The Enchanted Cottage build has been a multi faceted project with electronics, micro-controllers, embedded Linux, woodwork, 3D printing and general assembly challenges. To give you a better idea about how I worked on the project I've made a list of all the tools I used.

Tools and equipment

There was a wide variety of tools used for the project. Nothing was bought specifically for the project but a couple of things were made. The Robox 3D printer came in handy as it allowed parts such as the top panel buttons and fibre housing to be made that would otherwise be difficult to make. It also allowed the mechanism to be lightweight.


Hand Tools

Pliers, Wire cutters, Wire Strippers, Screw Drivers (various), Coping Saw + table, retractable knife, steel ruler


Power tools

Robox 3D Printer, Pillar drill, mini drill + cutting disks + mini milling cutter


Electronics / Test Equipment

Multimeter, PC, Laptop, Wifi Router, Tenma Digital Soldering iron, Breadboard from Arduino Workshop kit + wires, LEDs etc.


Home Made Tools

A couple of tools were made during the challenge, the first a saw table to help with sawing cut outs in the plywood and the second a simple servo test rig to try out some of the ideas and to check that the servo had sufficient power.

FretSawTableFretSawTable (2).jpgServoTestJig.jpg


The Arduino was programmed using the standard Arduino IDE but that was upgraded to the latest version at the start of the project. The code was uploaded using the USB cable rather than Wifi.

The Python coding was done using PyCharm, an IDE from the people who make Resharper. This was a great tool for learning as it suggested errors and corrections to the code as well as having the usual intellisense expected from a modern IDE.

To help with the Linux side, WinSCP and Putty were used to copy files and connect to SSH.

The schematics were created using Fritzing and Eagle 7.2 (free edition)

The 3D models were created using OpenSCAD.

Some of the graphics were created using Visio and Paintbrush was used to trim the photos to size.

The video was edited using Microsoft Movie Maker.



The photographs were mostly taken with a HTC smart phone, a couple of early ones were taken with an old Olympus C-170, and the video was taken using a Flip HD mini video camera. Where possible a tripod was used.



There were not any particular high risk activities for this challenge. When using power tools appropriate safety gear such as goggles were used, work was secured in a vice or clamp for cutting/drilling. For soldering a simple heat resistant mat was used to protect the bench from damage. Some adhesives were used so these were done in a well ventilated space and left to set out of reach of the family. There was a minor accident with some super glue when the tube was opened the contents squirted everywhere. Soapy water and gentle rocking was applied and the bonded skin was separated. The LiPo battery has been placed in a metal battery box and care has been taken not to short out the connectors. The circuits were tested on breadboard before deploying to the stripboard/protoboard and connections were double checked with a multimeter before powering up.


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