4-20mA Level Sensor for Kerosene Tank

I’ve been using an ultrasonic sensor in my Kerosene Tank (Home Heating Oil) for a while now, but was not happy with the stability of the readings. Especially on relatively warm days, as the fumes in the tank seemed to confuse the readings. So I decided to try a different type of sensor, in the form of a 4-20mA Liquid Level sensor. This article shows the setup and compares to the ultrasonic sensor.

 

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openlapse Time-Lapse Rail Interactive 3D Models

Here’s a few 3D models of the time-lapse rail I’ve been working on. I’ve put a good bit of time into the models, as I feel it’s a good way of showing how the construction is done for the various parts of the rail. The last model is of the complete rail. I still have a few parts to add, like the Tripod Head and WiFi Antenna, but they do demonstrate the construction nicely.

See the Github repo for models, electronics designs, laser cutting info, software, etc. I’m adding more and more to that as I get the time. In the near future there should be enough info for people to easily build their own rails. And there are other posts in this blog showing more. Be sure to check them out.

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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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Add 3 USB ports and an Ethernet Port to Intel Edison / Raspberry Pi Zero for $3.20

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I’ve been a user of many Single Board Computers for a while now, and I always like to have the option of plenty of USB ports and and Ethernet port. I recently came across these devices, which combine 3 full-sized USB ports AND an ethernet port in the one device, terminate by a micro USB connector.

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Website Downtime

Sincerest Apologies for the downtime over the last week. My hosting provider was doing migration of a bunch of websites from one server to another, and in this process they were upgrading MYSQL, Apache, plus a whole host of other stuff it seems. Now while they did a staggered migration of the websites, it all went wrong once a significant number of websites were on the new host. Access times went through the roof, sometimes taking over 2 minutes to load a single page. Continue reading “Website Downtime”