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Dell screen E172FPb repair

Found on the street this old e172FPb Dell monitor. Apparently broken? In this post I will explain how to revive old electronics that people throw just because we belive it is not possible or too expensive to repair. This time, 5€ later, we got a working dell monitor. Continue Reading →

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Building a DIY triple screen desk mount

It was time for a rearrangement of my desk working space. I’ve been lately working with a lighting software that required the installation of 3 extra screens on my desk. So that’s why I wanted to build a custom DIY triple screen desk mount. Power tools, safety glasses and earplugs might be involved in the process so proceed with extreme caution.

How to try to copy this:

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Doorman Arduino prototype
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Doorman Arduino

Doorman Arduino is an open source project that controls the doors of your house. It uses a network connection and an Arduino to accomplish this function. As in domotic appliances, the main goal is to be in control of all your entrances (main door, garage door,…). On top of that, our goal is to achieve this functions without the need of any specialized software on the client side. A web browser is the only requirement to be able to control all the doors. Continue Reading →

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Arduino Artnet sender keyboard for MA2

It’s been a year since last time I build a project for myself, just for fun. And I tough that I should finally build that old project that I had in mind long time ago but never had time to. I’m talking about my idea of converting and old PS2  keyboard into an Arduino Artnet broadcaster. People in the lighting buisness will apreciate the idea because we have alwas the need of more buttons more faders to control every single aspect of the lighting system. So this project extends our interface using artnet and on the cheap! The logic behind is very simple. We have a lighting system wich is composed by inteligent lights in one side and a control system in the other. Normally the comunicacion betwen both is done via a DMX cable. But many of the lighting controller nowadays have extra inputs in form of DMX inputs, MIDI, analog and/or Artnet. I will be using the last one (artnet) to, trough the keys of the keyboard, trigger functions on our lighting desk. In my case the GrandMA2 onPC software. Continue Reading →

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Martin Mac 500 maintenance

Time ago I got 4x second hand Martin Mac 500 moving heads  from a Dutch rental company. They where moving to a new lighting set and they where giving them away at a fair price. So without doubting I got a car and went there to pick them up, so I end up with 4 huge moving heads in my living room.

This mac 500 moving heads are the first models produced that have a magnetic starter for the lamps. Later models Martin500/E had an electronic ballast/starter. Weighing a stunning 32Kg each they are not really “portable” at all. They were probably fabricated somewhere in mid-late 90´s so they are now around 20 years old?!! Not bad at all for those kind of pieces of hardware.

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Stepper motors and Arduino

Back in the 80s steppers where commonly used in most consumer products requiring precise control of moving pats. That’s why old printers, typewriters, faxes are a great source of still usable stepper motors waiting for somebody to give them a use.

Controlling Stepper motors with arduino have been always a good way of having things precisely positioned at all times. Their way of working is pretty simple, you send electronic pulses and the stepper motor moves one step degree at a time (hence the name “steppers”). So if we know how many steps we can do in 380 degrees we will know how many degree we move in one step. Then we can keep track of the position or angle of our stepper motor.

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Seed Counter 2nd prototype

Building 1

We have been testing hardware and developing new software for our prototype of seed counter. It’s been a while but after all, we have come across of what we think its a much better solution.

 

The old seed counter prototype had a major problem and was that the counter itself was not reliable enough. Most of the time would work good but some times would pick 2 seeds instead of one. That was because all the seeds where piled in the deposit where the rotating wheel would pick the seed. When the wheel of the seed counter rotated to pick a seed sometimes would pick more than one or even throw all the seeds right above the one that got picked. Continue Reading →

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Arduino ethernet, the great internet of things

It’s been a while since I had the idea of an Arduino receiving and sending data trough the Internet. Long time ago I picked up a simple RGB led, an arduino Ethernet shield, put some pieces of code together and I was able to receive information from a website and convert into light and colour.

I built a custom XML parser for Arduino ethernet and some simple functions for changing the color and fade the leds. Just enough freedom to decide what information gather and how to show it. Colors, blinks, fades. All I had was just an RGB led, not even a button. So the interface was pretty simple.

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