EX3200 switch in the shed where the servers are.

Friday, 19th May 2017 - 08:11:42


Sonoffs have arrived from to play with!

Saturday, 6th May 2017 - 19:30:32


At last the finished product! Fully soldered with paste and hot air, with terminals mounted and mounted in it's DIN rail enclosure ready to go.

Friday, 5th May 2017 - 10:07:51


I came across these cheap solar LED garden lights and immediately knew what I needed to do. They needed to be individually addressable, RGB and controllable from IOT and from an app! =) Probably ESP8266 at this stage with ws2812 LEDs.

Monday, 17th April 2017 - 18:52:28


FINALLY assembled and tested that bbq that I bought and refurbished back in December 2015...

Friday, 14th April 2017 - 14:04:00


I have upgraded the firmware and buck converter in the PIR plugpack project. The new code makes use of a ws2812 to display it's status. I have run the LED out on a very thin enamelled copper flywire so that I can use the inside of the PIR dome as a diffuser. It sits out of the line of sight of the pyroelectric sensor.

Thursday, 6th April 2017 - 19:42:59


Had a crack at doing some special fried rice at home. It came out awesome. Click the image to see the gallery.

Friday, 31st March 2017 - 09:00:51


Level shifter powers up. No smoke. Unfortunately it doesn't work correctly because there is more current coming into the base of each transistor than I anticipated. It's enough to hold all transistors on. So I'll try getting some mosfets with the same pinout and seeing how they do.

Sunday, 26th March 2017 - 15:06:48


Playing with the battery powered ESP8266 project again. I've got it down to 9mA. Unfortunately the minium current draw is raised a long way by the buck converter board I have which is rated for 3A - it's much heavier duty than it needs to be and isn't very efficient.

Friday, 24th March 2017 - 22:29:56


Been prototyping some new esp8266 boards to have them run on a pair of 18650s. The current draw when asleep is down to 0.7mA which is pretty nice. Unfortunately it goes up to 70mA when hooked to wifi and transmitting. This is usually only for a few seconds every five minutes or so.

Friday, 17th March 2017 - 09:10:47


I had a go at some SMD soldering with solder paste for the level converter board. It came out OK.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017 - 22:46:11


So I scored a failed Juniper SRX210 off eBay for $1. I figured it was worth a gamble. Well it paid off. After some testing I found that the system was not getting any juice. The input protection diode had failed short. My guess is that someone has plugged in the PSU for the POE version of this firewall (48VDC) into this non-POE firewall (should be 12VDC) and nuked it. I removed it temporarily and powered the unit up on a lab power supply to limit the current. It booted! Score!

Wednesday, 8th March 2017 - 10:49:17

12V to 24V Level Shifter PCB

The PCB for the 12V to 24V has arrived.

Friday, 3rd March 2017 - 09:05:33


Ebay score: Cisco 1230G access points which will be used to create a wireless bridge.

Sunday, 26th February 2017 - 17:49:57


Cooked up some super yummy pork spare ribs with some honey soy sauce. Had it with some "crunchy" salad.

Wednesday, 8th February 2017 - 21:03:15


Prototype 12V to 24V level shifter.

Wednesday, 8th February 2017 - 11:43:08


Fabricated some brackets to hold the PIR sensors.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017 - 07:38:29


Ebay score. A set of drifts, punches and chisels. Also a small block plane.

Thursday, 26th January 2017 - 20:23:56

First go at charcoal

While I was a guest I had the opportunity to try out a charcoal BBQ for the first time. After tasting it I can see why people like it. There is a distinct flavor even without adding any extra wood for flavoured smoke. If I di end up getting one, I'll definitely invest in a chimney and fire lighters because it's a pain in the A$$ to light charcoal without them.

Thursday, 19th January 2017 - 21:19:10

Crunch Skin-On Salmon with Crunch Salad

Crunchy Skin-On Salmon with Crunchy Salad. One of my favorites. We add some fried noodles to the salad with a lime and chilli dressing. Delicious.

Thursday, 12th January 2017 - 13:07:05


The rack is now levelled and has a shelf in the bottom for storing excess gear. I created some timber blocks this time round and used the levelling feet rather than relying on the castors. The concrete slab is not very flat at all.

Saturday, 7th January 2017 - 19:25:59


The drawer cart thing has now received some decorative finger jointed bumpers and a coat of clear poly. It looks great. I ended up modifying my screw advance box joint jig to work on the table saw. Click the image to see more photos.

Friday, 6th January 2017 - 14:01:08


Today I unpacked my electronics gear and got it set up on my updated bench.

Wednesday, 4th January 2017 - 17:22:47


I have built some shoes to retrofit my electronics lab bench with castors. They are a cantilever design that should require no modification to the existing table feet. They lock into the existing feet. When the castor is swivelled to the rear, the shoe is pushed up and kept in place by the end of the shoe. When the castor is swivelled to the front, the vee part that locks into the existing desk feet take the force and prevent it twisting. Left to right is kept under control by having a tight fit on the square tube of the desk.

Monday, 2nd January 2017 - 16:56:51


I started work on a sled / stand thing with casters to hold two sets of drawers which will store electronics bits for the lab. This will make them mobile and allow cleaning underneath.

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