Friday, 30 November 2012

Nearly there...

The stove is now surrounded by a really outstanding hearth, with all the pipework boxed in using fireproof board and tiled with gloss black designer tiles. This has been 4 years in the making, but we are finally there.

From a technical angle, the stove and oil boiler are now properly valved (after 3 attempts!) so that they don't interfere with each other. We had the oil boiler repaired in October and new baffles, jet and pump were fitted to hopefully give it another few years service life.

Interestingly, priming the radiators for 5 minutes with the oil before turning the stove pump on seems a good strategy. I'm very keen now to incorporate this into the controller unit I'm designing.

Off to a Raspberry Jam later!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

RaspberryPi GPIO Adaptor

I needed a neat way to connect the RPi to a breadboard and came up with this using an old 26-pin floppy drive cable, an off-cut of tri-pad stripboard and some pin strips.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Found TV

Last week I'm driving along and saw a flat screen TV fly-tipped at the side of the road. It looked like it hadn't been there too long so I snaffed it into the boot of the car. I let it dry out overnight beside a radiator and then plugged it in. Surprise surprise, the backlight was flickering and there was a bad buzz so I was pretty sure that the inverter board was knackered. Hoking in the spares box I found an inverter board from a TV that had suffered a cracked screen. A bit of dodgy test wiring and a connection to my old Sky box and there's Masterchef! The screen is still drying out and I'll need to tidy the wiring, but there's a free LCD TV.
The old inverter is integral to the power board, but the circuits are all the same so I can disarm the old inverter and run 12v, GND, Adjust and Enable connections to the new inverter.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Old Skool

I got this meter on eBay for a fiver. I just took a notion for an old school classic meter because it reminded me of my grandfather who was a radio amateur from the 1920s and built his own radio kit.  In his house in Cushendun there was this amazing shortwave transmitter he'd built.  It was in a hammered finish metal case about 5 feet high and had proper dials and meters on it, like something from a 50s science fiction film. I've always loved that retro stuff.

Anyway my meter reads 0-5mA and with a 1kOhm resistor in series it reads the 5 volt PWM output from the Arduino perfectly.  I have a notion to use it as a thermometer readout although it would look equally great in a car.