Category Archives: General

USB Soldering Iron TS100

I’ve been kindly sent a rather neat tiny soldering iron my the name of TS100. Here are the links: UK: https://ebay.to/JOYaOC and CA: https://ebay.to/2HrYJQ5

tmp8DC3This unit comes in a small box with nothing more than the iron (with tip separated for storage) and an allen key with two spare small locking screws as well as a small leaflet. The iron can be controlled and set up by USB.

Here is the full boxed unit and below that, the assembled iron (which took seconds to put together).

Indeed, writing the blog took longer than opening and assembling this  iron.

The unit has USB but this is only for setup with the OLED display, the iron needing 12v to function. In my case the instructions that come with the iron state that you should go to miniware.com.cn for the latest firmware. After spending time on the wrong site (miniware.com) before eventually getting to the correct site, I still could not find that software. It is however easier to find alternative software for the iron, see comments.. Also they suggest pressing button A to enter DFU mode (bad idea assuming everyone knows what that means). There are no markings on the buttons but button B is nearest to the little display with A further away.

Then I had to go looking for a suitable 12v supply, no mention in the instructions about using 12v and USB at the same time. I tried both and either way I kept getting a config message then a logo but no temperature reading and the iron would not heat up. It turns out that my 12v power supply was not up to the mark (amperage-wise). That will have to wait until I’m near a better supply when I get back from holiday.

.tmp1D4A

That’s how things stand, when I hear from the supplier and get further, I’ll amend the blog.

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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 three Raspberry Pi 2 boards set up for testing, all with the latest Raspbian on them and running “the script”.

I have a number of ESP8266 boards running with my general purpose code on them, all identical other than ID. Add to that one to dozens of my Nano peripheral…

Nano peripheral

Continue reading The Nano Peripheral Update

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IKALOGIC WS200 and SQ200

In today’s mailbag I received a box containing an IKALOGIC WS200 hand held scope and an SQ200 logic analyser.

SQ200 and WS200 unitsThese French-made units are oscilloscope and logic analyser respectively and they arrived in attractive packaging, directly from IKALOGIC in Limoges, France. Translations to English are spot-on, if only some others used the same care.

The packaging as it turns out was not only attractive but functional as the box arrived without any of the usual marks or dents.

To use these units it is necessary to visit  the IKALOGIC web site to grab the software which  is available for Windows/Mac/Linux/Android/IOS

Continue reading IKALOGIC WS200 and SQ200

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More of my Postbag

It could take some time before I’m fully fought up with my various postbags, here is some more:

Yokogawa TY720 True RMS Digital Multimeter

In the last entry I looked at the UNI-T UT61E Digital Multimeter in this entry I’ll talk about the Yokogawa TY720 True RMS Digital Multimeter.

Yokogawa  TY720

The TY720 is a solid unit and could well become my favourite meter. As well as the usual voltage, current and resistance measurements, this rather large, backlit, 5-digit beauty (which has closed-case calibration) has data memory and does diode testing, capacitance,  frequency measurement and more. Measurements can be absolute or relative and you can select min, max, average with auto-hold, data hold and more.

Frequency measurement is from 2Hz to 100Khz and temperature readings  from –200c to 1372c (with optional probe for temperature. I did not receive one of these).

The meter runs on 4 AA cells. Too early at this point to say how long they will last but it is easy to replace the batteries. Construction looks fine and overall appearance is good. At this point I can’t find anything negative to say. Operating temperature at –20c to +55c is outside of anything my unit will encounter.

All in all, a very nice meter.

I also have a very nice Owon meter with Bluetooth but as that is currently in storage, a review will have to wait a little while, meanwhile there is far, far more in the current batch of post that I still need to cover.

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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 beloved wife and good friends for making this a lot less depressing than it would have been otherwise.

Pete

 

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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.
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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

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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

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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

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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.

tmp4A85

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.

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