logo
navigationGo.pngQuick Navigation
allprojects32.pngAll projects
hardware32.pngHardware
links32.pngLinks

favoriteStar32.pngTop projects
Alan numitron clock
Clapclap 2313/1386
SNES Pi Webserver
USB Volume/USB toys
Smokey amp
Laser cutter
WordClock
ardReveil v3
SNES Arcade cabinet
Game boy projects
cameleon
Home Presence Detector

github32.pngGitHub
AlanFromJapan

navigationMail.pngContact me

alanfjmail.png
3flags.pngWho's Alan?


Akizukidenshi
Elec-lab
Rand Nerd Tut
EEVblog
SpritesMods
Switch-science
Sparkfun
Suzusho
Datasheet Lib
Reddit Elec
Ermicro
Carnet du maker (fr)
Marutsu
ATmel blog (defunct)

Clocks Guitar amp Clapper Game boy USB gadgets Arcade cabinet Laser cutter ... and more!

Projects of the moment: USB Volume Control ardReveil v6 Atomic clock Gameboy clock

← News ! What's up and fresh in my geeky world! →
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-08-16 - SonOFF a movie
Finally used my SonOFF for a good reason: now it turns on and off my home file server and saves me energy and lifespan of servers. Great! Made me want to play a bit more with it ... what could I do? I also bought recently an HDMI 3.5 in screen for my Raspi 3 (works fine) ... can I do something combining both? I need a DNS server at home, maybe a mission for one of these Raspi Zero I bought? (I buy too much stuffs, yeah)
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-06-27 - Arcade
Yeah well, I've been doing wonders in woodworking and nothing in electronics ... I guess we all have phases. Now that Mini-me is under production, I have a few months to make furnitures for him/her. In the meanwhile, a good friend of mine wants to build a Raspi 3 Retropie Arcade controller so I'm helping, I'll save in these pages whatever lesson learnt I get.
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-05-06 - Family matters
Got the family at home for 2 weeks, so not much to say. Now back to the real things. Bought another 10USD used drill, fixed the battery the same way and now I have a nice 2 drills and 3 batteries powered on Li-Ion :) The Dust counter is having issues, we'll see to that soon. news-avatar.200120.png 2017-04-19 - Aquarium dusts
Aquarium lights is completed, see a little picture below ↓. Also, I started assembling my Dust counter, and it's working fine ... ish. The dust detection seems to be working (there's a cabalistic calculation) but the LCD I found in my lucky bag is a bit capricious (now I guess why they were giving it away).
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-04-14 - Documenting, beating Chrome, fish lights
Aquarium lights is assembled, just need to put it in a box and glue the LED strips to the plastic roof I made the other day. I'm gonna make also a Rapide555 board, since there's more than one place I could use a simple PWM.
I beat Chrome too! Since I edit my site via the web interface integrate, Google Chrome 57 decided that it will protect me from XSS attack and forbid me to edit any page having some javascript inside ... thank you. I edited the code of the python webserver to stop that (add a HTTP header X-XSS-Protection: 0).
Lastly, I wrote the long overdue Numitron clock user manual, in English and Japanese please. (I sold another one last week v(^。^)v)
Voila, wish you a good weekend dear reader.
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-04-11 - Let there be light on the fish!
My wife has an aquarium, I made a first version of the light with an ugly 5V, a boost converter and a strip of white led, and to my shame a resistor for the light diming. That worked, then humidity and water projections did its job on the copper connection on one end. Now time to fix this shameful project with a proper power source, 555 PWM and a MOSFET: enter the Aquarium lights.
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-03-13 - The smell of burnt electronics in the early morning
A friend gave me his big ass video card for a fix attempt: 800USD card (GTX 980 TI Gaming 6G), repair costs 500USD said the shop, so why not give a try instead of buiying a new one. Well, I opened the puppy, and after removing the protective shields I found a completely exploded chip! I took a picture for memory!
Otherwise I fixed a clock I made for a friend years ago which was not working. And as usual, the failed component was ... the crappy 5v power supply. So I just cut the cord, put a male USB cable, and we're in business for the next decade, as long as he has a USB charger somewhere.
With all these and the furniture making, the weekend was gone.

