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

Fast 3D printed boxes

Intro Finding the proper box for my sensors is not easy. But even after finding one that mostly worked, I wanted to explore more sensors and still have a bit of freedom while doing that. Of course, that means 3D printing with the new 3D printer. There is just one problem …. 3D printed boxes take a long time to 3D print. An example Here is the newest sensor module I designed, which can fit… Continue reading

10002 I2C connectors

Intro In my first iteration of sensors I relied on wire connections between sensors and the actual node board. The result for a motion sensor and a temperature and humidity sensor looks like this The problem with that is that during sensor modules assembly run I spend quite a bit of time on the wiring. On top of that, the result is a mess of small wires inside a box. It makes it hard to… 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

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

Simple audio mixer

Intro I have one low cost TPA3116 amplifier which has got more usage than I initially thought. I ended up using it in the living room, it provides enough power and burns only 0.7W from the mains while ON, with no signal. So low that I don’t need to worry about shutting it down when there is no signal, so it’s on all the time. So on to the problem: I need to use it with… Continue reading