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  • Control any remote from a Raspberry Pi (and Amazon Echo!)

    That's great! I'm looking forward to the day when Pi Zeros or equivalent are something you keep several of in a drawer for use in projects like this and are not premium items that are so hard to get hold of! (Really, having to get a single unit airmailed from the UK is just ridiculous). Using the Zero here has really made your version of this project much neater. Thanks for posting.

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  • gtoal commented on MakrToolbox's instructable Wireless Outlet Controller3 weeks ago
    Wireless Outlet Controller

    I did something very similar except with a Raspberry Pi... http://www.instructables.com/id/Control-Any-Remote-From-a-Raspberry-Pi-and-Amazon-/

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  • gtoal commented on Astuces de Trente Secondes-'s instructable DIY INFRARED CAMERA3 weeks ago
    DIY INFRARED CAMERA

    Agreed, most of the IR is filtered out - you'll be able to see an IR LED directly (eg a remote control) and maybe some things that are within a couple of feet of your IR light source but the sort of thing you see with a night vision security camera where people are illuminated maybe 30 ft away is unlikely with most cell phone cameras, even though that illuminator you're using reaches distances like that. Unfortunately the filters can be extremely hard to remove without damaging your equipment - you might consider experimenting with a Pi Zero and a Pi NoIR camera...

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  • Sponge + Ferric Chloride Method -- Etch PCBs in One Minute!

    Do you know if anyone has tried PCB etching with Armour Etch? (The stuff that crafters use to etch glass) I googled for it and didn't find any, but maybe someone more switched in to the DIY PCB scene might have seen something on a BBS somewhere?

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  • $2 Battery Charger/Power Bank for 18650 Battery

    Can you use power while charging? Ie use the solar panel to charge an outdoor project while the project is powered up 24x7?

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  • Control any remote from a Raspberry Pi (and Amazon Echo!)

    Depends where you want to put the effort in. *Building* what you suggest is trivial, I could do it in 10 minutes and in fact I do have the hardware. (transmitters and receivers for both frequencies, plus an SDR for debugging). However programming a system like that is quite another matter. I got the software for my system up in an afternoon. If I had to reverse engineer the remote control signals and duplicate them, I would imagine that would take considerably longer.In point of fact, I recently bought a "Hook" system which is a professional implementation that does what you suggest. Originally I built this the relay way because it was a lot easier than learning how to generate the correct signals for the wireless; now I prefer that it uses the original remote, because it ...see more »Depends where you want to put the effort in. *Building* what you suggest is trivial, I could do it in 10 minutes and in fact I do have the hardware. (transmitters and receivers for both frequencies, plus an SDR for debugging). However programming a system like that is quite another matter. I got the software for my system up in an afternoon. If I had to reverse engineer the remote control signals and duplicate them, I would imagine that would take considerably longer.In point of fact, I recently bought a "Hook" system which is a professional implementation that does what you suggest. Originally I built this the relay way because it was a lot easier than learning how to generate the correct signals for the wireless; now I prefer that it uses the original remote, because it turns out that even the professionally implemented Hook is far less reliable than the original remote - there appears to be a problem duplicating the control signals accurately. When I turn on half a dozen lights with the Hook, it's very seldom that all of them turn on, whereas I've never had a failure with my own implementation.

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  • Control any remote from a Raspberry Pi (and Amazon Echo!)

    Followup on the Hook after a couple of weeks of using it: Pro: you can control a _lot_ more devices with it; Con: it is nowhere near as reliable as the original remote at turning the devices off and on. The number of failed attempts is so high that I've just about given up on it and plan to revert to using my own design soon, possibly with mrlewis93's mod of using optocouplers and a Pi Zero to get the size down.

    I appreciate you letting me know - it makes the effort writing the project up worthwhile when someone actually builds your project! Any chance you could upload a photo of yours (with the "I made one" option) - I didn't know optocouplers were smaller - had assumed they were the same package as relays. I'ld like to see your compact version. I found an old 1960's mechanical switch controller (looks like an alarm clock) that I've gutted and am working on squeezing mine into!

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  • gtoal's instructable Party Pooper!'s weekly stats: 1 month ago
    • Party Pooper!
      1,275 views
      18 favorites
      2 comments
  • Reverse engineering Air Conditioner IR Remote control protocol

    I was hoping that it implied the information was out there, but you're probably right - it'll be proprietary :-( I wonder if they have access to the info from the manufacturers or if they reverse engineered a bunch of remotes like you did?

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  • Reverse engineering Air Conditioner IR Remote control protocol

    This may be new since you wrote your article: http://removeandreplace.com/2016/06/17/universal-air-conditioner-remote-control-codes/

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  • Clean Eating Cranberry Granola

    Well yes, it's my supper rather than breakfast!

