HOWTO: Remove Marbles From Empty Spray Cans

I made a How-to Video! On top of that I brought the word trendsetter back into fashion! Please enjoy 🙂

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An unexpected thing happened today…… The compost started generating heat! I’ve had a compost heap for sometime but between the chickens scavenging it for food and the long bouts of no new raw materials its never started composting properly and never generated any heat. This makes me want to make up a temp probe that I can stick in it and see how hot it gets 🙂 In the morning when its coldest I might un cover a bit and see if it steams!

This is what happened a little different to get it started up….. I think. The grass clippings were first placed in a big bin and really stuffed in there to make it all fit. The bin then sat in the sun for awhile before I emptied it onto the compost. When I was pulling it all out of the bin I thought it was a bit warm but put it down to the sun on the BIN and it retaining some of its heat. I cleaned out the Chicken shed of poop and threw that on top and theres some leaves out of the roof gutters, then there was a few more grass clippings on top of that.


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Adler ‘Sir’ Calculator

Further sorting of the Debris around the shed revealed further titillating gear. A calculator! I’m not one to get excited about calculators but this one has its own character(ha) Made around 1976 makes this calculator currently 38 years old. Holy shit! It has a florescent display, is quite small (for then) and has a carry pouch. Amaze your friends with your very own portable calculator! Imagine the new heights your social status could reach! Not only that but if you were lucky enough to have a woman you could buy her the ‘Lady’ version!!! More sleek AND has a key ring on the pouch! She could strut next to you letting everyone know how well you treated her. Fantastic.



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1973 Datsun 1200 Wagon

I love this car. Its been years since I’ve given it any form of love. I had a whole blog dedicated to Datsuns that I must restore.


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Venner 240V Hours Run Indicator

I was at the tip shop the other day and got a few things for $10 (junk) One of them was this, A Venner Hours Run Indicator. It has a nice solid housing and I thought I might be able to use it in a project some place. When I should of been cleaning the shed I decided to tear it down and see what could be done. Its operation seems to be all in its name. When power is applied it ticks over the timer which I guess is in hours.


This Sticker is in remarkable shape compared to the rest of the unit. Guessing its aluminium.

One wire goes into the device so I’m unsure how the wiring is meant to go. I’m guessing it’s as easy as Live and Neutral wire hookup to make the thing work. On the left there you can see the 200V mark. This is partly hidden but its 200-250V. To bad it doesn’t operate on DC Voltage. Maybe one day I could get an electrician to wire it into the shed circuit…. Stats!


Might be able to re-use the counter somewhere? I’ll add it into the Electronic scrap pile for future. At the very least I can use the enclosure on something.

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In my attempts to get organized I decided there was to much wasted space above the tool area. I also had some nice timber I had removed from inside the house. A half put together dodgy looking built-in that came with the house. Conclusion: Shelves! This also bought up in my mind that they should have some backing I could also visualize Pegboard to hang some of those things that just don’t go anywhere else. A quick trip to the hardware store and I came back with some Shelf brackets and some particle board. Huh? You said pegboard? Pegboard was $42 a sheet at 1200 x 900!!! this particle board was $16 for the same size sheet and thick enough to screw, nail or bash with a hammer (who doesn’t enjoy hitting things with a hammer) Now I can empty out the bench below it which was to low to comfortable grab stuff that was used a lot and I can put all the electric tools in and such. All the handy stuff can go on the shelf



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Shed Sort and Cleanup

Attempts have been under way to clean up the shed so its a usable space again. As opposed to somewhere to dump stuff and keep tools 🙂

These pics are where its at now and it looks kinda bad even though this is AFTER multiple passes at cleaning! HA! I kept forgetting to take damn photos of the un-heavenly mess that was there before. Which is probably okay since it would make your soul hurt.

Its good having actual floor space to casually walk through. Also Bench space! Have you ever had so much shit laying around that there’s no room to put it so you put it on the floor in any available gap? Well, that’s what the shed was like. When you actually try and sort some stuff there’s no space available to sort. Nor can you get to some of the places where the sorted stuff is meant to live! Fortunately this time of apocalypse has passed and I now have room again!

20140808_174835 20140808_174901 20140808_174856

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Introducing PowerArdy!

My second PCB Ever has been sent of for fabrication! I’ve been lazy and haven’t posted my first Circuit Board Ever yet. This will replace my Current Cost Envi unit which has been beavering away for a few years now with 2 current Sensors. Since adding Solar to the house 2 isn’t enough. I have one Sensor on the total house power circuit (Mains) and the other around the Heating Circuit which services the Hot water Cylinder and the Heatpump. I pull 3 totals out of this by subtracting the Heat circuit off the total power circuit to give me the leftover which is powerpoints and Lights. There has been some anomalies with this which to be honest I haven’t looked into my code to see if its a bug there or something else. The new PowerArdy has 4 Current sensors on it! They will monitor:

  • Lights and Power
  • Heater Circuit
  • Solar Production
  • Total Power

This will hopefully fix the anomaly with my data. The other problem I have with the old setup is when I have a surplus of power from the solar and it starts exporting to the grid it appears as power consumption on my graphs! No good at all. I’ve also gone pro by adding a 9V AC-AC Powersupply that will monitor the line voltage to calculate power factor. This in turn lets you calculate real power value properly. Also in the mix, as this unit will be by the Front door, I’ve added a PIR sensor for motion detection, a TMP36 temperature sensor, a light sensor and a button. The button is for a coming Doorbell button. Which as it happens is how I started playing with Arduino stuff in the first place! I just wanted a doorbell! I have a lot of trouble hearing anybody at the door which I plan on fixing with a very loud old school Siren I have around here somewhere. Awesome sauce…… once its setup 🙂 Also included is a Xbee to shoot all the data through to motherhub.

Here is the PCB layout of the new board



I hope its all correct! Will be a 4-8 weeks before I see the boards yet so I have some time to wait. In the meantime I’ve ordered all the other parts I don’t have here. Version 2 of this will probably have a arduino included in the design instead of being an Arduino shield as it is now.

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