Plant watering system using arduino

Daughter cobweb likes to solder things together, and she has a plant on her window sill which doesn’t get watered enough. Why not build a plant watering system … This is how it turned out.

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Garage paper towel dispenser

Bits of scrap wood, a hole drilled in the bottom. A bit of sawing using a rough idea of a bird-box, and a few screws later…

Added a hacksaw blade at the bottom so I can cut the paper. Holds 2 rolls. Paper towels are dispensed from the middle of the roll.

Mucky hands no more !

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Mounting plates for Cleats

I made several of these up, so I could mount them to the back of the house.

A few pulleys, rope, and eye-bolts later, and I was able to hoist the garden shade sail without getting up a ladder.


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Milling Curtain Bracket

The Curtains are pretty heavy. They kept pulling the bracket off the wall. Something more over-engineered was required 😉

That gave me 4 screws to fix into the wall instead of 2, and the bracket doesn’t bend at all.

The Curtain rail itself needed a bit more support in the middle of the span, so I made a lighter-weight bracket mount for that, as it’s visible when the curtains are opened.

They are all fitted, and the curtain hasn’t yet fallen down. Job done.

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Security AppleTV Cage


At work, in an open-plan area, things can “walk” if they aren’t bolted down.

One of the useful gadgets we have is an AppleTV. It makes it really easy to project a MacBook screen onto the office TV.

But there is a problem. AppleTV has no Kensington lock, and no other way of bolting it down to stop it “walking” off. … so I thought I’d fix this. Building a ‘cage’.

The brass stand-offs were milled to the correct height, drilled and tapped so when installed, they lock the AppleTV gizmo in place. I polshed them, then sprayed them with cellulose dope in the hope that they stay shiny, and don’t go black with corrosion.

The Kensington lock is a 3mm slot. Had to thin the back of the back-plate.

I finished it off with some tamper-proof M5 machine screws (A star Torx shape with a central pin). Installed in the office it works a treat. And its’ still there !

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Milling a revision card holder


It may seem an odd thing to want, or make, but daughter-cobweb wanted something she could stack a set of filing cards onto, as she was writing logs of notes on these cards for her exam revision.

Christmas came around, and just before then I got the metal together and crafted this with the milling machine.

Tip: The sides are 2cm thick. I bolted them together so it was one 4cm thick plate, and milled that, guaranteeing that the sides had the exact same dimensions.

Tip2: Polishing was done using graded grit up to 3200, then with some metal polish on top. Manually buffed it up as best I could, but could have got a better shine using a buffing mop attached to an electric drill.

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Bannoch recipie

  • 100g salted butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 170 flour
  • Milk
  • Handful of sultanas

    Mixup and shallow fry in veg oil.

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    Bread Roll Recipe


    Recipe for really good white bread rolls. Family favourite.

    Recorded here for posterity and to make sure we never loose the only copy of the amounts which are currently on a scrap of paper somewhere in the pile of cookery notes and books.


    • 500g String white flour
    • 1 table-spoon sugar
    • 1 tea-spoon salt (though less is probably ok)
    • 7g dried yeast / one sachet
    • 30-40g vegetable oil (a good glug)
    • 300ml water


    • Pizza setting in bread machine
    • Shape and prove
    • Bake
    • Eat


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    Attending the Southampton Code Dojo


    Last week I attended the Southampton Code Dojo ( My objective was primarily to see how these folks ran their dojo, meet people and have some fun learning new things.


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    Cat wears a collar of shame

    Poor thing has infected tic bites.


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