Right after the first batch of 200 boards, i noticed that there were some issues with voltages. Apparently, it looks like the manufacturer got the wrong chip or one of caps were damaged.
What ever ti was, i had to test ~200 boards and my main concern was only proper voltages. Main input of ~12VDC, 5VDC acter ACT4088 buck converter and 3.3VDC after AMS1117.
So, i took some pogo pins and drilled through some plexy boards, used very handy little voltages measuring boards and here is the result.
It took me about 30 minutes to make it and another hour to test all boards. If it was not possible to test it this way, i would definitely had to do it one by one and i can’t even imagine the struggle i would have to go through.
Good thing was that i actually had 3.3V and 5V terminals on the bottom of the board, so i didn’t have to spend much time adjusting things.
After 2 months wait, one lost package and another one shipped with DHL (which btw. arrived from South Africa to Bosnia in less than 46 hours in my hands), i finaly got RefloR, cool little “hotplate” style soldering tool.
First impression and first few boards i did only for test, went great. At first i was underrating it because it’s essentially just controlled temperature “hotplate”. However, this one worked so great and i don’t remember spending 1 second looking in instruction manual or scratching my head and asking “what should i now”. It was very natural process. Plug the power, open app, connect to ESP and choose a profile. Very intuitive and simple.
However, i noticed that in my case the plate is not following the profile accurately, it was rather “approximately”. But then again, it worked.
First test was the “test SMD soldering kit” that comes with the RefloR so after initial success, i placed 5 small 555/4017 led chaser kits that covered probably around 40% of total re-flowing area.
For quite some time i have been looking for good parts supplier. DigiKey, Mouser, RS, Farnell, TI etc. All those companies don’t optimize shipping for Bosnia so it’s 120EUR per package, what ever i order.
Above all, they are usually expensive and i wasn’t able to find most of what i was looking for. Maybe because lately i picked some parts that are usually available in China and those companies don’t offer them or have same parts but 3-4 times more expensive.
Asking around, some guys suggested www.lcsc.com, www.arrow.com and www.tme.eu. Checking what they offer and shipping options for Bosnia, it looks like i have great alternative for those bit fancy popular suppliers.
First “test” order i made was from www.lcsc.com and i’m very pleased with what i have got.
So, here is one fast box opening clip + some pics in “READ MORE” :)
Although it wasn’t planned to server this purpose, somewhere in the middle of design i realized that this board with few more resistors would be perfect for very popular Wiegand RFID readers that you can get all around Ebay and other Chinese stores.
Those readers are often completely dummy bricks which can only read code from a chip and pass it by wiegand on two data lines.
Basically it’s a ESP12 breakout board which can accept 12V input and at the same time powers up the Wiegand reader with same 12V input and accepts all possible pins from the most common readers.
You can get eagle cad schematics and BOM at github and also you can buy this board at My Tindie Store
In addition to that, it often has buzzer, LED and sometimes keypad, which also just sends the numbers it gets. One of versions i got also have simple bell button which just makes a connection on two wires. So it’s simple tactile switch there.
I implemented the support for all of those input/output lines so all you need is to program your board and read cards.
I have one version of firmware which i would not be able to share at this point but i can gladly suggest eps-rfid project, which is open-source and great for the first hand to use.
In this setup, you can make your Wiegand reader as simple work hours registration device. However, next version with relay and few more features are on it’s way so, please be patient.
Also, there is a version of wiegand reader which has enough space to place this tiny board in it.
So many boards of this kind already exist but i wanted to make my own. One important decision is how to supply ESP12 with a power and the most elegant way is quite small and tiny PCB mountable Hi-Link AC-DC, but it gives only 0.6A so it’s right on the edge for 4 relays and ESP12. There are many more converters of this kind but not this small and often not sealed as this one is.
Another doubt i had was should i use optocouplers or not. At the end i realized, it doesn’t bring me anything that important in my case. After all, this is only a board for my home/garden use.
So, here is the sketch. I hope, soon i’ll publish photos how it actually looks like once i solder PCBs.
This was just a project made out of desperate situation caused by mistakes in heating system design. So my friend needed to be able to control the pump which pushes the heat towards one f the branches, for a while and also being able to turn it on/off, get some feedback etc. So far they like it and this copy/paste coding style worked for us.
Perhaps, one of the most exciting things that are quite easy to experience is scuba diving. It’s not so physically demanding and most of the people can do it. Although the easies way is to simply find some diving center and pay for a fun dive, i strongly recomend to take a full training for several days (Preferably PADi Advanced Open water Diver AOWD because the most exciting dives are usually those deep dives) and most important of all, pick the best ranked diving center with the best diving spots you can find.
Some diving centers don’t have that great diving sights so the dives are not as much fun as it can be.
I have been diving for a few years now and i hope i do it until the rest of my life.
Especially great fun is night dives. Sea life is best seen than and there is additional adrenalin rush since everything is so dark.
Here is some pics i made lately, all from Adriatic sea and mostly Dubrovnik, Vis, Komiža.
p.s. I strongly suggest visiting Vis, Croatia. And, i don’t think it requires explanation why, it’s simplye AMAZING
HEPEK IOT - A hub for IOT 01 (ideaand proof of concept)
In essence, i realized there are many devices of this kind but most locked within some ecosystem. So, why not to design something which would be open sourced, affordable, hackable that most of makers are familiar with etc…
Essentially the idea si to make single PCB with:
ESP12 or NodeMCU (The good thing about NodeMcu it gives you power/programming interface right away)
315/433 MHz transmitter/receiver module (controlling power RC sockets and modules, garage doors etc)
4 IR Diodes (TV, Aircondittion)
IR receiver (Learning new codes)
Thermometer/Barometer (Because we can :D)
Neopixel ring/strip (just for fun, at the end, there is web interface, i would rather avoid display since it makes thing simpler)
PIR sensor interface (silent alarm for your home)
And put it in some off the shelf enclosure, share it, sell it on tindie etc..
Also, make a simple software for essential functionalities.
As a first step, i put bunch of things on my breadboard, did some copy/paste codding to make it work and of course .. it’s still on my table, waiting me to spend some more time and manufacture that board finally.
As for code, i simply extended current wifimanager library for Arduino, added a page and played a bit with html/css. The sad thing, it would definittely have to be completely rewritten. It’s simply slow and slow for development due to some steps for preparation of html/css for upload.