Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

A event log for From Software to Tindie Hack Chat

Brian Lough's journey from developer to hardware hacker

LutetiumLutetium 03/06/2019 at 21:090 Comments

Brian Lough12:27 PM
@Dan Maloney, with regards the tester. I have no caught a single bad unit with it!

deshipu12:28 PM
@Brian Lough I don't, because I do it for fun

deshipu12:28 PM
and I have a very rich wife

Brian Lough12:28 PM
BUT it gives me huge piece of mind. If I made 10000 good ones I still wouldnt stop using it

SeonR12:28 PM
@deshipu Oh I know :-) But you need to look at what the market will bare/accept for your product too.

Jasmine Brackett12:28 PM
@Jakob Wulfkind we help troubleshoot payment issues with customers. Buyers can use credit/debit cards or Paypal. We help mediate if there are other customer service issues.

Brian Lough12:28 PM
my reputation as a seller is very important to me and even one or two bad ones would not be worth the time it takes to test

deshipu12:29 PM
@SeonR if the market won't buy it at that price, then it's probably not a good idea in the first place :)

SeonR12:29 PM
Oh @Jasmine Brackett is here! w00t!

Jasmine Brackett12:29 PM

Dan Maloney12:29 PM
Hi Jasmine!

Digicool Things12:29 PM
If I costed in the time to make, pack and ship, then it would be too expensive. We all do it for the satisfaction of giving back to others who can make use of what you've made.

Josh Lloyd12:29 PM
@Brian Lough Your YouTube presence. When did you start, how did you start, did you get help from anyone, and do you've any wisdom to pass on to someone like myself who has only their toe in the waters of hacker/maker space; and wanting to start producing content.

Brian Lough12:29 PM
especially the ones that are sold via a reseller. If you sell 100 on tindie and two come back as bad, only those two people see that

deshipu12:29 PM
@Digicool Things that only works until you get 80 orders in one week, though

Arsenijs12:29 PM
@Digicool Things you might want to optimise your processes, still.

SeonR12:30 PM
@deshipu Really depends on what it is, and why you made it... a lot of what I put on tindie is projects I was making for myself first... but that said, I don't always make great decisions ;)

Brian Lough12:30 PM
but if you sell through a re-seller (shout out to TH3dstudio!) they see both becuase they had to deal with the customers

Daren Schwenke12:30 PM
I second @Josh Lloyd question.

deshipu12:30 PM
I made that mistake with #Rainbow Jellyfish

Nicolas Schurando12:31 PM
Does anyone know if it is possible to sell on Tindie as a company and not as an individual? And what about liability? I see a lot of circuit boards, and I imagine none of them go through any form of certification?

deshipu12:31 PM
@Nicolas Schurando I can see a lot of companies selling there, so I would guess that yes

Jasmine Brackett12:31 PM
@SeonR people don't browse Tindie and compare to other places on price. They are looking for hardware shortcuts or items they can't find anywhere else. Many also want to support other hardware creators.

Brian Lough12:31 PM
@Josh Lloyd I've been making videos for just over two years now. I started by picking a topic that I knew and recorded a video on it. My first one was about connecting to HTTPs endpoints directly on the ESP8266

Josh Lloyd12:31 PM
@Nicolas Schurando I certainly see companies selling on their, but I guess that's a question for @Jasmine Brackett

Josh Lloyd12:32 PM

Brian Lough12:32 PM
I have recieved lots of help along the way. The main boost I got was from appearing on the EEVBlog guest videos Jan of last year

SeonR12:32 PM
@Nicolas Schurando There is a lot of grey area with cert for hobby electronics and items that are used as part of something else... you need to do your own research on your products and see where they stand on cert requirements.

Brian Lough12:32 PM
I went from 1k to 2k subs basically overnight, it took me a full year to get the first 1k

Nicolas Schurando12:33 PM
@Brian Lough @Josh Lloyd @SeonR Thanks.

