Archive for the Hardware Category

Balancing Act

Posted in 3D Printing, AI, Hardware, Robotics on May 4, 2019 by asteriondaedalus

So, I have printed the carcass of a 3d printed balancing robot.

I bought two gimbal motors.

I have my pesky gimbal controller from my lidar experiments.

Go figure, you can buy rock crawler tires for my old Venom Creeper for $5 a pair, so I opted for an indoor/outdoor self balancing robot. To fit the crawler tires I grabbed a 3D model of a beaded 2.2″ rim. I then modified it with freeCAD to fit over the gimbal motor – including a collar to fit around the outboard spindle.

I will mate the gimbal controller with a Sipeed Dock M1W to give the balancing robot autonomous smarts. Especially with the wifi link, it can still lean on more smarts off-board.


Opensprinklette Single!

Posted in Embedded, ESP8266, Hardware, OpenSprinklette on October 15, 2018 by asteriondaedalus


So, found some info on the board.

Where I thought there was dual throw relay, it’s even better since the second set of terminals are a optocoupler. So, that would be grand for either of a rain gauge input, the audio trigger for dog barking, the flow rate sensor et cetera.

It is otherwise an WeMOS ESP-8266.

What is crazy is that the board thinks of everything and has bidirectional zeners on power and optical inputs so its really for light-industrial applications. That is, includes Transient Voltage Suppressors.

AND! One of the terminals is a regulated 5V output! Just exactly enough for the sound level detection for the dog barking.

Loving it!

I am in so much trouble …

Posted in Chapel, Everything old is new again, Hardware on September 20, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

I was poised to look into a few more ODROID or NANOPI as an extension of my cluster, then a 2U Dell PowerEdge 2950 with dual 3GHz CPU with 8Gb memory is at action, with only two hours to go, no bids so I went with $15.

So that would be 2×4 Core for 8 all up.

Good enough for a Chapel box.

Not sure how I will hide it from the wife.

So, hopefully someone will decide to outbid me.


In the last half hour of the auction, two others made a run.  One an auto bid and one manual.   I worked out that the auto bid had fizzled, they had set their max to $50 just as I had.

So, I sat poised to make a last bid as the auction was about to close – assuming that the manual bidder might be assuming both auto bids had fizzled and weren’t being tracked or that the manual bid would be fumbled in the last few seconds of the web based auction.

Tension was high.

My bid was in the browser waiting for that last button click.

The clock ticking down.

With 10 seconds to go, enough time to get the bid in but to befuddle someone trying to get a counter bid in before close, I … I … I … chickened out.

Fair the well  2U Dell PowerEdge 2950 with dual 3GHz CPU with 8Gb memory, fair the well.  I hope you went to a nice home.



Zippity do dah, zippity ZAPPP!

Posted in Hardware, Sensing, The after market on December 25, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

Looking at OpenSprinkler circuit, the use of SCR to control the solenoids appears to require the addition of TVS diodes a plenty.

That would be a design decision.

As OpenSprinklette is using relays to drive the 24VAC solenoids we need not apply protection there.

Nuisance factor though is that trying to source non-SMD bidirectional channeled TVS, for the rain gauge input, not so much fun.

For the prototype at least, without any SMD pads on the prototype shield, we are happier with DO-15 or similar package types for the protoboard’s pad spacings.

Luckily though AliExpress came to the rescue.   I have ordered a packet 100 x 36V 1500W bidirectional TVS for US$11.   Now the original design calls for 48V but the markings on the devices suggested unidirectional and the text supporting them did not mention bidirectional.  So, just in case I have ordered 10 x 39V 1500W for US2.80.  That’s the problem with AliExpress and working with penny market vendors therein.  You take what you can get.

So rain gauge and TVS on the way.  I finally decided the shield I am designing will have an input for a rain gauge for those you want a minimal four sector.  The idea of a rain gauge with an ESP8266 has not gone away though.  Where we are using the mqtt and node-red we can build up as we please – over time.


There goes that theory

Posted in Doodling, Hardware on December 21, 2015 by asteriondaedalus

As a kid we had an ultrasonic control for the television and I used to torment the dogs with it as they would react whenever it was used.

Fast forward and I am trying to find ways to keep out dogs out of patches of garden and especially the lawn.

So, why not I thought so I got a couple to three ultrasonic sensors for a mere couple of dollars each and threw one onto my trusty old (and expendable) MEGA 1280.


Well either my boxerXstaffy is deaf or I suspect the power output of the tranducer isn’t high enough.

Begs the question then about some of the units you can by from China for a few dollars.

In any event, back to the drawing board.  I will likely need a more expensive and higher powered transducer.

Extra Sensory Perception?

Posted in Embedded, Hardware, Networking, Wifi on May 12, 2015 by asteriondaedalus

What ever it is, the ESP 8226 has read my mind.  Including being able to run LUA and so include MQTT and also things like Actors, CSP, FSM.



Especially with NodeMCU on board.



Now with ESP 8226+NodeMCU+MQTT, don’t forget Node-Red.

For my MQTT broker I am using, of course, emqttd as it is erlang based.

For connecting from python on PC, Raspberry Pirate, Beaglebone Black, one needs paho-mqtt.  MQTT has topic much like ROS does … hmm … more reason not to need ROS broker.

In any event … get it … event … never mind, on Android one can use MyMQTT to hook into broker to push and subscribe as a test tool.

oh my god!

Posted in cheap obsolete tech, Development, Embedded, General niff naff and trivia, Hardware, Linux, The downside of Opensource on September 24, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

My ODROID-W turned up. The thing is the size that could almost fit in a matchbox. I am sold! You are right Broadcom, this little board is a threat. Good job Hardkernel.