    I bet you're not going to approve of this, but I just love granola when it's served in a mixture that's 2/3rds plain lowfat yoghurt and 1/3rd sugar-free Cool Whip :-) Tasty!

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  • gtoal commented on gramos85's instructable Girl With a Pearl Earring Cake1 month ago
    Girl With a Pearl Earring Cake

    I would recommend projecting the image on to the cake for the painting step.

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  • gtoal commented on schouw's instructable Norwegian Brown Cheese1 month ago
    Norwegian Brown Cheese

    Wow - I had no idea that there was no sugar added to Gjetost - I love this kind of cheese but my wife won't let me buy it because it's so sweet (she does a good job of keeping my diabetes in check!) - but we'd always assumed the cheese was made with added sugar. Never realised it was just lactose from boiled-down milk. (Which I think is not so dangerous to diabetics, at least that's the excuse I use when I buy Indian sweets like Kaju Katli which don't have sucrose either :-) )

    PS At least in South Texas, this is sold in the local supermarkets such as HEB.This brand specifically: https://www.amazon.com/Ski-Queen-Gjetost-2-pack/dp/B00E8HZDCQ/ (cheaper in the stores than that Amazon seller)

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  • gtoal commented on rsmaudsley's instructable 1 Ingredient Caramelish Topping1 month ago
    1 Ingredient Caramelish Topping

    I have a vague recollection of making something that was just like the caramel in a mars bar, and although I forget how exactly I did it, I think it may have been as simple as a can of sweetened condensed milk in a microwave. (Not in the actual can of course!) Have you experimented with microwaving it instead of boiling it at all?

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  • gtoal commented on jessyratfink's instructable easiest ever fudge recipe1 month ago
    easiest ever fudge recipe

    My wife has a "never fail" fudge recipe that is based on jars of Marshmallow. I may record her making it for Christmas so we can see which really is the easiest ever :-)

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  • gtoal commented on Dainis_Dz's instructable Chocolate extruder for Ultimaker1 month ago
    Chocolate extruder for Ultimaker

    maybe make a bed of peltier chips for surface cooling without a breeze?

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  • gtoal entered Party Pooper! in the Halloween Food Contest 2016 contest 1 month ago
  • gtoal posted an instructable Party Pooper!1 month ago
  • gtoal followed MisterM1 month ago
      • Pi Zero Talking Radio
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  • Control any remote from a Raspberry Pi (and Amazon Echo!)

    Thanks, I'll look into ha-bridge. ( http://bwssystems.com/ , https://github.com/bwssytems/ha-bridge ) Also I found a device called 'Hook' yesterday (which I've already ordered!) that looks better than what I implemented at the same cost ($50) - they clone the RF signals rather than using relays: http://www.hooksmarthome.com/

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  • gtoal commented on alannarosewhitney's instructable Traditional Jack-O-Lantern1 month ago
    Traditional Jack-O-Lantern

    with haggis and tatties!

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  • Control any remote from a Raspberry Pi (and Amazon Echo!)

    In case anyone expands a system like this, that was the wrong board above - this is what I should have linked to: http://www.ebay.com/itm/262136732889

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  • HOW TO USE ANDROID DEVICE AS RASPBERRY PI MONITOR

    With a little effort you can have the pi broadcast its IP address (either DNS or with Bonjour) or you can configure it to always be given the same address by your router. Scanning for the IP each time is a bit awkward.

    Using an android is a very cost-effective way of getting a reasonable sized screen on cheap. The downside is that VNC isn't fast enough for real-time video or even most reasonably fast video games. But if you're just using it as a semi-static display (eg for weather, or as a soft panel for an in-home lights controller etc) then it's a good solution. I've seen cheap Chinese androids down at the $30 mark, and even a relatively good machine like a Kindle Fire is sometimes on sale cheaper than the official Pi LCD screen.

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  • $3 Solar Powered 9 Volt Battery Charger – Perfect First Time Project!

    Actually '9V' rechargables are usually really 7.4V Lipos, and when you take into account the .6V drop from a typical buck converter/regulator, you're in the right ballpark for running a 5V system such as a Raspberry Pi.

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  • Control any remote from a Raspberry Pi (and Amazon Echo!)

    I upgraded my system a couple of weeks ago to support all 5 devices - the version of fauxmo.py at https://github.com/makermusings/fauxmo works fine with multiple devices.

