Your Favourite Pi Things

tmp423DOn the blog here we refer often to “the script” which sets up a whole raft of useful tools on SBCs such as the Raspberry Pi – and we’re always on the look out for new and improved tools. But let’s here from YOU!

So we already know from extensive development of the script, that Mosquitto is a GREAT and powerful MQTT broker, that Grafana is a fabulous graphing tool, we know that Node-Red is an incredibly easy and powerful development environment which is GREAT for IOT. We know that MC is a good command line editor and file manager and that for Alexa users, HA-Bridge can make interfacing to just about any device a snap.  Read on…

Continue reading Your Favourite Pi Things


Another ESP32

tmp397FIt seems that ESP32 boards are now coming down in price and increasing in number.

In today’s mailbag, this little number entitled WeMos® TTgo ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth Board 4MB Flash UNO D1 R32.

This isn’t the cheapest ESP32 out there (though it is not expensive either)  - some of the simpler ones with merely 2 lines of connectors and a USB socket are cheaper – but then they’re not size compatible with Arduino boards (if that is important to you).

Continue reading Another ESP32


The Kitchen Sink

This is the story of the evolution of an uninterruptible power supply for the likes of Raspberry Pi etc.  It takes over where various posts about UPS leave off, the last (detailed) entry being “The Dog’s Breakfast” – in  the search for a low-cost UPS and for individual micro boards and having been less than happy with much of what is out there. The latest video on this is on Youtube.

The Kitchen Sink

Continue reading The Kitchen Sink


4D Systems Gen4 IOD

My wife’s Chumby is on it’s last legs – and was about to go in the bin until along came a fortunate coincidence to save the day.

ChumbySome time ago, 4D Systems sent me one of their LCD touch-screens. As many of you know I’m interested in the range of boards that ITEAD do with intelligence built in – all you have to do is talk to them serially and send commands – they also send serial back when defined areas are touched.

With that in mind, 4D sent me one of their boards to test. Well, thanks to one thing or another and it got put to one side, until this weekend…

Continue reading 4D Systems Gen4 IOD


YAT and ESP8266

For some years now I’ve been using my own serial terminal for ESP8266 development – not any more!

As fervent readers will know, over a period of time I’ve developed software for the phenomenally useful ESP8266 and you can find out more about that, here, suffice it to say it is likely the most comprehensive code for general use of the ESP8266 out there, focussing on MQTT communication so to be particularly useful for central controllers with MQTT access such as “the script” makes available via Node-Red on a range of microcontrollers, for example for my own home control setup.

Update 17/10/2017 - New release today

Continue reading YAT and ESP8266


More Alexa Marvels

Some of you may recall that in the dim and distant past, Aidan and I wrote a SKILL for Amazon’s Alexa – which let us do anything by simply passing the speech back to Node-Red… and we could sent text as speech to Alexa. Well, that relied on SSL port access and writing skills and… we’re still waiting for something easier and so without effort, that arbitrary response is still  a little way off, but..

If you want REAL EASY  - read on. (updated 13/10/2017)

Continue reading More Alexa Marvels


ESP8266 Lies and Deceit

tmpCE60It never ceases to amaze me when looking through Ebay, the level to which companies or individuals are prepared try to mislead the public or at best are simply unable to form sentences correctly. Some even tell outright lies.

Let’s take one of my favourite subjects, the ESP8266 boards. Way back in the past, ESP8266 life started off with the ESP-01 module, comprising an ESP8266, 512KB FLASH and most of the connections NOT brought out. Being surface mount, only the most agile could solder pins to get the extra outputs – but – we were all new to this – and what a bargain, for just a couple of pounds you could have a crippled ESP8266 and actually turn things on and off via WIFI.

Continue reading ESP8266 Lies and Deceit


The Script and RPI 3 Update

Having started putting together “the script” a long time ago, long before the Raspberry Pi 3 came out – and having developed it to handle a wide range of boards and scenarios including of course the Pi3, I found it interesting to return today to installing “the script” on the Raspberry Pi 3 – and of course I wanted to ensure that nothing had changed recently which might stop others doing the same.

Continue reading The Script and RPI 3 Update