Introduction & Welcome
This site contains information and projects for DIY/Hobby electronics, hydroponics & woodworking. Includes PIC microcontroller code and circuit schematics, with all circuits being fully tested and built.
A site map is available or just use the slide-out menu located at the upper left hand side of each page, or the "breadcrumb menu" underneath the title banner.
A more 'leisurely' raison d'être
What is a hobby? A dictionary definition generally states "a pleasurable pastime". A thesaurus illuminatingly advises an amusement, distraction, labor of love, leisure pursuit, quest, vagary, whim or whimsy. What is a hobby good for? Well, all of the above of course! Or more prosaically - helping the universe maximise entropy, filling in time between sleeping or whatever...
Recognising that the "pleasurable pastime" has at times often lead from annoyance, frustration and vexation spiraling down through loud vulgarity, aggravated ulcers to accelerated hair loss, this web site documents my trials and tribulations - possibly helping others avoid the need to have a holiday to get away from their hobby/maintain sanity!
Attempted jocularity aside,the satisfaction of surmounting a problem, developing a new skill, and or gaining knowledge is intoxicating and somewhat addictive. The ability to successfully tackle a diversity of interests and pursuits is largely due to the profusion of information on the world wide web, and the individuals who have taken the time to provide this information. This web site not only helps document my efforts for my future reference, but hopefully will be of benefit to others and in some small part repay those individuals who have helped me (what goes around, comes around!).
Initially, gardening was "my thing" but due to vagaries of weather and insects, this lead to hydroponics. This in turn required constructing various equipment and apparatus with the consequent tinkering in wood working and electronics. Due to the marvelous capabilities of microprocessor ICs, it is relatively easier to construct very capable electronic controllers of various types compared to using analog electronics. The consequent need for some software programming lead eventually through such arcane topics such as C++, OOP, DBMS and eventually to HTML/CSS, PHP/mySQL and writing this web site!
You can obviously purchase almost anything "out of the box, ready to go" - but where's the fun in that, not to mention the inevitable pain in the hip-pocket nerve! Using something that you have built yourself is very satisfying, and gives the opportunity to customise the functionality exactly how desired. Enough with the rambling already, click on the menu's and explore! - although, perhaps have a look the "Site Details and Usage" below - particularly the bit about "subscribing".
Site Details & Usage
This web site follows generally accepted standard practices (slide-out menu located at the upper left hand side of each page, and a "breadcrumb menu" underneath the title banner - some pages have "accordion" type panels/menus to save "screen realestate").
An overall site map is available. The information in the various pages is extensively cross referenced - so there are generally a number of routes for finding items of interest. A site search function is also available. The overall site has been coded as much as possible using "pure css/html", which should make the site low bandwidth and quick to load. Web browsers best used (ie tested) IE 10+ and Google Chrome - although all browsers will display the "information" but not necessarily all the "bells and whistles" like animations etc.
Please take the opportunity to comment on the information provided using the provided guest book at the end of each page, and build the knowledge with constructive feedback and input. I would appreciate any "clicks", "likes" etc on the various social media channels (upper right hand corner of the page) - possibly helping with publicising the site and ultimately getting more people to participate and cooperating on shared interests.
Finally, if you find anything particularly useful, consider making a donation and or subscribing to help with defraying the cost of hosting the site. "If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we'd all be millionaires". If you subscribe (only $2/annum) you get the ability to view the site with/without advertising, get email updates etc.
Site Membership Benefits
There are four membership grades, bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Bronze membership is FREE. The following list details the benefits of each membership type.
- Bronze Membership
- Can enter comments or ask questions in the various site message boards
- View all site pages
- Download datasheets for listed electronic parts/components
- Cost: FREE
- Silver Membership
- Bronze membership benefits plus the following
- View various site diagrams, schematics, pictures etc in high resolution
- Download various site diagrams, schematics, pictures etc
- Turn off banner advertisments while viewing site pages
- Cost: $2 (payment by PayPal)
- Gold Membership
- Silver membership benefits plus the following
- Download printed circuit board (PCB) diagrams and layouts, PIC Microcontroller .hex code files
- Download Bill of Materials (BoM) for various projects
- 10% discount on any products purchased
- Cost: $4.95 (payment by PayPal)
- Platinum Membership
- Gold membership benefits plus the following
- Download various supporting design calculation templates as Excel spreadsheets
- Download source code for projects involving PIC micrcontrollers
- 25% discount on any products purchased
- Cost: $49.95 (payment by PayPal)
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