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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... Read more

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... Read more

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... Read more

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... Read more

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... Read more

Monitoring Radiation with the CheeseBoard

Posted by Matthew Little on

This post covers adding a radiation sensor (Geiger counter) to my environmental monitoring system.   A while ago I had purchased a NETIO  GC10 v2.4 Geiger Counter. This measures Beta and Gamma radiation and has a serial output, at 9600 baud. The unit was designed in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster as a low cost way for monitoring radiation... Read more

CheeseBoard: Adding I2C Sensors

Posted by Matthew Little on

The next step for my environment monitor: add some I2C sensors. Read more

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... Read more

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... Read more

Quotation Machine using the CheeseBoard

Posted by Matthew Little on

Setting yourself a small challenge in the form of an interesting project is a great way of learning - even if it involves a fair bit of failing! I set myself a weekend challenge of using our CheeseBoard ESP8266 development board to obtain and display some data from a website using a wifi connection. My original challenge was to show... Read more