Sunday, November 2, 2014


Yeah. This year brings a change and then it took almost an year to type next post.

This year has certainly not been a quiet one! Lots happening on job side of life and even more happening on private projects side.

So what is going on, you may ask. Lets see...

Since last post (january):

Flight simulator:
- Acquired some simulation hardware: yoke system and pedals
- Acquired a nice 40" LED TV (Samsung) for side view, still looking a good deal for another side view.
- Acquired one PC for visuals (in addition to two existing PCs and one Mac)
- Acquired enough X-Plane 10 licences to run three display system
- Created proof of concept system for connecting avionics panel etc. to X-Plane 10 via Raspberry Pi

Kitchen remodeling:
- Connected range hood to home automation system via Electric Imp
- One cabinet door still missing hinges. I think I need to build my own hinges...
- Floor needs to be sanded and refinished. I think this will be outsourced.
- Countertop lights work via remote control. Will be connected to home automation system later.

House Fan:
- Controlled by Electric Imp now. Needs some sw upgrade because in case of internet outage, fan stops.
- Can be controlled from downstairs via Nokia N810 tablet (+ python/gtk GUI).

- Still looking for new engines.

- Full rebuild ongoing. More later.

Backyard garden:
- First harvest is done. We have not bought any veggies since june or something. Great success.

And couple new projects...

Cold room, or "temperature controlled storage"
- Now we have 6.7 cubic meters (236.6 cuft) of temperature controlled storage. Can be kept around 4C without using too much electricity. Good for bee... I mean beet, red beet. Yes, that's what I mean. ;)

Cold smoker:
- Old fridge + smoke generator + Electric Imp + salmon = delicious. Absolutely delicious.

I need to post some pictures. Hopefully before the years end so stay tuned (if there is anyone wathing this any more...)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hiljaista tällä rintamalla...

Lots have happened since last post. Just getting lazy to post new things here but perhaps this year brings a change.

Status of ongoing projects:

Flight Simulator
Progressing slowly. Now when I have access to laser cutter/engraver, cnc mill and 3D printers I have started drawing plans for "general" gauge mechanics. "General" because it will be used as a basis for all gauges in future.

Kitchen remodeling
Almost done, two cabinet doors need some thinking because of hinge issues.
Floor needs to be sanded and refinished.

Replaced 30yrs old house fan with Vilpe 190p Eco. (It can be controlled with 0-10V DC signal so that will also be controlled by home automation system. Currently there is just a pontetiometer in kitchen for speed control.)

Also replaced 30+yrs old Valmet range hood with Savo PK26.
Installation was quite difficult because I had to remove some unneeded parts first. I wonder if this voids the warranty...

Now pulling the hood open controls only lights. The other two switches will control the house fan via home automation system.

Countertop lights are led strips from partco . 120leds per meter.
Due to testing in bright daylight before installing, I had to install dimmable power supply (too bright in the morning, hurts eyes...). Can be controlled with PWM or 0-10V DC. Will be connected to home automation system too.

House Fan
I think this can be considered as one separate project too.
Plan is to have fan controlled from kitchen range hood  and also automagically shut down for 10 minutes when firing up the downstairs fireplace and, also automagically, set to 70% speed setting when air moisture level rises in sauna.

3D printer
Works ok, planning to build better one started.

Can not find spare parts for ancient Valmet SM-160 engines. Current plan is to replace both of them with modern 4-stroke electric start ones.

Backyard garden
First "growing box" built (and first garlics planted). If the "winter" is like this next weekend, I will build other two boxes.

Da Workshop
Remodeling ongoing. Need to have two separable spaces: one for delicate projects like microcontrollers etc and other for more dirty jobs like routing wood etc.
Not too much space available and four doors+two windows cause some problems in placing the furniture and tools.

So that's the update for now. More later.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Home automation. How hard can it be?

Now when I have acquired some very nice hw from LowPowerLabs, how hard can it be to write a piece of code for it to control Nexa home automation modules?

The recent kitchen renovating project in our house made me think if I could control house fans, lights, car block heater etc. remotely without paying arm and leg for the system.

Long and exhaustive search in vast deeps of internet brought me to Lowpowerlabs website. They have a very nice system there:

Arduino-compatible Moteino-board with builtin RF transceiver for a very reasonable price!
And wait! That's not all! Those boards can even be programmed remotely over RF!
what a piece of hardware. Could be useful in lots of projects.

Now if I just could figure out a way how to control Nexa-modules ( with Moteino.

Nexa controls remote devices through 433.92MHz frequency with a quite simple protocol. 
People in internet have already managed to control those devices with Arduino and 'el cheapo' RF trasnsmitters. So how hard can it be to use Moteino for it?

Did I mention that one Moteino variant comes with RFM96HW transceiver? _Very_ long range. Perhaps I could use it to switch car block heater on and off during wintertime (car resides quite a far away from house) without using those pesky timers we have in every car heating outlet pole.

Hmm... perhaps the time itself could be in car instead of power pole... With remote control...
With Moteino... Simple logic like "if it is workday and not national holiday and google calendar has no "holiday" for today and temperature is below +5C and time is 6:10, heat on babe"... Sweet!

Now I just need to build that system... 

Darn! This home automation project is already getting out of hands.
Well... That's life, I guess.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New phone, testing...

Cool, this works...
Samsung S4 feels kinda plastic-y but it is quite remarkable piece of smartphone. Just writing this with it... From now on there will be more updates about new projects.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Long, long time since last post...

This post will be short but I thought just to tell everyone I am still alive and kickin'

Current projects include: Mendelmax, Smoker V2, Mediaserver, SnowPlow(er).

More to be announced shortly. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

While waiting for the parts...

While waiting for the last parts for Mendelmax-3D-printer (last parts, needed first!) I had too much free time...

Back in Texas I had fully automated smoker (fish, meat) I had to leave behind when moving to Finland.
Now I have electronics ready for new smoker (V2, to be exact.)
See picture.
More explanations later, if needed. :-)
(Yes, there is a Pharos 500 GPS module involved in this build)

Now when the wirelessly controlled control logic is figured out, I need to find two 30mm wood drill bits (augers?) and some other parts before I can put this thingamajig together.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nuttin' much. Just parts update.

Todays status

Acquired parts:

M5 screws
608ZZ bearings
M3,M5 washers
M5 nuts
Blind joint screws
Lead screws
Belts & pulleys
Aluminium extrusions (profiles)
Stepper drivers
NEMA motors
Printed parts
Z shaft couplers
T-nuts or square nuts (Bought, not received yet).. After getting these I can start putting this together!
Arduino Mega2560 (Ordered from Chinese eBuyer... Need to pick up from PO)

Still missing:

8mm thrust bearings (will take stress away from Z-axis motors)
Idler stud
RAMPS electronics
Heat proof spacers
Power supply (12V,30A)
Aluminium sheet
Heated platform
Hobbed bolt
Hot end