Saturday, 19 January 2019

Mama Tu's Donuts

I first learned to make this version of "Raro donuts", simple bread; around the age of 13. It is a really basic recipe designed to be mass produced to help with the meals prepared for large crowds at Cook Island functions. A plate is usually made up of, chop-suey (lamb & vermecilli), boiled rice, raro mainaise, and a single donut.

Ingredients
I'm using pictures here of the exact ingredients I use today, the brands may be different but the out come is still the same.


4 cups of flour: I use High Grade, makes it easier to knead, back in the day this never existed

1/2 cup sugar

Some salt: I like salt so I use more than 1/2 teaspoon .. should be 1/2 teaspoon

Yeast: 1 sachet .. I really prefer the sachet. But if you use yeast from a bottle, 1 sachet is equivalent to 2 heaped teaspoons. In the old days we used yeast from bottles but bear in mind we made huge batches. The yeast from bottles age with time and become least effective. I tend to make these donuts once every 3 months.

Butter 50g: On the side of the butter packaging you see lines, I cut of 1 section. Is this really 50g ? no idea but works for me.

Eggs 3 (size 6)

Dripping 454g: should really have used 6 in a deep pot but this stuff is expensive. The bigger the pot the more donuts you can deep fry at the same time. NOTE, it has to be dripping, not an alternative Oil.

Water 1 Cup: should be warm, which is fine if you live in a place like Australia. Here in Wellington NZ where it's freezing all year round, a cup of HOT water should wake up those yeast micro-organisms.

Method: just like making normal bread

1: In a large bowl add dry ingredients, sifting each 1 as they are added

2: Melt the butter, add the water, mix then add to the dry

3: After mixing for like 20seconds, break in the eggs

4: On a floured surface, place the dough from the bowl and commence kneading, keep kneading while adding flour until you get the dough at the right consistency. This can only be learned from practice, trial and error etc. Videos showing bread-making on Youtube can help you here.

5: Put the dough in a warm place to rise 3 Times in size

6: Remove the dough then punch it and knead again only for like 1minute.

7: Cut into 16 equal portions and place on top of grease proof paper in a warm area, cover with clean clothe and let it rise again. (this bit is not easy if you live in a cold area, I sometimes use a roasting dish with oven set to bake on minimum setting, just be careful we don't want the dogh to turn to bread at this stage)

8: Melt dripping in large pot, you know its ready when you drop in the 1st donut, it sinks, starts to bubble, then it rises up and floats on the surface. Do not have it too high.

9: When the donut is golden brown, flip it over.

9: Finally, place on a grill to allow excess dripping to drain of.

This is all from memory and dedicated to my mother who passed it down to me. Hopefully others in my family will give it a try!

Friday, 18 January 2019

Are Photo Prints Still Relevant

It's been well over 6 years since I have actually got a photo printed, and that was at Noel Lemmings in Lower Hutt. It was about that time I joined an online photo printing service call Snapfish (www.snapfish.co.nz).


This is a recent screenshot of their website to give you a fair idea what service they provide.

After a recent cycling event (The Taupo Cycle Challenge which I still haven't decided whether or not to create a video of my experience). I bought the downloadable images (of me on the course) to use for my own personal use by the events official photographers (they remain the copyright holders) at $48.00NZ for 20 images.

This was the perfect opportunity to finally try snapfish, so quickly selecting 10 of those images, I put in an order. To be fair I wasn't really excited about it, knowing once the prints arrived I have no idea what to do with them. As I'm writing up this blog post, I realize I don't have a single photo album in this house.

Here's 2 of these images I selected:-

The prints finally arrived a few days ago, I had completely forgotten about them but I'm happy to once again show them of to the family, who have already seen most of the images via whatsapp.



Thoughts:
I would most likely purchase one of those frames that allow multiple pictures and hang it up on the wall, maybe in the hallway.

What I am excited about, is from the prints I came up with a design for a unique mousemat, which I am definitely going to buy.


I'm curious, do other people still get photo images printed ?

Thursday, 17 January 2019

LED COB Chip 220V 20W Review

After spotting this on EBay I just had to have a play with it. LED driven directly from my 240Vac 50Hz Power Supply (standard 1Ph distribution voltage supplied to NZ homes). So I went ahead and bought 3 of the 20W variety!


Wiring seemed pretty straight forward, just solder the appropriate rated cable to these welding points as shown in the above image, apply voltage and lets see what happens.

Well actually no, I had a some concerns:-

- that's 240V mains voltage on exposed terminals
- 20W on something so thin ? I need find some way to dissipate heat.

Solve the Problem No2 First: Heat Dissipation.

Working with computers I get access to a lot of bits and pieces and I knew 1 day I'll find a use for all those Pentium 4 heatsinks. Drill 2 holes, screw the COB to the heatsink, and I didn't even use thermal paste. Solder on some wires from a discarded appliance cable, plug it in a wall socket and let it run for about an hour.

Result: After removing the mains, did the "carefully feel the heatsink" method, happy to say the heatsink felt only slightly warm. At this point I should mention Do Not Look Directly at the COB when it is powered on.

Solving Problem No1: Exposed 240V Terminals.

Last year I have been replacing all the light fittings as shown above with LED fittings.

I now have a container to mount these 20W COBS safely.

Note the 3 screws (near the centre) screwed directly into the fins of the heatsink, this worked out quite well.

All 3 mounted onto the rafters out in the old shed.

