• Smart house with Xiaomi on the example of a sauna

    There are quite a few reviews and videos on the Internet about building smart houses. There is an opinion that all this is quite expensive and troublesome in the organization, that is, in general, the fate of geeks. But progress is not standing still. Devices are becoming cheaper and more functional, and design and installation are quite simple. However, the reviews mainly focus on 1-2 examples of use, practically not covering nuances and not creating a complete picture. Therefore, in this article I want to make an overview of the finished project, demonstrate the use cases and pitfalls encountered in building a smart home with Xiaomi devices on the example of a sauna. The described ideas with small variations can also be applied to the automation of the apartment.

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    Background or why all of this is necessary


    For starters, a little background so that the context can be understood. In the early autumn of 2018, the sauna was finished and put into operation. The sauna is an autonomous capital structure with year-round heating and water supply.

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  • The Flight with a Dosimeter in the Pocket

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    The developer of personal dosimeters presented me with an interesting gift at one of Skolovo conferences in early 2011. It was a funny DO-RA gadget made in the form of an Easter egg and packed in a large cardboard box like a smartphone. Apparently, its designers new that their boss Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, was fond of Faberge eggs. They made a plastic copy of the famous Easter gift of the Russian Imperial Court.

    I found a dusty box with the DO-RA gadget just before a business trip to the United Arab Emirates. The device had no battery and was connected to Apple smartphones via a standard audio jack. It is worth noting that, starting with the 7th iPhone model, the Apple Inc. no longer releases smartphones with an audio jack considering it an anachronism. However, the abandonment of the quite utilitarian interface such as audio jack coincided with the release of expensive Airpod earphones. Well, it's their business to earn money on all sorts of restrictions.
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  • Setting up network sales channels for DO-RA gadgets

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      Introduction


      In early March 2019, Intersoft Eurasia team completed work on a test batch of DO-RA gadgets — personal, cross-platform dosimeters-radiometers to monitor the radiation situation at the measurement site, compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

      By buying such a device, the user receives the following: reliable electronics which have undergone radiation testing in the factory laboratory, stylish colored case in the spirit of Malevich ;) for every taste, gift packaging, color insert instructions in Russian and English, special USB charging cable, a free updateable DO-RA.Pro application from the App Store and Google Play.

      The next step in our project implementation is to find the best sales channels for Made in Russia products in the challenging environment of stagnant purchasing power.
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    • DO-RA: Preparing for Industrial Production

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        1. Transporting prototypes

        The idea of the DO-RA project originated in March 2011 after a nuclear disaster on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. This gadget was conceived as a personal dosimeter/radiometer working with eponymous software (DO-RA.Soft) on mobile platforms (iOS, Android, WP) as well as on desktop platforms—Windows/Linux/MacOS.

        At the end of 2017, a tourist from China brought in his backpack ten long-awaited prototypes from the DO-RA.Q test batch. They were manufactured in China based on our design documents and then transported from Shenzhen to Moscow. By the way, the development of design documents was assigned to the largest Design Centre in Eastern Europe—the PROMWAD company. The documents were clear and plain—prepared in IPC format and written in proper English—to enable the automated production of electronic devices in a foreign country.
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      • Tech Insights: Are LED filament-lamps so good?

        • Translation
        Saluting my LED lamp fans!

        Today we will talk about the palpitating and extremely popular subject in recent years — filament LED (Light-Emitted Diode) lamps. Numerous articles have been published here on Habr (1, 2, 3) and on the web, but none of them tells us a word about in-depth analysis of the lamps (what is actually inside) and comparison of their temperature characteristics. Therefore, especially for you — my dear LED-lovers — I conducted a detailed analysis of such lamps from different manufacturers, including temperature measurement of LEDs themselves.

        Afterwards we will try to answer the question: are filament lamps as good as marketers present them to us?

        Disclaimer: this is my very first attempt to translate and adopt an article from Habr into English, so I will ask you to give a fruitful feedback and correct some mistake if any present.
        Shock, thrill and scandals!
      • Hack Your XiaoMi Vacuum Cleaner

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        Laziness moves the world. And today we have more and more robotic vacuum cleaners that are saving our time for something more pleasant than just vacuuming.

        The robots were marketed as internet/Bluetooth/smartphone connected devices with a speaker and camera to report and explore the environment. They also have different sensors to dodge barriers and such. But that’s only some ordinary stuff everyone knows about the robotic vacuum cleaners.
        But the most interesting thing about them is their software. The owners can reprogram these devices and implement different settings as well as voice acting that has a huge number of options, including funny ones. And all you need to “upgrade” your vacuum cleaner is a PC, an internet connection, and a smartphone:
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      • AdBlock has stolen the banner, but banners are not teeth — they will be back

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      • Making a DIY thermal camera based on a Raspberry Pi

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          Hi everyone!

          Winter has arrived, and so I had to check the thermal insulation of my out of town residence dacha. And it just turned out a famous Chinese marketplace started to sell cheap thermal camera modules. So I decided to DIY it up and build a rather exotic and useful thing — a heat visor for the home. Why not? Especially since I had a Raspberry Pi lying around anyway… The result is down below.
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        • Choosing true wireless earbuds: 6 months later…

          • Translation


          Once I put on true wireless headphones and all the cables after that (even if it's a flexible headband on a “wireless” headset), became annoying. So I’ve tried a lot of AirPods-like earbuds in order to find the best ones. In 2018 aside from the AirPods themselves I tried: Jabra Elite 65+, Samsung IconX 2018 and Sony WF-1000X. The result was a neat table with all the objective data. Everything else — my personal opinion — let's discuss in the comments.
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        • Understanding the POCSAG paging protocol

            Long time ago, when a mobile phone costed about 2000$ and one minute of voice call was 50 cents, pagers were really popular. Later cellular phones became cheaper, calls and SMS prices became lower, and finally pagers mostly disappeared.


            For people, who owned a pager before, and want to know how it works, this article will be useful.
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          • A small notebook for a system administrator

              I am a system administrator, and I need a small, lightweight notebook for every day carrying. Of course, not just to carry it, but for use it to work.

              I already have a ThinkPad x200, but it’s heavier than I would like. And among the lightweight notebooks, I did not find anything suitable. All of them imitate the MacBook Air: thin, shiny, glamorous, and they all critically lack ports. Such notebook is suitable for posting photos on Instagram, but not for work. At least not for mine.

              After not finding anything suitable, I thought about how a notebook would turn out if it were developed not with design, but the needs of real users in mind. System administrators, for example. Or people serving telecommunications equipment in hard-to-reach places — on roofs, masts, in the woods, literally in the middle of nowhere.

              The results of my thoughts are presented in this article.

              Figure to attract attention
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