Jaycar taking all my money


My blind opener and closer seems to have bit rot, and I can’t get any feedback from it.

So I bought a shift register (“You bought a shift register?” “Yes, I bought a shift register.”)

Four of ’em. Here’s one in operation.

Yes, obviously it’s just counting. But the counting is done on the arduino, then I shift the 8 bits out to the register. The point being that I could have those bits be anything. Specifically, I could have them indicate the state of the various buttons and the internal state of the sketch.


Classic Yak Shaving. I want my blinds to work, so I need some feedback from my arduino, so I need some status LEDs (more than I already have), so I need a shift register, but I got four, so I have made up an array of 32 LEDs and now I need to wire them up, so I need solder, more gas for the iron, a dremel tool with a cutting wheel, a box to put the dremel tool bits in – you get the idea.

Yum! That soldering job!

The thing that redeems this excursion is that I am interested in shift registers and the general issue of buying ICs and putting them together to make a thing. Oh, and I’ve wanted a dremel tool for some time.

Anyway. I wanted to pack all the circuitry in that jiffy box, but the fact is that I am not going to be able to make it fit. So meh – I’ll just have some ribbon cable hanging out of it and put the shift registers on a small breadboard.

Once that’s done, I’ll be able to hook it up to three pins (plus power and earth) of my blind controller and get some reasonable explanation from it as to why my blinds are’nt opening and closing like the should.

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2 Responses to Jaycar taking all my money

  1. Will says:

    Does the Dremel work on MDF? Can also be used for wargames terrain.

  2. Paul Murray says:

    First reaction: if it will cut fiberglass printed circuit boards, it will cut anything.

    Second reaction: the bulk of the wood might be an issue. And maybe wood will clog the abrasive in a way that the boards don’t. The thing I bought also has a tiny saw, which I have not tried.

    The main thing about the tool is that the flexible attachment lets you hold it like a pencil. Much finer control than what you can get with a larger tool. It’s ideal for modelling and all kinds of fine work.

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