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  • Home Automation with Amazon Echo voice control

    I'm currently working on using this to add commands like "alexa, turn on bbc america". It's complex. First I send a 'Wake On Lan' packet to my LG Bluray player (since my TV doesn't have WOL itself, and it doesn't wake up for my DirectTV box, but it will wake up for the HDMI CEC signal from the bluray :-( ). Then I ask the LG TV to change input to the DirectTV box, then I ask the DirectTV box to select the appropriate channel. All of these are doable over local network IP, but getting them all to play together is hard work! I'm not quite there yet. (Blueray and DirectTV are working, but I'm having problems controlling the 2011 model of LG TV) Icing on the cake, I'm getting the festival speech synth to work with a bluetooth speaker so I can get the Echo to report what is pla...see more »I'm currently working on using this to add commands like "alexa, turn on bbc america". It's complex. First I send a 'Wake On Lan' packet to my LG Bluray player (since my TV doesn't have WOL itself, and it doesn't wake up for my DirectTV box, but it will wake up for the HDMI CEC signal from the bluray :-( ). Then I ask the LG TV to change input to the DirectTV box, then I ask the DirectTV box to select the appropriate channel. All of these are doable over local network IP, but getting them all to play together is hard work! I'm not quite there yet. (Blueray and DirectTV are working, but I'm having problems controlling the 2011 model of LG TV) Icing on the cake, I'm getting the festival speech synth to work with a bluetooth speaker so I can get the Echo to report what is playing...

    You have to have some way of controlling your device from a computer. For instance, a shell script that access GPIO pins, or sends a command to an IP-enabled device using some device-specific protocol. Then you modify the python code that this project refers to, so that it invokes that shell script on the web server where it is running. (See my remote control project below for an actual example)

    fyi there's a newer version of fauxmo.py at https://raw.githubusercontent.com/makermusings/fauxmo/master/fauxmo.py which supports multiple devices. I've tried it - it works. It fetches a web cgi to cause the action to be initiated. You have to supply that cgi script yourself.

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  • gtoal commented on gtoal's instructable Retro Pi Cam3 months ago
    Retro Pi Cam

    If you can wait a bit, I've recently bought a Pi Zero with a camera cable, and intend to re-do the retrocam using that instead - it should be much easier to fit in the camera body. I have a second camera ready, and I'll photograph the process more carefully next time. The photos were all right but getting the exposure right automatically was tricky - if it was well exposed indoors, it would be washed-out in bright sunshine. I now have a lux meter sensor that I want to add in the next one to use as a built-in light-meter. It would be possible to use the camera as a light meter but there would be a noticable delay between pressing the button and the picture being taken which I didn't want.

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  • gtoal commented on notsosharp's instructable Solar Heated Large Scale Dehydrator3 months ago
    Solar Heated Large Scale Dehydrator

    Don't insects get in through the holes in the top? I live in a hot climate (south texas) and would be inclined to do this rather than use an electric dehydrator but I guarantee that drosophila, flies, and ants would be all over it if there was the slightest entrance for them to use.

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  • gtoal commented on danionescu's instructable Desktop Display Auto Rotate4 months ago
    Desktop Display Auto Rotate

    I'm retired now, but when I was working we had many displays that were rotatable, and they all sensed when the display was rotated and the OS (Windows in our case) adjusted and rotated the display automatically to match, I think you've assumed that this doesn't happen because you haven't seen a display that behaves like this? It *is* fully automatic. Unfortunately since I no longer have access to that hardware I can't look at the specific models to give you a reference however a quick Google search finds many: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2042888/review-three-widescreen-hd-monitors-that-pivot-from-portrait-to-landscape.html Both VGA and HDMI connectors support protocols nowadays to announce the orientation to the OS.

    Rrotatable displays signal to the OS when they are rotated, and the screen driver adjusts automatically. Did you do this because you don't have the right drivers, or because the monitor you're using doesn't have rotation support? Instead of adding an external interface to communicate with the PC, wouldn't it be cleaner to modify the VGA or HDMI interface to report the rotation like a display that has built-in rotation support would do, so you can use the automatic rotation support in the OS? (I'm not criticising the project - it's a nice piece of work - I'm just interested in how you came to the design decisions that you did)

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  • Control any remote from a Raspberry Pi (and Amazon Echo!)