Dan Maloney12:33 PM
@Brian Lough - is your software dev job related to ESP8266 stuff?

Brian Lough12:34 PM
Make videos that you would like to watch yourself is about as good of a tip as I could give. Also dont spend a load of money getting stareted. I still use a Second hand snow ball mic and I use a webcamera for shooting videos

Brian Lough12:34 PM
Not at all @Dan Maloney !

Jasmine Brackett12:34 PM
@Nicolas Schurando we have a lot of small businesses and companies from all over the world. We ask sellers to ensure that they are abiding by the rules where they reside and where they ship to. Many items are components or parts, but if you're selling a consumer item, then there may be additional certs you need.

Digicool Things12:34 PM
Yes, I discovered Brian's channel via that EEVBlog guest video.

Brian Lough12:35 PM
I work for an American financial services company, who's social media policy prevents me from saying their name!

Brian Lough12:35 PM
For the last 7 years or so I have been a regular app developer, working in .net and c#

Brian Lough12:36 PM
but last year I moved to their proof of concepts team, I'm currently working on a VR project in Unity using the HTC vive

Brian Lough12:36 PM
it's a lot of fun!

Dan Maloney12:36 PM
Understood. You just mentioned your first videos and going with what you know, figured there may have been some crossover

Josh Lloyd12:36 PM
Ah, C#/.NET, spent 2 years training on that stack and don't even use it professionally.

Brian Lough12:36 PM
Actually how I came across the ESP8266 is kind of interesting

Josh Lloyd12:37 PM
@Brian Lough do tell.

Brian Lough12:37 PM
I was not involved with making at all at this stage, but I saw the pi zero and I thought that was really cool and wanted to pick one up

Brian Lough12:37 PM
but they were sold out (this was 3 years ago)

Nicolas Schurando12:37 PM
@Jasmine Brackett Ok, thanks!

Brian Lough12:38 PM
and I came across a reddit post of someone saying that they waited so long for a pi zero that they figured what they really wanted was an ESP8266

Brian Lough12:38 PM
at this stage I had never used any arduinos before, but reading up on the ESP8266 I was blown away with what it claimed it could do

Brian Lough12:38 PM
So I bought some stuff and started hacking away on it and I was hooked

Josh Lloyd12:39 PM
Your reaction to the ESP8266 is how I felt when I discovered it. The price and its capability was unbelievable. Then I saw the ESP32 and I'm obsessed. I've found no competition to Espressif.

Dan Maloney12:39 PM
Yeah, it is a pretty amazing ecosystem. Bitluni has done some really cool video hacking with ESPs

Brian Lough12:40 PM
One of the first things I tried to do with it is get the Telegram Bot API working on it, I was actually on work leave at the time (finding myself :) ) and was doing a lot of work with Telegram bots and I thought it would be perfect fit

Brian Lough12:40 PM
For sure he is!

Brian Lough12:40 PM
I tried out his ESP32 to VGA thing last week and it works great!

Josh Lloyd12:41 PM
ESP32 to PS1 emulator anyone?

deshipu12:41 PM
where did you find a vga monitor?

Brian Lough12:41 PM
I'm at the stage now where ESP8266 is my default chip unless I have a reason to not use it (battery/size etc)

Brian Lough12:41 PM
on my desk :)

Brian Lough12:41 PM
I also found one in my shed, I'm a horder

Dan Maloney12:41 PM
Yeah, but is it a CRT?

Brian Lough12:42 PM
I'm too weak for CRTs :)

Brian Lough12:42 PM
No its not

Josh Lloyd12:42 PM
The best CRTs are the ones you have to slap to get vertical drawing working

Dan Maloney12:42 PM
I still had a few of those until very recently

Kris Winer12:42 PM
ESP MCUs are great but they are not low power devices...

Dan Maloney12:42 PM
@Josh Lloyd - "Percussive maintenance"

Brian Lough12:42 PM
what was the little button that you could press on CRTs to make them kind of bounce?