news-avatar.200120.png 2017-03-09 - 2 months without posts
Pretty bad huh? But I have excuses: I moved, and my new house was more in need of a woodworker rather than an electronician. 2 months later, now we're out of the big job and we can move back to the electronic den time to time. So back to the Alan Numitron Clock IV6: scavenged what I could from the old failed board, now will solder back, plug it and cross fingers to see the magic happen... updates expected this weekend! I wish you all a very good week;)
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-01-16 - Flea market and bugfixin
I "fixed" that bug of the ESP8266 in the case of my SonOff experimentations when the ESP8266 cannot reconnect to your Wifi. I just ... ignore the status and consider that I'm connected anyway. And it works. I suspect my router to be the problem, seeing that it's not everybody who has that problem, so untill I change it we'll hope it works.
I bought a bunch of woodworking tools (axe, saw, chisels,...) at the Setagaya Boroichi flea market, that's cool. Will go again next winter.
Last but not least, I found what to do with one of those Raspi or Raspi clone and spare screen: a Magic mirror. Seriously, there's not enough weekends and nights in a week...
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-01-10 - Playin' with a son of ...
Ar...I meant "Sonoff", that little ESP8266 stuck in a little box with a transformer and a relay, which can be hacked in 5 mins to run your own code. Found this article and it works like a breeze! Pretty fun.
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-01-09 - Success and failures
As I was working on the new board for the Alan Numitron Clock IV6, I decided to route it all by hand. Problem is the grid that doesn't align with those SOIC 18, I ended with a patchwork of airwire because nothing would match... si I wrote a program to fix that (^_^). A small python program that matches existing wires and airwires if they are close enough : Eagle Grid Wiring Fixer. Works just fine, pretty happy. Give a try!
That was the success. The failure, is plugging that Raspberry 3 on a PC screen and using it as a graphical PC. Conclusion: it sucks! Raspi are great headless mini servers, I love them. But they aren't yet strong enough for a basic PC usage as I expect it: watching a movie, watching Youtube, watching the net... Youtube is doable in window mode, net is ok if you're not nervous and movies... well, I couldn't watch one with omxplayer and VLC was extra slow without HW acceleration.
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-01-06 - On the move
So I'm moving to a new house in a few weeks, my house to be precise this time. One with a man-cave, a man-lab, etc... the dream! Since this site is hosted in my toilet it will have to move, which means a few day of interruption at worse. Maybe I'll try to move the site to of my cloud VMs, but I'm afraid I like it too much and leave it there... we'll see.
So not much activity planned in the coming days, more like packing and cleaning, sorting out the junk. I found a new stuff to do: an Air quality meter. The heart is dirt cheap, and I just happen to need one, with all that dust I make. I wish I knew the part was so cheap before, I'd have bought it years ago.
So about the BC05B Bluetooth module there's some noise that builds up somewhere, need to find where. And I need to make that board for Alan Numitron Clock IV6 so it will arrive when I'm moving. ... I guess it will be a busy weekend. Cheers!
news-avatar.200120.png 2017-01-03 - I'm a f*cking idiot
Well, I crapped up. My ardReveil v6 boards arrived from Seeedstudio (very nice job guys!), I plugged everything and ... nothing happens. No lighting up. Scratch scratch my head, test, test again and in the latest desperate step, read the freaking page I wrote and yes... I need to use PNP and not NPN transistor ... (face-palm) (T_T)
Ok, so I'll try to tweak this circuit a bit, and since anyway even if it would work (which I doubt), it would be an ugly mess of wires, so I'll make a corrected version of the board and send to production in a few days ... A good reminder lesson : don't assume you remember, just read the freaking doc that you wrote (←the most innerving point).
At least, my Decade counter viewer arrived and it works flawlessly, which is a small compensation of my self deprecation.
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-12-31 - The sweet taste of victory
That little BC05B Bluetooth module worked, then decided to frustrate me. I used the good old approved technique: let it stew for a week, and check from the ground up. And guess what, someone made a small and -to be honnest- invisible short between the VOL+ and BACK pin, that rendered the module mute and noisy. A bit of scratching and heating after, it's working back as new now. A small mountain of hot snort later, it's going to find its place in the stereo tomorrow morning (I will stay on the feeling of victory for tonight).
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-12-18 - Getting distracted continued
Guess what, found another stuff to play with :D BC05B Bluetooth module that I bought the other day and that I finally need!
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-12-15 - Getting distracted again
I had some CD4017 and some led bars, pinout is ugly so guess what? Yes, I made a quick board. Called it Decade counter viewer. Very basic, but could help.
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-12-12 - Getting distracted
USB Volume control box is carved (in cypress) and the button is made of pao-santo, but not very round... it's ok but I think I will improve it this weekend. In the meanwhile I read on the net and found out another thing to do: an FFT Viewer working with a microphone. A microcontroller, a led matrix, a mic and an ampop and you're good to go and guess what: I have them all laying around! Also I bought some CD4017 and led bar graphs, but wiring is soooo messy (pins aren't aligned) that I decided to make a small pcb for it. This is the last 5 days week of work for me this year, I'll be looking forward to the weekend!
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-12-10 - Working the volume 2
USB Volume control electronics, programming and assembly is finished, now "just" need to make a nice case. In wood, goes without saying (^_~). My work is s hard recently that I'm deeply relieved to abstract myself in creation. I wish you all to know the same feeling (minus the stressful work if you can). Have a good weekend, dear reader.
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-12-07 - Working the volume
Hum... apparently I did something wrong and lost a week of status update. Anyway. Working on the USB Volume control (circuit defined, todo assemble and box), the Atomic clock is a problem because it warms up but does not lock, and that old time dear ardReveil v6 saw a new board made and sent to production to China! Working a lot these days before the move to another part of Tokyo.
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-11-27 - Working the atomic clock
Opened my Rubidium standard to make the Atomic clock and plug stuffs. First bad (?) surprise, seem I have an updated version, schematics I find on the net are same-same-but-different. I did a first wiring to test the powerup: it powers up, heating works fine, goes down after some time, but no lock it seems... is the unit broken or did I miss something? Too early to say. I'll completely unsolder that connector instead of acrobatic soldering, see if it make things better.
Other side project will be another Li-Ion power drill from Yahoo auctions and a USB volume control. Trying to recycle some old old laptops to run lightweight linux, so far with not much success.
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-11-19 - Li-Ion charger completed!
My Li-Ion power drill is finished! Hehehe quite hapy. It's not charging fast, but it's charging properly. I'll keep an eye on it the first time it charges the drill battery, in case. Very happy of the result, I'll upgrade another drill I bought for 5USD on yahoo auctions. Just need to make a nice box for this puppy.
And now? Well it's time, for that long time delayed Atomic clock!
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-11-04 - Back to the bench - edition autumn 2016
As forecasted, my Li-Ion power drill is close to be finished. Battery connector and 85% of the circuit. Just 20 wires left to solder and a small program to write, we should be good very soon.
Just reposting a Hackaday news, I discovered there the fantastic documentation of the NASA: just read it, it's great.
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-09-22 - SpringSummer break
Talking 'bout a loose of momentum! 2 months without posts ... tsk tsk tsk. Well this summer was busy: I worked on a table for home (half of which is drying now next to me), visited France, India and I'm packing for Singapore. No much electronic, but I will get back to it pretty soon, especially since my Li-Ion power drill will need a charger soon.
In the meanwhile I made an album on Google Photo (which is not as bad as I thought) for my wookworking adventures: for the curious people, it's here: https://goo.gl/photos/SbE1AJM1GbDTStnV6
So plan is to do 2 projects in October: the drill charger and the table. Crossing fingers! Wish you a great autumn to all.
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-07-11 - Lost in the wood
So the ESP8266 took more than a month to arrive, made me loose my momentum. I've been more woodworking these days (^_^) Maybe a sort of leg-rest furniture with reclaimed wood, made also a drawer on wheels for under my sofa. I love woodworking too. Now I'm looking at that charger for the battery of my drill I made from recycled laptop battery. Going to old Europe for some time, so will be an occasion to focus on electronics design and catching up on Game of Thrones reading... For those in summer, wish you a good one!
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-05-17 - Lost in ESP8266
Still working on that cursed Kodi-XBMC remote, I got the buttons, and ATtiny13 speaking serial ... and now that stupid ESP8266 gives me the strangest bug: you can send 1 http request, you can send 2 http request, but after that: naugh. Niks. Nada. Rien. It refuses to send requests. If you restart it, then it works again, 2 times and gone... WTH am I doing wrong? Shall I rewrite this again and give up Lua for a arduino port to the ESP8266 (platformio thing)? I'm really that close to buy that 4USD remote on ebay...
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-04-26 - Cheap 3.5 in screens
Bought one of these cheap screens on eBay for 10USD, the ones that you plug onto a Raspi. And oh surprised, it works just fine from the start! Seriously, I installed a driver, but maybe it was already there from the start. A great surprise. Ok, it's SPI so you won't play movies or games, but for console it's just ok. Plus seems you can write in the Framebuffer, that looks fun ... provided one day I can compile that python lib FbPy.
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-04-17 - Finished with the FSM
That Kodi-XBMC remote went the LUA way in the end, so I installed a javascript mode for syntax highlighting (https://highlightjs.org/). Works fine, so now just have to code it. (PS: I don't think I'm going to like Lua)
Also I tried to fix my team's video project which claims that one of its fan is not running... which is wrong. I shorted the temp sensors, no success. I measured the tachymeter output, a nice signal for 2 of them and a strange 10v centered +/- 3v for the big one next to the lamp. I ordered a "similar" one on eBay (12v 0.85a 5cm fan), let's see if we can solve the problem with a 300 JPY part.
And I bought a 1 JPY ('love auctions) car dvd player screen, I'm trying to figure out how to inject composite signal inside. Already found power, the baby starts. And I already shocked myself with the inverters for the backlight (not a very pleasant feeling). There's 9 pins, 2 are power, remains 7 among which 2-3 must be the composite. More on that later...
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-04-04 - Finite state machine infinite problem
The Kodi-XBMC remote made a few progress but not in the right direction! I even wrote a Finite State Machine FSM to detect messages, but there is so much noise, I even get false positives with a 4byte message (means 32 false positive on the row!). Ok, I get most (not all) of the correct signal, but still, I don't want the thing to pause my movie in the middle of the action randomly. So came plan B: use a ESP8266 ! I have a couple bought for testing a few months ago, XBMC runs a web server as a remote, should just need to join the main NW wifi and send HTLP request to the web interface. Easy peasy! Is it? Wait and see ...
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-03-27 - Playing with oranges
I resumed playing with my Orange Pi, with more success this time. Used the Armbian distribution, works much better. Still no wifi but all the rest works fine so, maybe I'll leave it as is and use the ethernet. Maybe even try to set up a owmCloud solution?
The Kodi-XBMC remote makes few progress because the communication between those 2 dirt cheap module is bad, simply very bad. I even made now some code with a Finite State Machine to detect the messages in the signal. Making progress though, but didn't imagine it would be that difficult to read through the tremendous amount of noise :/ Don't feel lucky with my choices of projects these days...
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-02-27 - A day well spent
I spent my Saturday at home because of prod problem (not our fault but we were impacted). I could code something I wanted to do for a long time: create a file upload function for my web engine (which runs this site). It is now done! You can even upload multiple files at once ! Kinda happy. Go and check my GitHUB. As a proof of my status and to use my new function, here's how I feel :

