Contemplations of a Crazed Engineer

Contemplations of a Crazed Engineer

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Backup your Network Devices with Ansible

March 31, 2022 | (Last Update : March 31, 2022)
ansible homelab pfsense

Like many people these days, I have a home network environment that extends beyond a single modem/router access point. VLAN’s, multiple access points, multiple WAN connections as well as PoE for some smart home devices means that I have a veritable mix of devices at any time sitting on the network. It ocurred to me recently, how long would it take me to replace one of these if it failed? When was the last time I did a configuration backup? …Shit.


Managing SSL Certificates on OctoPi with Ansible

June 28, 2021 | (Last Update : June 29, 2021)
octopi ansible devops Managing SSL Certificates on OctoPi with Ansible

I’ve recently upgraded 3d printers to a Creality Ender 3 v2 and on the advice of a long time co-conspirator immediately departed down the path of setting up OctoPrint via OctoPi. This is great and I highly recommend it, one button printing without getting out of your chair is addictive. By default OctoPi generates self-signed certificates and allows both secure and insecure connections. We can do better.


Tasmotize the ITC308 Wifi Temperature Controller

May 11, 2021 | (Last Update : June 29, 2021)
tasmota smarthome Tasmotize the ITC308 Wifi Temperature Controller

Controlling temperature is a common requirement for many projects. I’ve been using the ITC308 Wifi controllers for years now due to their low price and have been hopeful for a long while that it would be possible to ditch that …challenging… Inkbird App. The main requirement I had was to be able to programmatically specify the set point (SP) as well as record the current process value (PV), ideally in my existing InfluxDB database. This is that journey…


RHHI-V Gluster Corruption: Shards and all...

March 25, 2021 | (Last Update : March 25, 2021)
rhel gluster ovirt

I was recently asked to help out with a problematic cluster. The 3 node cluster was running Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Virtualization (RHHI-V), essentially a 3 node oVirt cluster running on the same hardware as a 3 node Gluster cluster. Storage is local but shared, as is the compute resources. However, one of the hosts was throwing a “Host (host) cannot access the Storage Domain(s) (storage) attached to the Data Center (dc). Setting Host state to Non-Operational.” and a simple transition via Maintenance mode was not fixing it. This is that story…


Installation of Loki and Promtail on RHEL 8.3

March 03, 2021 | (Last Update : March 03, 2021)
rhel grafana loki logging Installation of Loki and Promtail on RHEL 8.3

I've been looking for a "light weight" method of getting aggregated logging across the home lab for a while. Loki has been interesting since its release, so I decided to have a play with it. I've been using Grafana heavily for years, so it seemed like the logical choice, as it is much lower on resources than Graylog, the other platform I was investigating.


Transit of Venus

June 07, 2012 | (Last Update : February 17, 2021)
astrophotography Transit of Venus

Yesterday was the transit of Venus here on Earth. If you haven’t already heard about it, then you for sure you don’t know the people I know!


FTDI Problems Solved!

May 03, 2012 | (Last Update : February 17, 2021)
electronics fpga ftdi

So, I have finally gotten around to writing something again! I have recently been working on a board that is using an FTDI FT2232H as the interface between an FPGA and USB interface. The requirement is simple, get data from FPGA to USB as fast as possible. I have encountered some problems getting the FTDI chip to work properly in this mode.


DIY Canon DC Coupler

September 09, 2011 | (Last Update : February 17, 2021)
canon astrophotography dslr electronics DIY Canon DC Coupler

One of my other hobbies is photography, and whilst I don’t spend as much time with the camera as I would like I still like to have plenty of power. I shoot with a 30D and/or 40D, which uses the old style BP-511/A Canon battery. The dilemna I had is that I would like to power my camera from a 12-14V source (such as a SLA battery) to get plenty of juice, but I need to provide the requisite 7.4V expected from the battery.


10 MHz Reference USB Audio

July 15, 2011 | (Last Update : February 17, 2021)
10mhz usb audio frequency 10 MHz Reference USB Audio

One of the projects that I am tinkering with at the moment is the creation of an audio capture device that can be phase locked to an external reference. The primary reason for this is not chasing extremely high quality audio – the contrary in fact, I don’t particularly care for the audio quality.


S3E500 High Speed ADC

July 07, 2011 | (Last Update : February 17, 2021)
electronics fpga S3E500 High Speed ADC

My new PCB has just been mated with a S3E500 starter kit for the first time. They look quite good together I reckon?


Microwave Plasma

March 09, 2011 | (Last Update : February 17, 2021)
plasma microwave fun Microwave Plasma

Something that a mate and I had seen on the internet before, but never tried – the formation of plasma in a microwave. From a grape!

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