WriteOptiBoot.bat

I have lots of projects across a range of microcontroller architectures where reliably programming a new instance of the target is required.

Using an IDE to compile and load, eg traditional / common use of the Arduino IDE, is not a path to that reliability.

A better approach is to save compiled binaries, and have a saved method of programming the chip, binary application code, EEPROM if needed, and hardware settings such as fuse bits, options etc.

Let’s look at an example,  a cmd file or bat file to program certain Arduino architecture boards with a customised Optiboot bootloader. Continue reading WriteOptiBoot.bat

ESP WiFi relay project – preview

The impetus behind the project is a remotely WiFi controllable relay for reset function in a remote controlled ham station.

The information presented here applies to development v0.1.

Features:

  • support typical multi channel relay boards;
  • ESP8266 and ESP32 firmware versions;
  • WiFi credentials programmable via a captive web interface;
  • DHCP or static IP;
  • nMDNS responder;
  • flexible configuration stored as json file in on-board LittleFS file system;
  • optional authentication to secure remote access.

A variety of integrated relay boards

Above, a Yunshan relay, not recommended as RESET pin is tied high. This one was binned, quite a waste of money. It exemplifies a common problem in that the RESET line is often not available on a header pin, this one is worse in having tied RESET high and no header pin for EN. Continue reading ESP WiFi relay project – preview

Review of inexpensive Chinese thermostat – DST1020

The DST1020 targets the market for inexpensive digital thermostats, the most popular being the STC1000. There are two novel features to the DST1020:

  • uses DS1820B digital temperature sensor (well probably a Chinese clone);
  • two line display shows PV and SV simultaneously.

The DS1820B should be considerably more accurate and overcome the significant error in the conversion of NTC resistance to temperature in the other thermostats (experience is that the approximation used for the NTC characteristic is simple and inaccurate).

It is sold with brief and inadequate / incorrect user instructions.

Above, the front of the DST1020. Continue reading Review of inexpensive Chinese thermostat – DST1020

JDY-31 Bluetooth SPP module

A friend referred me to a ‘replacement’ for the HC-05 Bluetooth module, a JDY-31.

Above is a JDY-31 bluetooth module with header pins fitted. The physical design is poor, the header pins can be fitted from only one side (not plated through holes, no pads on the other side, probably to suit the base board below), and the black plastic part obscures the board labelling of the pins. Continue reading JDY-31 Bluetooth SPP module

IoT water tank telemetry project – 4-20mA / 1MPa pressure transducer trial

This is a new project derived from IoT water tank telemetry project – part 1 , but using an inexpensive 1MPa 4-20mA pressure transducer.

Above is the electronics and 4MPa pressure transducer fitted with a Nitto male connector for a trial. Continue reading IoT water tank telemetry project – 4-20mA / 1MPa pressure transducer trial

A template for an air filter foam element

I was somewhat frustrated that I could not easily buy air filter foam inserts for the common 25cc Chinese chainsaw. Sellers sold the housing, but no filter element in it.

So, the project is to make a template to cut a foam element that is a neat fit inside the housing.

Above is a sketch laid up over a picture of the filter cover. The template is made a little larger than the aperture so that the foam filter element compresses a little to fit. Continue reading A template for an air filter foam element

IoT water tank telemetry project – HC-SR04 – second trial

IoT water tank telemetry project – ultrasonic sensor – #1 described an inexpensive ultrasonic ranging sensor for trial.

Above is the HC-SR04 ultrasonic ranging sensor, it was purchased for around $6 from a local eBay seller and delivered within days. Note that there are somewhat similar looking things with a second board on the back and a different interface, the basic HC-SR04 as pictured suits this project.

In this second trial, the battery saving feature has been activated. It powers the HC-SR04 on for each measurement, waiting 600ms for the HC-SR04 to stabilise. Continue reading IoT water tank telemetry project – HC-SR04 – second trial

IoT water tank telemetry project – JSN-SR04T-3.0 – first trial

IoT water tank telemetry project – HC-SR04 – first trial mentioned an inexpensive ultrasonic ranging sensor for trial.

Above is the JSN-SR04T-3.0, a waterproof transducer on a cable and the electronics board. The protocol is HC-SR04 PWM. No specifications or datasheet were found (other than the seller’s brief description). Continue reading IoT water tank telemetry project – JSN-SR04T-3.0 – first trial