09/21/2015 at 10:52 •
I've finally gotten my little ESPLux working in OpenHAB. I have posted the files here: https://github.com/pretenda/ESPLux/tree/master/OpenHAB
There are two different options in there, there is a simple switch that flips the light on and off, and then also a slider for dimming, take your pick as to which one you want to use.
Hackaday are sending back two of my prototypes from the Best Product prize, so I'll hopefully have them to work with again soon.
09/03/2015 at 05:44 •
Well, there goes three weeks of my life! Sorry for the lack of updates, work has consumed all of my time this past few weeks.
First up, a big thanks to HAD for choosing me to be in the top 100 projects. I am honoured! I also sent in 3 units for the best product prize, unfortunately I didn't make the top 10. I'm a little bummed, but looking at the products that did make the cut, holy cow, they are all amazing, every one of them deserves to be there. Congratulations to you all, and best of luck for the remainder of the prize!
I wish I had something to show you all, but I don't. I've been looking into various things, like OpenHAB and different ways of powering the logic level stuff, but yeah, nothing has really come to fruition. Hopefully this next week I have more information for you.
08/17/2015 at 13:36 •
I'm down in Adelaide for the week for work, so time is fairly limited for me. This is just a brief update on where I am at, and what my next steps are.
I'm currently playing around with OpenHab, checking out the best way to integrate ESPLux into it. I have a document describing the API for ESPLux on my GitHub here: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pretenda/ESPLux/master/Documentation/API Commands.pdf. I've got my home theatre set up in OpenHa, so I'll probably set up an ESPLux box behind the TV and set up a bit of accent lighting for my home theatre as a small demo.
I've also been playing around with how to reduce the amount of heat generated by the rectification process. There are a few things I am looking into. First up is active rectification. It uses a bunch of mosfets and a handful of jellybean parts. I really like the idea of this, but it does introduce complexity that isn't there in the current design. I like the current designs simplicity, but I need to weigh up my options here, see what route I'd like to take.
As an addition to altering the rectification circuit, I'd like the ability to have a DC only version, which will negate the need for any rectification at all. Hopefully I can implement this on the same layout. When you are dealing with just DC, this will save a fair bit on the overall BOM, so I believe this is a worthwhile cause.
Again, sorry for the lack of updates. Once this week is up, hopefully I can post some meaningful progress on both OpenHab and the rectification stuff.
08/12/2015 at 07:52 •
It is finally here! I have finished my 5 minute video. It is a bit of an overview of where I am at and what the project is all about.
08/12/2015 at 01:17 •
Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of updates this past week and a bit. I've been recording and editing my 5 minute video. Hopefully I should have this posted this evening. I have drawn up a quick system design diagram for ESPLux. It shows a very high level of each of the components and how they are connected to each other. It is a pretty simple little circuit, so there isn't a great deal to show here. It does however do the job quite nicely! Click on the image to see it full size.
I drew this on draw.io. Pretty neat little site!
07/31/2015 at 00:19 •
As I've mentioned before, I hoped to get my ESPLux into the Best Product category. I'm cutting it very fine, especially for shipping from Australia, but hopefully I have made it. I know my little ESPLux isn't much, but I've given it my all, and thrown my hat in the ring.
I've programmed, tested and packaged all three ESPLux boards, packaged a bunch of ancillary stuff together (PSUs, cables, etc), and written documentation on how to use it all. I just dropped it off at the post office to take the journey to the other side of the world.
For everyone else who has gone into the Best Product category, best of luck! There are some amazing projects out there,. If last year is anything to go by, there will be an amazing set of winners this year. Good luck little ESPLux.
07/27/2015 at 07:56 •
Wow thanks everyone! I wasn't expecting an article posted about my little project.
@arcol suggested that I should use different colours for the input and output terminals, which is a great idea, I didn't realise there were different colours in the same type. He also suggested using spring terminals and having two different locations to be able to wire the DC out into, both which I'll be looking into in the near future.
