• First steps with a Raspberry Pi

    I missed out on the chance to order a Raspberry Pi on launch day by a few minutes. No worries though, I could wait. After all, I didn’t know what I wanted one for anyway (although I knew I wanted one). A couple of months later, in April I was able to ‘register an interest’ […]

  • Stop Motion Beard

    Ever wished you had the foresight to take a photo of your bead every day as it grew? I did.  Until I did this!  

  • Ride The Lobster Qualifying Ride 144 Unicycle Miles

    This is not a new document, but is one I wrote in 2007 after qualifying for a 800km unicycle race in Nova Scotia.  After a hard drive crash in 2009 I thought this had been lost forever.  I have recently managed to recover a load of files from this drive, including my write up as a Word […]

  • Rubiks Cube – a 30 year on-off love afair

    It was over 30 years ago that I first learned to solve the Rubiks Cube. Then 15 years ago I learned to solve it all over again. And recently, I’ve learned that learning to solve it is still good fun! Read on to find out how this little twisty puzzle has featured in my life…

  • Duct Tape Wallet

    A few years ago, I walked passed a shop in London that sold a Duct Tape Wallet Kit. For about £15 it included a few lengths of duct tape pre-cut to length and some instructions. My interest was piqued but not enough to leave me with an empty wallet. Instead I invested in some Google […]

  • The Minutes Ringtone MP3

    Like so many of you out there, I love listening to The Minutes podcast. Even the starting jingle gives me a smile because I know there is an hour of happiness about to arrive in my ears. I’m sure you can imagine how delighted I was delighted to hear that the theme tune had been […]

  • Creme Egg Cup Cake

    I like hacking. I like cakes. So why not combine the two? (I’ve decided to call it Cacking!) If you have ever wanted to get Diabetes but wasn’t sure of the quickest ways to get it, or if a sugar coma is still on your bucket list then read on for a recipe that will […]

  • A World First – Rubiks Cube Meets Inverticycle

    Rubiks Cubes have been around since the early 80’s, and Unicycles have been around since, well, the invention of the wheel as far as I can tell.  And in that time every possible new idea around either one has been done.  Until now that is! Although there are a lot of people that can ride […]

  • I’m back – And certified virus free… again!

    Well it only seems like 6 weeks ago that I was posting about how this site was all nice and virus free.  Well, less than 2 weeks later, my hosting company, Dreamhosts announced that loads of their sites were infected.  Yup, that included mine!  Well, I’ve finally found the time to switch hosting company and […]

  • 3 Stage ATtiny85 Watchdog Timer

    A while ago I started logging temperatures to Pachube via a Nanode.  For the most part this works fine, but sometimes something breaks and I might lose a few hours or days worth of data.  It might be the Nanode that’s gone down, or Pachube, or (most likely) my Internet connection.  So I decided to […]

  • Building an ATtiny ISP from a Xino

    If you have seen my previous blog entry, you’ll know I have been playing around with an ATtiny85 for an upcoming project (more on that later…).  Using an Arduino (or, in my case a Xino from Ciseco) is easy enough, but when a sketch needs lots of tweaking to fine tune it, it means the […]

  • ATtiny Micro Programming With Arduino IDE

    One of the most appealing things about the Arduino and ATmega328 is their size and simplicity.  After working with desktop and server computers for years I just loved how a small little chip could be programmed easily to achieve things that I cannot get a full blown computer to do.  I have never been a […]

  • I’m back – and certified virus free!

    Those of you that read my blog regularly, either at the main sowen.com site or through feeds at planet.nottinghack.org.uk, may have noticed I’ve been very quiet for the last couple of months.  Some of you have even noticed that my site had been infected with nasty gremlins.  Well, here’s what happened; Some nice little Russian […]

  • Arduino Control Room

    I’ve been working on a few Arduino projects recently that will hopefully result in varying levels of home automation.  The effect so far has  been to stick a box here, plug this in there, and dangle a wire from over there, with a general haphazard (with emphasis on the ‘hazard’ bit in some places!) outcome. […]

  • Modern Twist on Analog Dials

    These days displays are all digital readouts or multifunction LCD screens that give you indications of pretty much everything that’s going on.  What seems to be lacking though is a good old fashioned analog dial with a needle pointing at a number.  Of course, a dial is normally limited to a single use, but I wanted to […]

  • Arduino Powered Ikea Xmas Lights

    As regular followers of the blog will know, I love Arduinos and all the stuff they can do. Those that know me will also know that I don’t love Christmas, particularly the seasonal decoration stuff. So this project was a nice mix of the two! I decided to make myself some Arduino powered Xmas lights […]

  • Xino Basic Build

    This week I… Built a Xino Basic for Atmel as sold on http://shop.ciseco.co.uk This is sold as a kit that anyone with even the most basic of soldering skills can put together. This is just about the cheapest way to get an Arduino compatible board that fits the standard Arduino shields. It also boasts a […]

  • An aDventure in to aProtocol (or LLAP)

    I’ve been messing about with Arduino derived micro controllers, and have been looking for a way to get them to send simple messages to and from each other. Something simpler than TCP/IP (which requires special hardware and relatively large libraries to run it), but more generic and flexible than just connecting an output pin on […]

  • Xino Dice

    A couple of days ago I got a Xino board like this one. Not is this about the cheapest way to get an Ardunio compatible microprocessor, but it has the benefit of a nice little prototype area on board too. So, although it fits standard Arduino shields, many simple projects can be completed on just […]

  • £1 Logic Probe

    A decent multimeter is great, but there’s times when you just want to have a quick check to see what signals are high, low or neither. A logic probe is ideal for this, but the cheap ones are about £15+, so I decided to build my own. For less than a quid!