Sensors Platform

I've recently been working on a platform that allows data from sensors to be recorded and displayed to a user. The main idea came when I started accumulating a range of sensors monitoring elements around my home. These sensors included energy consumtion monitors and a weather station, with plans to introduce a number of other monitoring devices. In order to understand the data from these devices I needed it presented in a meaningful and succinct way. 


Smelting Aluminum in a Washing Machine chiminea

After a long bout of "Who can make the best chiminea" between a friend and myself, I finally came up wth the washing machine drum idea. I soon found an old broken machine and went to work removing the drum. 

I was unable to get all of the elements off so the first trial burn had to commence with the machines aluminum drive pulley still attached to the drum. During this burn I noted that the aluminum melted with the heat of the chiminea, and so, the washing machine foundry was born.

Below are some pictures of the results:


Home Weather Station

I always wanted a home based weather station, and so this Christmas (2013) I decided to get one. I purchased the PCE-FWS 20 from Maplin. The kit allows me to measure the following

• Indoor/outdoor temperature (°C or °F)
• Wind speed and direction (mph or kmh)
• Self emptying rain gauge (mm or inches)
• Indoor / outdoor humidity
• Barometer pressure with trends


Building C8051FXXXX applications on Linux

As part of my Masters we are doing a Mixed Signal Processing module where we are using the C8051F120 microcontroller to process basic mixed signal functions. In the labs we have been given the C8051F120DK development kit from Silicon Labs which includes the Silicon Labs IDE. Developing with this on Linux was a real pain since I had to run the IDE through a Windows XP VirtualBox install, and that wouldn't do!


TQ6410 Pics

Just some photos of my TQ6410 embedded ARM board, touchscreen LCD and custom alu case. 

This is the same board that was used in my Final year BEng project, more infomation can be found here.

System specification

Samsung S3C6410 feat. ARM 11 core, up to 667MHz

128MB Mobile DDR SDRAM, 266MHz

256MB NAND Flash

2MB NOR Flash

Operating system:
Linux custom built system based on uClibc and Busybox

Linux AVR tools, AVRDUDE, avr-gcc etc..

I do so little AVR development these days that when I start again, it takes me a short while to get back into the swing of things. So rather than digging out old notes, I've reproduced the main elements here.


To compile AVR C programs on linux you need the avr-gcc toolchain, along with a few other utilities. On Fedora one installs all of the packages required with:



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