Category Archives: General

Welcoming in 2018

Here we are in 2018 and I'm sure it will be another great year for IOT.

It could be a while before I'm back in the driving seat but for those who have been firing in questions about my health, just to let you know that I am still in hospital and am getting physiotherapy with more to come.

Armed with only a mobile phone, creating new content could be a challenge for now but I will do my best to answer comments and even add some short replies.

Thanks to everyone for your support and a special thanks to my brloved wife and good friends for making this a lot less depressing than it would have been otherwise.




Why has Peter been so quiet?

I'm posting this entry on behalf of Peter (my name is Jonathan - a long time friend of Peter who he has mentioned a few times in the blog). Peter says:
"Unfortunately last Friday (December 15th) I was taken ill and find myself in hospital. While I am making a slow but steady recovery, it will be a few weeks before I am well enough to continue my adventures in electronics, but In the meantime I hope to have a few guest posts and will be keeping up with any conversations as best I can. Jonathan will post some updates on my health and my friend MrShark will try and help with any technical queries. Please do keep an eye on the blog and I look forward to resuming normal service as soon as I am able.

Christmas RGB Animation

Cloe admiring my Christmas lights

My ESP8266 home control code contains not only RGB code for serial LEDs but also a complete programming setup to generate and loop sequences… and so with merely one wire and VERY  little work, we end up with some fancy animation.

Here we see an old, gutted plastic Christmas window decoration which WAS filled with old fashioned white lights but now has a string of 69 serial LEDs running animation around the inside.

I made one of these last year but when it came to trying out my animated LED Christmas lighting this year – nothing happened – dead. After wasting hours I remembered I’d changed the code earlier this year so for anyone using my ESP8266 software and wanting to knock up a quick Christmas animation – here it is…

Continue reading Christmas RGB Animation


Boxes Galore

Boxes from Banggood

Nothing special - just boxes. Those with working 3D printers please ignore me. For the rest… I just took delivery of 20 boxes at less than 50p each and I think this is the best box purchase I’ve ever made – got them from Banggood though I’m sure you can get them elsewhere. The link is above.

Inside size is 50mmx70mmx 25-26mm deep. There is a keyhole in the back for mounting and vents top and bottom.

I have to tell you I have a million uses for these – you could easily get an ESP12 plus whatever sensor in there and having the vents at top and bottom is great. There are mounting posts in the bottom, 2mm x 62mm and you'd need holes 5mm dia.

Continue reading Boxes Galore


INA3221 v INA219

tmp19F7Voltage and current monitoring

The INA3221 or rather one of the boards based around it, allows for a single power input and up to 3 power outputs –each monitoring voltage and current and all done via I2c.

You can (almost) think of this as a triple INA219 – the bidirectional current power monitor. If you recall, a little while ago, I added the INA219 to my ESP8266 software. I thought the INA3221 board might be better than three of the INA219 boards – but read on…

Continue reading INA3221 v INA219


A busy Week

It has been a busy week this week – with lots of new things happening.

Firstly, there is a brand new update to the RFLINK software, IMHO the best software around for decoding and transmitting signals for a wide range of RF devices – such as weather stations and remote controls – in my case using 433Mhz.  See the short video update I did on this one.

Here’s a link to a blog entry I wrote months ago on the same subject. tmpC114Then I’ve been working on the DPS5020 and DPS3003 power supply boards which have provided HOURS of entertainment.  I’ve spoken with the designer and I think this stuff has a good future because of the kind of direct support they are keen to give – and because the stuff just works. In a couple of weeks there’s a new board from the same source and when my new scope arrives I’ll be using that and the load tester to give it a hammering.

I’ve had a play with my little EM125 pocket (well, large pocket) oscilloscope and in the process of playing with these two, discovered the need for a decent signal generator and dummy load – both of these are on the way and will be covered in the coming weeks – along with some other exciting incoming stuff like a new 3D printer and a “proper” desktop scope.


MEANWHILE I’ve not gone off the boil with the uninterruptible supply, FAR from it but Aidan and I have been waiting for a PCB to turn up. It came earlier this week and we’ve been getting that working – of course, as you might expect, in the process of doing that we’ve thought of better ways of doing things, so the present PCB is going in the bin and a newer, smaller, better design will be forthcoming, most likely before Christmas.

Oh and not to  forget the new Alexa feature – using it as an Intercom – that is MARVELLOUS.

Lots happing in the next few weeks….so make a note to look in – or better, if you’ve not yet subscribed to the newsletter on the right panel of the blog) – please do!

A quick thanks to all of you who feed back constantly on the blog and on my videos and for all those who provide new ideas and new links – what a great time to be interested in technology.


INA219 IC2 Added to ESP8266 code

tmp9EC4Just a minor addition to my ESP8266 code – the INA219. Set to 32 volts, 2 amps by default, this i2c addition works with the cheap 0x40 addressed boards – I found them as low as under £2 – these little wonders can measure high side voltage and current !

So in a typical solar situation you might attach the ground to the board – and use it’s 2-way terminal to break the high-side output to your load.  You can tell the incoming voltage – and via a 0.1r resistor on the board, which leads to VERY low voltage loss – you can read the current. You could of COURSE parallel another 0.1r resistor onto the board to double the current etc. I will be trying all of that soon.

Continue reading INA219 IC2 Added to ESP8266 code