10002 Screens and controls

Intro There is no point in having a smart home if you don’t see interesting information or control things. The traditional way, ever since the concept of smart home came to be, is to have some sort of central control panel for everything. In today’s world, that would be a tablet. In my attempt to do that, I ran into the control panel horror. What else? In parallel to this, I thought about the idea… Continue reading

10002 Zen

Zen At some point I though about building the smallest PCB for a sensor node that I could. Hence, the ZEN was born. The PCB is small enough to fit on a holder of 2 AA batteries. Where I have only build a few of these. Here is one reading the soil moisture sensor on basil. Here is another one chilling in the fridge, reading a temperature sensor. And here is one replacing the alarm… Continue reading

10002 Short assembly run no 2

Intro It is quite clear that my smart home project is going quite slow and erratic. Following the other assembly, I made another batch of 5 sensor nodes. These are meant to use the new soil sensors, once they arrive. Since plants will be both outside and inside and we are talking about rain and water, the sensors will go into waterproof boxes, with the soil sensor connected via a cable. So, this assembly is due… Continue reading

The basil speaks to me

Intro Part of my home automation system is monitoring the well-being of various other non-human species around the house. So i started with the plants. Since they are mostly fixed creatures and generally require only water input from humans, monitoring the soil humidity is a good start. How There are quite a few ways to measure how much water is in the soil, some of them described here. But the internet shops are full of… Continue reading

GPP-4323 power supply review

Intro I spent quite a bit of time trying to design a digitally controlled power supply. I even have some prototypes and three articles, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. One day it hit me: across the years, I built multiple prototypes, spent a lot of time on it and never ended up anywhere. Why? because I did not really need one and I did not have any pressure to build one. So this… Continue reading

New 3D printer

Intro My first 3D printer was a Prusa i3 clone, which I got as a kit, installed and made some changes to reduce noise. It proven to be full of problems. I could never print ABS with it, there were consistent extrusion problems. The glass bed and glue for adhesion took a while to get going, was time consuming and dirty. Some of the 3D printed extruder parts were constantly failing and I had to… Continue reading

10002 Control panel horror

Intro I have been making some slow progress with my smart home project. I have completed a small assembly run of motion sensors, there are plenty of things that are working and I shifted some focus on making a control panel. What I normally want is a control interface that works well from both a PC and a phone. Bonus if it can look nice on a tablet to have one real control panel on… Continue reading

The coolness of RGB LEDs

Intro Ahhhh LEDs….don’t we love them? Today there is a huge variety of them. But there is one type I particularly like. These 5 mm RGB diffused LEDs, easily available from various sources and quite cheap (amazon.de, aliexpress, ebay etc). Here’s why I like them They are super bright. According to some datasheet which may or may not be what you are buying from less reputable sources, the green LED peaks at 5000 mcd at… Continue reading

10002 Short assembly run

Brief progress It is quite clear that my smart home project is going quite slow. It is not that I spent a lot a time on it, but that I have been pretty busy with other life things. But it is moving again now. Check out another batch of assembly. Motion sensors assembly Once I settled on the type of motion sensor and case, I designed some sensor PCBs . I made a small assembly… Continue reading