Freesteel Blog » 2017 » February

Friday, February 10th, 2017 at 1:08 pm - - Machining

Here’s some bad out-of-focus video from the latest steel milling.

The milling was bodged because somebody used the wrong size collet which didn’t grip properly and so the cutter slowly slid inside, leaving steps on the job.

I’ve lost patience for blogging, or filming or documenting things properly. It’s all been out of sorts. Maybe I’m low on VitaminD.

I did feel content while doing a day’s work yanking out lots of small trees by their roots on Saturday.

Progress has been on-going with a number of datalogging and ESP8266 projects, such as this Sonoff S20 smart Socket hack where I got help to install Micropython to turn on and off a vacuum cleaner.

(I am trying to do the same with my heating system boiler, except the ESP8266 I’m using keeps dropping out for no reason.)

I have the view that the “Internet” part of the “Internet of Things” is the problem, with all these servers, gateways, analytics, and remote controls from anywhere in the world. None of it does anything useful, because the value of data and control of a thing is inversely proportional to your remoteness from it in time and space.

The answer is therefore going to be nearby. It’s not ever going to be found from pushing it out to some faraway server in China.

What we really want are “Things with Internet Technology”. That is stuff with Wifi, Webpages and Wisdom. No nonsense, fun, and easily reprogrammable on an escalator of betterness to a high plane than the bare ground we start with.

So, in addition to the cheap and multiples-of cave logger work, I’m proposing a mains cut-off switch that does not contain its own microcontroller — let alone its own pre-installed software. Those are added extra onto the minimally necessary hardware.

All you get from it are four pins on the junction box: Ground, 5V, GPIO-output for on-off, Analog-in for the current draw.

There are about a billion pis, arduinos, microbits and esps out in the world that people know about and are waiting for something like this to plug into, so there is no reason to force your own choice onto them just because you’re familiar with it. That’s what I think.