news-avatar.200120.png 2016-02-25 - Kodi-XBMC remote II
Kodi-XBMC remote is making some progress. Got the basic setup, need to stabilize the communication with error checking and so one because the cheap 433MHz stuff are really sensible to noise. Like crazy sensible. But I'm gonna teach it who's the boss ;)
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-02-15 - Kodi-XBMC remote
Finally instead of the Gameboy in a gameboy, which I know I'm as about to finish as certain that once completed I will leave on the shelf, I'll work on my Kodi-XBMC remote. I had a nice app on my cellphone, it is still but the app isn't reachable anymore since last OS upgrade on the lock screen. Having to unlock my phone to pause for instance is mighty annoying... you said "pretex to build a new contraption"? Yes :D
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-02-14 - Guitar amp again (finished)
Smokey amp vV is finished, with nice pictures. Go and see it! Not decided what's next, still need to finish my DS in a gameboy so I'll do that :P
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-01-25 - Guitar amp again
Started a Smokey amp vV for my friend Kento, who gave me a superb jacket and that I should really thank. Since he's a musician (the Tabloid Play), I hope he will appreciate. Based aroung an LM386 it's a pretty standard clear sound amp. Still in the making phase.
On the dev side, I'll be working on making a nice and easy function to upload pictures: copying files by scp then moving them, changing the rights etc... is too annoying.
news-avatar.200120.png 2016-01-07 - Happy new year 2016
Long time without update: I was busy with work, end of year blues, woodworking project and Fallout 4. I sold my SeaPhone! Quite happy, I'm supposed to go to post office later today to send it. The Gameboy housing a DS is pretty well advanced, in fact in the last steps and I'm stalling since I want to be sure I don't miss. My wooden desk is completed and quite a success :) I have no immediate next project, but my todo list is just asking for it so I'll let it mature a couple of weeks.
Voila, best wishes for you dear reader.
news-avatar.200120.png 2015-11-22 - Preparing winter
No update on the news for some time, so let me update you. I finished the first version of my SeaPhone. It's nice, I'll see it on internet as soon as I take a nice set of video/pictures. I have the mp3 modules from eBay for the v2: very nice stuff for less than 500 JPY. More on that later...
So I decided I'll use a new rythm (because my professional workload is awful this month and the next won't be better): 2 projects at a time only, one electronic (silent, for weekdays evenings) and one woodworking (weekend and powertools - hi neighbours!):
  • Electronic: Gameboy housing a DS. I have the DS, an empty GB brick, a GBA emulator cartridge ... just a matter of clever fitting.
  • Woodworking: a desk for my wife piano... maybe I'll make a page about that later.
  • news-avatar.200120.png 2015-10-27 - Self-hosting editing and Orange Pi
    I recently updated my site to have a login/pwd and an online edit mechanism, yes, like you'd find on pro sites :) Kinda happy, woking fine now. It's all as usual on the github of the website. Still on test on dev site for now, but once I'll have tested it a bit more it will move to prod and make my life much more easy.
    Oh and I received my new toy, a Orange Pi! Didn't had time to install/test, but that will come within this week. In the meanwhile I started a page to keep track of my experiments.
    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-10-18 - SeaPhone and the self hosting tribulations
    So the hosting continues, it works fine, Flask behaves like a good boy after a few tuning, to make it multithreaded for instance. I started working on a wiki-like page edition that does not forces me to log on to my server and edit with emacs (though I love my emacs). Not much time these days so it moves slowly, but made some progress. More on that later.
    Started a new project, a SeaPhone which is a art (as in no real life purpose) project: old rotary phone, you pick up and hear the sea. Cherry on the cake is that if you dial some numbers you can change what you hear, or maybe prerecorded messages?

