…and another update – I’ve made the u-shaped bracket for the microcontroller that I talked about in my post yesterday.

I originally thought I’d need to adjust the hole in the garbage can model to move it upward, but actually the key was putting the microcontroller into the bin with the port facing down.

It does need to be very slightly wider than it currently is, but on my test piece I did that a file and it’s looking good!


Prototype is alive!

I was worried that only having two LEDs instead of four would result in it not being bright enough, but I’m running it at half brightness with my example code and it seems great.

Next steps are to find a way to fit the tiny microcontroller I’m going to use into the bottom so the USB port lines up for power, and of course print the bin in white.


Making My Own Bindicator

Somewhere around five years ago I saw a semi-viral tweet, and was immediately inspired.

In some ways I’ve been thinking about the ever since. I’ve always loved electronics projects but I didn’t have the capabilities to make a bindicator of my own back then, so I started with the software: the City of Calgary makes their garbage schedule available in iCal format through an API and I’d been subscribed to it via Google Calendar for some time. It wasn’t a difficult task to write a little bit of code to create a sensor in @[email protected] that tells me which carts need to go out that day, and from there it’s even more trivial to craft an automation that sends us each a notification at 7pm the evening before the garbage needs to go out.

This is nice and all, but the idea of a bindacator of my own never really went away, and now that I can do my own , now’s the time!

There are plenty of articles online about how to make this and the original creator has two-part YouTube series that walks us all through it, so I think it might be the perfect first project for combining my new 3D printing capabilities with my aforementioned affinity for little electronics projects.

I don’t 100% know where to start because the microcontroller that I’ve ordered isn’t the exact same one used in the original build, and rather than four individual LEDs my plan is to simply use four LEDs from the end of a spare light strip I have lying around and I’m not certain whether these will fit nicely into the existing 3D model or whether it’ll need some modification to make everything fit (and if it needs modifying – I don’t know yet how to do that).

So in the absence of a solid plan I’ve opted to get started by getting started. As I write this the 3D model is printing in the other room and @[email protected] tells me it has an hour to go. I don’t know that this will be a quick project because I expect to learn a lot as I go, but I will keep you all up to date on how I get on!


How I Combined an Ultrawide and Portable Monitor for a Kickass Dual-Display Setup

I’ve been considering getting an ultrawide monitor but I’m reluctant to pull the trigger because I’m not sure it’s going to give me the screen real estate that I want.

Right now I have two 16:9 monitors which is more than I need and I’d like a bit of desk space back, but I’m not convinced 21:9 is enough. 24:9 is what I think I want but that’s not actually a thing.

This may just be the perfect solution.