Category Archives: Electronics

Relay Board Arrived

USB->Serial four channel relay board arrived on Friday and got a chance to start playing with it over the weekend.

Currently one relay is used to locking/unlocking the front door and the second for switching power to the amp which runs the Kitchen speakers. Deck amp and an extraction fan to cool the rack will most likely fill the last two.

Relays all off
All relays on
Relays wired up in the cupboard

Unit is nice and easy to control simply a case of sending the ASCII character for the command you want to the serial port.

Table of commands

I’m using Home Control assistant running on a Windows 7 virtual machine which allows control of Insteon, X10, serial and IP devices. Below is the interface on the PC.

Home control assistant running on the Windows 7 VM

For opening the door it runs this small script/program which unlocks the door then waits 5 seconds before locking the door allowing you time to open it.

Visual program for opening the door
Command for sending data to the serial port

And here is the interface on Android.

View of the Front Yard on the Android app
View of the Kitchen on the Android app

Other end connected to the electric strike lock. Apply 12v and the tongue moves freely.

Electric Strike lock wired up.

Can read more on the install of the lock here.

RFID parts still are yet to arrive which is the final step for the lock.

 

Car Stereo Status 8-14

Bit of a different post this week. Just a look at the current state of the car stereo install which is soon to get some attention now the sun is out 🙂

System is 95% functional most of the work to be done is cleaning the install up and making it all fit back together nicely.

System consists of:

-Acer Aspire One netbook with screen removed

-Creative Sound Blaster Play USB sound card

-7″ Double DIN VGA touchscreen

-Swiss Line SL-Q400 EQ and crossover

-Rockford Fosgate POWER! 6.5″ speakers (Fronts)

-Sony Xplod 6×9″ (Rears)

-2x Pioneer 12″ champion series (Not sure on model)

-Response AA0460 1000w Mono Block running at 1ohm

-Response AA0458 5 channel amp 4x60w 1x225w

 

Screen was removed from the laptop to allow good fit in the glove box and easy access if keyboard/touch pad use is required, handy for passengers looking for tracks, etc.

A USB cable then runs into the dash to a hub which has the connectors for the USB sound card, touch screen, SD-Card reader.

Laptop with screen removed in glove box
Laptop with screen removed in glove box

From the USB sound card it’s connected to the input of the Swiss Line SL-Q400 EQ which splits the signal out to the 5 amp channels (Front, Rear, Sub).

Swiss Line SL-Q400
Swiss Line SL-Q400

The left power button on the screen powers the laptop on and the right button powers the screen and changes screen input.

 

7" touch screen
7″ touch screen

The current state of the dash as it stands now. I still have to wire in a relay and the DC->DC converter for the laptop power. It’s currently running from an inverter.

After that the dash can start to go back together.

Current state of the dash
Current state of the dash
Rockford Fosgate POWER! 6.5" speakers
Rockford Fosgate POWER! 6.5″ speakers
Power splitters and breaker
Power splitters and breaker

 

Current state of the boot.

 

Subs and amps
Subs and amps
2x 12" Subs
2x 12″ Subs

Hopefully I will get a chance this week to get back to the car and finish off the install.

 

To-Do List:

-Build panels and mount amps

-Dynomat front doors and boot

-Carpet boot

-Replace rear speakers

-Change 5 channel amp out for 4x100w version

-Dash back together

-DC->DC converter for laptop power

-Update laptop software to Centrafuse

 

 

USB “Charger Doctor”

Just a quick post today, received this in the mail from China today. A USB voltage and current tester for a whole $2

Nice simple setup plug one end into a USB port and connect the device you want to the other end and the display changes back and forth from current to voltage every few seconds.

Measures 3.5-7V and 0-3A.

Lets connect it up:

Unloaded USB port voltage.
4.91v
4GB USB stick connected.
0.08amp.
Connect to a USB 2.5″ HDD. 0.45amp

Nice simple device that does what it says on the box and quite useful for diagnosing USB devices, well worth the $2 to have around for the odd time you even just want to know how much current you’re getting out of a charger.

 

Front Door Electric Lock Part 1

Started on the installation of the electronic lock for the front door today.

Eventually the plan is to have RFID control as well as integrate it with the Insteon system for control from the smart phones, computers, etc.

Is pretty rough around the edges atm but it will have to come out for cables to be run to the back soon so I’ll file the edges and put some paint on make it a little prettier but for now it’s in and functional ready for the next lot of parts to arrive 😀

Electric Strike Lock
Of course had to open it and see how it work 🙂
Removed the old lock part and start making the hole bigger
Hole expanded
Installed
Installed and closed

Chumby One

First read about the Chumby a few years ago but at the time it was quite expensive to get one here in Australia and so mostly forgot about it until I read an article the other week mentioning that the Chumby was back!

The Chumby is a bedside clock replacement with over 1000 apps you can cycle through from clocks, weather, Facebook, picture slide show, etc.

Shipped from the USA on Tuesday and arrived Friday morning, time to unpack it 🙂

What do we have here? All the way from the USA
All wrapped up
Chumby One Front
Chumby One Back
Chumby up and running

Now time to load some “apps” up and have a play.

Eventually hope to write an app to integrate into my Insteon system allowing bedside table control of the whole house.

The Insteon Hub allows HTTP requests to be used to control devices and the Chumby uses Flash Lite so shouldn’t be too hard.

SockITz

Ordered 2:20pm yesterday and on my desk 9am today, can’t complain with that 🙂

First one I thought I’d change is the power point on the Kitchen bench, nice central location to access and have phones out of the reach of little ones.

Installation took less than 10 minutes only hampered by having to cut a bit more plaster away to fit the SockIT back into the wall.

Will be sure to report back after a few months of use but so far loving them 🙂

You can find out more about SockITz here.

What have we got here?
Pair of Sockitz with 3.5amp USB charging.
Old power point in Kitchen
Old power point in Kitchen
Sockiz wired up
Sockiz installed

Sockiz installed and in use