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-09-14 - Self hosting (continued)
    The deed is done, I put a redirection message on all the pages of my original site (kalshagar.wikispaces.com) to the present site. Apparently it's not really working, got about 10 visits a day (lol) but the legacy site is also being deserted with only 50ish visits a day. Need to start again to have more visits. And this goes by 1) making quality contents and 2) getting exposure in geeks sites (hackaday, electronics-lab, ...) Quite a work. But I'm not in a rush. Recently since I'm a bit dry on new ideas, I'll try to revisit old projects that failed or were abandonned for whatever reason:
    • Gameboy homebrew cartridge and check why that Flash can't get written properly
    • Gameboy clock as an excuse to start working with ARM processor (lpc1114)
    • A SMD version of my Tricolor USB signal used for monitoring my servers with Nagios
    • That bedside music player
    • VFD Vacuum tubes clock

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-09-05 - Self hosting
    The days of hosting on Wikispaces are drawing to an end. I'm going to self host, not with a dedicated VM or site hosting solution, but with a Raspi2 and an old router that was in my closet. Made a DMZ setup, configured router, locked down the Pi inside the DMZ, put all in an old Super Famicom and now it's in my toilet (so if you think this site stinks you'll know why). I finished the setup recently, need to dump the latest version of the site and off we go.
    The new URL will be http:electrogeek.cc so be sure to visit :)
    Oh and my Finger Password Keyboard is completed and sits on my desk at office now, working just fine.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-08-16 - Summer projects II
    My Finger Password Keyboard has well advanced over the weekend (I was off the country for 2 weeks and drown with the rest of the time): now it emulates a keyboard AND can record your fingerprint AND recognize it AND upon recognition send key strokes to your PC! Youhou!! The scanner gets quite hot (~50 C) so I used a PNP transistor as a switch to turn it off but ... for an unknown reason it's always on. Something I'm missing. Anyway that was cherry on the cake so I will maybe just ignore this. Need to finish the box and buy nice buttons, make a quick and dirty version I'll need to manually reprogram when I change my passwords and maybe (we know that it is an euphemism for never) I will make a version you can program like the Tricolor USB alert which by the way works perfectly in my office for months now (^_^)v

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-07-15 - Summer projects
    Tomorrow I start my tenth Japanese year... quite happy :) As per the electronics, yes I must admit I'm more woodworking than electrogeeking, but I'm used to this pattern. I know the autumn fresh nights will bring me back to the electronic desk. In the meanwhile I still work on my Finger Password Keyboard. As of today I can have a USB emulation on one end and on the other side I have a serial communication to the scanner module... Need to start the tricky part: emulating a keyboard, need to change my HID descriptor. Once that peak passed, it will be a walk in the park. Wish me luck!

