It all started with a user need and it is related to one of the key elements of any household: the fridge.

Sometimes my fridge’s door does not close completely. If one pushes it too hard, it rebounds and stays slightly open. Not open enough to be noticed, just a few millimeters, but open enough so that, in the morning, the fridge’s content is a bit damp. Besides, it is not very energy efficient.

For a while, I just ignored the problem. “It will go away” .

But one day, I decided to attack it with DIY electronics and some…

It all started with a snow problem.

I wanted to check remotely how much snow had fallen on my home in the mountains (I live in the French Alps), specially whether the snow removal machine had cleared the way.

So I started to tinker with the camera module of the Raspberry Pi (a low cost, Linux based, single board computer).

I quickly landed on Motion , a software package which provides real time camera feed into any web browser. …

It runs with the Sun

It all started with the word ‘solar’.

As I was tinkering with the Raspberry PI, I latched on PiJuice, a Kickstarter project promising solar power for the PI.

PiJuice is a Raspberry PI add-on board (aka HAT — Hardware Attached on Top) which includes a LIPO battery, a RTC (real time clock), a UPS (uninterrupted power supply), and a software environment to program the startup and safe shutdown of the PI.

The LIPO battery can be charged from USB or from a solar panel. I picked a 6 Watt solar panel.

The PIJuice HAT on top of a Raspberry Zero.
The PIJuice HAT on top of a Raspberry Zero.
The PiJuice Hat on top of a Raspberry Zero. The Solar panel is connected to the PiJuice via micro-USB. A USB Webcam is connected to the Raspberry. The Blue led indicates the LIPO is charging. The enclosure is a simple electricity junction box.

I quickly realized that…

Build it, it’s affordable. Move it, it’s battery powered.

It all started with My Love sending me a Medium article.

She is half French and half American (not sure which half is bigger), and an avid reader of the New York Times. This article caught her eyes.

I went thru this article , and this other one titled “ This Super-Clean Smart Screen Puts a Newspaper on Your Wall“ and was intrigued by the application, and seduced by the concept behind it : Calm technology.

Both articles are about displaying, every morning, the front page of the New York Times…

pascal boudalier

tinker with Raspberry PI, ESP32, solar, LIPO, sensors, zwave, energy harvesting, python, micropython, keras, tensorflow, tflite, TPU. Ex Intel and HP

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