Windows Gadgets

April 13, 2017

I use Windows Sidebar Gadgets (originally developed for Windows7) in Windows 8/10. You can install 8GadgetPack from the internet to do so. I like being able to use my computer as an alarm clock to show me a message after X minutes or at a specific time.  Most countdown / alarm clock timers play a […]

Duma Key

March 30, 2017

“It was RED”   “Life is more than love and pleasure, I came to dig for treasure. If you want to play, you gotta pay, You know it’s always been that way We all came digging for treasure.”   “Talent is a wonderful thing, but it won’t carry a quitter. ” “If I kept saying […]

Geodesic domes

March 25, 2017

I should really build a colorbond shed. I should really build a starpicket / polypipe shadehouse. I should really build a romantic garden gazebo. But then there is this: geodesic domes.  Oooh, shiny! I should build a model using drinking straws and pipe cleaners! Or use leftover fiberglass rods from a cheap dome tent. Pros […]

Tropical Cyclone Debbie (March 2017)

March 25, 2017

Tornadoes and twisters Tornado and twister are different names for the same type of storm—a violently rotating column of air over land associated with a severe thunderstorm. Tornadoes range in diameter from metres to hundreds of metres and generally last from a few seconds up to half an hour. They have an intense updraught near […]

Our planet

March 24, 2017

Earth earth is soil.  Earth is a planet.  Capital letters matter. Earth spin – 24 hours – Day/Night cycle Earth spins in a counterclockwise direction.  For an outside observer the Earth spins left-to-right or west-to-east along its rotational axis. This is why for an observer on the surface the (stationary) sun and the night sky […]

Arduino + HC-SR04

November 4, 2016

Description The HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor uses sonar to determine distance to an object like bats do. It offers excellent non-contact range detection with high accuracy and stable readings in an easy-to-use package. From 2cm to 400 cm or 1” to 13 feet. Its operation is not affected by sunlight or black material.   Acoustically soft […]

Arduino + WS2812

November 2, 2016

Description You can purchase long flexible strips of small surface mounted LEDs that come on a spool.  You can cut the strip to length at the cut marks.  You can solder strips together by using the solder pads. There are a number of different type of SMD (surface mounted device) LEDs available: The most common […]

Arduino + Mains power (433MHz TX + Safe)

November 1, 2016

Description I have been warning you to not open or manipulate any mains powered electrical equipment.  Do NOT interface an Arduino board with any mains power cabling, components, etc.  However, rather than telling you what you can’t do, the polite thing to do would be to at least provide you with a solution how you […]

Arduino + Relay

October 30, 2016

Warning Do NOT use this tutorial to connect a relay to 230Vac mains power.  I have blown the cap of a LED by connecting it directly between +5Vdc and ground once.  I have melted an electrolytic capacitor by connecting it to a voltage higher than it was rated for.  There are not too many people […]

Arduino + Safety

October 30, 2016

Electrical safety considerations This article is a strong warning to not open or manipulate any mains powered electrical equipment.  Do NOT interface an Arduino board with any mains power cabling, components, etc. This document provides some basic guidelines how to make electronics equipment electrically safe.  If anything I hope you will learn something from this. […]