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-05-30 - Trimmer
    Bought a second hand junk trimmer, it got the on/off switch busted, I replaced it and it's brand as new (and OMG it's noisy!!) If one day it helps you guys: Makita 3700 repair

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-05-20 - Woody
    Hi all! Posting a bit less these days, playing with woods and Japan holidays took lots of my time. I am making significant steps toward self hosting, first big one was to create my SNES Pi Webserver which is a raspi 2 and a router in a Super Famicom box, setup as a wireless DMZ and web server. Working fine, need a little fan for ensuring better air circulation but already serves pages. Next step, move the current site to there...

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-04-09 - Woody
    Hi, long time no see? I'm busy woodworking recently and also selling my Alan Numitron clock (both are linked in fact), plus my Gameboy homebrew cartridge hit a reef 'cause it ... doesn't work. For an unknown reason, I'm having hard time programming it. Something strange is happening, so it needs more in detail investigation. We'll be back on that later. So yeah, no new electronic things created these days but it's just temporary.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-02-18 - Gameboy cartridge
    Received my Gameboy homebrew cartridge "modest" version, soldered and programmed and ... nothing. Can read but not write the flash. WTH? After 2 weeks of checking the circuit, the program, probing pins, bus analyzing, I finally analysed the address bus and noticed that some pins stayed low. ATmega64a thou are a heartless b*tch with your tricky settings! Default has JTAGEN enabled that changes the behavior of PORTF. Changed the fuse and bam! Worked !! Learned a lot but each time the price is high.
    Just need to add the capacity to my GbReaper to upload the .gb and we're good to go! Stay tuned :D

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-01-24 - BCD and Gameboy
    So these days I'm making a BCD clock with some very funky leds I found here and there. I hope the result will be good. I'd like to do some wood working, need to find a pretext, anything... My Gameboy homebrew cartridge are on their way to Japan, and I started looking into the GBDK project: looks nice, and I must admit that writing C will probably yield results faster than assembler. I'll start the easy way with C, and maybe level up later. Good weekend to you all!
    PS: I got the domain name http:electrogeek.cc and redirected to here in prevision of a coming self hosting. Need to create a DMZ at home and setup a Raspi server for my day ~100 visits (should be enough).

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-01-21 - USB on fast track (continued)
    Wow, got the boards from Seeedstudio last Saturday, 20 minutes later all was soldered (using ATtiny2313) and bim RapideUSB working just fine from the start!! Youhou! Just waiting for the ATmega TQFP I bought on eBay to arrive. I hope this time it won't be fake mCU...
    I sent to production my Gameboy homebrew cartridge to Seeedstudio again, should be here in 2 weeks. I need to write a little something GB program first to try. I got the compilation chain installed and working on my Raspi server.
    Oh and last but not least I got published on Hackaday for my Alan Numitron clock. I was a bit dissapointed by the comments and impact, I expected more "ohs" and "ahs", but at least nobody claimed my project is ugly so I'll have to settle with that.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2015-01-05 - USB on fast track
    Happy new year ! I'm really happy because my Tricolor USB alert is now working, based on the excellent work of the ThingM team and their Blink(1) project. I ported the code to ATtiny2313 and wrote a small app in C# and we're good to go. I also made a new PCB for quick USB development: RapideUSB. Check it out!

    news-avatar.200120.png 2014-12-31 - I hate these guys
    Hackaday ruined my day with this post. Seriously, what was the probability that a guy did the same thing at the same time and finished before me ? (T_T) Ok good, he managed to emulate the GB cartrigdge and another guy put a flash memory instead of the cartridge, so my project becomes no more inovative like I thought, but a "one more GB hacking" ... really guys you killed the buzz. But I'm not an a.. enough to not use your teachings with my Gameboy clock. See you again in a few months...

    news-avatar.200120.png 2014-12-29 - End of year cleanup: welcome 2015!
    I used this previous weekend to change the landing page of the site. Better right? At the top you have the menu for what I want to highlight, a nice carousel showing pictures of particular projects, the "currently in progress" stuffs and just the blog. Quite happy with the result :)
    And since the weekend was rich in geek power, I could within a few hours of work repair a gameboy and give it a recycled cellphone battery pack, and stuck also a USB charger inside for good measure. A quickwin project, cheap, that reuse stuffs and limit our toxic wastes (less batteries bought and disposed, find a reuse to those unused batteries in our closet). My Tricolor USB alert can now send or receive characters (just need receive in this project), need to write the Windows program now. Oh, and it let me to start a few articles about "how to use V-USB" because the learning is very steep to my taste. Hope this helps.


