Ralph S Bacon

MicroControllers, Electronics and IOT


Benny, BCE

2007 – 2020, RIP In January 2007, Benny was born, in a litter of Burmese kittens. As a pedigree cat, his owners doubtless had hopes of selling him on at a premium price. Unfortunately, Benny’s front leg was slightly wonky. It just wasn’t totally straight, although whether this was congenital or as a result of a later mishap is not known. In the years that followed that leg definitely caused […]

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Eye, eye, Cap'n!

A quick update for anyone interested in my eye problems! You may remember from November 2018, that my left eye had surgery for a detached retina. Fast forward to November 2019 and my right eye has decided to join the party, albeit a bit more seriously. Older people (anyone 50+) and especially those with severe short-sightedness (-5.0 and lower) have a predilection to retinal tears and retinal detachment. As you […]

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The Arduino UNO is dead! Long live the Arduino UNO ‘Plus’!

Yes, I know I have used part of that title in another blog but this is following that theme: there is life in the old dog yet. No, not me, the Arduino Uno! The Arduino History – and missed opportunity Several years ago, ATMEL produced the 8-bit ATMega328P. Hooray! Arduino used that chip in its later, 2010 onwards, UNO boards (originally they used ATMega8 chips). It was nice step up. […]

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If all else fails, read the instructions!

As many of you will know from my YouTube channel, I’ve recently taken the challenge to design and create a PCB. It seemed the next logical step after stripboard and, as I was being sponsored by a couple of PCB fabs in China, it was as though fate has stepped in. My first attempt was dire. Although the resultant PCB worked (after two small corrections) it was typical of someone […]

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The Arduino UNO is dead – long live the ESP8266!

I recently decided to increase the number of my Arduino UNO sized boards (not original ones, clones) from a Chinese warehouse, any of them, I’m not fussed. Imagine my consternation when the board I wanted, a standard UNO format but with a micro USB socket rather than a full sized one were rarer than hen’s teeth. And quite expensive, relatively speaking. I can remember just a couple of years ago […]

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Right to Repair on the way?

I read an article on the BBC Website yesterday, called Right To Repair Gathers Force, which applies to the UK, Europe and the USA. It’s worth skimming it before continuing here, actually! That link opens in a new tab so you won’t lose your place here. In a nutshell, the common people are fed up with consumer items having a ridiculously short working life, coupled with a dearth of spare […]

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Barking Mad!

I had to swap the release order of my most recent videos, so the PCBWay video got released first otherwise the Xmas competition details would have been out of date before it got seen. This means my next video is all about dogs. Dogs that bark. In particular, our current dog, Dougle, for whom we are custodians, (yes, it really is spelt like that, courtesy of my daughter). He’s a […]

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Mode: Beginner [Eagle]

When you’ve been driving a car for a few years, it’s difficult to remember how difficult it was at first. All those pedals, the indicators, the gear shift and to top it all you’ve got to steer the car and not hit anything else whilst doing so! Trying to teach someone to drive is quite a skill. What is obvious to you is most certainly not obvious to a beginner. […]

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I’m back! (for good)

It feels longer than the 3 weeks since I’ve had the eye operation to reattach the retina in my left eye; time drags when you’re not occupied doing something creative – and lying in bed for 10 days was not fun. I’m humbled by the numerous comments wishing me a speedy recovery. Thank you all, it was a real lift when I was feeling a bit down (i.e. sorry for […]

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