Poor Man's BrewPi

I've recently started brewing my own ale at home, I've had some success, but this has been, somewhat, limited by the summer heat, which, whilst I love the summer, my ale suffers, and becomes too warm. With peek temperatures of 31° Celsius this year, I really struggled to keep the temperature low enough to limit harm to the fermentation process.

I needed a fridge and a controller: step up BrewPi, my only constraint was that it needed to be cheap. The following outlines some of the issues I had building my first BrewPi.


Getting started with the CC2530 and Contiki

​So, I've been meaning to have a play with Contiki, "The Open Source OS for the Internet of Things", for some time now. The main issue I've had is the cost and availability of suitable modules and a development platform. The problem with some platforms is that the modules they provide are either too expensive, or are not suitable for deployment, either due to price or construction.


Sensors Platform

I've recently been working on a platform that allows data from sensors to be recorded and displayed to a user. The main idea came when I started accumulating a range of sensors monitoring elements around my home. These sensors included energy consumtion monitors and a weather station, with plans to introduce a number of other monitoring devices. In order to understand the data from these devices I needed it presented in a meaningful and succinct way. 


Smelting Aluminum in a Washing Machine chiminea

After a long bout of "Who can make the best chiminea" between a friend and myself, I finally came up wth the washing machine drum idea. I soon found an old broken machine and went to work removing the drum. 

I was unable to get all of the elements off so the first trial burn had to commence with the machines aluminum drive pulley still attached to the drum. During this burn I noted that the aluminum melted with the heat of the chiminea, and so, the washing machine foundry was born.

Below are some pictures of the results:


Home Weather Station

I always wanted a home based weather station, and so this Christmas (2013) I decided to get one. I purchased the PCE-FWS 20 from Maplin. The kit allows me to measure the following

• Indoor/outdoor temperature (°C or °F)
• Wind speed and direction (mph or kmh)
• Self emptying rain gauge (mm or inches)
• Indoor / outdoor humidity
• Barometer pressure with trends


Building C8051FXXXX applications on Linux

As part of my Masters we are doing a Mixed Signal Processing module where we are using the C8051F120 microcontroller to process basic mixed signal functions. In the labs we have been given the C8051F120DK development kit from Silicon Labs which includes the Silicon Labs IDE. Developing with this on Linux was a real pain since I had to run the IDE through a Windows XP VirtualBox install, and that wouldn't do!



Subscribe to swannonline RSS