X10 and Home Easy with Node-RED

This is part of a series of posts I am doing describing some of the things I have been doing as part of the revamp of my home automation system. When I started on the home automation road in 2002 I began with a kit of 3 X10 modules and a CM12U PC interface which I […]

TinyTX & Tiny328 Sensors with Node-RED

Node-RED is currently taking the IoT world by storm, described as “A visual tool for wiring the Internet of Things” it is built on top of Node.js and is an open source project developed by IBM employees. It makes it easy to link various inputs and outputs adding simple or not so simple processing in […]

Wireless Sensor Battery Life 2 Years On

Back in November 2011 when I made my first ATmega328 based wireless temperature sensor node I did a rough calculation estimating that it would last 2 years or more on a couple of AA batteries. That first node was decommissioned after a few months but the second version, also based on an ATmega328 is still […]

Tiny328 PCB Give Away

Zara from Germany has been in contact to say he has had some of my Tiny328 wireless Arduino boards made and has some spare PCBs that he would like to give away so if you could find a use for a small wireless Arduino compatible or two and can handle a bit of SMD soldering then […]

Adding a wireless PC Link to the Vichy VC99 Multimeter

The Vichy VC99 is an inexpensive 6000 count multimeter with pretty decent performance compared to some others in the same price bracket, one really nice thing about it is that it is very easy to add an RS232 output as described here, just a case of soldering a wire to an unused pin on the processor. Of course […]

Tiny328 – A mini wireless Arduino clone

So here is the reason for the last couple of blog posts. This is my first venture into designing an SMT board and apart from the practice run I did with some breakout boards it is the first time I’ve attempted to solder anything as small as a TQFP package or the tiny 0603 passives (1.6 […]

DIY Vacuum Pick Up Tool for SMT Components

To make fast placement of small SMT components easier I wanted a vacuum pick up tool. I bought one of these basic manual ones for £1.72 and it works OK for the money but as it doesn’t have a continuous vacuum it can unexpectedly drop the component if you aren’t careful. Something better was required. […]

Reflow soldering with a domestic hot plate

I’ve been working on some all SMD PCB designs that include TQFP chips recently and although I’ve hand soldered a few SMD capacitors and resistors before I’ve never soldered any SMT ICs so I thought I should get some practice in. I know people say you can solder even TQFP chips by hand but I […]