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Halloween Pumpkin Solar Lights

Posted by Matthew Little on

Add spooky solar powered effect to you carved pumpkin lantern! If you order our Jam Jar Solar kit then, until Halloween, we will also provide four red LEDs which can be used to add a spooky glowing lights to your carved pumpkin. This kit provides a solar powered light that automatically turns on at dusk to give a red glowing effect to light up the inside of a pumpkin lantern. First remove the insides from your pumpkin (you can eat all types of pumpkin! I saved the seeds to roast and the insides to make soup). Cut the top off...

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CheeseBoard: Adding an Air Quality Sensors

Posted by Matthew Little on

I've been interested in environmental sensing for a long time - mainly for monitoring renewable energy sources. I've been collecting interesting sensors for a while and one of those was a "Nova PM Sensor SDS011 High Precision Laser PM2.5 Air Quality Detection Sensor" (mine came from Bang Good, but available in lots of places). This is quite a large sensor with a fan to control air flow over a laser detection sensor. The datasheet is available here.     The data is obtainable via a digital output (pulses when particles are detected) or via a serial connection (at a default of...

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Trying out the Program-O-Tron

Posted by Matthew Little on

The Program-O-Tron was a Kickstarter product from Proto-Pic, an online microcontroller and kit supplier. It costs £54 to buy now and is available from their online store. I thought it would be really useful for programming the microcontrollers included in some of my kits (mainly the ATTiny85 and the ATMega328). It comes as an almost complete board (SMD has all been done) with just the switches and ZIF socket to solder in. Getting started, I first went to the main page for this device on the Proto-Pic website. The main user guide is available here. The unit was dead easy...

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Trying out the Cheeseboard:Cheddar

Posted by Matthew Little on

An overview of getting started with our cheeseboard for the first time.

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Soldering is Easy!

Posted by Matthew Little on

As all our kits need to be soldered together, we have been asked a number of times about soldering education and information. We usually point people to the excellent 'Soldering is Easy' comic produced by Mitch Altman, Andie Nordgren and Jeff Keyzer. This is a really great comic-book style introduction to basic soldering techniques. This guide is visual, easy to understand and open-source so can be spread and shared with everyone. There is a short guide available here: [powr-file-embed id=830011c5_1486907263] And a more in depth guide here: [powr-file-embed id=eaf2d70f_1486907524] We hope to include this guide with all of our kits...

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