James wasn't introduced to a soldering iron until he was in his teens. Since the end of his GCSEs he hasn't really used one much either. But starting in 2008 he found an interest in it again and has since been dabbling in home automation and environmental sensing.
Home Energy/Environment Monitor
At the moment I am trying to build an ethernet device controlled by a Atmel AVR using the enc28j60 chip. Not the easiest way to do it but it does give you a breadboard with lots of wires coming out of it looking quite impressive.
The eventual aim is to have a board that will monitor my home energy usage, individual appliance power usage, temperature and humidity throughout my house and report it to a central server. From there I may look into controlling the dehumidifier and boiler from the micro-controller.
Insperation and information for this project comes from the data sheets and tuxgraphics.org.
I've also found an interesting project here
Page of links from a tweet by @jayfresh http://homecamp.pbworks.com/Open-Power-Meter
Who doesn't want to launch a telemetry payload to the edges of space (well 30km anyway)?
I know I do. I've started collecting information needed and at the moment, so long as I don't get distracted by something else shiny, I aim to get it going for summer 2010.
- HALO Flight 2 somebody else who did this.
- XTend RF Modems modems with the range to get telemetry back during the whole flight.
- Balloon Trajectory Forecasts for predicting the flight path.
Just an idea at the moment but it would be cool if, instead of building a wheeled robot, I built a flying robot. It could take pictures from the sky.
This would use a lot of the same tools and skills as the Sounding Balloon but also a whole lot more.