Knowledge Should be Free!

Open-Source Hardware

All our own, and many commissioned, designs are created under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 license. This allows you to take our board designs and expand upon them. All we ask in return is a nod in our direction as the original designers.

Open-Source Software

Not only is the majority of the software we write open-source (released under the BSD 3-clause license) but in-house we only use open-source software. That includes all our EDA tools, such as the gEDA suite.

No Matter How Complex, We Can Program It.

Wide Skill Range

Many hardware companies seem to lack programming skills, and many software companies don't always have the hardware skills you need. We, though, have both sets of skills in one. With professional programming experience and techniques we can offer not only high quality in your product but also reliability and security.

From Concept to Manufacture We Have You Covered.

Project Design

We like to think our project design policy is unique. You come to us with your ideas and requirements, and we take it and run with it. And we run miles. The first draft of any project will be massively over-engineered. We let our imaginations run wild and come up with things you may never have even dreamed of. From there we take away the parts you don't want leaving us with a design we can both be proud of.

This policy means that you get the design that you want and possibly quite a lot more.

Another Easy ESP8266 Hack - LED Strip Driver

LED DriverToday's ESP8266 hack is another rather easy one. This time it's a very cheap LED RGB strip driver from Amazon.

Well, I say ESP8266. In fact this one uses the ESP8285, which is basically an ESP8266 with 1MB of flash built in, so no need for an external flash chip. That makes it even cheaper to manufacture, and hence for you and I to buy.

What is it with the ESP8266?

ESP8266EX ChipThe ESP8266 is everywhere now. Whenever you buy some cheap Chinese (or even expensive non-Chinese) IoT device, like a WiFi power switch, a WiFi connected lightbulb, or whatever, you can pretty much guarantee that inside will be an ESP8266.

Xtensa have pretty much got it made.

But what is it that's so great about the ESP8266 that's got everyone using it?

Common Arduino Errors and Warnings

This is my attempt to collate and explain the most common errors and warnings you get when compiling code for the Arduino and Arduino-like boards.


Expected primary expression before '.' token

This is usually because you used a class name instead of an instance of a class. One example would be if you created an instance of the LiquidCrystal class:

LiquidCrystal lcd(4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10);

And then used something like:


instead of:

Securing Transmission-Daemon

So you have some large files you'd like to distribute. Maybe you're the author (or compiler) of a custom distribution of Linux. Or maybe you make videos, and you'd like to allow people to download MP4 files to watch off line. What better way than using BitTorrent for this? It's distributed, it's fast, it's easy to manage.

And what better system to use than Transmission, the default BitTorrent client that comes with most versions of Linux?

Windows versions ranked by usability

This is my list of windows versions that I rank by my opinion of their usability and abilities "of their time". That is, not ranked by comparing them to current standards, but comparing them purely by how they operated in their hayday. This is purely my opinion, and you will most likely disagree with it.

Personally I don't have much respect for Windows, but it did have a few highlights during its time. So here goes. I award the number one spot to:

Free, quality, wire

No, I'm not offering you free wire. Just telling you a good source for free wire.

With the whole world going HDMI these days, there are plenty of obsolete SCART cables around. You probably have some in your attic or garage, mouldering away in a box.

Strip them down. That's right - remove the connectors and the outer rubber casing, and bingo - you have a great selection of wire. Lots of different colour wires, usually in the 22-28 AWG range, and usually pretty high quality as well. And on top of that there's normally a good few lengths of shielded cable too! Bargain!