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Installing Mosquitto broker on Synology DSM 6+

During my experiments with MQTT i needed to run a broker of course. At first, i just ran Mosquitto on my MacBook but that could never be a longterm solution. My main ‘server’ at home is a Synology DS1513+, so that was the logical choice.

i have two options:

  • Run a Docker container with Mosquitto
  • Run it natively

Running the docker container was an absolute nobrainer. Just download the image and create an instance.

Running it natively was able thanks to the SynoCommunity packages. There are loads of tutorials how to add a SynoCommunity packages so i won’t repeat it here. The caveat: it didn’t run. The solution was to uninstall Mosquitto, create a mosquitto user in DSM, and install the package again.

The advantage of the native version is that can modify the mosquitto.conf easier. Requiring a special account is less.

I did not do any performance tests.


due to serious health issues, this site will  ot receive much updates any more. That also applies to any software previously released like Simp,yStats and ImageShareUr

CH340 Drama on OSX 10.12 Sierra 16A313a

After a recent update to my OS X Sierra, plugging in an Arduino clone suddenly caused a kernel dump on my macBook. I’m running the beta program and it didn’t give me a problem until this week. Something must have changed.

UPDATE: Yu Wang point me to a website that contains an updated CH340 driver that works with MacOS Sierra

I traced the issue back to the CH340 driver, and it needs to be uninstalled.

  1. Open a terminal and type: cd /Library/Extensions/
  2. Verify that the .kext file is present: ls | grep usbserial.kext
  3. Output should be: usbserial.kext
  4. Then type: sudo rm -R usbserial.kext
  5. Verify that the .kext file has been removed: ls | grep usbserial.kext
  6. Output should be empty.
  7. After youshould remove the files stored in receipts folder: cd /private/var/db/receipts/
  8. Find the enties: ls | grep usbserial*
  9. Output should be:
  10. Remove each one of the files of the above list: sudo rm -r filename`

To verify that the driver has been successfully removed, go to System Information Panel, select ‘Extensions’, and sort by provider to quickly see what 3rd party drivers you have installed. After uninstall/restart I took the following screenshot.


The wch usb driver has been removed and I can now safely plugin the device. It won’t be recognized by the OS but as long as it doesn’t crash my machine that’s fine.


Update needed

This project desperately needs some content. i am working on it!

Console woes

Decided i needed more switches. More switches means more panels. More panels require console. See pics for progress.


Reading the not so smart meter

Today I completed another small project. I’ve got this ‘smart meter’ in my house. The smart bit is that automatically sends off the meter data to the network provider. But I can not see the actual power usage from inside my apartment.

My meter has an infrared LED interface (right next to the meter above 1000 imp / kWh), which gives a pulse for every kWh consumed. By measuring the time between pulses and to count I’m on a current consumption in watts (3.6 / pulse duration to be exact).

I already had a sensor network running based on my previous Simplyduino project, so the addition of a new node was a quick job.

The graph shows that it works well. I still can not explain all the peaks, but the high consumption (800W) between 10:30 and 16:00 is my electrical water boiler.  The other major consumers are the refrigerator, the coffee and tea (for short peaks).

Measuring is knowing!

IR sensor diagram (led1 not used for now).



Closeup of the meter



Sensorium graph:


back up

My internet provider had made a boo-boo and we were offline for maybe 90 minutes. All is well now, carry on.

Handle USB Host Suspend/Wake on Arduino Sketch

The lighting plan for my game seat uses a lot of LEDs driving by a few Arduino’s,  and I thought it would be nice to shut down the LEDs when the host PC shuts down.

It turns out the current USB Device implementation of Arduino does not implement such a feature so I decided to hook into the USBCore.cpp file with a few simple statements.

I have submitted the change as a pull request on the Arduino github. Find the patch here:

RumbleDuino audio tactile feedback device thingamajingy.

Work has been done on the RumbleDuino. It really is a $5 hack. What is it? RumbleDuino is an Arduino that reads an audio signal, and turns the bass signals into PWM signal for a set of XBox360 controller rumble motors. The idea is that you get a little tactile feedback from games that don’t allow for tactile feedback (like Elite Dangerous).

You can mount the vibration motors anywhere you like, and as such I plan to integrate them into my custom DIY HOTAS (called the Simplicatron 3000Z)


The diagram is so stupidly simple, it consists of an audio jack, with pulldown resistors and a protective cap. There’s and external potentiometer to set the signal level (yeah I know I could have done that in hardware), and then there are the 2 MOSFET IRLB8721 drivers on the output stage.

My first plan was to make the Arduino look like an audio interface on the USB side. Unfortunately Windows does not allow me to send a signal to multiple sound cards, so instead I decided to just use an audio cable. The cable allows me to plug the device in the subwoofer channel of my 8-ports soundcard, or use an audio splitter on the headphone jack.

The firmware on the Arduino is too stupid to even use an Arduino in the first place, it basically implements a Lowpass Filter which could have easily been done by the capacitor on the input, making the entire arduino obsolete. But hey, I had the Arduino laying around anyway and by building it this way there is a great room for improvement, like driving led animations or external triggers.


BitBucket repository:

Buildin my own joystick article

When I noticed the availability of Elite:Dangerous for OS X, I immediately investigated my options on getting a proper Hands-On-Throttle-And-Stick, or HOTAS to play this wonderful game. You can get a very decent joystick combo at €30 and upwards but what’s the fun in that? I decided to make my own.


read all about it here