Category: General

Feb 08

WiFi Parabolic antenna

The Photon that runs my garage door is of course out in the garage. It’s pretty far from the WiFi router and seems to be dropping the Particle cloud network connect more often that I would like. To that end, I used a parabolic reflector on the current “rubber duck” omni-directional antenna. Parabolic reflector is …

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Nov 25

Fun stuff with Google Home

Fun stuff today is making Google Home speak on command

Nov 05

PHP script to control ipDatatel alarm interface

Trying to get my home alarm system cooperating with Google Home without a vendor provided interface.  Results are here.

Sep 17

In-place debugging a Particle Photon

So the question came up, how to debug code on an installed Particle Photon.  Normally I’d use the USB serial port and print statements in the code to direct debugging information to the serial port.  However with my Photon installed in the garage, it’s difficult to debug new code without removing the device to get …

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Jan 15

TS832 AV transmitter runs HOT

Just got a RC832/TS832 pair, wired them up and they work, but dang the TS832 runs HOT,especially up around the antenna mount. Just a little poking around and it appears at least part of the problem is that the CAM V OUT signal (ie power for the camera) isn’t just a pass-thru line from the …

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Oct 17

Night Owl security camera IR Cut filter issues

I recently has an issue with a Night Owl security camera with a ‘sticky’ mechanical IR Cut filter. Got it replaced by Night Owl, but the replacement has the same issue… So decided to take a look and see if I can fix it myself. First, how do you know you’ve got an sticky mechanical …

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Oct 09

Circuit Cellar article – “The Footlight Project”

Got a new article published in Circuit Cellar (Oct-2015 issue). This article is about a failed attempt at building “foot headlights”. Everyone always writes these glowing articles about successful projects. I wanted to write one about a failed project so that readers know that projects do fail, and that’s OK too because every failure …

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Aug 14

Shapeways plastic IR permeability / opacity

Been working on producing a replacement for the Sharp IR distance sensor I’m currently using in the Cat Faucet. Sharp has declared end of life for that part. Sure lots of places still have them available, but at some point in the future, they’re going to disappear. One of the big issues with building an …

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Aug 09

DIY clip on sunglasses

Recently went to try to get a pair of those magnetic clip on sunglasses for my glasses. Optical store said sure, that’ll be $160, plus you have to leave the glasses for 1-2 weeks so we can send them off! So non-starter right there. What to do? Why not make your own! The way the …

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Jul 28

Cat Faucet parts

Cat Faucets are back in stock! For those folks waiting for the out of stock cat faucet assembled units. I’ve got most of the parts orders out now. should be seeing those parts coming in within a week or two. Once that happens, I’ll assemble a few units and we should be ready to mark …

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