Itinerant Ham

Hoffman’s Cay – IOTA NA-054

NA-054 Hoffman’s Cay – courtesy

Here’s a nice photo of Hoffman’s Cay in the Berry Islands, Bahamas. The photo was taken from above Little Harbour Cay the QTH for C6APY in 2017. See it on Google Maps.

TS-100 Soldering Iron Screen Replacement – Edited Version

Here’s an edited version of the TS-100 screen replacement livestream. I’ve left in the demonstration of what can go wrong so you can avoid that – enjoy 🙂

TS-100 Screen Replacement

A few months ago the screen on my trusty TS-100 began to get dimmer. I took it apart but there was nothing to be done apart from replace the screen (£1.56 from Aliexpress). It only took a few minutes one Saturday evening. Here’s how it went…

Danfoss BD50 Fridge/Freezer Controller Update

Project Update

Danfoss Fridge Controller

During the winter, I had to make my own fridge controller form my Danfoss BD35 compressor as the mechanical thermostat broke down miles from anywhere and many days away from getting a replacement.

Danfoss BD35/50 Smart Fridge Controller

The prototype was formed from an ESP8266 and a DS18b20 and programmed up pretty quickly to prevent the food spoiling.

It worked very well and it was very useful to have an accurate fridge monitor for the first time in over 10 years on the boat.

The first draft of a custom PCB for this project is ongoin – I expect to order it within days.

Agile Octobot

A side-project came up when I switched electricity providers to Octopus Energy. They have an Agile Tariff where you only pay the ‘going rate’ for electricity when you actually use it. Their day is split into 1/2 hour time slots and the price varies witht the wholesale price of electricity and is published in advance. I decided to write some Arduino code to allow some of my devices to make autonomous decisions on when to turn on. It uses the Octpus API. As an aside, I wrote a Telegram bot to remind me of upcoming electricity prices so I’m reminded to turn on my energy-intesive, not-so-smart devices. More detail at Agile Octobot.

Automated Irrigation

I decided to make an automated drip irrigation system and ordered up a few parts. To mount the valve, I made a 3D printed bracket. Control will be via relay and an ESP8266 running Tasmota integrated into Home Assistant.

This morning’s project was more mundane…


Oh yes, I almost forgot! I sent off some Rapberry Pi 3s to Hoveraid the charity I built a temperature monitoring system for a few years back. Its basically the same system with Node-red and Mosquitto running on Dietpi but this will give them more headroom for future expansion when they re-engine the hovercraft and need CANBUS.

I have a bunch of other upcoming projects so I’ll post more updates in the coming days.


August 2022