Monthly Archives: December 2018

Solar 30 LED Dual Head Light

I’ve had MANY solar lights in my garden over the years, sadly you won’t see that many today as some simply were not designed for the UK climate and had to go. Others lasted just fine but with inadequate light output. Yet others gave out enough light but due to crappy North Eastern England lack of bright sunshine, they too had to go.  This solar 30-LED rotatable dual-head light is the best I’ve seen in a  while – and now tested and in place outside.

Solar Light from Banggood

I’ve had a couple of units that met all the criteria and they are still in action today. I’ve also of course taken some of the best ones to our place in Spain. Today I received what looks like a winner from Banggood – a 30-LED job with movement detection and what looks like a more than adequate solar panel – in fact, what looks like a really GOOD solar panel. This unit had been in the box for weeks so I didn’t hold out much hope of a quick test but it is working just fine on test in my office!

Here’s the link:
Solar Power 30 LED Rotatable Dual Head --

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Bakeey NY01 HR Monitor Smart Watch

The Bakeey NY01 HR Monitor Smart Watch is looking good up to now – nice, solid looking, big display, single real touch button on the side so no fingerprints on the screen.

Bakeey NY01

1.3” display, matt black, 3 decent main time displays with calendar and other info all in one place, magnetic USB, glass screen protector (which I fitted complete with bubbles, sadly). NICE full size display.

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Christmas with Sonoff and Alexa

So, as I mention briefly earlier, I’m now the proud recipient of a number of Itead products including Sonoff Basic which I’ve discussed and used in the past, always with 3rd party software, Sonoff POWR2 (I’ve now used this version before) Sonoff S26G – the UK version of Itead’s smart socket. What;s special about their stuff?

Well, price for one thing, Itead products are available from Amazon and many other outlets but if price is an issue (most IOT hardware is to me grossly overpriced, particularly in the UK where it can cost £20 or more for a simple smart light or socket – dream on, people).

For those Brits who like to get their stuff quickly from, you may find the following link useful:

The normal Amazon price is apparently £9.90, coupon offer is 15% off, i.e. £8.42 after discount. The offer is open from 2018.12.26 to 2019.01.31 – coupon code: F2CYBNAV – this applies to Sonoff Basic. 


Sonoff products

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IkaLogic SP209i

I mentioned this logic analyser device earlier – it turned up this week for me and deserves a little space to itself. This unit plugs into your PC or laptop like other devices from the same company ( which I’ve looked at in the past, including the pocket IkaScope WS200.

For the new product, in the small box you get the SP209 or SP209i analyser device, depending on which option you pick. You also get 10 probe leads, a microUSB cable and a cable comb.


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Holiday Goodness

Phone case“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” – well, certainly here in the Scargill household it is. I’m up early, checking out the Christmas sales on Banggood and GearBest (if I’m missing out, please do let me know!).

tmp33DFI’ve just sent off an AliExpress shopping list including yet another spiffy case for my Pocophone F1, some new bargain LED E27 (screw) 9w lamps and the tiniest yet Bluetooth in-ear Hygrometerphones (QC Q29), a nice cheap wall display and lots more. As requested – link to the cheap display here..

See past the break for IkalLogic and Itead Sonoff updates.

Meanwhile Mr Shark has just sent in this useful looking link for helping to get rid of unwanted rubbish on Debian (Raspbian) – looks like the site hasn’t been administered since 2005 but worth a look anyway.…current version of Deborphan is and the last copyright notice was 2008.

This link refers to a graphical front end for Deborphan for Ubuntu systems. Take care when running any such tools.

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Lenovo HF03X SmartBand

HF03XI picked the HF03X from Gearbest because it seems to have all the right features in a smartwatch/smartband at a reasonable price. Colour, decent battery charge life, pulse, blood pressure, oxygen levels, sleep, sport, notifications, alarm etc.  The last watch from GearBest was the Xiaomi Mi 3 – lovely, gets daily use but it is monochrome. That hasn't stopped my wife loving it but I think that's about to change? Of course, one has to have a working watch and a going out watch so there's room for both.

There’s a single touch point near the bottom of the HF03X colour screen. Pressing that for 3 seconds starts the watch and the screen lights up. The green heart rate sensor is, as usual on the underside of the watch body.

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BigTimer 2.06 update questions answered

I’ve been asked questions about output from my Node-Red-Contrib-BigTimer in the 2.06 update and also the new(ish) “timer X” option. Here is a working demo, I’ve added a timer to my desk with a Sonoff BASIC attached and a lamp to test. Output 1 is as you can see working fine in this demo.


There it is. Set to come on at dusk (it is currently morning). I can do a simple manual override (using an inject for test purposes) until the next ON time or just have a quick 15 minute burst.

Here is the setup in the node itself… set to work all months and days by default.

Bigtimer code

The injects have “1”, “0”, “auto” and “timer 15 mins” in them, respectively.

And the short answer is, yes you can see the remaining time in the "timer" option and you now have a "timeoff" alternative.

I also tested the second output to ensure that 00:00/00:00 works as does a short morning burst.

Incidentally, second output – msg.precision – tells you how much time in seconds is left before the "timer" and "timeoff"  modes runs out.

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T12 Digital Temperature Controlled Soldering Station

Another potential winner from Banggood, or rather would be, if I’d had my act together when ordering. The V2.1S T12 Digital Temperature Controlled Soldering Station is a small, neat soldering station complete with iron and combined bit/element – it looks good and well built.  I would advise getting spare parts – see below.

T12 Soldering Station

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Bakeey Fabric Protective Case for Pocophone F1

Christmas could well be arriving early, I got more post this morning… first off the new case for my Xiaomi Pocophone F1 which, I may add (and thanks to Antonio for reminding me to upgrade) now also has Android 9 Pie.

Bakeey case for Pocophone

I didn’t have high expectations as many of these cases look great in the ads but then look like crap in reality. This one really looks nice and feels solid. Link over the break.

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