    2014-12-07-16-30-07_deco.jpgnews-avatar.200120.png 2014-12-07 - One clock goes, one other take her seat
    Just finished the ardReveil v4, quite happy. I will maybe tune it later adding more "colors and bling-bling" but now it's just fine. Now it's finished, I'll prepare for the next : ardReveil v6, the sibling of the Alan Numitron Clock but using VFD Numitron IV-6 tubes instead. Yeah I know it has been done, who cares. I didn't yet. And I will use the occasion to work on voltage booster (need 30v) and use maybe POV instead of driving with 74HC595. A good excuse to learn new things.







    news-avatar.200120.png 2014-12-02 - Ideas epiphany
    Wow, 6 months was long and all the ideas my brained stored are popping out in front of my eyes now, need to write it down and order them in a pipe, otherwise I'm going to just dream but not do amything. Without a specific order:
    • ardReveil v4 : a clock with a retro/steampunk style: electronics is done, only some bling bling left, drilling a few holes for leds and go for the final assembly!
    • Repair - Galaxy note Still waiting for that flat tact-switch to close this one
    • Finger Password Keyboard the next big thing: a key board that type your password after finger print scan - the next big thing
    • DTMF card generator 'cause I'm sick of typing my typing my conference code and it's a good occasion to make a small n slick project (target is credit card size)
    • Warning led for my server monitoring tools, running on my office PC a red/yellow/green led showing as USB HID (the challenge) and changes status when the scirpt running on the PC detect something wrong in Nagios
    • Gameboy clock: open a legacy gameboy and reuse the display as a clock or whatever art stuff (hard). Or make a RTC gameboy cartridge (harder)?
    • Bedside music player, basically just a mp3/radio player. Why make one and not buy one? Well ... I have the spare parts (now that I bought the electronics from eBay) and I could couple it with a nice smart alarm clock (and stop using my old cellphone)
    • VFD vacuum tubes clock: yeah again a clock, yeah, but with IV-6 VFD tubes, 30v, nice blue...
    • Binary clock: ok, this time I admit it I have a problem. But I must do something with that bag of 1cm bicolor 100%20 leds I got from Akihabara last January, the "lucky bags" season is just around the corner!

    news-avatar.200120.png 2014-11-16 - Back to work
    After a nearly 6 months break the cold leads my back to my dent and my beloved toys. Some new, some not finished, but here's what's cooking:
    • ardReveil v4 : a clock with a retro/steampunk style, exhumed from my idea box. Moving forward fine so far.
    • Repair - Galaxy note that is still in progress but should be piece of cake (waiting for parts from almighty China/ebay)
    • Finger Password Keyboard the next big thing: a key board that type your password after finger print scan

    news-avatar.200120.png 2014-04-20 - What to do (bis)?
    Long time without post, I changed job and I way less free time than before. Doesn't mean I did nothing neither.
    • Laser cutter is not making any progress, mainly because I don't touch it. Need a constant current driver and motivation.
    • Circlez did a first version quite nice and waiting for the v2 board that has 2 circles of leds (30 %20 12) and make it a nice clock
    • ESR meter forget it, I just bought one
    • Bought a brand new and nice Hakko FX888D soldering station (I love it)
    • I need to make IV6 version of the Alan numitron clock, just need to make a high (30v) boost, breadboard he thing and make a board in China.
    • Repaired a friend's noise cancelling headphone : resoldering, troubleshooting. It's back on track now.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2014-01-21 - What to do?
    Laser cutter is not making any progress, mainly because I don't touch it (duh). Why? I must admit I'm a bit afraid of playing with a high power laser and by the fact that even if I make it work (which I will!) it won't cut more than sheets of paper... "Most important is not the goal but the travel" yeah yeah I know just ... Anyway, I made my mind and I'll play with that and make an ESR meter , needed for repairs. I found one based on an Arduino, on a messy forum so let's make a clean summarized version and learn about the ESR .

    news-avatar.200120.png 2014-01-17 - Contact me!
    I was contacted by a gentleman on the phone at my work and we had trouble to connect (I missed his call, sorry!). To contact me and set up an appointment, use the email written on the left border. I'm really interrested into talking with you.
    I'm fixing gameboys recently since I bought a pack of them as junk on Yahoo auctions. Replacement screens are deceptively expensive even on eBay, so I can just resell 2-3 out of the 5. I sold one which was in next to perfect status. Other ones I'm cleaning them and changing led colors hoping to make forget the scratchs on the screen by a nice and unique led (white for black gameboy, pink for grey, ...) I'll put some pictures on this page.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2014-01-04 - Fixing mouse
    My mouse stopped working so I got to do the Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook 5000 fix trick. And made a little Laser sight gun from a 100 JPY gun. But still no laser yet... got lazy and busy with other personal stuffs but it remains the next step.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-10-08 - Making stars
    Laser cutter drew yesterday its first star! No laser yet, but it feels really promising !
    2013-10-08-00-05-22_deco.jpg

    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-09-19 - Making videos
    Laser cutter second axis has now stabilizing skates and I'm pondering how to fix the aluminium bed itself. I made a video on the Laser cutter page.
    Also I bought a thorium gas mantle to test my Geiger counter : wow, it works just fine! Scarry! Again, there's a video on the (very short) page so check it out Geiger counter.
    Oh and last but not least : I sold my first Alan numitron clock ! Youhou !! Thanks Takaya.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-09-05 - Readings on the net
    Found a nice blog today. Guy is good ! Refurbished laptop as a all-in-one pc, scavenged chinese toy keyboard as a nice keyboard... looks nice (and strangely reminds me of my ideas ... except he's way better at realisation) http://okelectronic.wordpress.com/
    Laser cutter will have its axis assembled this weekend (busy with work these days), so get ready for a nice video of 2 axis moving accordingly (youhouuuu)

