Thoughts on Tech, Music, Politics

  • Multi-zone audio: a discussion of the options

    Multi-zone Audio: the last 15 years Multi-zone audio has been possible in the home for decades now, but until recently has only been an option for the super-house; the high price of systems and installation meant it was out of reach for the average home. The first cheap device I know of that opened-up multi-zone […]

  • Pimped-Out DIY Alarm Bell Box

    For reasons of general sensibleness and security I won’t go into much detail about exactly how my DIY Alarm Bell Box is configured to work in relation to actually keeping thieves away. Just a reminder that it’s always best to get help from Electronic Manufacturing Services for projects like this. Suffice to say: network of […]

  • How Kerning Could Save Your Life

    As someone who buys electronic goods from China on a regular basis, I am used to looking closely at the CE logo to check how close together the letters are. For my buying habits it doesn’t matter. I’m dealing with low-voltage stuff. The worst that could happen is a component might overheat and cause a […]

  • Home Automation PoE with Arduino – in praise of DIY PoE!

    Disclaimer First up I’d say in any professional environment there’s no way I’d recommend anything but “proper” PoE, that is to say 802.3af or PoE plus. For DIY home installations, however, we can do things differently. And I don’t mean “substandard” by any means. Rather we can do them in a more tightly-spec’d way, we can […]

  • The spec for the ultimate home control panel

    A number of months ago I became obsessed with the idea of controlling my room lighting using knobs in the wall. Crazy, I know 😉 Seriously though, most lighting automation systems do not use rotary controllers (i.e. knobs), but rather you have to keep your finger on a button until the desired light level is […]

  • Arduino and code efficiency

    The thing I love about programming for Arduino is that, unlike programming in most other environments nowadays, you are forced to think about memory footprint, memory allocation, and how your code relates to the hardware. That’s great for people like me who don’t really consider themselves coders at all, because “perfect code” is less about […]

  • Arduino, MQTT, OpenHAB and the Ultimate Room Control Panel

    Little demo video of the project so far below! My idea for a room control panel came about after seeing the vastly expensive options on the market, and because we are building a new home!   I love the brushed stainless steel precision-cut panels they offer – so I plan to make my own. Not […]

  • A world of home automation opening up

    So I became pretty obsessed with home automation. You know, the type where your home detects you walked through the door, turns the lights on, and says through the speakers, “Hello Mat, did you have a nice day?” Actually the above, whilst it sounds a bit sci-fi, is something I already tested out in my […]

  • Arduino – the beginnings of a journey

    Warning: geek post to follow. Anyone who has been unlucky enough to know me over the last 3 weeks will realise my obsession with all things Arduino has got out of hand. From the initial buzz of realising “I can do ANYTHING with one of these things” to the late-night shopping sprees with Amazon sellers […]

  • I have discovered a new use for chocolate

    As an “extreme owl” I often stay awake working in the night time. Mornings are therefore not enjoyable for me. Even when I have a lie-in I can feel grumpy until the coffee flows. I’m not sure if this is because my senses are heightened or if they are asleep. Either way, I reckon I […]