Sunday, January 1, 2017

Part two, A new beginning.

Well,  plenty of good intentions but no output to show for it so far.  The main problem was lack of time to begin with and that developed into not feeling well enough to be bothered. The last few posts are just my struggle to keep this blog going. However,  the good news is that I have now begun  to feel much better and,  having now retired,  I have a lot more time to play with. In addition,  I have also begun a new strand of development using the latest tech from China which is both very cheap and very small. I hope to be making some very small self contained, mains powered computers for specialist use soon and I will document the process here as I do it. 2017 may just be a lot of fun.

Friday, February 21, 2014


At long last everything is moving again. My new super-duper PC is built and I have finally found the time to re-build my work bench in the attic so that the supports are vertical and it doesn't wobble. In addition, I now have more space than before and, yesterday, purchased the door to keep the cats out when I need to have the door and / or windows open. The new computing kit quite special and I will produce a post about it soon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Time is relative.............

Any regular reader of this blog will know that I regularly order components from China. People have told me that they wouldn't do that mainly because of the distance and the language barrier. The delay in receiving the goods is also a factor for many. I have always taken a more pragmatic view of the situation. The particular goods I buy are, in the main, only available from these suppliers and are certainly much cheaper. Over the past year or so, the delay in receiving my parcels has increased due to customs activity in Hong Kong as it seems all the post is routed through that bottle neck now.Whilst I have never been let down by a Chinese supplier, the quality of service is variable. Recently, however, I have begun buying from Chip Partner and they have cracked the whole market wide open. They have most of the items that the other suppliers have and usually match prices very well. The best part, however, is their communications. They really go the extra mile when it comes to letting the customer know what is happening with their order. If you want to dip your toe in the water of buying from China, I suggest making them your first point of call.

Monday, November 18, 2013

And a bit more...............................

The voltmeters I ordered from China have just arrived and they are lovely little toys. Very small, not much bigger than the display alone, and only two wire connection. They operate on any voltage from 2.5V to 30V and just work. They cost me 99 pence each and are brilliant. I intend to couple them with one of my homebrew mains power supplies and a DC-DC converter to make up some very useful variable power boxes for my various projects.

Monday, November 4, 2013


As pop Larkin never said. The board arrived on Saturday and I cobbled together a quick test that very evening. It worked first time. Now I want to build a small unit to mount above the bedroom door to switch on a couple of LEDs to light our way to the bathroom at night. I will document.
This is a very small item and costs very little. I bought one for £2.54 and it's possible to buy a pack of ten from China for even less per item. Just check out eBay.
What is it? It's a very small PIR (infra red motion detector) that interfaces directly to an Arduino and can trigger an action. In this instance, I want it to turn on a couple of white LEDs for a short period.


fills the stage with flags!
Free counters!