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  • Resistance is .. wait what?

    It’s really been a very long time since I’ve dabbled in electronics and things have really moved on in that time.   Sure I’ve kind of kept up with things over the years but only at a higher level.  Getting back into it I’ve found some newer nomenclature (I suppose for a lack of a better name for it) and had to do some quick Googling for confirmation of my suspicions.

    So back in my day (yes, I’m old enough now to be able to say that) values were written with s decimal place .. ie:   4.7K Ohm etc .. however, things have changed a bit and for better (as is usually the way). It was always a pain to read the decimal place depending on the manufacturer and the font selected.  The new method is much better!  However while doing some research I find that there are some errors that can be made (or inferred), let me show the simple table below collected from various sites and forums.

    New abbreviationOld method
    0R250.25 Ω
    350R350 Ω
    * NOTE lower case k
    4700 Ω / 4.7k Ω
    * NOTE lower case k
    5M85.8M Ω / 5,800,000 Ω
    4L74.7 milli Ω (apparently used in current shunts)
    1V61.6 Volts
    293K15293.15 Kelvin - Don't mix up K with k, see notes above

    I know it’s not earth shattering news to a lot, but this posting is hopefully helpful to someone if nothing else it’s a place for me to document some of my findings while rediscovering something I once really enjoyed.

    Thanks for reading folks and until the next posting.. I’ve got a number of draft posts I’m working on that relate to my journey into the world of home automation and Internet of Things (IoT) that I’m building out.  You would have had a glimpse into some of this in previous posts recently.


  • Sour Milk?!

    Posted on by rob

    We’ve had some issues at the office with milk going sour, usually over weekends.  This long weekend was extra bad as Tuesday morning we had to bin 7 x 4pint bottles of milk that had all turned to nasty smelling cheese over the course of the 3 day weekend.

    It was suggested that we put a thermometer in the fridge, sure it’ll work, but it can only show you what the temp is NOW and not over time.  Soooo being a geek and very new to the world of Arduino, I knew I had to find a way.

    Click here to see Photos of devices used

    Enter the ESP8266 12-E and a DHT22 plus ThingSpeak.  I found the code I was looking for, thanks very much to “Chispa” over at #GoChispaGo.   The code only need a couple of minor tweaks plus a load of translating since his was in Spanish 😀

    The code is pretty straightforward (says a guy that really doesn’t have any programming experience with Arduino’s).

    Building the project was simple, the ESP8266 is powered by a USB cable and phone charger plugged into the wall and the DHT22 is plugged into 5vdc, ground and pin D4 on the ESP8266 board.

    I got it working just fine though so I’m well pleased about that.

    The data is logged to a chart: https://thingspeak.com/channels/321768

    And the code used is as follows.

    Feel free to take the code and play away for your own needs.

    ESP8266 next to 20p
    DHT22 sensor next to 20p

  • Good-bye 2015 … Hello 2016

    2015 is all but over already … we saw good times, bad times, stressful times and everything in between.

    I had some fantastic outdoor times in 2015 with some great folks that I’d met through YouTube.  I can’t wait to do many more camps with them in 2016.

    Watch this slide show of photos from over the last year (not too many of them I promise)

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    We’d also bought our first house in 2015 and made a big move from Cottenham (where we lived for 10 years) to Swindon.  It was a huge change for us, but all in all I think it was a good change.  It certainly put me closer to the places I wanted to be for my camps.

    2015-12-30 23_43_33-Photo - Google Photos
    Our new house, but not our car

    Lisa also joined Scouts in 2015 and she’s been loving it.  First with the troop in Cottenham and then joined in immediately with 1st Stratton St Margaret right after the move.  The transition was pretty easy for her and she fit right in pretty much from the start.  I also got much more involved with Scouting myself first as an occasional adult helper in Cottenham and now I’ve started the process to become a Scout Leader.  More news on how that goes in 2016.  We’ve done several scout camps this year and had an awesome time at each and every one of them, and looking forward to many more in the years to come.

    Lisa getting invested into 1st Stratton St Margaret Scout Troop.

    Emma has also moved from Brownies, which she really didn’t like.  She just didn’t get out of what she wanted.  She’s now in Cubs and will move to the same Scouts Troop with Lisa and myself sometime early in 2016 (once she’s about 10 1/2).

    Emma getting invested into Cubs

    Work life also saw loads of change, some good, some not so good.  Certainly an increase in stress levels, that has not been fun at all.  But it pays the bills so for the time being I need to just accept it.

    So, what is planned for 2016?   Well who really knows haha I don’t have many plans for the new year but one thing is for certain, I plan to do a lot more camps and get out a lot more.  This includes going out alone more, with groups like the MTFU and Camp Shaky folks and of course camping more with the family (we have a new big tent that we need to use).  I’m also planning to do more training in bushcraft and primitive skills in 2016.

    I’ve already booked one course in Flint Knapping with Hands On Bushcraft and looking forward to that.  I’m also booking a full weekend (Thursday – Sunday) at the 2016 Wilderness Gathering.  Really looking forward to that.  We managed to get there for the day this year and the kids had a good time.  Lots to see and do, too much for one day.  So, next year we’re doing the entire weekend.   I also plan to attend more of the various weekend bushcrafty kind of things in 2016 and take the kids along as well.

    So, now I’ll close this post along with closing out 2015 and wish everyone a very happy new year and hope that 2016 brings so much awesomeness to everyone that they don’t know what to do with the excess.   For everyone I met in 2015 and spent time with, thanks for the great memories and can’t wait to make more in the new year.

    The logo for my YouTube Channel

  • Emma is officially a cub

    Tonight Emma was finally made an official cub when she was invested and given her necker and group badges to get her started.  She was so happy to have it happen as well as its been a couple weeks late because the evenings were all running late.  When she swore her oath she was very loud and proud.  Well done Emma!!

    Tags: #Liveblog, cubs, 1stStrattonStMagaret
    November 20, 2015 at 01:50AM