Archives 2018

Tuesday, 13th November 2018 - 15:54:51


Oops. Connected to 24VAC instead of 12VAC. The ESP8266 survived but from there back is toast!

Saturday, 10th November 2018 - 19:26:05

Charcoal Chicken Rotisserie

Gave the rotisserie a second go with charcoal again. Turned out great! 

Saturday, 3rd November 2018 - 18:32:09

ESP8266 Controlled Remote PSU

The remote power supply for the cherry lights and the RGB garden lights is now complete. This will eliminate one sonoff which was previously used to control the cherry lights on the mains side.

Saturday, 27th October 2018 - 19:54:46

Charcoal Rotisserie Mod

I took the grill out of my gas BBQ and put some charcoal baskets in to try out my new rotisserie. It turned out well, bit of a learning curve with the charcoal though...

Saturday, 13th October 2018 - 14:08:33

Massive Fish

Caught a massive fish...

Friday, 7th September 2018 - 17:32:24

Garden Lights PSU

Created a power supply controller for the garden lights to turn on and off the set of standard cherry lights and supply the IOT garden lights with power also. Each (24vAC and 12VAC) are controllable via relays. It also has a rectifier and DC-DC convers to supply 5V and 3.3V for other projects and the ESP8266 controlling the PSU.

Monday, 3rd September 2018 - 19:28:01

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thigh Fillets

Bacon wrapped chicken thigh fillets with mash and veg. This was a real crowd pleaser.

Tuesday, 14th August 2018 - 22:01:00


Today I converted the garden lights to run off AC rather than DC which I think will work out better. I've added a bridge rectifier and smoothing cap to each.

Monday, 13th August 2018 - 14:38:01

24 Disk RAID 0 Roulette

Created a 24 disk RAID 0 for S&Gs on the Supermicro storage server. It has a ASR-52445 in it.

Sunday, 5th August 2018 - 10:57:36


Today I got another set of component drawers, the same manufacturer as the other set, just with larger drawers.

Saturday, 14th July 2018 - 15:51:50

6 Racks of Ribs on the BBQ

6 racks of ribs on the BBQ =) This time I cheated with the rubs rather than making my own usual recipe. McCormick Tenesee Smokehouse and Slown & Low Texas rubs.

Sunday, 8th July 2018 - 18:15:51


For the first time I blew up an ESP8266. Which is difficult to do, they are pretty robust. This one is kaput though =/

Sunday, 8th July 2018 - 14:16:43


The remote lock/unlock for the car has these weird surface mount buttons on them. They have a rubber plunger and they are not tactile. These needed replacing because they started to fail. I took a gamble on some surface mount tactile switches from ebay (a few bucks for like 20). They fitted well and give you a much more obvious click feeling when you press.

Tuesday, 29th May 2018 - 19:21:58

Sonoff Flashing - 5v injection

I found a place to inject 5v so you can flash the sonoff and test the relay is functioning.

Sunday, 27th May 2018 - 23:48:54

iTead Sonoff Logo

This evening after a session of DarkMatter great progress was made on the SonoffMQTT project. This project aims to replace the firmware on a Sonoff with custom firmware so that it is accessible via MQTT instead of the supplied eWeLink. Having it available on MQTT means it will plug directly into Home Assistant and will be cointrollable from there. After soldering some headers into the board, I was able to power it externally (not mains) and flash it using Arduino IDE.

Sunday, 27th May 2018 - 23:43:48


Flashing Sonoff with custom firmware. To do this you have to externally power the Sonoff with 3.3v via the header. This, however, does not allow you to operate the relay because the coil is on the 5v relay.

Sunday, 27th May 2018 - 16:33:36

Arduino Logo

A pretty productive day. The code has now been refactored to accept simple non-json type commands on specific topics ie <uuid>/relay/0/set. This allows the relays to work with the "switch" function in Home Assistant.

Sunday, 27th May 2018 - 13:41:23

MQTT Home Assistant Sensors

After some refactoring of the dual relay board code, it's now reporting temperature, humidity on MQTT topics. This means it will work correctly with Home Assistant.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018 - 15:19:57


The storage server got an upgrade to E5-2620v1s.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018 - 23:08:55


Updated design with larger resistors and the missing silk screens added.

Thursday, 12th April 2018 - 20:45:36

Broken iPad Corner

This is a temporary repair on an iPad 4 until a propper glass screen / digitizer replacement is done. The void filled with silicone andcovered with kapton tape to keep the glass together.

Saturday, 10th February 2018 - 10:21:46


I received a dodgy batch of DC-DC converters. These are pretty common 12-19V in and 3.3V out. The top one is a dodgy one from the supplier. The bottom one is working unit from another supplier. You can see that the resistor and capacitor (between inductor and chip and between chip and bottom left solder pad) are transposed. They probably just loaded the wrong reels. I can fix these but it's a pain in the butt. The seller ended up giving me a partial refund. The middle is where I've desoldered the R and C and swapped them to their correct positions. The issue, however, is that the R is incorrect also resulting in 3.6V... I'll need to buy some parts and fix them.

Saturday, 20th January 2018 - 20:54:34


This is the "Fairy Jar" night light that I created for my Daughter's birthday. I used some nichrome wire to make a hot wire cutter which allows styrofoam to be easily cut leaving a smooth(ish) edge. On top of that went some artificial grass. The foam and grass was banded with some unicorn ribbon to make it look neat and hide the edges. The mushrooms and lillypads came from an eBay China night light (that you'd never in your right mind actually plug into mains!).  There are also some strings of copper wire with LEDs on them. The fairy and the mushrooms came from eBay. I drilled some 1mm holes in the bottoms of those (they are resin) - Into there I epoxied some pins with the heads cut off. This secures them into the grass/foam. It's all electrically joined up under the foam in the middle. There is a hole which goes through the base and pops up in the middle for the cord. More pics in the gallery.

Monday, 15th January 2018 - 20:37:46


Today I built a prototype relay controller which can be controlled via MQTT, but also has built in temperature and humidity sensors. It uses the temperature data to act as a thermostat turning one of the relays on and off at a temperature set point with a few degrees hysteresis (so that it doesn't go nuts switching on and off if it's fluctuating over the set point). Hysteresis "time" can also be added so that I can use the same code for another controller which will control a fridge. You don't want to be turning the compressor on and off rapidly. To get the temperature, the values from two ds18b20s and a dht22 (not pictured) are averaged.

Friday, 12th January 2018 - 11:27:34


About time for a new cabin air filter on the Barina. I don't think it's supposed to be black like that!

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