Watching Movies – Noticing Rik Mayall

I’m a big fan of Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson.

(Bottom, Dangerous (Danger) Brothers, Young Ones, Black Adder etc)

I love the live shows, I’ve mentioned that before.

Today we were watching a movie, just one in our collection.
It was American Werewolf in London.
I knew there were some great practical effects in there.
(All pre CGI)

Then I saw a face a few seconds. Damn could it be Rik?

Yes it is ..

But I know he did several movies

  • Drop dead fred
  • Guest House Paradiso
  • Harry Potter

Welllllll, I more identify with Ade.

Bald, mostly interested in being drunk, and playing in a folkband. 🙂

What to do when waiting for your ribs on the smoker. (Programming some python)

This time I used a rub with the following ingredients:
Seasalt, garlic, brown sugar, mustard seeds, paprica, cilantroseeds, black pepper, red pepper, oregano, thyme and cumin.

Doing a simple 3-2-1 smoke session, so .. what to do in dose 6 hours?

Lets make something using a Sense hat and Python.
Same HAT I used for my xmas ornament thingy in our tree.

  • Generate a large maze (80×80 for now)
  • Paint the maze using colors on the SenseHat
  • Read joystick movement and scroll the maze accordingly, keeping the player in the middle

Now I have to paint my ribs with BBQ sauce, and leave it in the smoker for yet another hour. (Nice glazing)

Next steps for the maze:

Use a better way to generate (reverse backtracking as I made for my other maze thing)

Wall collision detection is nearly completed.

Better placement “birth” of player in the maze.

Big media button V2

Back in 2019 I made a volume/mute button using an ATtiny85.
(Digispark/trinkey thingy)

Same device as my password paster

It’s USB connection is perfect for this password paste thingy, but not for a big button like this. (even with a ugly usb extending cable)

2019 Version using digispark ATtiny85

Button is 3D printed (found on yeggi)

For my big battlestation i’m using:

The old way of flashing using Arduino IDE (for digispark)

Install Boards using : preferences, add board URL

Note: There being no regular USB device, you need to add some udev rules.
cat /etc/udev/rules.d/digispark.rules
SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, ATTR{idVendor}==”16d0″, ATTR{idProduct}==”0753″, MODE=”0660″, GROUP=”dialout”

When compiling and uploading the program, you get a message to plug in the device. See below screenshot.

Now the 2024 change.
Reason to change:

  • Want to have USB-C
  • Python to get a more flexible setup
  • I want to use more pins, so I can add LEDs and more buttons.
  • I wanted to play with my Waveshare RP2040 Zero.

This is the first setup, with same functionality as before.

Now I can add more stuff!

Putting the code on the RP2040-zero

Press boot button and insert into your pc.
Download uf2 file from here and save in RP2 drive.
Open Thonny, and configure interpreter to:

Download the zip file from
And copy only the subdirectory adafruit_hid to the drive in subdir lib

Open the file from the device, and remove example hello world code.
Paste in the following code.

import rotaryio
import board
import time

import board
import digitalio
import usb_hid
from adafruit_hid.keyboard import Keyboard
from adafruit_hid.keyboard_layout_us import KeyboardLayoutUS
from adafruit_hid.keycode import Keycode
from adafruit_hid.consumer_control import ConsumerControl
from adafruit_hid.consumer_control_code import ConsumerControlCode

but = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.GP4)
but.direction = digitalio.Direction.INPUT
but.pull = digitalio.Pull.UP

cc = ConsumerControl( usb_hid.devices )

encoder = rotaryio.IncrementalEncoder(board.GP5, board.GP6)
last_position = 0
while True:
    position = encoder.position
    if int(last_position) < int(position):
        command = ConsumerControlCode.VOLUME_DECREMENT
    #last_position = position
    if int(last_position) > int(position):
        command = ConsumerControlCode.VOLUME_INCREMENT
    last_position = position
    if not but.value:
        command = ConsumerControlCode.MUTE

Above code is the bare minimum, I’ll add more functionality soon.
(LEDs and more buttons)
Next and Previous Track and mode change.
From Audio to Navigation for example.

Well, learning every day

Some quotes I like to refer to:

One of my websites was slow after the whole neighbourhood was without power for a few hours.
My lab using dual power, and a UPS went down for a few hours.

