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 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!

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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Car inside and outside temperature sensor

Make it yourself if the car does not have it.

The Nissan Versa 2009 I bought does not have an outdoor temperature sensor and the radio did not allow to connect the phone to it. That was both somewhat annoying as I usually like to get a sense on what the current temperature is. It is also nice to be able to hook up the phone to the stereo. So I decided to change the radio and add the temperature sensors myself.

That is the final result:

Car temperature


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ITN in Österreich

Welchen Rang habe ich bei einem bestimmten ITN?

Ich frage mich schon seit längerem welchen Rang ich ca. in Österreich habe. Netterweise gibt es vom ITN Austria auch eine Liste mit allen registrierten Spielern. Ich habe ein paar Datenpunkte aus der Rangliste genommen (20.6.2014) und auf diesen Daten beruhen die Graphen.


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Make your own Scrabble – DIY Scrabble

DIY Puzzle style variation of Scrabble

For a birthday I decided to build my own version of Scrabble, a game I always liked (even though I usually lose). To make some variation to the original game, I decided to make the pieces interlocking by making them in puzzle shape. With access to a lasercutter the whole build was fairly easy as I used the lasercutter to cut the pieces and engrave the text.

I think the result looks pretty good.

Scrabble Game


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Automatic Mobile Phone Game Player || Unlimited coins in Hill Climb Racer || without cheating

I recently created a small gimmick device that allows me to

Play Hill Climb Racer Automatically and gain unlimited coins without cheating.

By using some external hardware and plays the game for you. By letting it run for some time, you can basically amass unlimited coins without the need for a hack or a cheat of the game. I was able to make quite some extra coins, allowing me to upgrade faster (and without paying real money). I am sure the principle could be used for a lot of other games too. For example in Clash of Clans you could use it to pretend you are active and keep your shield up so that you cannot get attacked.

It looks like that:

Left: press screen Right: Pause


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Triangle Hammock || Dreieckshängematte

The project I want to present this time is a special

hammock with three anchor points.

The basic idea of the project is quite simply, by extending the idea of a hammock, which has two anchor points, a third anchor point is added. By doing so, a certain area can be spanned, creating a flat surface to lie on. This can be seen as a variation of a three point hammock.

The final result looks like this:

The first version of the hammock with super sturdy fabric


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Tennis Ball Pressurizer

Keep your Tennis balls bouncing

The annoying issue with Tennis balls is, that after only a few days they start to lose their bounce. I was annoyed and intrigued this and used a modified pressure canner to reverse the process to revive old balls and keep them bouncing. The final result can store around 60 Tennis balls and keep them bouncing forever (or at least until the felt is completely worn off). In the following I will describe some specs of my homemade tennis ball pressurizer. 

Tennis balls are pressurized and over time air escapes from the inside and the pressure drops. That results is poorly bouncing balls and finally, us buying new balls.  If we can store the balls at a higher pressure, this process can be slowed and even reversed! That is what all this is about.


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