Ralph S Bacon

MicroControllers, Electronics and IOT

A new programming language (for me)

If you’ve been following my YouTube channel or this blog you’ll know by now about my Workshop Automation project that I have on the go. It will incorporate many elements of the Arduino journey so far, but requires something a bit more sophisticated to tie it all together. Hence the Raspberry Pi 3B+ sitting on my desk. Who would have thought it? I’ve followed a script or two in Python, […]

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Sonoff and Alexa are friends!

My 4-channel Sonoff switching unit has arrived and has been “paired” with my Alexa. So now Alexa can switch my workshop heating on and off. In theory, at least, because I haven’t actually connected this to my heater. This is simply going to provide a signal to my workshop hub microcontroller that the heater should be turned on (if below a preset temperature). This Sonoff also comes with an easy-to-use […]

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First Workshop Succesful Repair

An interesting problem, this one, and whilst not directly Arduino-related the process I used in determining the problem is very similar when diagnosing misbehaving I2C buses, MOSFETs that don’t switch on when expected or any number of weird code anomalies. Our cordless vacuum cleaner started playing up. It would fire up for a few seconds, but then switch off. Additionally, the motorised brush head would not revolve at all. As […]

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Workshop Progress Report – Part 1

My absence from my YouTube channel, answering my Arduinite followers’ questions, over the last few days is attributable to the fact that I’ve spent 12-hour days getting my new workshop in order – if a chaotic jumble of tools, leads, bolts, screws and computer equipment in any way defines “order”! Sincere apologies to everyone who has left a comment but has received no reply (yet) – business-as-usual will resume shortly. […]

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ESP8266 WiFi Relay – Part 2

ESP8266 WiFi Relay

The many comments left after my latest video on this device left me in no doubt that to make it useful we need to reprogram the ESP8266. It was only when I discovered how overly complex it was to get this device going that I resorted to the rather “faffy” solution in my video (just to prove it would all work!). No more faffing this time, though. So how easy […]

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Workshop Construction Begins

The bad UK weather – with the Beast from the East Siberian weather front – stopped my workshop base construction in its tracks last week. Well, it was -5 degrees Celsius (23°F) and the builders figured it was not a good temperature in which to pour concrete! You can still see some of the snow behind the shuttering, after the snow melted a few days later. The workshop will be about […]

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RS485 Serial Comms

Picture of an RS485 module

My latest video shows how easy it is to set up a couple of RS485 modules connected with two wires and an Arduino µController at either end so you can communicate with an outbuilding, shed or workshop, without using radio waves. Even better is that you can connect several RS485 modules to the same two wires, so one for the shed and one for the barn, for example. Did I […]

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