    Actually I haven't yet added a second device so I can't advise yet - it's something I plan to do but with other commitments it may be about a month or so before I can work on it. You'll probably have worked it out yourself before I do! One (rather poor) solution that springs to mind - if there isn't a more sensible one available - would be to attach multiple IP addresses to your Pi and determine which device to enable based on which IP address it was accessed under. Whether that could be done by one listener on all IPs or whether you would need multiple copies of the listener, I'm not sure.Thanks for the heads-up on relay bounce - I guess it will be an issue for remotes where the key toggles something - with this remote it just reissued the same command, and two 'on's are still just ...see more »Actually I haven't yet added a second device so I can't advise yet - it's something I plan to do but with other commitments it may be about a month or so before I can work on it. You'll probably have worked it out yourself before I do! One (rather poor) solution that springs to mind - if there isn't a more sensible one available - would be to attach multiple IP addresses to your Pi and determine which device to enable based on which IP address it was accessed under. Whether that could be done by one listener on all IPs or whether you would need multiple copies of the listener, I'm not sure.Thanks for the heads-up on relay bounce - I guess it will be an issue for remotes where the key toggles something - with this remote it just reissued the same command, and two 'on's are still just an 'on'. The remote has separate on and off buttons.By the way have you seen this? https://hackaday.io/project/6820-amazon-echo-voice-command-automation

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  • gtoal commented on randofo's instructable $2 Bill Pad5 months ago
    $2 Bill Pad

    No state income tax in Texas may be preferable in the long run, at least until you retire, and then move to a 'no sales tax' state!

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  • How To Use A Magnet To Easily Pick Up Metal Filings

    This is something that everyone who has ever tried to pick up iron filings does on their second attempt :-) Hopefully by publishing this you'll save a few people one wasted magnet on their first attempt!

    This is something that everyone who has ever tried to pick up iron filings does on their second attempt :-) Hopefully by publishing this you'll save a few people one wasted magnet on their first attempt!

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  • gtoal commented on abhinavonowinew's instructable How to replicate fingerprints5 months ago
    How to replicate fingerprints

    I use Instamorph (polycaprolactone) for the mold and Oogo (caulk) for the cast. Much cheaper than Sugru!

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  • gtoal commented on fiberartsy's instructable DIY Foaming Hand Soap - Save $$$!5 months ago
    DIY Foaming Hand Soap - Save $$$!

    Reusing disposable foaming dispensers is a smart idea but this formula is way overkill. All you need is just dishwashing liquid, watered down to approx 1:10.

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  • How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Home

    I live in South Texas where you'll see drosophila appear out of nowhere if you let a banana get even a day beyond ripe :-) But they disappear as soon as the fruit is disposed of. If you have a chronic problem, it's unlikely to be fruit flies so an alcohol/sugar trap is unlikely to work. I have however found that small ants are very attracted to saucers of sugar and they are easy to eliminate with a spray of windex or similar once the saucer is full. Two or three days of this can get rid of an incursion quite effectively.

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  • gtoal commented on Diyified's instructable Portable Personal Cooling System5 months ago
    Portable Personal Cooling System

    I don't think the Peltier would be strong enough to substitute for the ice but I'm fairly sure it could be used to cool down the water on return and allow you to recirculate it. Even if you couldn't 100% maintain thermal equilibrium, it might extend the working period significantly. In any case you earned my vote for this competition :-)

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  • Raspberry Pi media player and work station with an integrated speaker

    What do you think of the virtual keyboard? (I found it quite unusable, to the extent that I'm saving my display until I have some full-screen custom application I can use it on that doesn't require a keyboard.)

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  • Control any remote from a Raspberry Pi (and Amazon Echo!)

    Yep, the idea is definitely expandable. I'd probably use something like http://www.ebay.com/itm/CD74HC4067-16-Channel-Analog-Digital-Multiplexer-Breakout-Board-Module-Arduino/121817976911?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D35389%26meid%3Da5d8654b1ec14a5b8c8036186854e900%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D161724821543 to select the remote...

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  • DIY Hacking your own Home Automation System

    This is really good work, but quite complicated, which limits how many people are likely to build it. I came up with an easier way to control outlets by using a handheld remote that is triggered by relays controlled by a raspberry pi: http://www.instructables.com/id/Control-Any-Remote-From-a-Raspberry-Pi-and-Amazon-/ - Pi programming is a lot easier than arduino programming, though maybe not as much fun.

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  • gtoal commented on johnredearth's instructable Automating Model Submarines5 months ago
    Automating Model Submarines

    This looks like a fun hobby! Do you have to keep the antenna above the surface or can it go deeper and keep in radio contact? Have you programmed a failsafe to return to the surface if radio contact is lost? Any thoughts about using a 9DOF accelerometer/gyro/compass and GPS for planning a route or bringing it home automatically if you lose radio contact?

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  • gtoal commented on Diyified's instructable Portable Personal Cooling System5 months ago
    Portable Personal Cooling System

    have you considered using a Peltier to regulate the reservoir temperature? It would need some radiative fins on the back to have somewhere to pump the heat to, but it could be done I think... Also, could this be powered by a solar panel on the camelback?

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  • Home Automation with Amazon Echo voice control

    I used your instructions in my Instructable, http://www.instructables.com/id/Control-Any-Remote-From-a-Raspberry-Pi-and-Amazon-/ - thanks! - really easy and very effective!

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