Treadmill smart upgrades

We have a fairly old (~10 years) treadmill. But it’s still solid and good (even though my wife reminds me that it is ugly and big). 

For a long time I have thought about adding a optical sensor to the belt to count revolutions of the running belt, and have a second opinion on the speed I’m running at – as I do not believe that the built in speed settings are terribly accurate.

I may still do this – but came across a alternative :


Hm! It’s still tempting to build my own – but…..

Agenda PDA and the one-handed keyboard

I used to have a Agenda as my first electronic PDA – and it had a fantastic keyboard which you could use one-handed



And have always wanted to have this keyboard for my iPhone and iPad – and then I discovered that it now exists as a app


But imagine my surprise when I found a physical version of it (CyKey)


And it apparently works with Macs as well. I may have to order one.

The newest Raspberry Pi. – the Pico

And the most interesting thing about the Pico is the chip in the middle of the picture, the one with the Raspberry Pi logo on it!


The RP2040 has :

Dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ @ 133MHz
264KB (remember kilobytes?) of on-chip RAM
Support for up to 16MB of off-chip Flash memory via dedicated QSPI bus
DMA controller
Interpolator and integer divider peripherals
30 GPIO pins, 4 of which can be used as analogue inputs
2 × UARTs, 2 × SPI controllers, and 2 × I2C controllers
16 × PWM channels
1 × USB 1.1 controller and PHY, with host and device support
8 × Raspberry Pi Programmable I/O (PIO) state machines
USB mass-storage boot mode with UF2 support, for drag-and-drop programming



Our trusty Barbecue

One of the best purchases we have ever made was our Kamado Joe barbecue – a Kamado. It’s now quite a few year old – but it does not look like we need to refer to the 25-year warranty in the near future.

This picture is from New Years eve.


The barbecue itself looks and behaves as if it was new – but I do need to replace the wood on the shelves on the side of the barbecue.

The glowing thing on the left shelf is a open source BBQ computer – it is conned ted to 2 thermometers in the barbecue – one above the fire-it, and one stuck into the steak I was barbecuing. It means that I can check on the steak from inside – and not come out to find a brick of charcoal instead of a steak. And by the way – this is a charcoal BBQ – not electricity or gas involved in this part of the process.

The metal hose on the left hand side is sucking in the air above the BBQ vent on top of the BBQ, and running it through a big filter sitting on the ground. This is to reduce the smoke going into our neighbours flat – as being a good neighbour counts. You can also just see the blower on front of the BBQ – the speed of the fan is controlled by the BBQ computer – and manages to keep the temperature to the ideal level for a very long time.