The quest for a perfect Pizza on my Weber Genesis II grill

I have been trying to improve my Pizza making skills for quite some time. The dough is good, thanks to this manual (in German), so are he other ingredients. What I am still trying to work out is the best oven situation. You simply need a lot of heat.

Recently, was experimenting on using my Weber Spirit II Gas Grill.

Variant 1: Pizza stone on the grill surface directly was ok, but the problem is to get the top nice and crisp. Simply difficult to get the heat on top since the gas is at the bottom.

Variant 2: Putting the pizza stone directly on those triangle heat deflectors. Better, since closer to the flame, but still not perfect on top.

Variant 3: My best so far. In addition to lowering the pizza stone, I put a slanted metal sheet on top. The pizza stone has a larger gap in the back where the heat rises and then the metal sheet forces the hot air towards the front over the pizza. Had to rotate the pizza during cooking as otherwise the back part would get burned too much. Below some images of the setup and of the resulting pizza (albeit what was left of it…).

On the image above you see the gap that allows air to raise on the back and then move towards the front.

And as always with those guides – use them at your own risk.

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Forstner Drill Bit Holder

Got myself a new set of OK Forster drill bits, which now gives me a good coverage over the 25-35 mm range. However, those came each in a single box and that was not ideal for accessing them quickly.

So I put together a quick holder. Basically, a board of oak where I drilled a hole with each bit. This way they are stuck in there fairly securely and I know that I have the correct size. Let’s see how I like the setup when using, will keep you posted. Also, still have some space left, let’s see if I can get some more drills 😉

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Old knife new handle

My wife’s grandma has an old knife she really likes but over the years the handle pretty much rotted away. Time for a new one – it was a nice quick project.

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Sharpening Stone Bag

I use my own sharpening stones to get my kitchen knives sharp again and needed an improved storage solution. For years I have been using a similar bag, but it became too small (adding new stones over time…) and from the beginning it had some problems with sticky glue.

Time for a new bag! Got some nice leather and started sewing.

Finished with all stones inside.
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A new approach to the blog

Since I started the blog many years ago it has been a challenge to actually write articles on the projects I did. The blog is mainly not up to date because I am a lazy writer, not that I am not having projects any more. So far the effort of putting a full article online has been too much most of the time.

No that I get older and have even less time it will not get better…

Time for a new approach – I’ll now try to make articles with some pictures and a short description. Won’t shoot for perfect, but rather ‘at least it is out there’. My experience in the past has always been it is better to get things out somehow rather than trying to be perfect and end up not doing it. So this is the idea here, let’s see how it goes.

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Leather strop case

Like to have some strop handy in the kitchen to get my knives going again and keep them sharp for a bit longer between real sharpenings. Time for a wooden box to hold it!

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Internet Mood Light Ver. 2, connection via Thingspeak

Internet Mood Light with ESP8266 and Thingspeak

In the last blog post I showed how to set the light of my little Internet Mood Light via the internet. The old version used a json file as intermediary to send the data to the device. In this blog post I show a different (better?) approach that uses Thingspeak.com as intermediary. It has the large advantage that with that system you can also resend the same color and the webpage has a feedback about the current color that is shown.

You can send me (well, actually Julia) a color at http://playground.xief.net/julia.php!

finished green
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Internet Mood Light

Control a Neopixel/WS2812 Ring via the Internet using the ESP8266

The moment I learned about the new ESP8266 microcontroller, I was very curious to build something with it. A small microcontroller that has wifi support and a strong processor is just too good to be true. The first device I decided to build was a, I call it internet mood box, thing where the colors can be controlled via the internet. This way anyone can send a color to the actual physical device and this color will show for a while. As I made this mood light for Julia, much of the names you will see is Julia :).

finished green

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Temperature 144 led/m Neopixel WS2812

Use a Digital Temperature Sensor to Control the Temperature of a Neopixel / WS2812B Strip

Recently, I started playing with the Neopixel (WS2812B) individually addressable digital led strips. For the project I have in mind the tightly packed 144 led per meter strip seems the best solution. However, having some experience with leds, I was not sure about the temperature a strip could reach when run at high brightness levels for some time.

So I decided to measure the temperature on a strip of 8 leds as a function of the brightness value.

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Yearly Temperature in New Haven, CT, USA

For some time now I am logging the outside and also my indoor temperatures at my home in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. To record the data I built a weather station (eventually I should write about that too…..) that records the outdoor and two indoor temperatures as well as barometric pressure and humidity. Here I am going to present the temperature Climograph recorded for more than a year (September 2013 to Februar 2015).

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