Seeed Studios Versus OSH Park Shipping to Ireland

So I ordered three sets of PCBs from OSH Park (USA) and Seeed Studios (China). They were ordered very close to each other. Here’s a breakdown on how quick they got here, and how much they cost. Interestingly, they all shipped the same day (June 5th).

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Flashing the OpenLapse binary

In order to use the OpenLapse controller, it’s necessary to flash the firmware onto it. This article describes how to do that, and when you’re complete, you should be able to connect into the ‘openlapse’ WiFi hotspot with your smartphone and control your DSLR and motor. Even if you don’t have the additional hardware, you can still play with the user interface. I’d appreciate feedback. 🙂

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OpenLapse Timelapse Controller Parts and Assembly

Here’s the first in a series of posts on my Open Source Hardware project, entitled OpenLapse, which is a rail system for timelapse photography, including everything from the electronics, software, and physical hardware designs. It’s an evolution of a previous project, the Raspberry Pi based Timelaspe Rail, but this is designed to be simpler to build and use. A web interface is presented from the controller which generates a WiFi hotspot, and the user can chance the parameters for the timelapse, as well as manually control the motors on the rail.

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Laser-cut face-plate for Heating System

As I’ve learned while doing home automation, it’s important for the finished project to look good, especially if it’s in a location that can be seen. 🙂

So when I was building the home-heating controller (as described here),  I decided to finish it off with a laser-cut face-plate.

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Wifi Home Heating Oil Monitor

This bit of Home Automation has been on my list for a long time. I usually find out that the home heating oil (kerosene) has run out when an orange light is illuminated on my boiler. At that stage, we’ll probably be without heating in the house for a day or two. So, I was looking at ways to measure the level of home oil in the tank that would give me a constant level indicator, and also not break the bank.

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DIY Smart Home Heating Control System

I finally bit the bullet and uninstalled the Nest Thermostat that I got a couple of months ago. I was not happy with it’s ability to keep my house at a stable temperature. There was also the problem of the circulation pump feeding the heated water to the radiators (covered elsewhere on this blog).

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3D-Printed Wall Mount for Home Automation Console

I got a Kindle Fire HD6 for a really great price from Amazon.co.uk on Black Friday, which I’m using as a  console for my Home Automation system. I though it’d be nice to have it mounted in a convenient location in the house. In this article I describe the design of a 3D-Printed wall mount for it, and I even supply the STL file as an attachment so you can print it yourself!

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Nest Thermostat problems (and how I’m working around them)

I got a Nest Thermostat recently and it was installed (for free) by my Electricity Supply company. Initial reactions were good, however as time goes on, I’m less and less happy with it. This article covers my initial attempts at getting around some of it’s shortcomings, and future articles will cover more.

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