Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Flight to Death Valley



And a video of the landing:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

OpenSCAD Module for Rounded Boxes

I got kind of tired of rewriting the same OpenSCAD code to build rounded boxes for things and messing up the minkowski sum math in the process, so I built a simple module to do it for me. 

Usage is simple:
include <rounded_case.scad>
rounded_case(25, 25, 10, 2);

The paramaters are:
rounded_case(X, Y, Z, T, LID, LID_OFFSET)
Where:

X, Y, Z : Inside dimensions of box
T : Thickness of walls
LID : optional, bool : true to also make a lid
LID_OFFSET : optional :  how much smaller to make the "lip" of the lid that fits inside the top of the box


The outside dimensions of the box will be the inside dimensions + 2 x T.   E.g. if the X dimension is 20mm, and T is 2mm, then the width of the box will be 24mm (20 + 2 + 2).   The example above will make a box that is 29mm x 29mm x 14mm (with the lid on) on the outside, and 25 x 25 x 10 on the inside.

Get it here: rounded_case.scad

Monday, October 8, 2018

"Full Boat" - flew to Lompoc, CA to watch the Falcon 9 launch

I flew down to Lompoc, CA on Sunday with Miles, and our friends the Baalmans (Gary, Laura, & their two kids) to watch the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch at Vandenberg AFB. This was the first Falcon 9 "return to land" on the west coast, and it went spectacularly. We found a great viewing spot along HWY 1 overlooking the launchpad.




Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

I bought a new aircraft!


I decided, at long last, it was time to upgrade to something capable of more speed, altitude, and carrying my family.   N6779B is a 1978 Cessna T210M.  It's turbocharged and capable of climbing into the flight levels, so it's much more suitable for getting in and out of the Sierras.  ;)

Adventures to come!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sonoff S31 Disassemble and Flash Instructions

I recently bought some Sonoff S31 "smart outlet" switches, as I like the form factor better than the Sonoff Basic and the larger Sonoff S20.  I was able to disassemble and flash them with the fantastic Sonoff-Tasmota firmware from Theo Arends.

Disassembly instructions:

1. The darker colored square panel with the button on it snaps off.  Pry it carefully off from one side to remove it:

2. There's two "slide-out" corner pieces on the male plug side. Slide these towards the button side:


3. Remove the three screws that are now exposed:


4. The case containing the female outlet side should separate easily now.  No prying necessary:


5. The circuit board is actually two boards soldered together in an "L" shape.  The small edge with the button on it contains the serial header for the ESP8266.  From the top down, the connections are VCC, RX, TX, N/C, N/C, GND   (Notice the two unused pads labeled TX & RX.  They don't appear to be connected.)


6. Here's a shot of the ESP8266EX chip on the back of the smaller board, beneath the relay.


7. I soldered a pin-header to the pads to program it.  At the time I didn't know which two TX/RX pins to use so I soldered all four.  You can ignore the lower two.


8. The button is connected to GPIO0, just like the Sonoff Basic.  Press and hold the button while plugging in the USB Serial adapter to put the ESP8266 in flash mode (Follow the flash instructions on the Sonoff-Tasmota project from here.)

The S31 purportedly does power/current monitoring, too.  I haven't tried getting that working yet.  (I'll update this blog post if I get that working too.)  As of this writing the Sonoff-Tasmota 5.11.1 firmware runs on it and controls it as a "Sonoff Basic" just fine.  Relay toggling and button control work as expected.

UPDATE 1: Looking at the board I see the ChipSea 7766 energy monitoring chip. Seems that it sends energy use via uart:
http://www.chipsea.com/UploadFiles/2017/08/11144342F01B5662.pdf

It's connected to the ESP8266 UART0 port through R2.  More to come!

UPDATE 2: Theo Arends added support for the S31 in version Sonoff-Tasmota ver 5.11.1i



Cheers!