Conclusion:
I'm really pleased how this small project worked out, especially re-purposing old light fittings I would normally have thrown away. I am in the process of buying more of these 20W COBs even though I cannot think of where they are to be used. As always the trick to doing this type of project comes down to appropriate case/fitting that adequately mounts for both COB and heatsink, with safe termination while still looking good.

Note, the heatsink was significantly warmer after a time when mounted inside the light fitting.

MyScore: 9/10

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Another Mini Cycle Challenge

I've done a few rides to date but seldom posted them to this blog. Worse still, I haven't entered many challenges, so today to get back into things I joined this monthly challenge. I actually did 96.50km today which is probably why I'm showing high in the rankings.

It was perfect conditions to do a longish ride, cloudy not too hot, minimal wind and great company. We did have a few mechanical damages that needs urgent attention before using those cycles. A worn tire and a broken pedal.

Check out the Endomondo Challenges Page.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Taupo Cycle Challenge






It's official, entry completed and paid for, can't wait to hit the tarmac :-)

Official Website:
https://cyclechallenge.com/the-event/categories/on-road/half-the-lake/

Thoughts:
The 160kms looks really good but I really haven't done any serious training for this distance, maybe next year I will attempt the 160km.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

WS2812 Cycle Lights Using a Arduino Pro Mini


Really simple project.
Arduino Pro mini, with an 8 LED WS2812 stick, a touch switch, finished with 1x 18650 battery all mounted inside a 2x 18650 powerbank charging case. Sketch includes the FastLED library.

Tested duration in flash mode: 14hours

Time taken to complete project: just under 1hour
Time taken to edit video: 8+ hours LoL (not good at this really)

Camera: Sony HDR-CX405
PC: Optiplex 9010 i5 8GB Ram running Linux Mint 19

Notes
This came out much better than I had expected, especially using the powerbanks case to contain all the components. It is also possible to replace the Arduino Pro Mini with the sketch uploaded onto a ATtiny85 and yes I've tried it and it works just fine.


Ideally it would've been nice to use another touch switch as the Power ON/OFF switch but I have no idea (yet) how to power up any Arduino board using an electronic switch such as these ones.




Bridging both solder points A & B means, as soon as power is applied, the switch in ON, next time you touch the case, it goes off ie it toggles.


This is where you get your 5V and GND power source from.


And yes, don't forget this is still a Powerbank. I would definitelty use this when I create Timelapses on my Sony FDR-X3000 action camera.

Thoughts
The possibility of using this concept has opened many idea opportunities and in my mind I have already formed 4 new projects:-

- Garage minder: detect movement in garage inform household via radio signal
- Emergency House lighting with Solar Panel backup
- Fishing Underwater night LED lighting rig
- WS2812 Christmas tree lighting https://youtu.be/if178oluID4

It has been a while since I've deleted all my old projects, I'll attempt to recreate them again and repost.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Arduino, WS2812 Addressable LEDS, FastLED Library

 
video by Andrew Tuline

We all do it, try something new, have a little play with things then stand back to admire our most recent achievement. Then curiosity leads us to down the youtube path, to see how other people are doing in this field.

Arduino is no exception. I was so proud of myself after purchasing some small WS2812 Driver boards and with a little bit of coding I finally created my rear night flashing cycle lights! (project will be uploaded very soon)


To be honest here, this is pretty extreme for such a simple project, normal LEDs would have worked just as well, if not better. But !!!

I wanted to be different!!

Very proud of my self with my projects results, where part of the code required the FastLED library. So I decided to look up the creator and he gave some really good advice and there are some really great demo codes you can try.


Also visit his youtube channel:-


I feel I have found one of the pioneers in this field, and his demo codes are freely available, well commented with hints on how to change to suit ones purposes.

I want to make christmas tree lights just like in that video, but baby steps first!!

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Simple Arduino Proyotyping Setup


Simple setup; an Arduino Uno R3, breadboard, component tester, power source all combined onto a single plastic case that makes this an extremely versatile project.

This is the 2nd one I've made, by adding the component tester it made sense. I have so many loose components lying around I got too lazy to search up there values, it was far easier to just grab new parts out of the labeled drawers, very wasteful.

What I get out of this:-
- a "portable" arduino prototyping board
- a component tester
- an USB powerbank (charge your mobile phone)

Stored inside the case:
- arduino USB cable
- an ATtiny85 shield
- an TTL UART convertor
- microUSB cable
- arduino pro mini
- pocket multimeter

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Linux Mint 19 Xfce Installed


This is something I should've done last month the moment it came out, I did not like the previous 18.3 KDE environment at all but did give it a good try.

Xfce works for me!

Re-installing all the programs  I cannot live without.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Basics to Transistor Selection


This is similar to how I select a transistor along with calculating the value of the Base Resistor required to place the transistor in saturation mode; ie a transistor in switching On/OFF mode. There is no point is creating my own video when this explains quite clearly the process.

A project is currently under way where I use this process, soon to be posted. Just a small heads up, the following small switching Transistor is my all time favorite, the S8050 NPN transistor :-)

Datasheet: S8050 Wing Shing Computer Components.


click here to go to ebay listing
So cheap .....

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Backup FireFox Bookmarks and Favorite Extensions

Yes this seems to be an obvious option to find, but for years I have been using an extension called FEBE with FireFox which now no longer exists. So I finally used DuckGo to find the solution and here it is :-) So now when I change my hardware everything can easily be moved to the new machine. It's a shame I cannot export FireFox passwords but I guess that is a good thing, I also use Keepass2 which works just as good.

These extensions I cannot live without, especially the NoScript which is my all time favorite.

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