A very busy week for Home Control

Having discovered some less than ideal historical settings in ESP-GO, today I’ve removed all commands which could OUTPUT to GPIO0. a throwback to the old ESP-01 days. I’ve also updated some default input bounce settings and improved the little-documented DEBUG2 command which lets you see the state of inputs on the serial terminal (I abandoned my own serial terminal some time ago in favour of the excellent and free YAT). The current software will be parked and esp-go-3 will appear, with GPIO 4 and 5 correctly used as boards with incorrect markings are by now likely out of circulation.  While working on using SDK 3.1 (without success as the SDK appears to use more space than before) I’ve actually GAINED plenty of RAM to continue to expand with SDK 2.1 (which works a treat).

JLCPCBCoincidentally, Aidan’s new boards are already into revision 2 to cater for the changes and to make some clearance improvements. Here are some pics. The board will be "revision 2" but this one will serve the purpose of demo.

We had these 2-sided boards made from Aidan’s design and Gerbers at JLCPCB and I must say the price and quality were just right.

Relay board

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HT-175 Infrared Thermal Imager

IR CameraI’ve wanted one of these hand held imagers since I heard of the FLIR – but could never justify the cost – NOW I have one of my very own.  I’m quite excited.

Here’s the link – be aware, I think the current sale offer dries up tomorrow??:
https://tech.scargill.net/yourls/ircamera

Even then the price - indeed it is Banggood (I'm sure they won't appreciate that). Likely there are a billion uses for these hand-help gadgets (this one comes with a spare battery pack) but my first priority as we are refurbishing the house, is to check where the highest heat losses are.

First of all, then, the box photo:

Box photo

 

Heat loss through windows

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Solar Motion Sensor Light

Why am I using a stock photo here? Because the weather in our garden right now is pretty naff, that’s why. This is the latest sensor light I’ve picked up from Banggood as we settle back down into Willow Cottage after gutting the place (if you saw the state the long-term tenants left it in you’d know why I say gutting). But I digress – not only is this sensor light solid looking but right now (Early November 2018) Banggood are having yet another sale and this is CHEAP.

Solar Sensor Light

And here is the link - Solar Motion Light https://tech.scargill.net/yourls/solarmotion

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EleksMaker Pro Laser Engraver

Update November 10 2018

After much delay and I have to say patience from Banggood, I have now put together this excellent A3 laser engraving machine. Originally, a 500mW module arrived complete with its own power supply (the laser which was not included in the basic kit). It turns out that was the wrong laser and now I have the 2300mW violet laser complete with upgraded 2.5A power supply. In the photo you also see the (important) green protective glasses that came with the kit.

Cutting door signs with Eleksmaker

With help from my friend Aidan who has extensive experience with 3D printers and similar, we’re now putting together some Perspex door signs for bedrooms at Willow Cottage using the Eleksmaker (more pics soon, Sylvan Azure and Occitane are the bedroom names for the dooe signs).

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Box Nirvana

Cheap boxes

We recently started on a new project for ESP-GO and this time made the board to fit the box – always sensible if you have the freedom to do this.

Well, here’s the box we used – from our friends at Banggood.  As Thompsons travel used to say: Much cheapness. 10 off £5.08 the lot or under £17 for 60 of them.

More's the point they are good looking and vented.

Smaller boxes https://tech.scargill.net/yourls/9

and here’s a VERY similar but larger 80x100mm version – again – CHEAP. 1-off £1.38

Larger boxes https://tech.scargill.net/yourls/8

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NEW PCB for ESP-GO

You might just like this – I do!

Standard problem number one: finding a none-home-made-looking box for the new project. Standard problem number 2: NOT taking a simple on-off light or heater design and turning it into a wife/husband-provoking nightmare with low-voltage boards needing separate mains power supplies. Collectively these have ben plaguing me for years.

The box

Well, this time we make have it cracked.. first – the box – this is CHEAP from Banggood, LOVELY and useful if you can find boards that will fit inside. Next – yes it has vents top and bottom – handy for thermostats etc. https://tech.scargill.net/yourls/9

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British v Spanish Mobile Phone Service Providers

Well, of course, everyone has their own story, this is mine. As some f you know, we spent 3 months of our summer in Spain, most of it with me recovering from illness and so probably more than ever, having a working mobile contract was very important this year.

We’ve moved home in the UK and moved in shortly before heading off to Spain. In the sleepy village of Wark on Tyne we now have excellent home broadband thanks to Vodafone who, despite having no mobile signal in the village, managed to achieve what BT could not (despite all the grants and other funding the latter has had over the years), that is, Vodafone offer a sub-£30 a month fibre80 Mb download, 20Mb upload home broadband service – and it WORKS – and their router is not a toy. Contrast that with Plusnet who gave me two toy routers which were unreliable and useless and after a year (and a new contact) gave me a decent router.

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Victor 606B Clamp Multimeter

Victor 606B

I’m quite excited as I’ve never had a clamp meter before. The 606B turned up this morning, well packaged.

First, the stock photo…The Victor 606B Clamp Multimeter with overload protection, Digital NCV, Auto off and data hold. I’ve considered buying a battery company given the number of batteries I go through in a typical year… anyway the 606B uses two AAA batteries – not supplied. Fortunately I just happened to have a couple handy. Alkaline, of course.

I was expecting a very basic clamp meter with voltage and current measurement but in fact, this one has AC/DC volts, 4A/40A AC ranges and a 60/600A AC range which seems a high value but what do I know. I don’t have anything using even remotely near 600amps to try out. The instructions of course came entirely in Chinese.  The Banggood price is MUCH, MUCH cheaper than RS Components but then isn’t nearly everyone cheaper than RS? See the BG link after the break.

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Mustool MT8206 2 in 1 Digital Oscilloscope Multimeter

The MT8206 multimeter came from Banggood, falls at the cheaper end and is fairly basic but is non-the-less pleasant to use. It has 200k A/D sampling and 4000 count auto-ranging. Always a good start, there is a useful, printed 34 page manual with the meter.

meter

The MT8206 has 1-button switching to graphical waveform measuring while taking a reading and can display historical data and real time measurement on the same screen.

DC/AC voltage/current, resistance, capacitance,  frequency/duty cycle and the usual diode.continuity testing.

meter showing graph

The meter came in a nice box, complete with soft case and decent leads.

Here’s the link:
https://goo.gl/Ca1qeG

box

More relevant links:
Wholesale Oscilloscope -- https://goo.gl/WgA4rZ 
EU Warehouse -- https://goo.gl/QceUQM

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Cubot Power 128GB Mobile Phone

This is my brand new Cubot phone and replaces the excellent Doogee Mix 2 I bought in November last year. I never stick with any phone for too long (I kept my first iPhone for 2 years and first Samsung for well over a year) but no longer wanting to contribute to the wealth of Samsung and Apple who I’m convinced are taking everyone for a ride, I’ve tried a number of Chinese phones over recent years. Doogee and Cubot have shown to be winners.

Cubot POWER

Picture below shows my Doogee Mix 2 …

Doogee Mix 2

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