Monthly Archives: November 2018

New Toys in the USA

Currently we’re over in the USA for Thanksgiving which seems to be a curious mix of reasons to eat, drink and shop even more than usual. Add to the mix Black Friday and Cyber Monday and apart from the weather (it is truly cold in Chicago right now) this is certainly a great time of the year, especially for bargain-hunting techies.

The very first thing I noticed when out shopping, was the large number of huge 4K TVs available in the likes of Best Buy. In the Northeast of England, these 55”+ monsters are still expensive and far from the norm, with a few exceptions such as occasional deals at Aldi (our latest 4K TV is an Aldi purchase). At Best Buy, 4K seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

4k tv sample

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NO.1 G8 MT2502 Blood Pressure Heart Rate Monitor Smart Watch

I just received this nice looking watch – the NO.1 G8 MT2502 Blood Pressure Heart Rate Monitor Smart Watch — https://goo.gl/R1Dg6p

No 1 WatchYes, I agree, what an odd name for a watch – yet despite all that, this one could be a winner. At first glance, in my case, the USB connection seemed really poor and the watch seemed determined to disconnect from charging despite trying various leads using a standard size-mount microUSB power connection.

On reflection I realised that all that is needed, is a slightly longer than normal microUSB connector head. I’m sure I’ll have one lying around somewhere. The watch of course comes with a lead but I have a tendency to lose USB  leads constantly.

The strap which is of course made of plastic, looks good.

You get a choice of watch faces (not expandable) as you can see and mine came with both black and red straps. It has phone, bracelet and watch modes as well as a tempered glass screen. Continue reading NO.1 G8 MT2502 Blood Pressure Heart Rate Monitor Smart Watch

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A very busy week for Home Control

Having discovered some less than ideal historical settings in ESP-GO, today I’ve removed all commands which could OUTPUT to GPIO0. a throwback to the old ESP-01 days. I’ve also updated some default input bounce settings and improved the little-documented DEBUG2 command which lets you see the state of inputs on the serial terminal (I abandoned my own serial terminal some time ago in favour of the excellent and free YAT). The current software will be parked and esp-go-3 will appear, with GPIO 4 and 5 correctly used as boards with incorrect markings are by now likely out of circulation.  While working on using SDK 3.1 (without success as the SDK appears to use more space than before) I’ve actually GAINED plenty of RAM to continue to expand with SDK 2.1 (which works a treat).

JLCPCBCoincidentally, Aidan’s new boards are already into revision 2 to cater for the changes and to make some clearance improvements. Here are some pics. The board will be “revision 2” but this one will serve the purpose of demo.

We had these 2-sided boards made from Aidan’s design and Gerbers at JLCPCB and I must say the price and quality were just right.

Relay board

Continue reading A very busy week for Home Control

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HT-175 Infrared Thermal Imager

IR CameraI’ve wanted one of these hand held imagers since I heard of the FLIR – but could never justify the cost – NOW I have one of my very own.  I’m quite excited.

Even then the price – indeed it is Banggood (I’m sure they won’t appreciate that).

HT-175 Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera Thermal Imager — https://goo.gl/3MCC1M

Likely there are a billion uses for these hand-help gadgets (this one comes with a spare battery pack) but my first priority as we are refurbishing the house, is to check where the highest heat losses are.

First of all, then, the box photo:

Box photo

Heat loss through windows

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Solar Motion Sensor Light

Why am I using a stock photo here? Because the weather in our garden right now is pretty naff, that’s why. This is the latest sensor light I’ve picked up from Banggood as we settle back down into Willow Cottage after gutting the place (if you saw the state the long-term tenants left it in you’d know why I say gutting). But I digress – not only is this sensor light solid looking but right now (Early November 2018) Banggood are having yet another sale and this is CHEAP.

Solar Sensor Light

And here is the link –

Solar Power 20 LED PIR Motion Sensor Wall Light — https://goo.gl/XguUgH

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RFLink and Node-Red

RFLink Board and MegaA little while ago I went to stay with my pal Jonathan and he had some Byron doorbell pushes to play with.

This article updated 09/11/2018 to fix negative temperatures

He showed me a universal RF 433Mhz receiver board he purchased which could look at the signals from the various kids of 433Mhz standard transmitting units.

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Box Nirvana

Cheap boxes

We recently started on a new project for ESP-GO and this time made the board to fit the box – always sensible if you have the freedom to do this.

Well, here’s the box we used – from our friends at Banggood.  As Thompsons travel used to say: Much cheapness. 10 off £5.08 the lot or under £17 for 60 of them.

More’s the point they are good looking and vented.

https://www.banggood.com/10pcs-75-x-54-x-27mm-DIY-Plastic-Project-Housing-Electronic-Junction-Case-Power-Supply-Box-p-1168741.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CNhttps://www.banggood.com/10pcs-75-x-54-x-27mm-DIY-Plastic-Project-Housing-Electronic-Junction-Case-Power-Supply-Box-p-1168741.html&cur_warehouse=CN&utm_source=Youtube&utm_medium=cussku&utm_campaign=247370_111111&utm_content=1087

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NEW PCB for ESP-GO

You might just like this – I do!

Standard problem number one: finding a none-home-made-looking box for the new project. Standard problem number 2: NOT taking a simple on-off light or heater design and turning it into a wife/husband-provoking nightmare with low-voltage boards needing separate mains power supplies. Collectively these have ben plaguing me for years.

The box

Well, this time we make have it cracked.. first – the box – this is CHEAP from Banggood, LOVELY and useful if you can find boards that will fit inside. Next – yes it has vents top and bottom – handy for thermostats etc.

https://www.banggood.com/10pcs-75-x-54-x-27mm-DIY-Plastic-Project-Housing-Electronic-Junction-Case-Power-Supply-Box-p-1168741.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CNhttps://www.banggood.com/10pcs-75-x-54-x-27mm-DIY-Plastic-Project-Housing-Electronic-Junction-Case-Power-Supply-Box-p-1168741.html&cur_warehouse=CN&utm_source=Youtube&utm_medium=cussku&utm_campaign=247370_111111&utm_content=1087

Continue reading NEW PCB for ESP-GO

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