Tag: electronics

Another year of Sofle keyboard

It’s been almost a year since I wrote my last update about Sofle Keyboard. At that time, I had one prototype of Sofle V2 on my table and was happy with the state of the design. My attention moved onto other projects and hobbies and I didn’t really feel like evolving the design at all. Recently I have built my second (only!) Sofle V2 build and realized a lot has happened for Sofle since the last time and it might be nice to write an update.

DIY 3D printed photography turntable

This project an example of how one project can lead to another. I have recently revisited an old hobby of mine - building and painting scale models. Even though the resulting model is a work of a beginner with many flaws I still wanted to have some nice pictures of the result. And it wasn’t for the first time it crossed my mind that it would be nice to have an automatic rotating turntable so I could easily make a 360 video of something I made.

Self-balancing stories, EP 2: Developing first firmware

Would you believe this was my first project with ESP32? So far I had some experience only with ESP8266. I must admit I fell in love with ESP32 and I am never going back.

Note: I had this article in my draft folder for several months and forgot about it. So I am giving it just a quick polish and publishing it now.

Sofle Keyboard evolution: slow and not really steady

It’s been half a year since I published my articles telling a story why and how I modified an existing design for a split DIY keyboard (Lilly58) and created one tailored to my preferences - SofleKeyboard. I already started to experiment with more modifications.

Self-balancing stories, EP 1: How to not start a project made from parts I already have

It was early pandemic when my employer switched to the work-from-home mode and I realized I have a bit more free time since my commute times dropped to zero. Apart from keyboard stuff, I had no nice project in progress that wouldn’t involve waiting for PCB manufacturing or parts. So, what could I build from things I have at home? What about those 2 cheap geared DC motors, those 2 wheels, some micro, IMU unit. Hmm. I see a 2-wheeled self-balancing robot here. I always wanted to build one and learn how they work.

SofleKeyboard build log/guide

Update: for an up-to-date and improved build guide go to the SofleKeyboard’s website.

This article is partly a build log and partly a build guide for SofleKeyboard (introduced in the previous article) ~~since there’s no build guide for the keyboard yet and there are already people who would like to build it. ~~

Let me introduce you SofleKeyboard - a split keyboard based on Lily58 and Crkbd

In the first article, I explained my experience with custom keyboards and my requirements regarding a layout for my next DIY keyboard. I have also promised there will be another article featuring a custom keyboard with such a layout.

Behold, this is SofleKeyboard - a 6×4+5 keys column-staggered split keyboard with encoder support. Based on Lily58, Corne, and Helix keyboards.

ESP8266 based room-conditions monitor, part 2: PCB

In the previous post in this series, I wrote about several prototyping steps for this project. In this article, I am going to describe the final version.

PCB Snowman Christmas decoration

I have enjoyed designing and making a Squid PCB badge some time ago and I have some plans for more complex PCB badges and creations. But Christmas is coming and I realized it might be fun to create some simple gift for friends and family. It was also a good opportunity to try another PCB manufacturer.

ESP8266 based room-conditions monitor, Part 1

When I built my Freeform ESP8266 OLED MQTT client and wrote about it I mentioned I have a long-running project which captures the data I wanted to display on the device. I call it Room Monitor and it is nothing special - a bunch of sensors connected to ESP8266 and powered with a battery. I am going to briefly sum‑up its hardware and software development in the following two articles. This one is going to cover prototyping and the next one the current (and semi-finished) PCB version.

In search of the best custom keyboard layout

I built my first custom keyboard (Katana60) back at the beginning of this year and the second one (Corne) a few months ago, but I am already designing another one. Apart from the fun I have as I build and customize those keyboards, it is about looking for a more effective keyboard layout for my daily work. This article sums up my journey which leads to the decision to design own keyboard.

Squid badge - my first PCB design

I designed my first PCB. It’s not useful at all and very primitive electrically. But I have learned a lot.

Corne keyboard

I have build katana60 - a custom mechanical keyboard - a few months ago and I use it on a daily basis. But there are so many interesting keyboard designs out there. It just too tempting not to build another one.

This time I chose the Corne Keyboard - or ckrbd if you want. This one is designed by a guy from Japan who calls himself foostan.

Need a USB cable? Build one!

When you have a custom keyboard with some nice keycaps and case, you might start to think, what should I customize next? Let’s start with the cable which connects my keyboard to my computer!

Freeform ESP8266 OLED MQTT client

My second freeform creation, or third if we include The CyborgDuck is here. I wanted to do something simple in order to gather more experience and improve my skills.

Cyborgduck - a 555-timer-based dead bug cirquit

Behold, our cyborgduck overlords are coming!

Freeform 555-timer-based breathing diode bug

I have been watching those amazing freeform creations by people like @MohitBhoite and @jipraus for some time. I examined many entries for the recent Circuit Sculpture Contest on hackaday.com and have been thinking, that I would love to build something like that, but I had been convinced that my skills are not good enough.

But skills can be trained and learned. So I finally ordered a few brass rods and tried my first freeform sculpture. Here’s the result.

Learning the hard way - DIY power measurement unit with INA219 and ATtiny85

A story about how I was reminded that impatience and impetuosity can backfire when dealing with hardware.

Building a custom keyboard - Katana60

I learned recently that there’s a huge community around making of custom mechanical keyboards. Even though building such keyboard is actually quite expensive I failed to resist the temptation and decided to build my first one.

KITTBlink2 - KITT inspired gizmo AKA Larson scanner, version 2

An improved version of my previous creation. Better and hackier!

More blinking LEDs - KITT inspired gizmo, version 1

What could I do with couple of ICs (mainly shift registers), LEDs and basic components, but without a micro-controller?

LED cube 4x4x4 with ATtiny84 and 74138

I made a LED cube. A silly thing that blinks a lot and is controlled by programmable microcontroller. But why? And how?