zondag 17 oktober 2021

2021 Mailbag

Here another Mailbag post.

I received more items in my mailbag and this are items i received in Q2 of 2021. During that time i already started writing this blog article, however due to other priorities i did not post it yet. So in fact the text is already a bit outdated when posting this mid October 2021 but perhaps still interesting.     
Some of the items i ordered during the last months are for my some longer term plans for a new shed / workspace. So it can take a while before i am going to use them. As i only place orders in China below 22 euro's (due to tax regulations) i decided to order items step by step.


These wire connectors i never used before.
It is used to add a connection to an existing wire e.g. for an additional socket.
This is also something i never used before and when is did see a video using it it looked interesting so i want to try it.
It is a set of tubes like shrinking tube with in the middle some solder. It is used to connect two wires. You put the wires in from both sides. Heath the tube and the solder should flow to connect the wires and also the tube shrinks. This way you can easy connect two wires. 
This are some 12V car sockets. In my new workspace (that currently only exist as a plan) i want to add some of this connectors with 12V to power projects or do experiments.
The nice thing is there is a cap in front of the connector to close the big opening. 

maandag 24 mei 2021

Easy module shield -1- (Arduino)

Recently i received another Arduino sensor shield.
It has a reset button and two other push buttons several other sensors.There are some Dupont pins available to add something of your own (e.g. an IR led).

D0( RX see below )
D1( TX see below )
D2SW1 (push button)
D3SW2 (push button)
D4DHT11
D5Buzzer
D6IR receiver
D7(pins with D7 VCC GND)
D8(pins with D7 VCC GND)
D9RGB led (R?)
D10RGB led (R?)
D11RGB led (R?)
D12Led Red D1
D13Led Blue D2
A0Rotation (pot)
A1LDR (Light sensor)
A2LM35 (temeprature sensor)
A3(pins with A3 VCC GND)
A4( I2C SDA see below )
A5( I2C SCL see below )
SDA SCL(pins GND VCC SDA SCL)
TX RX(pins with TX RX VCC GND)
ResetReset button
(power)Power Led


Some names that i have seen for this shield are
Easy module shield
Multifunction (multisensor) Shield Arduino Uno
Multifunction DHT11 LM35 Temperature Humidity Easy Module Shield for Arduino UNO
Multifunction Expansion Board DHT11 LM35 Temperature Humidity For Arduino UNO

The interesting of this relative cheap board is that it contains several hardware items to play with as an  Arduino shield so you do not need to wire these components.

Schematics and some examples can be found at http://www.getmicros.net/a-look-at-the-easy-module-shield-for-arduino.php

As i have seen several times interesting information disappear i placed a copy of the schematics here on my blog. (For the code there are also other resources). 

Perhaps in the future i will post some code examples and experiments you can do with this shield. With the LM35 i did not play before. Also i did read about some problems with the Infrared led on a version of this shield. So i hope i will find time soon to play with this board.

zondag 23 mei 2021

Arduino Relay Shield

This blogpost is about the Arduino relay shield from my 2021 May Mailbag.
It contains 4 relays and provides NO (Normally Open) / NC (Normally Closed) interface and leds showing the state of the relay.

It uses I/O pins 7,6,5 and 4 for relays 1,2,3 and 4. 
The screw terminals for the relay contacts. However the terminals from one of the relays is not very safe due to the position near the metal USB connector on the Arduino !


On https://www.seeedstudio.com/Relay-Shield-v3-0.html there is this diagram showing the connections:

One bad design issue of this shield is that some screw terminal pins (J1) make contact with the metal USB connector of the Arduino. So it is needed to add some protect, at least 2 layers of insulation tape is recommended in articles i found on internet!
Working with main voltage (220V) on the screw terminals is dangerous and having a connection to the metal USB connector is asking for problems!
As i want to stay safe i decided to do it different and did put long pin connectors between the Arduino an this shield. This gives more space between the screw connectors and the metal USB as i expect this is really needed for safety. 

To test this shield i modified a simple Arduino blink example sketch.
The interval was extended to 4000 as for the relay a slower on and off switching time would be more appropriate.
Also the pin number was changed to check if the digital pins 4,5,6 and 7 are the correct one's. And indeed this are the channels. When switching the corresponding led blinks and it is possible to hear the clicking of the relay. (also the connection can be measured with ohm meter.)

/*
  Blink without Delay

  Turns on and off a light emitting diode (LED) connected to a digital pin,
  without using the delay() function. This means that other code can run at the
  same time without being interrupted by the LED code.

