Category Archives: General

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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Lenovo HF03X Colour Smart Watch

HF03XI picked the HF03X from Gearbest because it seems to have all the right features at a reasonable price. Colour, what is looking to be 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.

tmpDB5D

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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EleksMaker Pro Laser Engraver

Update December 12, 2018
Earlier this year I put together this excellent A3 laser engraving machine. Originally, a 500mW laser module arrived complete with its own power supply (the laser which was not included in the basic kit). It turns out that was the wrong laser and now I have the 2300mW violet laser complete with upgraded 2.5A power supply. In the photo you also see the (important) green protective glasses that came with the kit.

Cutting door signs with Eleksmaker

With help from my friend Aidan who has extensive experience with 3D printers and similar, we’re now putting together some Perspex door signs for bedrooms at Willow Cottage using the Eleksmaker engraver (Sylvan Azure and Occitane are the bedroom names for the door signs).

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H96 Max Plus USB 3 TV Box

imageThe H96 Max+  is, how can I put it, wonderful. It has Android 8.1, both WIFI and high speed Ethernet, 4k HD video (yes, I have a 4K TV) 32GB storage (4GB internal RAM), USB 3.0, HDMI output and more. At the time of writing, it is a very low £38.87 at Banggood.

At this point I would normally send you off to look at the ad but in this case you might be put off as it is the usual gloss complete with language errors. The unit deserves so much more.

I’ve tried all manner of TV boxes from PCB level Android units to full blown Android TV. The former generally work but often need some technical knowledge to set up and often come with old versions of Android, The "Android TV" units (as against full Android which this unit supports) are, in my experience, a let-down.

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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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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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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

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British v Spanish Mobile Phone Service Providers

Well, of course, everyone has their own story, this is mine. As some f you know, we spent 3 months of our summer in Spain, most of it with me recovering from illness and so probably more than ever, having a working mobile contract was very important this year.

We’ve moved home in the UK and moved in shortly before heading off to Spain. In the sleepy village of Wark on Tyne we now have excellent home broadband thanks to Vodafone who, despite having no mobile signal in the village, managed to achieve what BT could not (despite all the grants and other funding the latter has had over the years), that is, Vodafone offer a sub-£30 a month fibre80 Mb download, 20Mb upload home broadband service – and it WORKS – and their router is not a toy. Contrast that with Plusnet who gave me two toy routers which were unreliable and useless and after a year (and a new contact) gave me a decent router.

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