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Maker Update: Fibre Optic Lamp

So I gathered my first experience with the rasperry-pi. I have been working on the following topics:

  • PiVPN – Using the raspi as my personal VPN Server (Based on OpenVPN)
  • PiHole – A Network-wide AD-Blocker. Which automatically filters all the crappy AD’s
  • OctoPI – The go-to solution for controlling 3D-Printers
  • Raspbee/HomeAssistant – My OpenSource Smart Home Integration mainly using Zigbee Components
  • MagicMirror2 – An open source Smart Mirror software which I am using for my smart screen

But I wanted to go a step further. So next thing on my list: Microcontrollers, namely Arduino. As a first project I chose a fibre optic lamp. I discovered the project on intructables: https://www.instructables.com/Fiber-Optic-LED-Lamp/ A special thanks to Andrei Erdei the creator. His project was the first inspiration for my version of the lamp. Here some pictures:

The lamp is controlled by a Arduino MiniPro. Color and patterns can be switched using a small button at the bottom of the lamp.

I made some changes compared to the original:

  • Octagonal shape
  • 40 LED’s instead of 36
  • Wallmount instead of a desk version
  • LED strips exchangeable by using plug connection
  • Optimized power connector

In a next step I will try to integrate an ESP32 microcontroller. This in order to connect the lamp via wifi and control it using my smart home equipment.

Quick Pick: 3d printed maze box

My wife asked me if I could print a maze box for an A5 sized voucher. After some research on thingiverse we found a perfect match.

The original model can be found on thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4657856

The model was printed in two parts the maze and the cover. Print Settings on my Prusa i3 MK3S+:

  • Objects scaled to 200%
  • Filament: PLA
  • Printing Temp: 210c
  • Heating Bed Temp: 60c
  • Layer Height: 0.2mm
  • Supports: none
  • Infill: 5%

The maze took around 12 hours to print. The Cover around 14 hours.

Desk-PC 2.0 Update: Full temperature control and a lot of dashboard configuration

Well, I had the luck that I only had to work two days during Easter. So there was a lot of time to play around with the software suite of aquacomputer. And I have to say: “This piece of software is a beast”. A ton of options to control the cooling and lighting of your PC. But what was achieved so far?

  • Software Installation and configuration of all aquacomputer components which includes:
    • 1 aquaero6 XT
    • 3 farbwerk 360 Digital rgb-controllers (using addressable 5Volt RGB-Strips)
    • 2 QUADRO fan controllers
    • 1 farbwerk rgb-controller for “classical” 12Volt RGB Strips (basically only used for the water pump lights)
  • A first tuning of fan profiles using the following fan groups:
    • CPU_RAD_TOP: 3x120mm Noiseblocker fans pulling air through the “CPU” radiator
    • CPU_RAD_BOTTOM: 3×120 mm Noiseblocker fans pushing air through the “CPU” radiator
    • GPU_RAD_TOP: 3x120mm Noiseblocker Fans fans pulling air through the “GPU” radiator
    • GPU_RAD_BOTTOM: 3x120mm Noiseblocker Fans fans pushing air through the “GPU” radiator
    • PCD_BOTTOM: 3x140mm Noctua NF-P14s redux Fans delivering fresh air into the bottom of the motherboard chamber
    • MB_CHAM: 4x140mm Noiseblocker Fans pushing air “sideways” into the motherboard chamber (in order to cool all non-water cooled parts like the M2 drive or the VCC’s on the motherboard
  • Configuration of the two water pumps and according flow sensors in order to ensure quiet water loop operation
  • Configuration of various virtual software sensors in the aquasuite in order to have a proper and reliable measurement base
  • Definition of some first RGB-Profiles
  • Design and Setup of a customized dashboard for my integrated screen

Here’s a screenshot of the dashboard which I have designed and configured so far:

And here some impressions of the “real world” application. The screen I’m using here is a USB 3.0 Monitor from ASUS.


A detailed documentation for the “how-to section” will be created later on

Smart Screen Project. A quick summary

My wife and I have quite some appointments. And as I am working shifts, “synchronization” of our schedules is quite challenging. I have been thinking about a smart screen or even a smart mirror for a while now.

Finally I got the time to dig into this topic. After some internet research I quickly learned that the raspberry-pi based “MagicMirror2” software is the to-go approach. It is free, open source and can be customized with s ton of modules which are created by a big community more information can be found at: https://magicmirror.builders/

I first installed a virtual machine in order to tinker a bit with the software. And after some first try and error I got everything running and had a first smart screen showing up. Nice!

So as a next step I set up one of the raspberry pi’s which I had laying around. Once the raspi was up and running I checked for an inexpensive monitor and an according wall mount.

The final solution is simple and straight forward. Just the screen mounted to the wall and the pi mounted on the backside with some power strips.

And this is how it looks like (I will add a white channel for the cables below the monitor asap):

List of Parts

The following parts have been used:

Quick pick: Wall hook for Bicycle Battery

The entrance area in our home is a bit… let’s call it un-ordered. One thing which constantly annoyed me was the battery for my e-bike. It is big, chunky and it is always somewhere laying around and blocking space. So thanks to my advancing 3D-design skills I quickly drew a hook which I then 3d printed and mounted to the wall… Here’s the outcome:

The next step will be a mount for the battery charger.. promised ☺️

Desk-PC 2.0 Update: Wall-mounted subwoofer

I am currently updating my room. As a result I moved quite some furniture around in order to have the Desk-PC presented nicely. While moving all the things around in my room I realized: “Oh dear, I have this subwoofer of my sound system. How can I integrate that into the setup …?”

So I got back to the drawing board (which in this case is Fusion360 CAD) and designed some brackets which can be used to mount the subwoofer on the wall:

The brackets rendered in Fusion360
Installing the brackets (and yes, the carpet in my room is just ugly.. 🤢🤮):
Done- Subwoofer placed (and the 3D-Prints seem to hold the weight)

Desk-PC 2.0 Update: Another iteration on door handles

It’s the tiny details which are sometimes annoying… So another iteration of design took place. This time for the door handles which are visible on the left side of the desk. I simply didn’t like the chamfers which I designed. Somehow they didn’t fit into the entire rest of the design (at least that’s my opinion).
Another problem was that the old handles were designed per section on the doors – so four different versions of the handles had to be printed. With the new design all handles have the similar design and just can be printed four times which reduces complexity (I basically prefer simple functional designs 😃).

left: before / right: after
The new cleaner handle design
Printing the first part
The print turned out nice 😎

Desk-PC 2.0 Update: New 3D-Printed Front Cover

After receiving the aluminum parts I started to finalize and print the new front cover and mount for the Aquacomputer Aquaero. Here’s a preview of the 3D-Design:

Here is some comparison between old and new design:

left: old design / right: new design

And here’s is the final 3D-printed result (not yet sanded and painted):

The final result (the aquaero front will be replaced due to the scratch in the display)

So why the entire rework? Basically I wanted to achieve the following:

  • Have an extremely modular front of the PC-Bench Drawer
  • High quality look and feel by using as much aluminum as possible
  • Be able to print the front cover on “standard” size 3D-Printers (made it smaller as the initial version required quite big print space – it now fits on a Prusa i3 MK3S)