After that incident, one of my websites was slow, and it got worse with time.
But I never took the time to really look into this problem.
Until it was too much .. 8 seconds to TTFB

I’ve checked in the last month:

  • Hypervisors
  • Memory
  • CPU load
  • Docker instances
  • Reverse proxy
  • Bind DNS server
  • Iscsi storage
  • 10Gbps fibre connections
  • Database server
  • iotop latency

So, I was planning to rebuild my WordPress setup.
Meanwhile, let’s check some sites for information.

Then I came across WPCast on YouTube.
( How To Fix A Slow WordPress Site – WordPress Speed Optimization Tutorial )
Let’s watch this, while rebuilding my website.
All suggestions were in vain.

Until Query Monitor was mentioned.

I soon discovered that the resolving within my docker container was messed up!

2 http api call’s taking a long time.

Rebuild the docker container with my DNS nameserver and a second as fail back.


What did I learn, check all components!
Start close to the problem source.

Waveshare Epaper ESPHOME and Mqtt Notification over secure mqtt

UPDATE: AccessPoint on Arduino implemented with captive portal for Wifi Configuration

Got my Waveshare Epaper Cloud running on ESPHome

This is a Epaper display with a 2000mAh Lipo and a passive buzzer.
Running parts of my Smoker monitor.

Below a little movie clip with RTTTL sound notification.
(Send from Home Assistant)
B.t.w. RTTTL are those ringtones we used to have. (Ring Tone Text Transfer Language)

Sending from HA

Parts of the ESPHOME Yaml
NOTE: For the time, you need the time integration to get hours:minutes as a sensor!

  name: epaperesp32

  board: esp32dev
    type: arduino

# Enable logging

# Enable Home Assistant API
    - service: play_rtttl
        song_str: string
            rtttl: !lambda 'return song_str;'

  - platform: ledc
    pin: GPIO22
    id: rtttl_out

  output: rtttl_out
    - logger.log: 'Song ended!'

  password: "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

  ssid: !secret wifi_ssid
  password: !secret wifi_password

  # Enable fallback hotspot (captive portal) in case wifi connection fails
    ssid: "Epaperesp32 Fallback Hotspot"
    password: "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"


  - file: 'fonts/tahoma.ttf'
    id: font1
    size: 16
  - file: 'fonts/tahoma.ttf'
    id: font2
    size: 32

  - platform: adc
    pin: GPIO36
    name: "epaperesp32 Battery voltage"
    id: battery_voltage
    icon: mdi:battery
    device_class: voltage
    attenuation: auto 
     - multiply: 3
    update_interval: 60s

  - platform: homeassistant
    entity_id: sensor.bbqenv
    name: "mystate"
    id: mystate
    internal: true
  - platform: homeassistant
    entity_id: sensor.bbqcore
    name: "mystate1"
    id: mystate1
    internal: true
  - platform: homeassistant
    entity_id: sensor.time
    name: "mytime"
    id: mytime
    internal: true

  clk_pin: GPIO13
  mosi_pin: GPIO14

  - platform: gpio
      number: GPIO12
      inverted: true 
        input: true
        pullup: true
    name: "epaperesp32 button"
      - delayed_on: 50ms
      - logger.log: "Button pressed"

  - platform: waveshare_epaper
    cs_pin: GPIO15
    dc_pin: GPIO27
    busy_pin: GPIO25
    reset_pin: GPIO26
    model: 2.13in-ttgo
    rotation: 270
    full_update_every: 12
    update_interval: 10s
    lambda: |-
      it.print(0, 0, id(font2), "BBQ Meter V3");
      it.printf( 35, 32, id(font2), "%s", id(mystate).state.c_str());
      it.printf( 155, 32, id(font2), "%s", id(mystate1).state.c_str());

MQTT Notifier over Internet

This is part of a test where my friends and me can have notifications LEDs over the internet.

Using certificate parts from:
Controlling the led will be done using Mattermost webhooks, or slashcommand with custom scripting.
(Mattermost is my own hosted chat server)

I flashed a Wemos with below code:
(Rotary/display/button part removed.)

