Ralph S Bacon

MicroControllers, Electronics and IOT

Short circuit brain

I’m still paying my debt to society, er, no, hang on, to my dearly beloved as I am still decorating our house. It’s been some long, long days, working in the heatwave of 30 degrees (86 F). My brain is porridge. Or oatmeal, depending on your English dialect.

So today, after another gruelling day I thought I might look quickly at the items my associates at Banggood have sent me: a collection of Wemos D1 mini items. This train of thought was triggered after a recent (well, not so recent now) video I did where many of you commented on how great this value-for-money board was. And how it could run on batteries for weeks and weeks, using the so-called Sleep Mode of the ESP8266, something I covered in that recent video.

Melting cables of my LiPo device

Melting cables of my LiPo device

So I negotiated with Linda at Banggood and the items duly arrived. One of the stackable shields was a LiPo charger that allows the D1 to run on batteries. Did you know that if you place the said device, connected to an 18650 battery, in a metal dish the thing will melt the cables connecting it? And the LiPo gets very, very hot. Who knew?

The hot LiPo and metal dish causing the issue

The hot LiPo and metal dish causing the issue

Anyway, long story short, the end is in sight for my decorating promise. Another few days should see me back in my Man Cave looking with a more alert brain at the Wemos D1 mini and associated plug-ins. Let’s hope that the LiPo charger still works.

I’m looking forward too to my annual vacation to far off lands, where I can grab a coffee and a sugary apple donut from a nearby 7-Eleven to get my brain in gear for the day.

Until then, thanks for bearing with me in my video darkness and soon I’ll be back, just like Arnie!

My Man Cave

My Man Cave aka Workshop



10 replies

  1. Hope you are OK, not seen you on YouTube for a bit.


    • I’m fine, thanks, but super busy due to spending many, many days decorating my house. Now I’m preparing to go on hols, but I am releasing a video this Friday.

      That’s if I can upload it to YouTube before I have to go to work today.

      Then there will be a bit of silence whilst I’m on my hols but when I’m back service should return to normal.

      Nice to hear from you, Maxx B.


  2. If that 18650 Li-Ion (yes it is one of those and not a LiPo) has the stated capacity of 5000mAh then I am the Queen of Sheba. 😀

    Porridge, gruelling, very funny (tenuous link but for a fan of word play not quite so tenuous.) 😉

    Despite the glorious weather we’ve been having I have in fact been a bit under the weather, battling sleepless nights and chronic pain and finding myself far too tired to tinker. I’m not so sure I care much for this getting older lark. I had planned on spending my summer designing and building my very own ARM-based flight controller for my next quadcopter build but those plans are on hold for the time being.

    The only consolation is I have been spending a bit of time in my (very) modest home recording studio indulging in my other passion – music.

    Still, things could be a lot worse – I could be stuck with doing the decorating and I really hate decorating!


    • I have it on good authority that the Chinese firms pick a random number and keep doubling it until it looks really big and then use that number on their LiPo batteries. It’s true, I read it on the internet, so it must be.

      Oh, regarding Li-Ion vs LiPo read this article – basically, it says that LiPo and Li-Ion are effectively the same thing now, thanks to marketing hype (https://scottiestech.info/2015/06/21/lithium-polymer-vs-lithium-ion-batteries-whats-the-deal/) and I must admit to using the terms interchangeably!

      Sorry to hear that your health is not conducive to Arduino tinkering. I too have many aches and pains caused by old age and my decorating ordeal – the vinyl floor man is due today to add the final touches. And, like you, I often repeat what my granddad used to say: There’s no future in old age. So do what you can, whether that is music, quad-copters or Arduino electronics, and enjoy it as best you can.

      Thanks for posting, Nick, great to hear from you.


  3. Hello Ralph! I too have a few jobs on the list, but – talking about heat – we’re having 34-36°C here, so the very thought puts me off!! Don’t envy you trying to avoid diluting your paint with sweat!
    In addition, my own “Man cave” has no air-conditioning and a fan is just not enough.. so little of that too.
    However, having officially become a pensioner in July, I made myself a big present and bought a CASIO electronic piano, so I enjoy tinkling on it in my artificially cooled ‘studio’. My 15yrs old Border terrier seems to appreciate, so I’m rather happy to wait for cooler days.
    Take it easy… we’ll be here when you post your next super-video!
    All the best!


    • My man cave has air conditioning – open the door wide (it can open 180 degrees) and open the two windows on the other side to get a though draft of air. And cost-free! It works well enough most days but when we get to 30+ degrees then all I get is 30+ degree air wafting through. Enough to (almost) melt the solder on my workbench!

      Nice to hear from you Daniel, and congrats on becoming a pensioner. Although that could still mean you’re only 40 but have some excellent investments! Whatever, you will have more time to dabble with all things Arduino when the weather gets cooler.


  4. Hi, Ralph well done I knew you could be nice to her indoors after all the wife is the one that feeds you and as you don’t have a food tester well say no more.

    I am looking forward to your return to the man cave as I want to make a front door sensor so I know when the postman has delivered and think the D1 would be just the job! what do you think?

    It looks like the China rain sensors have been scuppered and now people are going to change to capacitive sensors to stop corrosion with DC (that would be a good topic for you) how is the cat dry now I hope with 30c

    All the best Bob


    • I’ve covered the corrosion problem with rain sensors, Bob, and mine are 100% OK now. But capacitive sensors would solve the issue better. Hmm, I will see what is out there these days.

      I’ve just had to replace the plumbing in the bathroom (toilet pan connector if you really must know) so that was really fun. So much better than deciphering the vagaries of the Wemos D1, I’m sure.

      Don’t worry, I will soon return but like most things, it takes longer than you think it will, even after allowing for that fact. See you soon!


  5. see ya soon……….painting in this heat !


    • Tell me about it, Andy. Of all the times to decorate my house this was not the month to do it. But, the end is now even more in sight, having cracked the bathroom today. Only a few days to go…


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