driving a string of anti parallel LEDs

Intro I have quite a few strings of LEDs with clips for photos. Never thought it was much more than a gimmick when i got the first one, but they do make for nice and personal decor with the photos attached. So naturally the next step is to control them through the home automation system. The first one was easy, there were all LEDs in parallel and an ESP8266 module and a tranzistor was all… Continue reading

The stupidity of thin laptops

Disclaimer: don’t take this article too seriously, it’s a rant. But it does highlight the problems in the industry. The need My 7 year old laptop needs replacement and I thought I would go for a more powerful, thin, beautiful new one. Most of the use is still going to be light: web browsing, document work, video watching, some CAD design, some coding and the occasional data analysis (CPU/GPU intensive) and .. not going to lie… Continue reading

Ikea TRÅDFRI review

Intro Part of my home automation project I would have some controllable lights, of course. On one hand, I used quite a few LED strips, controlled by dimmer modules. On the other, current technology allows for a plethora of wireless light bulbs.  Philips HUE is probably the biggest and best known because it has existed for quite a long time, but I am not that attracted due to the price. Once Ikea came up with… Continue reading

TP-Link KL50 smart light bulb teardown

Intro When I saw this KL50 wifi light bulb on sale, I thought I want to grab one and see what is inside. A quick search revealed no details about the insides of filament WiFi light bulbs. Short review The light worked well from the start, discovering and connecting it through the WiFi was straight up. It does what it promises, quite a nice diffuse and rather warm light. I have slightly colder lights in… Continue reading

Technology I want

Intro Sometimes in life you find that there is a piece of tech you would like to have but it’s not there. Well, here’s my list. In general, things in the list are either a combination of things or small feature additions. But everything here is totally possible, not some imagined magical devices. Occasionally, there may be something that is highly unpopular, but still present in the market. The article changes, as I add new ideas… Continue reading

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

The basil speaks to me

Check out part 2, where the basil is watered automatically. 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… 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