MickMake Mail #32: EEVBlog 121GW, spycam hacking and other bits.

I’m still in reno mode, so only a couple of quick things in this mailbag. The new EEVBlog 121GW multimeter, cheap spycam hacking, the failed WiFi temperature shower head and Unexpected Maker’s WS2812 7 segment display.

Or check out the video on YouTube.


So I’m still in a bit of chaos this week, but I’ve got a number of packages that have arrived.

EEVBlog 121GW

Dave’s 121GW finally arrived! Actually it arrived a month ago and I’ve only just had a chance to open it up. I know he had a lot of issues with firmware updates, shipping and sort of issues, but that’s really to be expected for any Kickstarter. I haven’t really seen any Kickstarter that’s gone smoothly and Dave handled it all really well. I’ve been running off an old Fluke multi-meter for the last 25 years, but I think I need to have something that can do other fancy things like capacitance and frequency measurements and logging to SD. I’ll still use the old girl, but I’ve now got a a decent meter with all these other features. Actually, the SD card support is the one thing I was actually looking forward to. The case is a tight fit and pretty rugged. Has a nice solid feel to it. There’s an app for both Android and iPhone. Connection was as simple as anything I’ve seen and it’s really nice to have graphs. Something I’ve been missing with my old fluke meter all these years. Nice to be able to finally measure capacitance. Overall a great purchase. It’s expensive, but hey, for what you’re getting it’s actually pretty good compared to some of the other meters.


SQ8 spy cam

These are some pretty tiny cameras, which claim full 1080p recording to SD card. When I say tiny this is how big it is. The reason why I got them was because they’re nine bucks a pop and it looked like something I could hack. I saw these over at cnx-software. Obviously there’s no compression coming from the camera so of course USB video streaming was abysmal. Just forget it. Getting into 1080p mode was… er… interesting…

Boot blue light long on standby mode, press the mode button, red and blue lights long for 1080 p video mode, click the switch machine button once again, blue lights out under the red light flashing on the long 3, 5 minutes for 1080 p video a piecewise continuous recording save automatically, cycle cover, click the switch machine again to stop video, go back to the standby mode.

So that’s pretty good. For some reason. I couldn’t follow the instructions and I couldn’t actually get it to record in 1080p. Cracking it open shows up a, (possibly), custom chip jobbie… I suspect. Nothing came up in Google, but it supports MIPI-CSI, SD, audio and a bunch of GPIOs. Hmm, I might have to do a bit more hunting around and see if I can find out exactly what it is.


Unexpected Maker – 7 segment LEDs

Something from an older mailbag. Seon, (from Unexpected Maker), sent me these a while ago and I finally managed to build them all up. I took them over to my mate Kean Maizel as he has a reflow oven and everything else. Most of the LEDs lit up but because these are WS2812 is it’s all daisy chained and so if one LED is dead the rest after will be. Fortunately, there was only one dud solder joint and everything worked. I’m definitely going to add this to my new studio. I don’t know what I’ll get it to display. Maybe a subscriber counter? That’s more than likely the usual thing that goes on but I think I need to have something different!


WiFi shower head

A while back I was looking at these shower temperature sensor thingies. It’s a very cheap sensor that you attach to a shower head which displays the water temperature. All powered from a dynamo. I was mucking around with esp8266 and Bluetooth modules to see if I could actually get it to be powered from the internal Dynamo. Unfortunately, these things are pretty cheap. The temperature sensor inside is pretty dodgy and after a while it was showing very inaccurate temperatures. Not only that the Dynamo inside eventually wears out and you end up with a very whiny noise when you turn the shower on. They looked promising, but really pretty dodgy. However, I still have a need for it, so I’ll have to make my own. Stay tuned for that!


Mega studio upgrade

Unfortunately the mega studio upgrade is taking a little bit longer than I had hoped but I’ll be continuing the videos in some shape or form. I would like to get an SBC review out as I have a whole bunch of them waiting for review. Oh… and when you’re working around in the ceiling you have to be really careful where you step. If you step in the wrong spot, you can accidentally slip and something like this happens. Bugger.


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