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Duncan Fraser's Blog

23 posts
So after having my previous Movie Lighting board break, Smart Home: Movie Lighting, I Broke it. I decided to make a new version with some improvements and hopefully have it last longer.   I started by ordering the parts I needed, bit of a mistake, as after everything arrived I found that the 3.3v regulator I used (LD1117VA33) is a third of the price I paid on Farnell. I am not too bothered as I only ordered a couple, knowing I may order more, know where to get them.   It's Tiny I knew ...
So the I have gotten the code to function as intended. So now for the hardware.   I started by depopulating the pcb that came with the original product. My original plan was to make an acrylic version with just the mounting holes, but realise if i flipped the pcb over, it would have the same effect. The only component which gave me any trouble was the inductor, the contacts were soldered under the ferrite core, and in the end i just snapped it off, as i was not worried about keeping the ...
So, just to set the scene. I had dimmed the lights, got a cool one out of the fridge and sat down to watch a film. I said "Ok Google, Turn Movie Mode On", the notification came up on my Living Room Kodi, telling me movie mode was on. But no Lights?   My first thought being the power cable had come loose as it was a cheap usb cable with the connector cut off and put into a screw terminal, but it wasn't. I tried the tried and tested method of unplugging and plugging it back in, waited a seco ...
I decided today to try and work on the programming for the Party Ball. I had already written a c++ program to decode the MQTT messages and am using the LED Controller from MK Smart House as a basis for the code. I wanted to keep the MQTT commands relatively simple, and easy to decode in software, this is the list I decided on. I am also going to try and keep this standard throughout my projects using my openhab server to try and keep things simpler.   MQTT Command Description A Auto Mode ...
I thought I would take a short break from studying and teardown the party ball and laser. My apologies for my desk being a bit cluttered in the pictures.   I do have a short video of the lights working and roughly in place, but the video upload button is being very dodgy just now and not always showing up, i will try adding it in through editing once posted.   Party LightDisassembly The party ball has a battery pack for holding three AA batteries on the bottom with a small cable wit ...
Duncan Fraser

Smart Home Plans

Posted by Duncan Fraser Apr 13, 2018
After posting about my Smart Home Movie Lighting I want to make my home smarter, or at least more interactive.   I wanted to post a Short plan for what I want to install and make for use with my Openhab Server, which is currently running on a Raspberry Pi 3, but I may upgrade this to an old slim PC and turn it into more of a general server, rather than having a different Raspberry pi for different uses.   My main goal for anything which I design or install is for it to be easily rem ...
I posted a little while ago regarding looking for information on wireless power transfer for a group project for one of my university courses.   I wanted to publish here the results from the project, it is a simple t-shaped frame carrying two sliding coil holders which are easily interchangeable.   The kit is also designed to be as easily modifiable as possible, being designed in fusion 360. I have attached a copy of the mechanical drawings and a copy of our report, i can't seem to ...
After buying myself a google home mini a couple weeks ago I started looking into Smart Home devices, and got put off by the pricing of a lot of the devices and that most devices need a dedicated hub. I then discovered Openhab, https://www.openhab.org/, which is a software for integrating different home automation systems and technologies into one single solution that allows over-arching automation rules and that offers uniform user interfaces.   I started playing about with Openhab install ...
For one of my courses this year we have to design a demo/educational kit demonstrating an electromagnetic phenomenon, our group has chosen Wireless Power transfer.   Our current idea is to design a kit with two WPT antennas on a slider to demonstrate the effect of distance on the efficiency of the coils, and to have the coils interchangeable. The biggest problem we are currently facing is finding examples online of simple WPT systems proving numerical theory, we either find basic wound coi ...
Sorry For the delay in uploading, been focusing on exams. Two Weeks ago we presented the final build of our project The presentation went well, with only one hiccup; my cheap windows tablet not working, but that was easily fixed by using one of our laptops.   The system worked as it was supposed to, the only error which we couldn't fix in time was the label showing text on the vending form disappearing after completing a cycle. I wasn't able to get a video of the system working without ...
Its been a while since i uploaded a post about the Systems Project, so sorry if this is a bit longer than normal.   We currently have nine days until the build need finished for display at the presentation. So we are all trying to get this done quickly as we also have our exams coming up in two weeks time.     The main design consists of two towers to hold the blocks. Each tower can hold about 10 blocks.    For Sorting the blocks into the towers we have a small p ...
This Weeks Deliverable is to drive the servos connected to the FPGA from the PC, In normal operation, this would be done with the Mbed in the middle. ALthough for getting it up and running I have modified our Maintenance Software to output Hex Values for the FPGA to Read.   Apologies for the poor quality Video     The main bulk of the verilog source, attached, has already been written. The Servo driver was completed for an assignment several weeks ago. The UART receiver has co ...
I thought I would share this project that I have been working on for about six years, on and off. It is a controller for four aspect model railway signalling. Functionality of four aspect signals   When most people drive these signals on a layout, the will use a rotary switch to change the signal, but when you have a layout with multiple of these signals, the control board becomes very cumber sum and hard to maintain.   When I first designed the controller I designed it for use on ...
After this mornings Team Meeting we agreed that i could put up some pictures of the goings on within the group. ...
The prototype for the mechanical design has been decided on and construction of the prototype has begun. Apologize for not having any pictures of the actual prototype, just the sketch. The main idea of the prototype consist of two towers which will hold the blocks. At the top there is a platform where the colour of the blocks will be determined. then deposited into one of the towers, the colour will then be stored into an array for use in dispensing.   The towers will dispense into one ...