PCB boards

PCB delivery

Just had a delivery of the PCBs for the bat detector I built (check the post out here). They were produced by Stickleback Manufacturing in the UK. They sell PCB etching by the square foot on eBay. It took a while to get delivery (10 working days required plus delivery) but they are pretty well … more

Inverter repair

This is just a quick post on repairing an inverter. I have a Studer Joker 200 inverter. This is a device which converts DC electricity into AC electricity – converting 12V DC from a battery into 240V AC which we get from our plug sockets (in Europe). I have had this inverter for quite a … more

TV-B-Gone construction

Following on from my blog post about using the AVR Dragon to program Atmel microcontrollers, I have been building a TV-B-Gone prototype, hopefully leading to making some of these as a skill share at my local hackspace. The TV-B-Gone was conceived by hack-hero Mitch Altman. It is designed emit the ‘OFF’ code for the majority … more

Open-design charge regulator project

We have been wanting to design and build an open-design, relatively inexpensive but fully functioned charge regulator for solar PV, wind, pedal and small hydro systems for a while now. The majority of off-grid renewable energy systems are based upon lead acid batteries. Lead-acid batteries need to be protected from over-charging by the renewable energy … more

Joule thief hack – get more energy from ’empty’ batteries

The Joule Thief is an interesting relatively simple circuit which allows a little bit more energy to be extracted from what would normally be considered a ‘dead’ battery. Typically a electronic device powered by 1.5V batteries considers a battery to be dead when the voltage drops below 1V. Items, such as mp3 players and TV … more

Portable solar PV power system

I have built a number of small, portable off-grid solar photovoltaic (electricity) systems. These are small enough to be moved relatively easily, but provide useful amounts of power for charging phones and laptops or for low power LED lighting. The great thing about solar PV power is that it is scalable and work in very … more


Bat detector device

This year I have made most of my Xmas presents, using a number of the facilities at Nottingham Hackspace and at my own work studio. For my Dad I built a bat detector. This is a device which will convert ultrasonic sounds created by bats and convert them down to a lower frequency so that … more


Kindle case made on laser cutter

This year I have made most of my Xmas presents, using a number of the facilities at Nottingham Hackspace. My mum received a Kindle and I decided to make a case for it. Through people at the Hackspace, I had come across an interesting hinge which could be made using a laser cutter and ply … more

Website hacked!

If anyone has been visiting his website over the past month or so, you may have seen some weird things or not been able to gain access to the site. Annoyingly this website was hacked by someone calling themselves ‘Mr SoFaH’. With a bit of investigation, this guy has hacked a few small websites (including … more

Cargo bike for eco-transport

We have recently increased our load carrying potential here at re-innovation. I do not have a car (although I do have access to a car share group) so moving things around has usually meant perching large loads onto the pannier rack of my bike. This has now totally changed with the addition of a 8-freight … more

Small Is… Festival

Last weekend I went to the Small Is… Festival 2011 which was held within the grounds of the Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development, near Rugby. This is a weekend of discussion and hands-on workshops relating to international development and inspired by the writings of E.F Schumacher (who wrote the book ‘Small is Beautiful. A … more

Beginning with the PIC 24 16-bit devices

A while ago I purchased a PIC24 starter kit from Sure electronics, code DB-DP500. I have just found some time to have a play with it. This is a blog post to remind me about the steps I took to get it going. It might be helpful to others using this board, or the PIC24 … more