Friday, 14 October 2011

LED Doorlock indicators

Check out this write up by my dad on his doorlock status lights!!

Really cool project, with some real world uses

Thursday, 14 July 2011


Have just received my invite, will check it out and post thoughts soon.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Automated hallway Skirtingboard Lighting

Here's a slightly more involved project of mine, finished today (almost) using a second box of the LED decking lights I bought for my kitchen plinth lighting project.

When I fitted my new kitchen I put new flooring in though the hall into the kitchen, and at the same time removed all the skirting to be replaced.

When I fitted the flooring I laid some connecting wiring under the floor, just for this reason.

So, skirting board bought, box of LED lights, and a day off, here we go again!

Kitchen Window Etching the techie way!

Now here is my next problem to solve, our house faces a road with nothing but the driveway between whats happening in the kitchen and the passing pedestrians and cars! This became more apparent when I re-fitted the kitchen as I took down the old blind etc.

I looked into electric blinds, however I found they are either huge money, or not really suitable for what I need.

So my solution was to put my vinyl cutter to good use.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Android Collectables coming to stickface later in the year

Coming sometime towards the end of the year to the fullrange of Android Collectables!!

I will be ordering direct from the distributor in the USA, email me if you want to pre-order the 16 piece box sets

New phone in the house!!!!

I have finally got my hands on a Dell Streak, I have been after one for a while and a deal came up on xda-developers that invloved me swapping my HD2 for a streak. I have to say I have been missing out for a while by not having a streak, it is pretty much the perfect phone for me.

I have 2 contracts meaning that my iphone is used for the majority of my actual phone calls, and the second line that is in my streak is mainly used for text, email and web browsing. The large screen makes this perfect for this, although its a bit tricky to carry around everywhere.

Currently the streak is running dj_steve's 1.9 streakdroid rom, which is very good, superfast and everything works as it should, I will be however cooking my own in the very near future.

Due to the fact that I am a bit funny about my phones and the rear battery cover had a few scratches on it, I used some Carbon Effect Wrapping Vinyl (post to come about this stuff, its awesome) to cover the rear door, as seen below.

All I need now is to find some jeans that have 3 front pockets! 1 for my streak, 1 for my iphone, and 1 for my change/keys unless I incorporate my NFC cash card into the rear cover and find a way to drive the car and lock the house without keys!!!!

*Useful Gadget No.1*

From time to time I will try and post about gadgets etc that I have picked up along the way and what I think of them.

My first in this series is the freeloader solar charger.

I picked this up at the Bristol BestBuy opening weekend, it was a special opening offer deal half price at £15, I don't think I would have paid the full £30 though.

Anyway, it basically consists of a load of adaptors including a basic usb(female) and the main body itself which splits into 3 parts, the 2 solar panels separate and clip into either side of the main battery (1500ma) body to charge and clip together and then into battery unit for transporting.

All in all the unit itself seems pretty well made and its a clever design, my only criticism would be that the aluminium body scratches very easily.

I have had this for a few months now, and have got myself into the routine of chucking it onto the dash of the car (solar panels out) whenever I park up, this trickle charges the internal battery enough to keep my phone topped up during days when usage has been heavy. Its also possible to charge the freeloader from usb from a pc or wall adaptor to ensure the battery is full, or if time is an issue.

Overall for the £15 I paid for it, this has been worth the money, I have fallen back and used it a number of times to boost the battery in my handsets, and has been particularly useful recently as I have been away a bit and hotels never have enough plug sockets in the rooms!

Mobile blog updated

For anyone viewing on a mobile device, you should now see a mobile specific version of my blog.

Drop me an email if it works or doesn't work for you!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Experimenting with Augmented Reality

Following from my blank test post, I have created a augmented reality file in flash using the following guide

Great guide which enabled me to guide my first entry into the world of augmented reality.

I have attached a video of my progress so far, nothing much, and not a great deal different from the guide above however I will be using this as the basis for a couple of augmented projects I have planned, the first of which being business cards!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Webcam into Growl CCTV camera!

Got any old webcam's hanging around like I did? Need a project to entertain you for a few hours? Check out my guide to convert a standard webcam into a motion sensitive, growl/prowl notifying CCTV Camera.

Parts list:
Always On server or PC
Some hardware for mounting camera etc
USB Extension
Various Free Software(detailed in the guide)
Prowl App (If you want push notifications)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

DIY Cheap Plinth/Kickboard Lighting

At the hardware store again yesterday to buy some rubble bags, stumbled across the first of a few offers.

Set of IP44 LED deckboard lights for £15, thanks I will take 2!

It happens that I was looking for some plinth/kickboard lighting to put in the new kitchen I have just fitted, and these will do nicely at a fraction of the cost.

Friday, 8 April 2011

The Arduino Doorbell - Part 2 Software!

Firstly, here is the final Arduino code that I am using, its as best to perfect as I can get at present with only one real hiccup.

int ledPin = 13; // LED connected to digital pin 13
int potPin = 0; // white doorbell wire to analog pin 0
int val = 0;

long time = 0;
long debounce = 1000;

void setup() {
pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT); // sets the digital pin as output
Serial.begin(9600); // open serial port at 9600 baud
digitalWrite(14 + potPin, HIGH); // set pullup on the analog pin
// (analog 0 = digital 14, a1 = d15, etc)

void loop() {
val = analogRead(potPin);
if (val < 200) { // if the circuit is completed
// (for me, it generally drops from 1023 to ~ 15 when 'ringing')
if (millis()-time > debounce) {
digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH); // sets the LED on
delay(1000); // ...wait for 2 seconds
digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW); // and turns the LED off
time = millis();

I cannot take credit for this code please see this post for the original code, I have just modified aspects to suit my needs.

What this will do is when the button is pushed, it will light the test LED and send the "ON" text via the arduino to your pc's com port.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Arduino, Doorbell project - Part 1 Hardware

The inspiration for this came whilst browsing the internet for general tech stuff, at which point I stubbled across a post on a postbox (the american type) that was hooked up to a microswitch and an arduino. The result of this was that the arduino could trigger notification events.

Whilst this was a nice idea and I appriciated the tech, its of no use to me as my post comes through the front door and dont really need to get to it, unless its to stop the dog eating it. However this did prompt some more research into this type of project which lead me to a number of posts around the internet which I will reference later, that involved hooking an Arduino up to a wireless doorbell.

Now this I have a use for!

Have decided it about time to properly blog my run-ins with hacking and technology etc.

I will endevour to update this blog with all off my ongoing projects and some thoughts and opinions on tech and gadgets.

Please feel free to comment and join in.....