KiCad Art

Putting logos on a kicad board isn’t terribly hard, just slightly annoying.

some boards with art

i3Detroit Automation: Snappy Title Pending

Here at i3Detroit, we like learning things. Also we don’t like doing extra work. This usually balloons into a lot of extra work and (hopefully) less work later.

i3Detroit Automation System Architecture

We started looking into automation for a few reasons: simplifying the space shutdown procedure, and cost/complication of expanding. Most of our existing lighting circuits are where they were when we started renting the building but some of them have been cumbersome to work with (“no, you can’t plug that in there that outlet turns off when the lights do”). When we expand to encompass even more space it gets increasingly difficult to run more and more light switches to control groups of outlets. With networked relays on every light we can specify groupings in software rather than spending 4-5 hours bending conduit, planning a route in our increasingly crowded ceiling and walls, and pulling fairly expensive wire long distances. Doing this in our current space gives proof that we do not need to spend a lot of time re-wiring any building we inhabit, just plug in the lights to whatever outlets are already up there and we can control them in whatever pattern is most convenient.

Frequently people would complain because they come in and find the doors to have been unlocked all night, or the tank of argon has all leaked away, or maybe someone decided to try to heat our colander of a shop to 75F all night long in the middle of winter when no one was there. The benefits of automating things is not just saving time on tasks that get done, but making sure all the tasks actually do get done.

Programming the AT90USBKEY2

In my continuing quest to turn a thinkpad keyboard into a USB keyboard, I decided to try the at90 line of avr chips. Bought a AT90USBKEY2 dev kit, and tried to put TMK on it.

This was another “one” day project. It ended in running the onekey example, so this post is more just “how to use the AT90USBKEY2.

Building a custom thermostat

So at i3, one issue we have is people leaving the thermostats on high temepratures and going home.

So we built our own into the automation system.

RF interferance on buttons

We are seeing mysterious button presses on one of our iot lightswitches at i3.

Herein lies the debugging so far.

USB Thinkpad Laptop Keyboard

One thing I’ve wanted for a while is a USB keyboard with a trackpoint.

I made a good start with an atmega32u4 on an arduino micro board.

Arduino Media Keypad

I wanted a small programmable keypad. It’s primary purpose was to be media keys for a model M that needed to be cleaned and bolt modded, but now that I use a (different) model M, I finished the project.

Hard Drive Power Supply

Really more of a test post to get this blog off the ground, but today I made a power supply for a hard drive out of some 12v power brick by soldering in a LM78M05 to add a 5v rail.