These are various projects I’ve created over time. For some you can buy finished units, some are available as kits, others are unique on-offs and are posted just to share thoughts and ideas of what is possible.

Tricks with Google Home Garage Door Minder – Photon IoT
Cat Faucet LTSpice Tutorial – Car USB power supply
Auto-route thin traces to a high current bus USB-GPIO
Matrix Medallion Charlie and the Fire Fly
Wireless Garage Door Sensor Quick and dirty camera interval time
Making rectangular holes in project cases Fixing a dryer timer
Older Projects

Tricks with Google Home

A collection of projects for interfacing Google Home, utilizing IFTTT, Tasker, and other bits and pieces.

Garage Door Minder – Photon IoT

I wanted to be able to monitor and control my garage door from my Smartphone and get e-mail notifications when the door was left open. Around the time this idea came up I had just run across the Photon from The Photon is a WiFi enabled IoT processor (actually a STM32 ARM Cortex M3) …

Cat Faucet

Somehow our cats learned to drink from the faucet. We'd turn the water on for them, but they'd never turn it off when they were done! I'm sure there are other cat owners out there with a similar problem. So, I built the Cat Faucet so the cats could turn the water on and off …

LTSpice Tutorial – Car USB power supply

This tutorial goes along with an upcoming Circuit Cellar article of mine on construction of a 5V / 2A USB power supply I built for my car. Why not simply purchase a cheap cigarette-lighter USB power supply? Well, two reasons. First, I needed an isolated power supply, something to keep the car’s power system hum …

Auto-route thin traces to a high current bus

On a recent project, this problem came up during the circuit board design. High current traces like Gnd and 5VDC, you probably need a nice fat trace. Normally pretty easy to do. Create a net class or two. maybe called POWER and set the minimum trace with up to whatever you feel is sufficient for …


USB-GPIO – Simple Digital I/O for a PC Ever need just a couple of bits of Digital I/O for your PC? Maybe want to bit-bang and SPI interface to simple test a new device? Used to be the PC’s parallel port was the answer. These days, that’s no longer an option. Here’s a quick solution. …

Matrix Medallion

Electronic parts are getting smaller and smaller. In fact some parts are not even available as through-hole components. I’d read several articles detailing how to effectively solder surface mounted components and wanted to give it a try. Here’s a little SMD practice project I put together to experiment with various SMD soldering techniques. Since it’s …

Charlie and the Fire Fly

After working on the Matrix Medallion, I ran across a couple of articles on “Charlieplexing”, it looked interesting, so I wanted to give it a try. One project in the back of my mind was trying to capture the essence of a jar of fire flies. I’d seen several projects around the internet that were …

Wireless Garage Door Sensor

This project came about for two reasons. First and foremost I’ve got a detached garage where it’s difficult to see from inside the house if the garage door is open or closed. After multiple incidents of accidentally leaving the garage door open all night long, I knew I had to do something different. Then, Hack-a-Day …

Quick and dirty camera interval time

For some time now I’ve wanted to have an interval timer for my Nikon D80 so that I could experiment with time-lapse photograph. It’s a simple thing so I figured I could build one myself and save some cash. The first problem is the connector for the electronic release on the Nikon. Talk about non-standard. …

Making rectangular holes in project cases

my Cat Faucet has an IR sensor in a small plastic box which requires a small rectangular hole in the front face of the box. the below documents the best work process that I’ve been able to come up with so far for producing said small rectangular cutout. I’ve tried using a ‘nibbler’ but the …

Fixing a dryer timer

Now for something completely different… a Mechanical Hack. Have an old RCA gas dryer. Started acting up over a year ago, the timed cycle would sometimes not dry or not dry completely. Then recently the permanent press cycle started doing the same. Got so bad nearly every load had to be dried 2 or 3 …

Older Projects

This page has documentation for older projects: Transformerless Power Supply Convert VHS to MP4 FreeNAS FSCK cron job Sonar Recording Light Sonar Backup Sonar Auto Mixdown Nixie Clock


    • Roy Martin on September 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Hi. I am looking for something similar to your cat faucet only to use with a lamp. I want to be able to wave my hand to turn a lamp on and off. I understand everything I need to electronically to make it happen but I have no programming ability. I wanted to use the PICAXE 08 and the same sensor you are using in the cat faucet. Could I hire you to write this code for the picaxe 08? Or do you have a better solution for my endeavour?


    • admin on September 8, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Roy, sorry, not familiar with the PICAXE family of processors. Perhaps someone else reading this is and can help?

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