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Croozer bike trailer alternate hitch

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There’s a great local service in my home city Jyväskylä called Lastipyörälainaamo, where one can borrow electric bikes, cargo bikes and bike trailers for free. I’ve been thinking about buying a bike trailer to use with my son, so this was an opportunity to try one before buying.

They borrow the trailer with an electric bike, but I wanted to use my own. Since they don’t have extra hitch hooks and anyway the hook would not play well with the quick lock wheels (at least on my bike), I thought to make an alternate hitch.

This is how it looked like. My bike is Haibike SDURO SL.

 

DIY Baby Monitor

10/11/2016 4 comments

I recently discovered WebRTC in another project and wanted to try it out in some home project. Since our another home project is nearing it’s delivery, a baby monitor seemed to be in the (very long) list of things to buy.

Our baby will probably be sleeping mostly outside in the baby carriage and I wanted some kind of device with live picture thats viewable anywhere in the house to keep an eye on him while doing something else. WebRTC seemed to fit the bill since it works wherever a recent enough browsed is available like in the Android tablet we have in the space between our kitchen and the living room. I tried to use ready software and 3D-printable parts wherever possible to make something usable fast. Read more…

Controlling Opal branded wireless electrical socket

The weather is getting so cold currently that the cars heater needs to be turned on for more than an hour. Since I don’t want to wake up any earlier than possible, I went to get a socket that could be remotely timed. I found Belking Wemo switch, but unfortunately it proved to be an utter waste of money. The configuration software is extremely poor and the device refused to connect to my homes access point no matter what I tried.

I had previously bought cheap sockets with a remote. These were branded “Opal” and cost next to nothing in a pack of two sockets and one remote and they seem to work well enough. Only minus was the strange 12v battery the remote uses.

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Socket, front

I popped open the remote to check how it worked. The layout seems to be easy enough. The +12v from the battery is dropped to +5v for the microcontrolled under the epoxy blob. The controller scans the keypad and generates the code which is fed to RF part. The RF transmitter requires the +12v straight from the battery and operates in 433 MHz frequency. I cut the signal trace from the controller to the transmitter and soldered wires to the test pad in the signal trace and the ground. Using the oscilloscope I checked what the controller is outputting when the keys are pressed.

Read more…

Autoleveling with proximity sensor

24/12/2015 3 comments
g2s

Geeetech G2S

I have a Geeetech G2S 3D-printer, which features autoleveling out of the box. Unfortunately the autoleveling is pretty much a joke, consisting of piece of bended wire and a microswitch. Due to the wire flexing, the probe will get different values when the head is moving from left to right than from right to left.

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Inductive proximity sensor

I saw someone experimenting with the inductive proximity sensor for autoleveling. These sensors are usually used in applications like limit switches in the garage door openers. They aren’t designed for accuracy and thus I was a bit skeptic how it would work out. The sensors only detect metals, but for G2S it’s not an issue as it has a steel heat bed. Out of recommendation, I bought LJ18A3-8-Z/BX sensor from eBay. The benefit of this type of a sensor is the long detection range, which allows to position the sensor higher than the print head. This way there’s no need to manually lower and raise the sensor before starting the print. The downside is that the sensor needs +12v and also outputs the same voltage, so it can’t be directly connected to the endstop connector.

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Categories: 3D Printing, Electronics

Giving Kyosho iReceiver unlimited range*

15/03/2015 3 comments
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Kyosho EP Blizzard SR

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 13.17.24

iReceiver (c) Kyosho

A while ago I bought a version of Kyosho Blizzard, which features the new iReceiver which lets you control standard servos and ESC’s with your tablet or mobile phone. There’s also a camera fixed to Blizzard’s fuselage for streaming video. I didn’t have high expectations about the video performance but for the video the range is really poor. For controlling, the range is what you would expect for wi-fi device, about 50 m. The application however stops streaming the video as soon as it detects even a slight packet loss, which generally happens after 20 m. The thought arose, that since mobile networks are nearly ubiquitous, how about tunneling the traffic via 3g connection?

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“H-Series” Security camera

This post is mostly a note for myself, but might prove useful for other also. A while back I bought a security camera to my home from Dealextreme. It was typical Chinese quality with strange translations and weird software but worked nevertheless. I decided to buy another for my company and chose this model again from Dealextreme and thought that it’s the same camera with updated resolution. I was very wrong, this time the cameras internal software was so buggy that it almost made it unusable. The camera has no brand or name or anything, but the manufacturer is probably Wansview.

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PebbleMondo

16/06/2014 2 comments
PebbleMondo beta

PebbleMondo beta

I recently switched from Sports Tracker to Runkeeper, because the latter one offers integration with the Pebble smart watch. However both of those refused to work with my Polar heart rate sensor so I ended up with Endomondo. I wanted to keep the Pebble integration, but apparently even though that there are few threads in the interwebs requesting this feature, it does not seem to be in the list for now.

Endomondo does not offer any API to query information, but I noticed that when it’s not the active application it posts a notification with some very useful information. Since I heard that it’s possible for Android application to catch the notification messages posted by other programs, I decided to write my own adapter for Pebble.

Example notification

Example notification

It proved to be quite difficult to extract the sent information since it’s wrapped into RemoteView object, which does not provide any useful way to tinker with its contents. Finally I found an example from the Stack Overflow which gives an example how do this. Unfortunately the only way seems to be using introspection which is never recommended but seems to work.

The application gets the following information:

  • Duration of exercise
  • Calories burned
  • Heart rate
  • Distance

The information is sent to Pebble’s built-in sports application, so no extra application slot is used from the watch. Unfortunately the watch app is not customizable. It has a display for pace and speed and neither of those is available from Endomondo, so I’m reusing those fields for calories and pulse. User can toggle between these numbers by pressing the middle button on the watch.

The watch application will start automatically when Endomondo starts pushing notifications. The included Android app only displays some instructions and is required by the Play store. The actual program runs as a service on the phone and it needs to be given access to application notifications from the settings menu.

Application source code is available here: https://gitorious.org/pebblemondo

Installable application is available from the Play store against small support fee: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jannem.pebblemondo

Disclaimer: This application is not associated with Endomondo® or Pebble®

Categories: Uncategorized