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Dubbie Dubbie's Blog

81 posts
I've always known that it takes many more tools than you think to do even the simplest of jobs and today I was able to confirm that. One of my bedrooms is being redecorated and this involved removing some box shelve units, which in itself was very straight forward, but it did leave the screws still fixed into the wall. I think the shelves were put up some 20 years ago so have had plenty of time to fuse into place. Additionally, they were also unusual screws as they were much longer than expected ...
On 6th May'20 I blogged about the characteristics of a solar cell on a sunny day (Solar Cell On A Sunny Day ). Inspired by the Evaluation Kit for Epishine Light Energy Harvesting Blog by Jan Crumps (Solar Energy Harvesting with Epishine Flexible Solar Cell - Pt 1: intro ) and the fact that it is 34 C outside at the moment so I'm not going to be doing any path laying or gardening today, I thought I would repeat my measurements of a solar cell to see if there was any difference on a really sunny d ...
dubbie

LoRa Rewards : Unbagging

Posted by dubbie Jul 24, 2020
Recently, or was it some time ago now - time passes so quickly - I was pleased to be gifted a couple of Arduino MKR LoRa boards for asking a question during the recent LoRa Meets Arduino Webinar (https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/console/EventConsoleApollo.jsp?&eventid=2350848&sessionid=1&username=&partnerre… ). Usually it seems around the home, I get told off for asking questions, so it was nice to be encouraged to ask questions. Today the bag containing thee items ...
Recently I was pleased to be awarded one of the Molex Antenna Sample Kits given out for taking part in the Antenna Essentials and the kit arrive recently. I do enjoy attempting to unbox items such as this while videoing the process, although I do not think this is one of my best attempts.     Now that all then antennas are out of the box they can be shown below.       I do not think I will be able to explore the possibilities of all of them but I will certainly g ...
dubbie

A Rediscovered Toy Tank

Posted by dubbie Jul 2, 2020
Over the last few years I have been emptying my loft, boarding it and adding extra insulation in the hope that this would make my house warmer. I think it has helped but to be honest I think new carpets (stops draughts through the floorboards) and new radiators (50% more heat into the rooms!) have probably been more effective. My plan is that eventually I will never need to go into the loft again as it requires a certain amount of flexibility and strength to get in and more importantly out! and ...
For my mobile robots I have traditionally used AA or AA batteries as power sources, which is fine but does mean that there is a minimum size of chassis that is needed and that the motors need to be more powerful in order to move the heavy batteries about. For some time I have been toying with the idea of moving to LiPo batteries and/or using solar cells to power the mobile robots (Solar Cell On A Sunny Day ) and it seems to me that these power sources need a DC-DC convertor ,as they provide a lo ...
As the sun was shining much more brightly today I decided to repeat my measurements of the solar cell (Solar Cell Maximum Power Output (Hazy Sunshine) ) to try and obtain a more detailed view. This time I only took measurements in the range 600 Ohms to 10 Ohms, in steps of 100 Ohms down to 200 Ohms and then in steps of 10 Ohms. The graph is displayed below and seems much better.   This has produced a much better curve and shows that the peak power output of 426 mW is at 60 Ohms load, com ...
For some time I have been intending to create some sort of solar powered project but never quite got around to it. However, a few weeks ago I decided to do something about this lack and purchased some solar cells, which were rated at a nominal 6V and 90 mA maximum, with a size of 120mm x 38 mm. These voltage and current ratings are nominal ideal values in very bright sunshine and optimum loading and I was not expecting to get 90 mA at 6 V. But I wanted to find out the actual characteristics so I ...
I have been using TinkerCAD for a couple of years now to design the 3D printed parts I use in my Element14 projects. I haven't seen anyone else using this package so I thought I would give a 'live' overview of making a case for my Nano 33 BLE Sense based project. TinkerCAD isn't a full 3D design package so it has limitations but I find it simple to use and can create most if not all the shapes that I want - with a little bit of ingenuity. TinkerCAD works by adding or subtracting standard 3D shap ...
dubbie

Gifts From E14

Posted by dubbie Mar 20, 2020
I came back from the garden today to find an unexpected bag of goodies from E14 this morning.     I was greatly cheered by this as I was not expecting anything, which is always the best type of gift. Looks like a Nano Sense for Nanaorama, an ESP8266 OLED, a bunch of green LEDs and some stickers. All good things. I will put my thinking cap on and see what I can do with all this goodness.   Dubbie ...
dubbie

100,000 Steps Completed

Posted by dubbie Mar 19, 2020
Just finished the Walking Challenge that I set for myself of taking 100,000 steps outside in 10 days. I actually managed it in only 9 days. It has been more of a struggle than I imagined, mainly because I think my step counter only counts 'some' of my steps. I've raised some money for Zimbabwe (http://www.paraclete.org.uk/), enjoyed getting up at 6.30am and going for a walk. I think I will continue to get up early - as long as it is light.   Although the step counter was low cost I was sti ...
At present I am not panicking but recently I was given a refund for a robot I ordered two months ago, because the company no longer had any stock due to the effects of the Corona virus. As the idea of not having robots to study in a serious and scientific way (otherwise known as playing) caused me some concern, I ordered several more from a source that had them in stock - with the added bonus that they were cheaper than the original one.     I now have plenty of robots to put-togeth ...
dubbie

UnBagging More Gifts

Posted by dubbie Mar 10, 2020
Another parcel from Element14 arrived today.... just as I was about to leave for my 3000 steps of exercise so I waited until I returned to open it, along with a nice cup of tea. Inside the bag was a very nice light grey Influencer of the Tear 2019 T shirt, as well as a small silver power bank, both from Element14. I have been wearing my T-shirt and feeling well-influenced. It is so nice it seems a shame to wear it, maybe I'll put it into a picture frame.     I have now combined this ...
dubbie

Gifts Unbagging

Posted by dubbie Mar 6, 2020
It was great to receive a parcel this afternoon from Element14, which I think is for being Influencer of the Year 2019, or maybe E14 is just being nice to me. A nice XXL T shirt as well as an Element14 Breadboard module (some assembly required. Just a little problem with the breadboard in that two of the rubber feet had lost their stickiness so I had to resort to using glue - seems to have worked. I might now try and add a small voltmeter and rechargeablel battery to make a self-contained mobile ...
I'll come clean, despite studying Electrical & Electronic Engineering (I don't think you could do just Electronic Engineering in those days) I never liked the Electrical bit. I'm not happy messing about with invisible stuff that can kill you. One mistake and puff - you're gone. I know from experience - I've made one mistake - and puff, I was the other side of the room and all the lights had gone out. Luckily still around to learn to be more careful.   Still, there comes a time when you ...