Author archives: timd

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

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Chip

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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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

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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

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Added the merbau end trim to the table top today.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.