There oughta be…

…a blog with awesome projects. A collection of overcomplicated devices nobody needs. A sanctum for all the things that did not get living room clearance, but oughta be seen by fellow nerds.

There oughta be a smart doorbell.

05 April 2021

As all package delivery services in our area have conspired to ring our doorbell just when the kids are having their afternoon nap I decided to smarten up our doorbell. To do so, I created a small PCB that goes into our in-house phone to disable it, trigger other IoT devices if someone rings the bell and to trigger the door opener. You can get an overview in the accompanying video or just read the article.

Thumbnail of the youtube video showing a Sony Alpha NEX-5T on a tripod and a squirrel on the nut box next to it.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.
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There oughta be a photo trap.

23 March 2021

Recently a squirrel noticed our nut box that was waiting to be raided for almost a year now. But as our squirrels here are a but skittish, I needed to come up with a way to get in close to take nice pictures of them.

Remembering my project where I used my old Sony Alpha NEX-5T for 3d printing timelapses, I decided to set up a photo trap based on the Wifi remote feature of this camera and it worked perfectly:

Thumbnail of the youtube video showing a Sony Alpha NEX-5T on a tripod and a squirrel on the nut box next to it.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.

This should work on any Sony Alpha since the NEX-5R, including the a6000 series and any of the a7s and the controlling script should run on any computer with Wifi access to the camera. In my case, it was a spare Raspberry Pi.

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There oughta be a PCB animation.

08 March 2021

Since I received several questions about how I created the rendered PCB animations of my previous project, the macro keyboard, I decided to record my work on a new PCB animation for an upcoming project. So, here is more than four hours of mostly unedited footage of my by no means professional Blender skills:

Thumbnail of the youtube video showing a schematic of the PCB on the left and the rendered result on the right.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.

There is not much more to say here. If you are interested in this, skip around in this very long video. If not, wait for the post about the project that will use this particular PCB.

There oughta be a macro keyboard.

17 February 2021

I built a dynamically assignable macro keyboard with an e-ink screen. What does that mean? Well, it is a device that pretends to be a regular keyboard, but the meaning of each button changes depending on which application you currently try to control. Let me show you in a video:

Thumbnail of a youtube video about the macro keyboard, showing the device with rainbow LEDs and images on the e-ink screen.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.

So, you now have an idea what I am talking about? Then let me explain the details in this article.

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There oughta be a way to use a Sony Alpha as a webcam.

17 December 2020

Hacking a Sony Alpha for clean HDMI out: On my journey to find the perfect image for video conferences and lectures with a spare DSLM camera I found several solutions to use a Sony Alpha as a webcam - with varying results and obstacles.

Thumbnail of a youtube video about using a Sony Alpha camera as a webcam, showing four simultaneous perspectives from four Sony Alpha cameras.
Click the image to see the video on youtube.com.

The video should give a good overview and examples of what to expect. This articles describes how to do it…

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