Author Archives: Xose Pérez

About Xose Pérez

I've spent half my life working with computers creating virtual products, now I've moved to the physical part of it, much more fun!

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Solr: digital wrist watch

15 months ago. This is when I started working on this project. The Solr digital wrist watch is a clock that won’t work without a battery but it will neither work without sun. Even more: the vintage display is really cool but it’s hard to read outdoors. A complete nonsense. It is almost a joke and some might easily file it under the “useless projects” label.

But it’s still quite useful. Whether you don’t care about accuracy, or if you need an excuse to always be late. Or maybe you want your daughter to raise her eyebrowns and tenderly call you a “freak”. Either case I suggest you to proudly wear a Solr.

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Grid-eye camera (sliced, of course)

Tindie is a great place to find uncommon electronic components or weird/interesting boards. I use to stroll around it’s products to basically see what’s new. It’s like Kickstarted but for real. One such uncommon and new electronic components is the Panasonic’s Grid_EYE AMG88 [datasheet, pdf] infrared sensor. And I first learn about it through Peasky Products breakout board at Tindie.

And if you have been reading me lately you might know I’m going through my own LED fever. My latests “sliced” projects are not the only ones I’m working on at the moment. So it was not surprise my brain immediately linked an 8×8 IR array with an 8×8 LED matrix display. You see?

So what do you have if you throw in a box an IR sensor and a LED matrix, add a small microcontroller, a LiIon battery and a charger and a step-up to power the LEDs? Well, in my case the outcome has been a bulky but nice camera (albeit a very poor resolution one).

I know there are commercially available IR Cameras like this one [Ebay]. They have 300k pixels and can overlay a normal image over the IR image and other fancy stuff, but they are also more expensive (around 200€ the best deal) and waaaaaay less fun to build.

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A closer look at the H801 LED WiFi Controller

Some weeks ago I talked about the Magic Home LED Controller as I was adding support for it in my ESPurna firmware. At the time a user pointed me to the H801 Led WiFi Controller by Huacanxing. The user in question (Minh Phuong Ly) even did a pull request with some preliminary support for it. So I decided to give it a go.

The H801 is a 5 channels controller that you can find for about 9-10€ at Ebay or Aliexpress. It’s slighly more expensive than the Magic Home Led Controller (you can find the later for 7€ at Aliexpress) but it also is quite different from the insides…

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Maker Faire Barcelona 2017

I’m having some busy weeks again and the blog is suffering from my absence 🙂 I had a bunch of comments to accept (please remember all comments are being moderated). And even more projects pending (including a new version of the ESPurna firmware). But I just wanted to let you know that I will be at the Barcelona Maker Faire next June 17 & 18.

Hope to see you there, it will be fun for sure!

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Slices of a clock

There are so many ways to tell the time. DIYers have been doing clocks since the Ancient Egypt (obelisks lacked portability, thou). Every modern maker has a clock amongst her first projects. I have done some myself, including a fibonacci clock, a wordclock with a fancy green matrix effect and an unreleased project that hopefully will see the light someday soon.

But recently I came back to the idea behind the wordclock before, to extend it in different ways:

  • Replace the ATMega328P with an ESP8266 (NTP support and user interaction)
  • Smaller sizes (8×8 LED matrices)
  • Smaller PCB, less buttons
  • Add buzzer for alarms
  • Replace the 3D printed part with a wooden grid cut in laser
  • Completely closed enclosure, better presentation
  • Fix some issues with the original board (like the lack of a beefy capacitor across the LED matrix power lines).

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