Jakob Wulfkind12:42 PM
Ah, CRT's. From the brave era where our source of entertainment was a particle accele

Jakob Wulfkind12:42 PM
rator pointed at one's face

deshipu12:42 PM
@Brian Lough degauss

Josh Lloyd12:43 PM
@Kris Winer I get 4uA from the ESP32 in deepsleep. Is that not low power?

Jasmine Brackett12:43 PM
Sorry, I have to run, but if folk have any questions about selling on Tindie email met or join #Tindie Dog Park

Jasmine Brackett12:43 PM
Have a great day!

Josh Lloyd12:43 PM
Thanks @Jasmine Brackett

Dan Maloney12:43 PM
Thanks Jasmine

Brian Lough12:43 PM
@Kris Winer that they are not! my PCB3 used an attiny13 and lasted for a couple of days on a single coincell with the 12 charlieplexed LEDs

deshipu12:43 PM
@Josh Lloyd it's not

Kris Winer12:43 PM
@Josh Lloyd Non-state preserving, so limited in its application...

Josh Lloyd12:43 PM
4kB of state stored in RTC Slow Mem

deshipu12:44 PM
but then you have to read and write it, and that makes you stay longer in non-sleep states

Josh Lloyd12:44 PM
I guess for my application where I want to wake up once an hour for the next 15 years, ESP32 works well.

Kris Winer12:44 PM
@Josh Lloyd How do you do that with the Arduino IDE? Would be cool if possible...

deshipu12:44 PM
also the non-sleep state is really energy hungry

Brian Lough12:44 PM
If I missed any questions please feel free to post again, it was hectic at one stage and I'm a slow typer :P

Josh Lloyd12:44 PM
@Kris Winer You should be able to use the RTC Data Attribute in Arduino

Kris Winer12:45 PM
I asked if you have ever been tempted to try the ESP8285...

Brian Lough12:45 PM
I have never used it @Kris Winer

Kris Winer12:45 PM
@Josh Lloyd I'll need to take a look at htis, thanks!

Josh Lloyd12:45 PM
@Kris Winer Try using `RTC_DATA_ATTR` before your variable next time. I've not tried it in Arduino but its an ESP-IDF attribute and should be defined in the Arduino environment.

Brian Lough12:45 PM
I dont do a lot with ESP modules, I mainly use the wemos d1 mini

Josh Lloyd12:45 PM
The variable will be linked in to low power meomry.

Josh Lloyd12:45 PM

Dan Maloney12:46 PM
Is the ESP8265 lower power than the 8266?

Brian Lough12:46 PM


PCB3 - Christmas Tree PCB

Inspired by the awesome badges made by maker community, I thought it would be cool to make a PCB in the shape of a PCB. The tree has 12 LEDs that are intended be reverse mounted so that shine through the PCB to illuminate the other side.

Read this on Hackaday

Dan Maloney12:46 PM

Brian Lough12:46 PM
There is the PCB3 for reference

Josh Lloyd12:46 PM
@Brian Lough So is YouTube and Twitter your primary social interface?

Josh Lloyd12:46 PM
Do you use anything else, frequently?

Brian Lough12:47 PM
I used to live stream on Twitch twice a week

Kris Winer12:47 PM
I usually target ~25 uA average power usage for most of my remotely-deployed, or wearable devices. It would be great if an ESP-based device could do this...

Brian Lough12:47 PM
But yes, those are my two main ones

Dan Maloney12:47 PM
@Brian Lough - Meant to ask about the live streams. Planning on any more?

Brian Lough12:47 PM
I'm trying to get into Instagram a bit more, but im an old fogey (sp?)

Kris Winer12:47 PM
ESP8285 is basically the same as an ESP8266 but with embedded flash memory.

Josh Lloyd12:48 PM
@Kris Winer The "average" depends on your wake duty cycle, right?

Dan Maloney12:48 PM
@Kris - Thanks, might order a dev board to play with

Kris Winer