#include <ESP8266WiFi.h>
#include <WiFiClientSecure.h>
#include <time.h>
#include <PubSubClient.h>
#include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h>

#define encoderCLK 5   //D1
#define encoderDT 4    //D2
#define rgbled D4       //D4

Adafruit_NeoPixel pixels = Adafruit_NeoPixel(1, rgbled, NEO_RGB + NEO_KHZ400);

int servoAngle = 0;
int crntCLK;
int prvsCLK;

String myString;
char ang[50];

#ifndef SECRET
const char ssid[] = "MYSSID";
const char pass[] = "MYPASS";

#define HOSTNAME "henrimqtt"

const char MQTT_HOST[] = "";
const int MQTT_PORT = 9883;
const char MQTT_USER[] = "xxxxxx"; // leave blank if no credentials used
const char MQTT_PASS[] = "xxxxxx"; // leave blank if no credentials used

const char MQTT_SUB_TOPIC[] = "notification/" HOSTNAME "/in";
const char MQTT_PUB_TOPIC[] = "notification/" HOSTNAME "/out";
const char MQTT_PUB_TOPIC_angle[] = "notification/" HOSTNAME "/send";

static const char digicert[] PROGMEM = R"EOF(
//--------------- SNIP SNIP ... generated cert here

    #ifdef CHECK_PUB_KEY
    // Extracted by: openssl x509 -pubkey -noout -in ca.crt
    static const char pubkey[] PROGMEM = R"KEY(
    -----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY-----
    -----END PUBLIC KEY-----

        // Extracted by: openssl x509 -fingerprint -in ca.crt
    static const char fp[] PROGMEM = "AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF:00:11:22:33:44:55:66:77:88:99:AA:BB:CC:DD";


#if (defined(CHECK_PUB_KEY) and defined(CHECK_CA_ROOT)) or (defined(CHECK_PUB_KEY) and defined(CHECK_FINGERPRINT)) or (defined(CHECK_FINGERPRINT) and defined(CHECK_CA_ROOT)) or (defined(CHECK_PUB_KEY) and defined(CHECK_CA_ROOT) and defined(CHECK_FINGERPRINT))
  #error "cant have both CHECK_CA_ROOT and CHECK_PUB_KEY enabled"

BearSSL::WiFiClientSecure net;
PubSubClient client(net);

time_t now;
unsigned long lastMillis = 0;

void mqtt_connect()
  while (!client.connected()) {
    Serial.print("Time: ");
    Serial.print("MQTT connecting ... ");
    if (client.connect(HOSTNAME, MQTT_USER, MQTT_PASS)) {
    } else {
      Serial.print("failed, status code =");
      Serial.println(". Try again in 5 seconds.");
      /* Wait 5 seconds before retrying */


void receivedCallback(char* topic, byte* payload, unsigned int length) {
    //  pixels.clear(); // Set all pixel colors to 'off'
  Serial.print("Received [");
  Serial.print("]: ");
  for (int i = 0; i < length; i++) {
if (!strncmp((char *)payload, "0", length)) {
       pixels.setPixelColor(0, pixels.Color(0, 0, 0));;   // Send the updated pixel colors to the hardware.
if (!strncmp((char *)payload, "1", length)) {
       pixels.setPixelColor(0, pixels.Color(150, 0, 0));;   // Send the updated pixel colors to the hardware.
if (!strncmp((char *)payload, "2", length)) {
       pixels.setPixelColor(0, pixels.Color(0, 0, 150));;   // Send the updated pixel colors to the hardware.
if (!strncmp((char *)payload, "3", length)) {
       pixels.setPixelColor(0, pixels.Color(0, 150, 0));;   // Send the updated pixel colors to the hardware.

void setup()
  pixels.begin(); // INITIALIZE NeoPixel strip object (REQUIRED)

  pinMode (encoderCLK,INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode (encoderDT,INPUT_PULLUP);
  prvsCLK = digitalRead(encoderCLK);
  Serial.print("Attempting to connect to SSID: ");
  WiFi.begin(ssid, pass);
  while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED)

  Serial.print("Setting time using SNTP");
  configTime(1 * 3600, 0, "", "");
  now = time(nullptr);
  while (now < 1510592825) {
    now = time(nullptr);
  struct tm timeinfo;
  gmtime_r(&now, &timeinfo);
  Serial.print("Current time: ");

  #ifdef CHECK_CA_ROOT
    BearSSL::X509List cert(digicert);
  #ifdef CHECK_PUB_KEY
    BearSSL::PublicKey key(pubkey);
  #if (!defined(CHECK_PUB_KEY) and !defined(CHECK_CA_ROOT) and !defined(CHECK_FINGERPRINT))

  client.setServer(MQTT_HOST, MQTT_PORT);
       pixels.setPixelColor(0, pixels.Color(0, 0, 0));;   // Send the updated pixel colors to the hardware.