  The circuit:
  - Use the onboard LED.
  - Note: Most Arduinos have an on-board LED you can control. On the UNO, MEGA
    and ZERO it is attached to digital pin 13, on MKR1000 on pin 6. LED_BUILTIN
    is set to the correct LED pin independent of which board is used.
    If you want to know what pin the on-board LED is connected to on your
    Arduino model, check the Technical Specs of your board at:
    https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Products

  created 2005
  by David A. Mellis
  modified 8 Feb 2010
  by Paul Stoffregen
  modified 11 Nov 2013
  by Scott Fitzgerald
  modified 9 Jan 2017
  by Arturo Guadalupi

  This example code is in the public domain.

  http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/BlinkWithoutDelay
*/

// constants won't change. Used here to set a pin number:
const int ledPin =  7;// the number of the LED pin

// Variables will change:
int ledState = LOW;             // ledState used to set the LED

// Generally, you should use "unsigned long" for variables that hold time
// The value will quickly become too large for an int to store
unsigned long previousMillis = 0;        // will store last time LED was updated

// constants won't change:
const long interval = 4000;           // interval at which to blink (milliseconds)

void setup() {
  // set the digital pin as output:
  pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() {
  // here is where you'd put code that needs to be running all the time.

  // check to see if it's time to blink the LED; that is, if the difference
  // between the current time and last time you blinked the LED is bigger than
  // the interval at which you want to blink the LED.
  unsigned long currentMillis = millis();

  if (currentMillis - previousMillis >= interval) {
    // save the last time you blinked the LED
    previousMillis = currentMillis;

    // if the LED is off turn it on and vice-versa:
    if (ledState == LOW) {
      ledState = HIGH;
    } else {
      ledState = LOW;
    }

    // set the LED with the ledState of the variable:
    digitalWrite(ledPin, ledState);
  }
}

Conclusion: The relay shield is interesting however some additional safety mods are really needed as one of the screw terminals is located to close to the metal USB connector on the Arduino!

zaterdag 22 mei 2021

2021 May Mailbag

May 2021 Mailbag
As i received several items i decided to post this Aliexpress "2021 May Mailbag" already at 22 may 2021. However i am still expecting some more items and i expect some of it also will arrive in may also..   

Protective clips for laptop/smartphone camera.
DIY led lamp
Power on / off switch

Power off switch ( emergency stop switch )
Voltage meter indicator
Some more banana panel socket test probe binding post plug jack connect chassis parts
Arduino GPS shield with SD slot
AArduino relay shield
Another Arduino sensor shield
16 Channel ethernet shield 
pH meter DIY for Arduino 
CR2032 battery holders 



dinsdag 4 mei 2021

Fingerbot -1-


This blogpost is part 1 about the Moes Tuya Smart Bluetooth Fingerbot Button Pusher.  Recently i got the opportunity to buy for 0.01 Eurocent (including shipping) two of these devices on Moes Direct Store on AliExpress. The regular price  is just below 50 Euros, so this is a sponsored blogpost
I was exited to receive these two Fingerbots after 10 days.  The Fingerbot is just a small cube with an arm that can be used to push a button. A 'st├índard usb to usb3 cable is included for charging. (The charger itself is not included). Also a toolpack is included with some connectors to use it e.g. for a rocker switch. As you can see on the photos all came in nice packaging.



Without a a special bridge it can communicate direct over Bluetooth with your phone. With a bridge it should be possible to use Alexa or Google home assistant to control it. This bridge was not included for 0.01 Euro and the standard price for it is around 16 euro.
In this blogpost you will find some photos to get an impression.
Connection with bluetooth using the app was easy. A download link for the app was easy found using the provided QR code. In the app are some configuration options. E.g. for setting the bop and bottom position of the moving arm, Selecting a use mode and setting the sustain time for a mode when on or off should move down the arm, waiting during a short interval time and moving up the arm again. Also you can place an icon with a direct link to the fingerbot op you android screen
ww




How good the Fingerbot would works also depends on how good you can glue it to the system what you want to control.  Some material is included to attach it to however I did not install a Fingerbot it yet.
Most electrical devices can be controlled another way so i did not find an immediate use case to push a switch. A use case  for me could be a more mechanical device like an aerosol air freshener, controlling ventilation, moving the plunger of a syringe.
Unfortunately the ventilation in my home needs a much bigger mechanical move than with the Fingerbot 'out of the box' is possible. Perhaps adding a lever would help, however that also increased the amount of force needed. If it would be easy possible to use it on the ventilation above my windows i perhaps would consider buying even some more.


Summary: Interesting device that i otherwise would not have bought as the current original price of around 25 Euro's is relative high.
After more testing i like to create a second post about this interesting device.

zondag 25 april 2021

2021 April Mailbag

Below a selection of items received recently in my 2021 April mailbag. (AliExpress )
Each items is below 22 Euro as i want to keep the complete order price below 22 euro to avoid additional tax and handling fees.

