Electronics

Building an ESP32 Light Controller

In this post I am going to do a deep dive into the electronics design for my simulated sunrise/sunset aquarium light project. If you have not read that post, I recommend starting with that. Disclosure: JLCPCB is sponsoring my projects, but I had already been a big fan of their …

Electronics

Oscilloscope Current Measurement on the Cheap

I have been spending a lot of time working on microcontroller power optimisation recently, and not having a current probe for my oscilloscope has been quite inconvenient. Working with current optimisation without a current probe is like designing a circuit without an oscilloscope – shooting in the dark. Can I …

Electronics

Simulating Sunrise/Sunset For My Aquarium

Why? This is what I started with: It’s… fine, but the lighting left a lot to be desired. Lighting is not just aesthetic – those are real plants, and plants require light for photosynthesis. A lot more light than most people imagine! In a tank of this size, with plants …

Project Log

Building a Bamboo Planter (aka My Neighbours’ Cats’ Toilet)

I live in a huge apartment block on the ground floor with a private garden facing a large communal garden. The view is nice, but the lack of privacy bothers me, so I have taken to growing bamboo to make a living privacy screen. I don’t want to use commercial …

Tutorial

Silicone Casting with 3D Printed Moulds

Why? Silicone can be used to make all sorts of things, but perhaps the most popular application is sex toys. There are huge variations in personal preferences, and if you are designing your own, you can make it exactly how you like it. Have a really good toy that’s just …

Electronics
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Using KiCad with JLCPCB Assembly Service

TLDR: Click here. A Bit of History I remember when I first started making PCBs in ~2010, our low spec (8 mil min traces / 8 mil min spacing) 2-layer boards costed $133 for 4 copies. Special academic pricing. There were services like Sparkfun’s BatchPCB and OSH Park that were …

Electronics

Designing a 13A Arduino Motor Shield

I am currently working on a tensile strength testing rig that will be detailed in a future post, but as part of that project, I need an Arduino shield that can drive a 12V/13A linear actuator. Electrically speaking, linear actuators are just DC motors. However, because I need to be …

Tutorial

Video Editing on Linux – Action Cam SCUBA Diving Videos

I wouldn’t call myself a photographer or videographer, but I do have an action cam (Sony FDR-X3000), and often document my adventures with it. You can see some of my videos on my YouTube channel if you are so inclined (and I’d be honoured!) – it’s mostly flying, gliding, and …

Project Log

UnnaturalLight – Part 2: Electrical Design

Blinking a few LEDs… how hard can it be? As it turned out, harder than I thought it would be! As the LEDs draw about 1W each, and I am using 48 per lamp, thermal management is the main challenge. The desired function is simple enough – a controller that …

Project Log

UnnaturalLight – Part 1: Mechanical / Optical Design

Lamps come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. For this first design, I wanted something relatively simple and small, but easily scalable to larger designs later if necessary. What I settled on is a rectangular desk lamp made out of acrylic panels, with LED chips, mounted on a custom …