void loop()
   crntCLK = digitalRead(encoderCLK);

 if (crntCLK != prvsCLK){
      // If the encoderDT state is different than the encoderCLK state then the rotary encoder is rotating counterclockwise
        if (digitalRead(encoderDT) != crntCLK) {
          servoAngle ++;

        else {
          servoAngle --;
          String myString = String(servoAngle);
          myString.toCharArray(ang, myString.length() + 1);
          client.publish(MQTT_PUB_TOPIC_angle, ang, false);
  prvsCLK = crntCLK;

  now = time(nullptr);
  if (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED)
    Serial.print("Checking wifi");
    while (WiFi.waitForConnectResult() != WL_CONNECTED)
      WiFi.begin(ssid, pass);
    if (!client.connected())

  if (millis() - lastMillis > 5000) {
    lastMillis = millis();
    client.publish(MQTT_PUB_TOPIC, ctime(&now), false);

Pico with SPI troubles, but a Rigol helps a lot.

I was working on a MCUME proof of concept, with my own compiled version.
But my combination of a Pico and an ILI9341 display didn’t work.

Luckily, a package arrived.
My new scope!

A Rigol DS1074Z+ oscilloscope!
The replacement of my CRT version.

This new oscilloscope has 4 channels AND there is a add-on for a 16channel logic analyser.

For my next birthday?!? 🙂

The Rigol can be connected to a wired network.
So that’s one of the first things I did.
(It came with all software options enabled, so no need to ‘fix’ those)

Using the ISCP protocol, you can remotely control the device.
( see my Onkyo web hack )

See for commands.

So I created a capture script using bash
# ./ fft
echo ':display:data?' | netcat -w 20 my-rigol-static-ip 5555 | tail -c +12 > $1.bmp

Below a screen of DSremote

But back to the problem:

My SPI setup didn’t work, display broken?

Lets try a micropython setup.

Nope, the display is fine, my compiled version is borked.

See protocol decode in above gallery, so I have to check my sources:(

Music top .. dunno

Warning .. nerd stuff ahead, many many more.
These are the ones I currently can think off.

Sid music (commodore C64)

  • Rob Hubbard – Monty on the run
  • Chris Huelsbeck – R-type
  • Chris Heulsbeck – Great Giana Sisters
  • Jeroen Tel – Cybernoid 2

Northumbrian pipes



Irish Bouzouki


  • Tim Connell Jack Dwyer – The Rakish Paddy
  • Luke Plumb (Plays with Shooglenifty) – Drunken Landlady


  • Ali Hutton
  • Ross Ainsley
    (Partner’s in Crime CD)

Great Highland Bagpipe (TO many)

  • Fred Morrison
    Frances Morton’s

Irish Flute / Whistle

  • Michael McGoldrick – Angel Meadow
  • Fraser Shaw – Air Chall

Uilleann Pipes

Other pipes

Callum Armstrong (with Branschke)
Angie’s Jig on double chanter, I love that tune
He even has a tripple chanter

Other instruments

Balalaika – Aleksei Arkhipovsky

Throat singing:

Find the most perfect loop part in a movie clip using ImageMagick

Step 1 : Convert movie to png’s

ffmpeg -i mymovie.mp4 %04d.png

Step 2 : Run script in same directory

#set -x
numba=$(ls *png | wc -l)
numbastart=$(( $numba - 10))
numbapadding=$( printf "%04d\n" $numba)
numbapaddingstart=$( printf "%04d\n" $numbastart)
echo "$f "
mkdir -p images/$f
mkdir -p metric/$f
for x in $(seq -w 1 $numbapaddingstart) ; do
	a=$(( $x + 10))
	for y in $(seq -w $a $numbapadding) ; do

	compare -fuzz 20% -verbose -metric $f  $x.png $y.png images/$f/$x-$y.png  2> metric/$f/$x-$y.txt
	echo -n "."

echo ""

Step 3 : There are metric stats in a subdirectory, let’s find the most matching parts (top 10)

