There oughta be…

…a blog with awesome projects. A collection of overcomplicated devices nobody needs. A sanctum for all the things that did not get living room clearance, but oughta be seen by fellow nerds.

There oughta be a smart garage door.

03 December 2020

Probably one of my less impressive projects. Controlling my old garage door opener via MQTT. If you cannot imagine what a garage door looks like when it opens, here is a three minute video of the setup:

Thumbnail of a youtube video about the smart garage door opener, light shining through the opening door.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.

Self-deprecating commentary aside, I simply trigger the input of the garage door opener with a relay and determine the garage door position with a Zigbee orientation sensor. Two components that just happened to be available as spares from other projects, but it might help you if you want to do something similar.

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There oughta be an LED cube.

28 September 2020

Inspired by many LED cube projects before me, I decided to build my own version, which eventually turned into a CPU status indicator on my desk. Is there a more over the top way to monitor your CPU temperature and usage than 12,288 individually addressable RGB LEDs arranged as a cube?

Thumbnail of a youtube video about my LED cube, showing three images of the cube with dominantly blue, then green and finally red color.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.

In this case, I strongly suggest to check out the video first as it conveys the looks of the cube much better than static images. Of course, the blog article will provide all the technical details.

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There oughta be a way to use a Sony Alpha in Octolapse.

22 September 2020

In principle, this should be a simple one. I have an older Sony Alpha NEX-5T, which I wanted to use to create timelapses of my 3d prints. Spoiler alert: I found a way and you can find some examples in the Youtube video:

Thumbnail of a youtube video about 3d print timelapses.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.

Read on, if you want to use your Sony Alpha like this, too.

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There oughta be a wedding gift.

21 September 2020

When my brother got married, I needed a wedding gift. Of course, I did not go with something ordinary. Instead I 3D printed a holder for an e-ink display that served as a digital guestbook.

Thumbnail of a youtube video the wedding gift with an illuminated e-ink screen.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.

Guests as well as friends who could not attend (especially during the Corona pandemic) can easily send messages from their phones that are shown immediately.

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There oughta be an irrigation system.

19 August 2020

Instead of watering my lawn manually, I created the automated irrigation system that you can see in the following video.

Thumbnail of a youtube video showing an active sprinkler.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.

As you will see, just a simple system that turns the water on or off was not sufficient. I will show you all aspects of this Arduino based system in this article and provide the source code.

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