    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-08-29 - Next projects
    Laser cutter is not finished and still in progress (ok let's face it it's just started) but I found what my be one of my next projects : a Tempescope . It's an original way to show weather by reproducing it in a confined environment. Really watch this project on the main page (it's a opensource project) it really is worth knowing. Plus the maker put great effort making a easy to do step by step procedure. Thanks ! (plus he's also in Japan)


    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-08-27 - Artistic questions
    Colleagues told me I should emphasis the "old russian" look of the Alan Numitron Clock. Does it mean something to you? I thought I could go steampunk with a copper box (short cut are guarantee though) and a few brass stuff - gears, screws, wires- I could solder on it ... maybe I'll give a shot later.
    The Laser cutter you ask ? Well, buying Dead Space 3 put a serious hit on productivity but the Xenomorph aren't everything. Now the former scanner bed motor works : a nice bipolar stepper motor (96 steps a turn), and I'm happy that I did as usual and bought a secondcheap full H bridge (yup, ULN2003 aren't any good for bipolar I read). Now will come the time of serious assembly and wiring. And once the 2 axes will be here, we'll talk about getting serious retina burn or other fire hazard.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-08-16 - Summer projects continued
    Alan Numitron Clock is finished and working nice on my desk. If I have to make a new version I'd change a thing or two (make the led under the tubes RGB maybe, review the bottom board to have a power USB at the rear ... ) but on the overall I'm happy with the result. I got comments from friends that a transparent plastic casing would be nice : so be it, let's give a try.
    Laser cutter was paused a little but is on his own way : I can control the former printer head now and I can measure it's position. Control is far from perfect yet but at slow speed it should work ok for now. I start looking at the former scanner bed stepper motor and will try to make it move soon. Then comes time to assemble and find a laser diode...
    2013-08-06-18-32-54_deco.jpg

    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-07-16 - Summer projects II
    Getting back on track, so I finish a few stuff I left on the side before moving to the main project the Laser cutter. I received the bottom board of the Alan Numitron Clock (there's many "numitron clock" out there, I had to make it unique, I was short on names and long on ego so....), and I sent to production the top board to hold the tubes. Should be no big surprises, but I tried a unique design this time : a little art on the top silk. We'll see...
    I am finishing a prototype of clock using 8x8 RGB matrix display and some ebay cheap DS1302 boards. So far so good, but I needed to finish it, write a few lines of code to set the time with the buttons, plug an alim. Will be finished by the end of week.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-07-02 - Summer projects
    No updates recently, my bad. I've been busy traveling, moving appartment and lots of other excuses. I updated my Wordclock board by making a 5x10cm version to be used in a possible commercial version (hou hou). I played with 8x8 RGB matrix, started my new project for the coming semester : a Laser cutter. So yeah, nothing finished as usual but lots of new stuffs.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-03-08 - Spring & in search for new projects
    Surprisingly the Dr Vetinari clock, was really a close to perfect weekend project. My only issue is that the time is flying a bit too fast. Most likely it's due to the attiny13 running with its 9.6Mhz oscillator that is 10% off the scale and anyway dramatically too fast for my target. I'll send a small Rapide13 board series to be produced in China this weekend (ok I don't really need to but it's better with a PCB). I finally found the issue of my Rapide64a (explanation was burried in the documentation) and now I can fix them by cutting 2 traces and adding 2 wires (way better than throwing them to the bin). I'm in search for my next big project ... what will it be ? I'd like something a bit complexe, with a dedicated board (yes I admit, I love to make boards with Eagle, hand wiring is like Sudoku).

    news-avatar.200120.png 2013-02-21 - The heart of winter
    Finished my Guitar Rod of Command during winter hollidays. Works ok even if a bit bulky and still a few bugs. I started working with IV-6 tubes, they are 30v. I'm trying to drive them with a 5v controller without a Nixie special chip... still in progress. Oh and I'm testing my Dr Vetinari clock, a close to perfect weekend project. Lastly, I'm waiting for my Geiger counter kit to arrive. Should be fun !

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-12-20 - Winter holidays
    Starting this weekend will be 2 weeks of Diablo 3, Far Cry 3, sleep (oh yes) and geek stuffs! Just finished my WhatAWatt, sent to production in China a small board for a 8x8 RGB led matrix using ATmega64a, and waiting to receive my DC boost converter from China (again) to make a clock (again) with VFD tubes. Also I shall finish another clock with a special Windmill design ...(more on that later) and start working on my Guitar Rod of Command.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-12-07 - Too much Diablo3...
    ...is bad for productivity (he he he...). Found this interesting information source from Cornell university. Not complete but there's things to learn : http://people.ece.cornell.edu/land/courses/ece4760/

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-11 - 15 - Too much, too few
    Already put yourself in such situation you want to do so much at the same time you end up doing nothing ? These day's I'm trying to fix my 2.1 speaker (got some magic smoke and killed a small speaker already), playing with resin casting, finished the display of the tiny tube clock (but not the clock itself), my Avalanche is on the shelf, bought a CF card and adapter to revive an old laptop that will become an arcade cabinet, waiting for my RasPi to arrive, making a Rapide7seg board for using thoses cheap 7seg (10 for 150 yen, nice!), tinkering with 8x8 RGB led matrix, ...

