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News — experiment

Bat-mail: Email alerts with the Bat Detector

Posted by Matthew Little on

This post covers a bit of an experiment I tried using both our bat listener kit and the cheeseboard (an ESP8266 development board). I wanted to make a unit that would send me an email whenever a bat was detected in my garden. This would be based upon the ESP8266 and monitor the output from the bat listener kit we sell. This was just a bit of fun, but might have some useful applications for remote monitoring... I basically just needed to connect the micro-controller output from the bat listener to a GPIO pin on the ESP8266. I needed to...

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Building a solar garden light

Posted by Matthew Little on

This blog post covers my prototyping of a simple solar garden light. I wanted to make a simple kit to convert a jam jar into a solar powered garden light. These kind of lights are readily available, but they usually contain a nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH) battery (usually a 1.2V AAA sized cell). I have seen a lot of these lights which use cheap solar panels and the batteries have failed due to being left for a long time (over-winter) with a discharged cell. I thought I could use an ultra-capacitor for energy storage, as these can be left for a long...

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Prototyping a Wildlife Camera

Posted by Matthew Little on

This blog post covers the main design choices and prototyping stages from developing a wildlife camera unit. I had seen the ESP32-CAM, which is based on the ESP32 wifi module. It's incredibly low cost and does some amazing things (including face recognition) with the example code other people have written. I got hold of a couple of samples and thought they would be perfect for a low-cost, solar powered wildlife camera which might be useful in lots of applications. This post covers the work I did on firmware design and PCB design for the unit. I am hoping to have...

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Developing the Solar Soil Sensor

Posted by Matthew Little on

My houseplants have been dying due to a mixture of over and under watering. So I thought something to help stop that would be good. And even better if it's solar powered. I've been working with a solar powered ATTiny85 for the Solar 8 Ball and Solar Dice kits and thought I could use the same basic circuit to implement a solar powered moisture sensor. So I came up with the Solar Soil Sensor. This blog post highlights some of the design decisions and how I implemented everything. Moisture Sensing The first this was to figure out a good way...

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Workshop Environmental Monitoring Project

Posted by Matthew Little on

I have built an environmental monitoring unit for my workshop. This measures: Air Temperature, Humidity & Pressure PM2.5 and PM10 Particulate values Radiation levels It shows the data on a small OLED screen. There is a large LED RGB display which changes colour if data goes above warning levels. This unit sends data to AdafruitIO via MQTT messages. This is all based on the 'Cheeseboard', which is an ESP8266 development board, based upon the NodeMCU. Pretty pleased with the end result. You can view my data here on Adafruit IO dashboard. (Please note: there are a few blips in the data...

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