Bruce Hoult is a software engineer in Wellington, New Zealand. Mr. Hoult signed up for Powershop last April 2009 – mainly to save money, but as soon as he discovered that Powershop offered an open API (Application Programming Interface) he started tinkering with it. Since nighttime power is 25% cheaper than daytime power he set out to shift some of his power usage from the day to evening. He works from his home office and he did what a good enterprising tinkerer does: he ran experiments with his own power usage putting together available technologies in new ways.
“I built a computerized device based on Arduino [a website that offers an open source hardware and software platform for rapid prototyping] that I programmed to turn my heater and dehumidifier on and off at different times of the day”, said Mr. Hoult. “After tracking power, temperature, and cost for a while, I determined that it was optimal to crank up the heater an hour or two before 7am when power cost goes up. It turns out that the walls and the house itself retain a lot of the heat and slowly release it during the day. The result is that I use much less power during the day while maintaining the same temperatures as before.” Over the last twelve months Mr Hoult has saved NZ$500 or nearly 24% compared to the previous year.
I asked him if he was thinking about commercializing this device. “The payback is less than a year so there could be a market for it. However, I’m a technical guy. Marketing is definitely not my thing.”
As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email email@example.com to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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Wearables — Monster-inspired costuming!
Electronics — How to make your own magnetic field probe!
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: New Releases of MicroPython and CircuitPython and more! #Python #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF
Adafruit IoT Monthly — 2021 in Recap!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 1/19/22 Feat. Adafruit 7-Segment LED Matrix Backpack – STEMMA QT / qwiic!
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