Monthly Archives: May 2018

Bluetooth Speaker Giveaway

Uptated June 10, 2018.

You will have seen my blog entry recently about goodies from Inateck including their The BP1109 Bluetooth speaker which I’m now using a lot… it is lovely. Well, they wanted another bite at the cherry so to be in with a chance to win one of these speakers free-gratis, simply do two things.. find the (very) recent goodies blog entry which now has a link to their Facebook page, FOLLOW their page and leave a comment in the same goodies blog entry (you must be a registered user of this blog to do that) to say you follow their Facebook page and would like one of the Bluetooth speakers free gratis. On 10th of June lunchtime UK time, I will look at the comments, pick one reader at random and send their email address to Inateck who will then get in touch with the winner directly to send off the speaker to them. A lot easier to do than to explain. This is genuine, no catches. You’ll find I’ve put Inateck’s Facebook link in the original blog entry.


Plant watering Fiasco

As more technical people wake up to the folly of trying to use simple resistive DC plant moisture sensors, it seems the Chinese have latched onto the idea of capacitive sensing…

Capacitive sensor

And here it is, the sensor that is all over Ebay right now at am amazingly low £2 inc free shipping, that is until the UK rip-off artists get hold of it and at least double that price, which they’ve already done. If you are happy to sit over your plants waiting for a quiet “beep” – not quite so practical then, not to mention the constant supply of new battery pairs.

And definitely not to mention that the easily corroded batteries and active end are only an inch or two away from the waterproof, non-corrosive sensor end. Perhaps where the designers live the soil doesn’t move and there is no rain or snow.

Continue reading Plant watering Fiasco


Big Timer Status

I occasionally get comments in the blog about people having problems with BigTimer, virtually all get resolved by users themselves and it is quite some time since BigTimer has actually had any problems, so for clarification, here it is working alongside Blynk, inject nodes and with MQTT. I am currently in the UK and it is currently 11.45am here in Blighty.

This particular timer is set to turn a light on at dusk and off again at midnight, unless manually overridden by an inject node or by Blynk (I’ve created a button on my phone which can turn on the output or restore it to auto).  I hope soon to have multi-state button as this has been introduced in Blynk (but I can’t get it to actually work (at least not using the local Blynk server).

Big Timer Status


Goodies from Inateck

In today’s postbag came three items from Inateck, namely a lovely small, well packaged Bluetooth plus aux input, a USB powered Bluetooth loudspeaker, completed with leads. The unit also supports a microSD card.

Also in the post from the same company, a tiny Bluetooth receiver/transmitter and a quality dual-phone mains charger (not to be confused with a simple USB hub which cannot provide any additional voltage for high speed charging).

Products from Inateck




Continue reading Goodies from Inateck


Deceitful Advertising

Sometimes I wonder what has happened to trading standards in the Internet age. Today it is apparently perfectly ok to lie through your teeth when advertising, particularly when you can later hide behind the language barrier.

See particularly bollocks advert here at AliExpress. They don’t do themselves or  us any favours allowing rubbish like this…

  5v 6amp means 30w, not 40w as claimed and how can the output be fixed at 5v when the unit also claims to support Quickcharge 3?  Utter waste of time.


FY6800 Signal Generator

In today’s postbag, the new Feeltech FY6800 dual channel Signal Generator, complete with UK power lead, two bnc test leads, USB lead and bnc-bnc lead. However the unit came with no instructions or other paperwork. I assume a manual will follow later. The unit arrived well-packed via FedEx.


Lovely to look at and extremely comprehensive in operation, the FY6800 is a compact unit that belies the vast range of functions it handles.

Continue reading FY6800 Signal Generator


More Home Control 2019

As of version 1.5.61 (now on 2.3.18 or higher) of the Home Control 2019 code,  I’ve  expanded the {debug} command considerably, added new Hitachi display commands and introduced a new MQTT topic called “otacomplete”. Here is the Bitbucket repository for the ESP8266 project, referred to also as ESP-GO.

The Hitachi commands are documented in the manual.  As for the new(ish) MQTT topic, this is so that, should you choose to OTA update a unit remotely, you have some means to know asap that it is working.  In the event of an OTA update, the unit will send out the following MQTT message:

topic : otacomplete
payload: [the ID of the unit]

Typical serial on-demand debug output at the time of writing – for a test unit with ID “freddy” – with passwords changed to protect the innocent:

Time: 09:07:05 11/05/2018
Time Code: 1470906425
Dusk: 21:08 Dawn: 07:22
On1: 08:00 Off1: 12:00 On2: 15:00 Off2: 23:00 Peak: 23c Off-peak: 19c Frost: 14c
IP: 192:168:1:25
Internal ID: ARPS_00A68508
ID: freddy
DESC: empty
SSID: wififorus (Active)  Pass: xxxxxxxx
SSID2: wififorus  Pass2: xxxxxxxxx
MQTT Host: Port: 1883 User: admin
OTA Host:  Port: 80
Code Version: 1.5.61
SDK Version: 2.0.0(656edbf)
RSSI: -48
Out0: 0
Out4: 0
Out5: 1
Out12: 0
Out15: 0
Out16: 0
Sensor Type: DHT22
Temperature Port: GPIO2
GPIO13 available for general use: No
GPIO2 is an input
Sonoff setting=0
WiFi button=2
Invert settings=HEX( 1)
Serial2 settings=0
RGB Indicator=1
No LED clock
CPU frequency: 80Mhz
Free Heap: 16680 bytes
Up Time: 0:05:04


The Nano Peripheral Update

I mentioned recently in an entry aimed at beginners, that I’ve been installing “the script” and my ESP8266 code on various devices. I now have a backed-up Raspberry Pi 3B+ board set up for testing, with the latest Raspbian and fully up to date Node-Red nodes including my own and running “the script”, talking to (in this case) a pair of Wemos D1 Mini boards, one of which has my Nano-based peripheral added.

Nano peripheral

Continue reading The Nano Peripheral Update