A couple more feather boards.


I only soldered the basics into these. Given that most projects won’t need all the extras (Usb, Lipo, reset button, some of the passives), I can make some really cheap boards by only using what I need. I’ll still use fully populated boards that I’ve built or bought for prototyping, but I’ll be able to stick <$10 sensors everywhere as well.

The one on the left is my AtMega328 + RS485 interface. The one on the right is the Adafruit Huzzah board.

Had a power outage the other day…

Unfortunately knocked out the SD card on my garage raspberry pi, meaning no more controlling the lights from my phone (I’ve set up a bridge between the Cbus and MQTT on it).it would normally be okay, but I made some changes lately and hadn’t backed them up… On the plus side, it was a good opportunity to make myself rebuild the pi using ansible instead of manually.

Seemingly impossible task – finding exact parts without part numbers

The other day I was trying to find where I could buy the exact micro usb connector that’s on Adafruit’s Feather boards. I figured that it would be a pretty common one given that it’s Adafruit. An hour of searching later and I eventually find an Aliexpress listing that looks exactly like it, not so common after all. Even then, the listing only had it as one of an assortment of 50… with no information about what exactly those 50 were. So it took another half hour of digging through Aliexpress listings to eventually find out that the part is apparently called “Micro USB Jack Big Horn”. Seems that internet detective work is a big part of amateur electronics. For anyone else after it, here’s a listing of the part. No guarantees that it is the same though, I’m still waiting for mine to arrive. (Edit: confirmed as correct part, just stuck it on one of my feather pcbs, perfect fit)

Today I’ve had a similar chase, this time for the eagle or diptrace part for a pack of microsd sockets I bought ages ago. I’m sure I got them off ebay or something and there wasn’t much hope of finding a part number. A heap of googling eventually found me an image and a part number (120801 apparently) but turns out that I wasn’t any closer to a CAD part.

http://www.dx.com/p/120801-6-pin-micro-sd-tf-card-module-deep-blue-281763
Micro SD holder – (I don’t have the board, just the socket)

Eventually I got lucky and a google image search landed me on a Dangerous Prototypes article about a board that had the right part on it! There were even eagle files that I could export the part from!!! Looks like it was an old Seeed part (and was part of an old Seeed eagle library that I can’t find anywhere…).

For anyone interested, here’s the eagle and diptrace files for the microsd socket: download

WordPress Android App

I just can’t get this to work. It seems to be getting 403 errors from the server but I just can’t replicate it or find anyone else who is getting this. All sorts of cpanel/dns/cloudflare/ssl messing around hasn’t helped…

Edit: seems my hosting provider must have been blocking it. Got it working using the “Rename XMLRPC” plugin. So frustrating, as it really didn’t look like this was the problem, and I wasn’t getting any errors that showed this. Oh well.

Turn it off and on again!

This is take two of this blog, I started with a tumblr by the same name but it stagnated somewhat. I’m keen on documenting my projects so I’m going to have another go at this and take the chance to give WordPress a go. Most of my projects are automating my home and I’m going a bit hard with the PCB ordering at the moment. Let’s see how this goes…