Author: Timo

(Re-)Installing and modifying a PIR module

A while back I ordered a cheap 230V PIR of AliExpress to control the light in our washing room because my housemates always forget to turn it back off. I came across a nice model that didn’t use the normal bulky (outdoor-ish) case but rather used a small external eye you could integrate in a ceiling. And because the room has a suspended system ceiling that was perfect.

When I got the device I opened it up, looked at it and thought “Yeahhhh, good enough”.👍 Then I quickly connected it and instead of drilling a whole I just sneaked the wire to the eye/PIR on the side of a panel and just suspended it there. And it worked fine! It turned on the light when you walked in and now most of the time the light was off. Win!😎

Read More

FadeLed Arduino library

This is going to be a small post. I came across the question how to fade a led. In basic it’s not that hard to do, just increment the brightness in steps every x period of time. But when you start to write code for it it starts to become more complicated. Not hard, but only more work then you might initially think. For example, how do you determined the steps and the periods you need? And do you want to fade with a constant speed or in a constant time?

To make it easy for everybody (including future me) to fade a led on an Arduino hardware PWM pin I started to write a small library. But mostly it became a practice of fully documenting a project using Doxygen, putting out releases on GitHub including main pages etc.

If you want to jump straight to the library:  septillion-git/FadeLed

Read More

The big ARM adventure – part 1

I’ve been programming 8-bit micro controllers for some years now. I started with PIC (PIC16F628, like everybody else), bought a PicKit 2 (because that did work on a 64-bit OS) and started coding in CCS C. Looking back it’s all terrible but it got me going. Of course I can across some AVR code but I never used it until the whole Arduino revolution. A friend wanted to do some stuff with Arduino so I helped him out and I started looking at Arduino myself. Mostly because you can buy Pro Mini’s (with all components already on a board) so dirt cheap from China it really is a no-brainer. I looked at some 32-bit stuff and bought some Ti Launchpads etc. But never really got my head around it and because I never needed it I stayed with 8-bitters.

Then I came across a post on Hackaday about repurposing a AVR-programmer as a USB Arduino. I’ve seen those modules thousands of times on eBay but never bought one. (I use a Arduino as ISP.) Although the hack is neat I don’t find it very useful because of the limited I/O. For less you can just use a Nano with a lot more I/O. (Okay, you can’t present it as a HID or something else.) I started reading the comments to see how other people thought about it and then I spotted something that I found interesting. Especially the comment of [wongsta / drojf] about cheap ARM boards. So I fired up eBay and looked up that STM32F103C8T6 he talked about. And well be damned, even cheaper then the $3,50 he talked about. So I ordered a board right away. Together with a STlink v2 that was mentioned there.

Read More

KaKu Extend

My girlfriend has multiple remote controlled AC outlets in her room. In Dutch better known as Klik aan Klik uit (Click on Click off) or KaKu for short. They are not the real Klink aan Klik uit brand but a cheaper version of the Action (Dutch dump store). They all work at 433MHz to send the data to the outlets.

In a junk bin I found another KaKu (and a remote) and it would be nice to use it with the rest. But at first they didn’t seem to work with the original set. But after some testing I found out they could work together but only at address 0. Also on and off where reversed. But hey, it’s a start. Enough to open them up more to check the guts. And because new KaKu would replace a normal switch it was a wish to have a local switch/button to turn on/off the light as well.

Read More

ATX Bench Power Supply


This is the first project post I make on here. Despite I had way cooler and more difficult projects I want to start with a simple project. I chose to use my Bench Power Supply converted from a ATX power supply as a fist post.

Converting a ATX power supply is a easy project to do. On the web you can find many tutorials on how to do this (for example from Jumper One or Great Scott). It’s a great and simple way to give yourself an extra power supply. It’s cheap, can deliver a lot of power (can be a con) and has all the usual voltages.

Read More