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Random projects and posts

01 NOVEMBER 2020

Sonos Door and Window Alerts from Home Assistant

I the past I have used the open source smart home software called Home Assistant www.home-assistant.io on a Raspberry Pi to monitor our homes sensors which has information from our temperature sensors, electric and gas...

25 OCTOBER 2020

Kasa Smart Plug by TP-Link Power Consumption Modification

Disclaimer, this project involves the modification of mains electric powered equipment and can cause electrocution, shock, death, fire if not done correctly. I take no responsibility if anyone follows these instructions...

24 OCTOBER 2020

Adding 10Gb Fibre to the home network

Using our main Windows desktop PC’s we often work from our Synology DiskStation NAS on video projects and using our 1Gb network we would copy the video assets and files to each desktop to edit before copying the completed...

17 OCTOBER 2020

Back Pain with Sciatica during Lockdown

As I cannot currently do any new projects or work in the loft workshop at the moment which require standing for very long, I thought I would write about what has been happening during the Covid 19 lockdown here in the UK...

23 SEPTEMBER 2020

Record Vise No 1 and No 2 Restoration

Earlier this year I purchased a pair of Record bench engineers vises from a local house who resells gardening and other equipment and donate the proceeds to charity. I paid £20 for both. The vises are Record No 1...

05 JULY 2020

Social Meta Tag Generator

This simple helper function generates social media meta tags for web pages for Google, Schema.org, Twitter and Open Graph for Facebook etc using C#. The code and class can be downloaded from github.com/briandorey/Social-Meta-Tag-Generator In...

19 MAY 2020

Importing Apple Watch workouts into Garmin Connect

For several years I used a Garmin sports tracking watch to track my daily walks and to keep a running total of the distance covered and a Garmin bike computer. This would automatically upload to Garmin Connect https://connect.garmin.com/. I...

02 MAY 2020

Blackmagic Intensity Pro 4K Heatsink mod

We recently purchased a Blackmagic Intensity Pro 4K video capture card for capturing the display output from a Raspberry Pi. While the capture card works well and does what we need it did have one small annoying problem....

13 APRIL 2020

Phone cradle with Garmin Quarter turn mount

I have been using Zwift with my first generation Wahoo Kickr bike trainer for several months now, firstly due to bad weather over the winter months and now due to the current Covid19 lockdown in the United Kingdom. I run...

07 APRIL 2020

Yaesu VX-6 New Data Cable Fix

Last week I purchased a Yaesu VX-6 is which is an ultra-rugged 144-430 MHz FM Hand-Held with wide receiver coverage of 504kHz to 998.99MHz. As programming the radios via the keypad is very time consuming, I purchased a...

29 MARCH 2020

PartFinder component inventory manager

For several years we have been using PartKeepr https://partkeepr.org/ to keep track of the thousands of components we have in our workshop. Over the past few months, we found the daily backups from PartKeepr are taking...

28 MARCH 2020

Amazon Echo Flex Teardown

At Christmas we purchased an Amazon Echo Flex which was on special offer at the time.  The Echo Flex is a plug-in smart home controller using the Amazon Alexa ecosystem. After having it sitting on the shelf for 3 months,...

17 MARCH 2020

When lightning strikes

Today whilst sorting through my old 35mm film negatives, I found some photos of the damage our home suffered when we had a direct lightning strike to the aerials on our roof in September 2004. On the night, we all went...

11 MARCH 2020

Pioneer SX-N30 Stereo Receiver 12V Remote Output Mod

For several months now we have been looking at ways to reduce the energy consumption in our house. One item we found that was using power when it wasn’t in use was a Yamaha subwoofer that is connected to a Pioneer...

28 FEBRUARY 2020

Synology DiskStation DS411+II Repair - Blue Flashing LED

Around two years ago my Synology DS411+II network attached storage drive developed a fault where it would randomly fail to boot or power on with a flashing blue power button light and then after a random number of minutes...

22 JANUARY 2020

The importance of checking your data backups

I thought I would write a short post about the importance of checking that your computer data backups are working correctly and if you experience a drive or computer failure only to find your backup system did not work! This...


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