@bogdan noted, rightly, that the rectifier will get warm pretty quickly, which is correct. He suggested using active rectification to reduce the amount of heat produced in the process of getting a DC signal out. I hadn't heard about this before, so I was intrigued. It looks like you can use a couple of MOSFETs to perform the same role. Two downsides that I can see for this are, first, added complexity. This shouldn't be a problem, just something I need to wrap my head around! The second is the Vgss value on whatever MOSFET I choose, I need to make sure that it is capable of handling the voltages that I would like the ESPLux to handle. Alternatively I should be able to throw a zener diode in to drop the voltage to an acceptable level. I am super keen to have a shot at getting this working, it'll increase the number of lights that you can run on one unit.
Thanks again for everyone who has followed me in the past 24 hours, I'm chuffed at the amount of people who are interested in it!
07/24/2015 at 07:24 •
I have been sick, so sorry for the lack of updates. Good news though! My cases arrived! Thanks goes to HAD for providing me with a $100 gift voucher for ponoko.com, where I got my cases laser cut. Make sure you go in the hotlists in the future if there are more, they are well worth it!
There are a few things that could be improved from this design, but overall I am very happy with it! First some photos, then I'll explain what could be improved.
There are a few more pictures after the break.
Two things that could be fixed, first up, i screwed up the location of the Wi-Fi Reset hole. Fail. If you turned the case around 180 degrees, it works, but then the AC and DC terminals aren't lined up. Ah well, it'll be fixed in the next revision.
The second thing, I engraved the case to allow a bit of air to flow around the rectifier, but it wasn't deep enough by any stretch of the imagination. Future versions I'll set it to engrave deeper.
You can see in the last photo the ESPLux in its shipping box. I think it works pretty well! I'm getting close to being able to ship them off to HAD for judging.
Thanks again HAD for all your support with my project. The prizes I have won along the way have gone a long way in helping me along my journey.
07/17/2015 at 12:08 •
I've been working away at my ESPLux a lot recently as you can see. My plan is to send off three ESPLux units to compete in the 'Best Product' category. Who knows how I'll go, but one thing is for sure, I plan on giving it a good crack. Sending stuff from Australia over to the US can be sketchy at best, so I want my ESPLux boxes to have the best chance possible at making it over in one piece.
So I figured I should box them up, not in any box, but a little producty package thing. Here are a few pictures of my first one. This is my first attempt at any kind of papercraft, so bare with me! I made the base box first, followed by the lid, and it sure does show. Hopefully by number 3 I'll have it down pat.
I just filled the box up with some foam I had laying around. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) it is that pluck type foam. This means it is hard to get a decent fit. I'll play around with this some more I think. Looking at the picture makes me realise how much more work I have to do before August ...
07/17/2015 at 05:38 •
In between working on the new firmware over the past little while, I have been designing the cases. My intention from the beginning, as you can see in my pictures, was to create a stack up of acrylic to build the case. I know this might not be the quickest way for production, but hopefully the design I have made is relatively easy to produce anyway.
The main reason for this design is the tools that I have. I have a laser cutter sitting here in my garage, one of the cheapie ones you can buy off eBay, but it has degraded over time and I can no longer cut through the thickness of material that I was planning on using. I also have a 3D printer, it makes spaghetti very well.
Anyway, I still wanted to go with the laser cut version, and then along came the mini contest from HAD for $100 credit with Ponoko, which I scored! Thanks HAD! Click past the break to see some images.
Here it is all compressed up.
And an exploded view
I am using three materials overall, 4.5mm black for the main body, 2mm clear for the top and bottom lids, and 3mm clear for the first spacer above the board.
The plan is for the 3mm clear to capture some of the light given off by the status LEDs. The top and bottom lids in future probably could be a solid colour, but for now, I wanted to see where so many hours of my life had gone :)
The purple is the OSHPark PCB.
You can see on two of the layers there are hexagonal holes cut in. The theory is that I can drop an m3 spacer in there that the top and bottom lids can screw into. I'll probably glue each layer together with acetone or some other glue so they don't move around too much. This will also stop the hex nut from falling out.
I have updated my github with all the relevant files, so if you want to get your own cut, feel free to download them!