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James Grant

I wasn't introduced to a soldering iron until I was in his teens. Since the end of my GCSEs I have really used one much either. But starting in 2008 I found an interest in it again and I've since been dabbling in home automation and environmental sensing.


What I'm currently working on and documentation enough to build it independently (I hope) is on the blog

Home Energy/Environment Monitor


At the moment I am working on devices that have a vaguely green angle. Including AVR programming, wireless communications, 1-Wire, temperature and humidity sensing, power control and power usage sensing.

The eventual aim is to have a collection of collaborating devices that can report on environmental conditions and control the power to devices automatically (such as the dehumidifier) and manually (such as the TV). From there I may look into moving the boiler to computer control.

I've found an interesting project OpenEnergyMonitor and will be using ideas from there and other locations.

Page of links from a tweet by @jayfresh

Sounding Balloon

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.

Bear Controller

At work we have three lamps in the shape of bears attached to an old (and now broken) network PDU controlled by a script the monitors the continuous integration server (Hudson) and lights either the red bear or green bear depending on the results of the latest builds. The yellow bear is lit when a build is in progress.

This project would build a four port network PDU to control the bears with a forth port for a single lamp for another teams Hudson instance.

Mini bears

It would be fun to have little personal bears on the top of each developers monitor that show the state of their own projects. these could just be a row of three LEDs connected to a atMEGA8U2 and that developers workstation. Bears could be made on a MakerBot to go over the LEDs.


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.

  • ArduPilot An Arduino platform based autopilot.
  • DIY Drones The place on the Internet to find information about UAVs.