Breadboard wires
Finally i decided to buy some breadboard wires in a box.
I used Dupont wires or did cut some wires myself when breadboarding.
Let's check if this works better. 
Chassis parts tot banana's (also possible to clamp wires)

Perhaps later this year i will order more (perhaps the cheaper ones without possibility to clamp wires) as i have plans to incorporate them in a new workbench. However i expect it will take some time before i can realize that.
 

Dupont to crocodile clips
Some chips (cheap set to have some 7400 series SMD chips)
Never used the Kafuter brand before. After some recommendations in several YouTube channels i decided to buy some K-705
Cheap servo motors.
I still had some, however i wanted to have some more in stock.
Servo Motors
Main Adaptors
One nice thing of the design for this mains power plug converters is that you can plug in EU and US type power plugs.
Power plug converters to US power sockets and also one to an EU socket was included.
Always good to have some power supplies in stock for projects Mains 220V to 5V , 3V3 and 12V Power
Plastic Nuts & bolts I like these plastic nuts, bolts and distance holders.
I use them sometimes as spacers to put   PCBs on my table.
This UV curable liquid looked nice. When opening the package (not full opening, just to the plastic bag you see on the photo, is sensed a very strong bad smell. I even decided to put it outside of my house in my shed, hoping after some time the smell will go away so i can start playing with it.  UV liquid
Some tweezers for working with SMD components
Manual suction tool for SMD components
Another small weighing scale.
I was happy to give my first one to my family as they want it to use for bakery.
However i want one myself e.g. for counting components and experiments.
Cheap small temperature regulated USB soldering iron.
As i always wanted to have a portable soldering iron (USB). The temperature regulation and price was for me the most important selection criteria.
After receiving the soldering iron i ordered some spare tips and they arrived after some days.

Vibration sensors

zondag 4 april 2021

QIACHIP 433Mhz Wireless Receiver Transmitter Remote Control -1-

Experimenting with 433MHz remote control can easy done with these small modules.

QIACHIP 433Mhz Wireless Receiver Transmitter Remote Control Learning Code 1527 Decoder Module 4 CH output Learning Button

QIACHIP 433Mhz Wireless Receiver Transmitter Remote Control Learning Code 1527 Decoder Module 4 CH output Learning Button


I ordered a package with
Receiver module (RX480E-4) * 10pcs
Transmitting module(TX118SA-4) * 10pcs
My order did not include the antenna's. This was also mentioned in the description, in the description where instructions how to make your own small antenna.
However i decided to also order some antenna's (5 transmit and 5 receive).

This is the product description of both modules

Brand Name: QIACHIP
Use: Universal,Lighting,Electric Door,Automated curtains,Switch
Wireless Communication: RF
Channel: 4
Package: No
Frequency: 433 MHz
Model Number:
TX118SA + RX480E 433Mhz Universal Remote Control For Smart Home Garage
Product Description
Pin Description:
- : Negative power supply
+: Positive power supply, DC 3-24V
K1: 1 short to Negative start transmitting data, Similar the A button on the remote control.
K2: 2 short to Negative start transmitting data, Similar the B button on the remote control.
K3: 3 short to Negative start transmitting data, Similar the C button on the remote control.
K4: 4 short to Negative start transmitting data, Similar the D button on the remote control.
ANT: transmitting antenna


[Receiver module ] Product Model: RX480-4ch
Model: KSL-RX480-4ch
Working voltage: DC2.5V-5V
Working current:3MA
The sensitivity: -108DBM
rate: MAX 10KB/S
Working mode:Point move, self-locking, interlocking
The output: 4 channel CMOS level signal Corresponding to the remote control ABCD 4 buttons.
Pin Description:
GND : ground or negative pole
+V : DC3.3~5V input
D0: Data output
D1: Data output
D2: Data output
D3: Data output
VT: Output (When any pin of D0-D3 outputs the level signal, VT is output synchronously; VT is usually used as the output indicator.)

Applications (mentioned in the description)
1.wireless power switch, socket, remote control switch, receiver module,
2. access control, electric cars, motorcycles, automobile anti-theft products, remote door openers, closers control system
3. security, surveillance systems, home security products, electric doors, alarm host, alarm
4. rooms controls, shutter doors, windows, remote control socket, remote control LED, remote audio remote control electric doors, garage door remote control, remote control retractable doors, remote rolling gates, sliding door
5. smart home products, remote control curtains, remote MP3,

The first i build was a small transmitter module (using the transmitter module, a small 4 button pcb ans a battery holder.
Next i wired a receiver module up on a small veroboard with some leds resistors, a battery holder, an on off switch for the small battery. For the connection to the module i used dupont connectors so i can easy change the module. I also included the status led and a programming push button. These two items are also available on the pcb module itself so they are not really needed.
 
Later i also created a second transmitter module on a verboard with some big buttons

 
I hope to find soon more time for my next post with more info about this interesting and easy to use modules.