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-10-18 - Avalanche working !! (^。^)v
    Wow, sometimes nothing works, sometimes time fly and project are setup in orbit in no time. I resumed and nearly finished the Avalanche artistic thingy. There was big flaw in the design, so turns out it does not do what I wanted yet what it does now is in fact far from being bad. Details in the project page. Next stuff before my new clock is to fix my 2.1 speaker that is broken for months.
    2012-10-17-23-35-56_deco.jpg

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-10-10 - Around a SNES working !! (^。^)v
    Aaaaah the sweet taste of victory... rewrote all in assembler, lots of debugging, used a new logic analyzer to track the last bugs nasty bugs and on top of that noticing that the attiny was partially fried and causing additional errors (^。^)v It's working just fine now, just need a general AC switch and closing the rear panel. Victory !!
    2012-10-10-23-23-38_deco.jpg

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-09-26 - Around a SNES still not finished (II)
    Well ... dunno why it doesn't work. I tried different approaches, mixed assembler and C, rewrote everything in assembler, spent hours debuging and still doesn't work. Worse, I nearly feels it worked better before all this assembler adventure. It's really frustrating to feel that you're so close to the goal, you know it's in your reach, you know there's a bug too, right in front of your eyes and can't find it. Damned... Maybe I'll leave it on the side for some time and come back later?

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-09-03 - Around a SNES still not finished
    Painted, assembled and it fits all nicely inside the cabinet. The controller ... ah the controller ... well it doesn't work. In fact seems the timing is wrong, like everything is shifted, some button reacting like 2 buttons. The answer may lay in the fact that I changed the function to read and send the button status, and that it might take too much time to answer according the timing (every 6 us). Or it's something else. I'll practice my Atmel assembler skills, in case.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-08-27 - Around a SNES in the final steps
    Painting this weekend, now it's dry and waiting for the final assembly tonight ... the moment of truth, where success will be born, or the time for tears.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-08-18 - Fedora for electrogeeks
    Installing a fedora for electrogeeks ? Finally give back some use to that old laptop sleeping under the table ?
    http://spins.fedoraproject.org/en/fel/

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-08-16 - Around a SNES - with sound
    After a few trial and errors, I finally read with attention the sample circuits of my NJM2073D and noticed that I was missing a cap between opamp(-) and GND. Tadaaa♪ now we have the sound too. The boards from China are in the mail, should be here in 1 week. This leaves me time to finish the cabinet (need just front screen) and we can start the (sand/paint)^3 phase...

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-08-03 - SNES Controller - coin acceptor
    Hey people still sell some! Could be nice on the arcade cabinet... hum... http://www.adafruit.com/products/786

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-08-01 - SNES Controller - continued...
    After a long pause on Around a SNES of 2 months and lots of mistakes, wrong ideas, ... I restarted from the begining. Use 2 interrupts INT0 and INT1 to detect latch and clock precisely. And found a bug in some "trivial" piece of code. Let me remind you (and me!) :
    • DDRx : directions of the port x (1 = out, 0 = in)
    • PORTx : value of the port x for writing (used for pullups also)
    • PINx : value of the port x when reading

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-05-24 - SNES arcade controller
    My arcade SNES controller is on good track after a big pause, lots of silly mistakes too... this time I can say I was happy to have a small oscilloscope ! It's not yet usable but the prototype can now send every n seconds the START button push. So now just solder some pulled up buttons and we're done! After will come the build of the arcade style cabinet...

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-05-20 - Nice site
    Discovered a nice site with lots of hacks or things to make in the weekend. Very nice : http://www.tinkernut.com/wiki/page/Main_Page

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-04-27 - Golden Week plans
    Golden week coming in Japan, lots of projects! Making an arcade style SNES controller , finishing the BalconyMeter (finished itself but I need to hook efficiently those damned solar panels and NiMh batteries), make that Korean version of the Wordclock and write that article for Eleki-jack about the Clapclap 2313 ... wow if I can do that all that will be great!

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-03-26 - TinyVoltmeter is out !
    A small project but which taught me a lot about the ADC, how to have nice readings and use a DC boost converter. And cherry on the cake, it has some real usage as a breadboard hand free voltmeter.

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-04-06 - Where are the TLC5940?
    Why are those babies so hard to find ? A 16 outputs PWM driver, that's so cool... but why is there only that IC on the segment (16 outputs and thoughhole) and why can we just buy it at Digikey or eBay HK ? The first one is terribly expensive from Japan, the second one is, well, eBay : the best and the worse. I have my project of Avalanche that is waiting for 2 month that those damned 2IC arrive ... grrrrrr!

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-03-26 - 74HC595 2 wires?
    You knew we could control a 74HC595 with 2 wires ? Needed 3 to my knowledge but some gentleman on the internet seems to do it with 2, by wiring together clock and latch ... At least the schema says so. Good to know.
    http://picboard.blogspot.ca/2010/10/0-20v-digital-voltmeter-dvm-using.html

    news-avatar.200120.png 2012-03-24 - News section opening
    That was completely missing to my site and it took me nearly 2 years to notice and fix the error. A small news section! I'll use this to inform of the recent developments of my adventures in the electogeek world. Hope this will hint you to stuff you might like.



    All projects here!
    All content on this site is shared under the MIT licence (do what u want, don't sue me, hat tip appreciated)
    electrogeek.cc ~ Formerly known as Kalshagar.wikispaces.com (AlanFromJapan [2009 - 2017])