Another Very Busy Week

tmp9710I’ve been working on all sorts of projects this week, some more successful than others.

I have a new Owon digital Bluetooth multimeter, I’ve done the first of a pair of videos on the Tarantula 3d printer, got my new Doogee Mix 2 smartphone – but first….


tmpDEB6Remember those AleExpress ESP8266 boards with OLED built in? Well, I was falling in love with them for a while as it saves a little wiring and they’re really neat – but then I noted the price go up to way past the cost of an ESP8266+OLED.. and I could even handle that until… SNAP, off came the USB connector.

I’ve done that TWICE now and I am NOT buying any more. the connector for the microUSB simply lies on top of the board and is soldered to  two TINY pads. Had they had the common sense to use bigger pads and/or put a couple of VIAS in, they might’ve been a little more robust but as it is, the whole lot rips off at the drop of a hat and takes the 4 tiny USB wires with it. Repair is all but impossible.   Be warned.  Elsewhere in here there’s a fellow doing a new PCB to handle ESP12 and a 128*64 OLED – so keep an eye out for that.  Other suggestions welcome but beware that some of the products out there, instead of using GPIO4 and GPIO5 for the I2c use different pins or even use SPI – which I could see the point of on a larger display but losing another pin for that tiny display…. erm, no thanks.

OWON B35T+ Digital Bluetooth Multimeter

A new meter turned up for me this morning so I spent part of the morning putting together a video. Finally I can throw away that cheap rubbish meter of mine that fared so badly when tested with the new voltage reference board. See how the Owon manages – and check out the Android App shown on the video.


The + on the end of the name indicates onboard memory. You can initiate recording from the APP in offline mode at which point the meter itself will start recording up tot 10,000 readings. When the app is next connected these can be read back in for viewing.

Tevo Tarantula Printer

I’ve been putting off doing the video for this one as I had some issues – but finally decided to release a part 1 video of the package opening and starting construction. As things stand right now I am in the process of removing (with difficulty) a super thin coating of ABS from the base and learning how to feel violently ill with nail varnish remover at the same time. I’m sure once you’ve messed around with 3D printers for a while, putting a kit together and getting it going is a breeze but for me, totally green on the subject, things didn’t QUITE go as easily as planned.  If you notice any mistakes in this paragraph it is because my head is spinning from excess Acetone (all very nice saying keep a flow of fresh air but it is pouring with freezing cold rain out there).


The New Doogee Mix 2 Phone

Meanwhile my new Doogee Mix 2 phone turned up last week and after getting used to it decided to do a short video on it.  All I can say is apart from one question over the second back camera – which doesn’t seem to do a lot, this was a great decision.


Hope you found that useful. I also got a couple of 24v 12 amp switched mode supplies but you can’t really write much about supplies unless you can test them and I’m still waiting for my programmable test load to turn up – so more on that one later.


33 thoughts on “Another Very Busy Week

  1. Hey Pete,

    I’ve just written a new Linux client for the Owon B35 multimeter. Apparently they changed the chip mid last year and the data transfer protocol changed which broke existing clients.

    I’ve designed my client in the classic Unix tool tradition of doing one thing very well so that it can feed into other tools like gnuplot and mosquito_pub – yep, you can publish real time measurements onto MQTT!

    Check it out at

  2. Wow! Really shocked to hear that Peter.
    My wife suffered a stroke 4 years ago and it was a real life changing event. Hopefully yours is much less severe and you’ll make a good recovery.
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  3. Please get well soon and get acupuncture to help with that (it worked wonders for a dog of ours who had a stroke many years ago). I have enjoyed reading about your adventures in IoT stuff.

  4. I was shocked to hear the news about Peter. Thanks for letting us know.

    Wishing Peter a full and speedy recovery. Get out to Spain when you can and put your feet up in the sun.

  5. Our thoughts are with you. Wish you a complete and full recovery. Take some time to rest and recover. We will be here when you are ready to get back to your excellent blog.

  6. Very sorry to hear about Pete’s health – wishing him a very speedy recovery. Alsway enjoy watching his videos and reading his content. Also – was thinking of him last week when setting up a BigTimer for the Christmas lights!

    Get Well soon Pete

  7. Really sorry to hear about Peter and wish him a complete and full recovery. I’m sure we all look forward to his very informative blogs once he is well again.

  8. So sorry to hear about Pete but glad he’s responding well to treatment. A friend of ours had a stroke only a few weeks ago (also recovering well) but just goes to show how unexpected but yet also so prevalent such things are.

    All the best for a speedy recovery, Pete, and take plenty of rest rather than rushing back. We’ll make sure the other famous IoT bloggers keep us entertained so that you can get some rest over the christmas period.

  9. Aidan Ruff has announced the following under Home Control 2017

    Hi All Pete is in hospital at the moment – he’s had a stroke, so he’s not ignoring you! He’s responding very well to treatment, so fingers crossed he’ll be blogging again soon. We took him his laptop into hospital, so with a bit of luck, he’ll get bored and start writing


    1. Thanks for posting that Allan.

      Good to hear that Pete is responding to treatment. My best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.

  10. Pete

    thank you very much for the review of the Owon multi meter.
    I was looking to but a new one anyway so I ordered one from Amazon.
    It arrived today and the first thing I had to do was to fix the thermocouple… 🙂 It was an easy fix though: the screw in the black connector came off – or rather it was never really connected… Anyway. It works.


  11. how’s that 3D printer coming along? I’m very interested in hearing what you have to say about the printer. I’m looking for an entry level 3D printer and this one is about the right price. The Tarantula seems to have good reviews.

  12. I would like to log battery powered ESP’s that once a minute wakes from sleep.
    Can you see the internal impedance when measuring low currents?

  13. Using acetone to remove ABS from the print surface? Why not a razor blade? That’s what you’ll probably end up using to remove prints from the surface when you get going, anyway.
    I’m probably missing something.

    Also: Straight acetone would be much faster than nail polish remover. You probably wouldn’t have to deal with the fumes for as long. Get a fan; better, get a respirator with the proper filters!

    1. Are you sure it’s supposed to be removed? People go through a lot of trouble preparing their print surface to have a thin coating of ABS to aid in adhesion. I personally use Kapton tape over my glass print surface, and it works great.

        1. That video was talking about PLA – in my experience, it is much easier to get good adhesion with PLA than ABS. But in either case, never touching the print surface is good advice…oily hands will never help adhesion.

  14. No, even if you’re experienced assembling a 3D printer kit can be challenging. And even after you get it assembled it can take a lot of fine tuning to get it printing perfectly. 3D printing is fun and useful, but not for those who don’t enjoy a lot of fiddling.

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