: > /tmp/top10
more metric/MAE/* | grep all   | awk '{ print $2 }' | cut -f1 -d. | sort -n |head | while read ; do
grep -H all metric/MAE/* | cut -f1,2 -d.  | grep " $REPLY" >> /tmp/top10
cat /tmp/top10 | cut -f3 -d/ | cut -f1 -d. | while read part ; do
	echo mkdir -p "$part"
	startpart=$(echo $part | cut -f1 -d-)
	endpart=$(echo $part | cut -f2 -d-)
	for file in $(seq -w $startpart $endpart) ; do
		echo cp 0${file}.png $part/
	echo cd "$part" 
	echo ffmpeg -y -framerate 30 -pattern_type glob -i \'*.png\'  -c:v libx264 -pix_fmt yuv420p out.mp4
	echo cd $orgpwd

Run above script as ./ >

This generates a bash file, check the contents and run using


Last step : There are 10 movies in subdirs which should contain the best looping parts.
check these with: (use CTRL-Q in vlc to stop looping and go to the next file

ls */out.mp4 | while read movie ; do vlc -L $movie ; done

Example loop, made with above

Last week’s stuff


Case for presence detector

Update: BBQ watch

Not posted in the past, new version using ESPHOME and a m5stickc

Previous version using a ESP12
A “watch” with core and environment temperature of my smoker with a alarm, and button for timers.

ESP32 dac’s drawing on oscilloscope ( no additional components)

ESP32 in front of scope, two clips for x and y

For above i used sin/cos functions 2:3, which creates Lissajous figures.

3 battery operated buttons (no wires needed) to control my shelly dimmer at the dinner table.

left button on, middle steps per 20% and 3rd button off.
(This cheapass button only sends ON commands)

Node red code

        "id": "8190a851.8d02b8",
        "type": "mqtt in",
        "z": "44d7a4fb.e41a5c",
        "name": "domoticz-out",
        "topic": "domoticz/out",
        "qos": "0",
        "broker": "8c74c5f6.9a7a48",
        "inputs": 0,
        "x": 190,
        "y": 600,
        "wires": [
        "id": "543a2fa3.af27c",
        "type": "function",
        "z": "44d7a4fb.e41a5c",
        "name": "Filter IDX + nvalue",
        "func": "var varPayload = JSON.parse(msg.payload);\nvar varidx = varPayload.idx;\nvar varnvalue = varPayload.nvalue;\nif(varidx == 2473)\n{\nmsg.payload = {};\nmsg.payload.turn = \"on\";\nmsg.payload.brightness = 50;\nreturn msg;\n}",
        "outputs": 1,
        "noerr": 0,
        "initialize": "",
        "finalize": "",
        "libs": [],
        "x": 410,
        "y": 600,
        "wires": [
        "id": "c70d463.da52ab8",
        "type": "function",
        "z": "44d7a4fb.e41a5c",
        "name": "Filter IDX + nvalue",
        "func": "var varPayload = JSON.parse(msg.payload);\nvar varidx = varPayload.idx;\nvar varnvalue = varPayload.nvalue;\nif(varidx == 2474)\n{\nmsg.payload = {};\nmsg.payload.turn = \"on\";\nvar count = context.get(\"counter\") || 0;\ncount = (count+1) % 6;\ncontext.set(\"counter\", count);\ncount = count * 20; \nmsg.payload.brightness = count;\nreturn msg;\n}",
        "outputs": 1,
        "noerr": 0,
        "initialize": "",
        "finalize": "",
        "libs": [],
        "x": 410,
        "y": 680,
        "wires": [
        "id": "ffa2f6be.afe618",
        "type": "function",
        "z": "44d7a4fb.e41a5c",
        "name": "Filter IDX + nvalue",
        "func": "var varPayload = JSON.parse(msg.payload);\nvar varidx = varPayload.idx;\nvar varnvalue = varPayload.nvalue;\nif(varidx == 2475)\n{\nmsg.payload = {};\nmsg.payload.turn = \"off\";\n//msg.payload.brightness = 0;\nreturn msg;\n}",
        "outputs": 1,
        "noerr": 0,
        "initialize": "",
        "finalize": "",
        "libs": [],
        "x": 410,
        "y": 760,
        "wires": [
        "id": "35f35737.b4f2c8",
        "type": "comment",
        "z": "44d7a4fb.e41a5c",
        "name": "Living Dinner Table Shelly 2024",
        "info": "",
        "x": 250,
        "y": 560,
        "wires": []
        "id": "b080c84e.2c3968",
        "type": "comment",
        "z": "44d7a4fb.e41a5c",
        "name": "butt1 on / (butt2 off)",
        "info": "",
        "x": 510,
        "y": 560,
        "wires": []
        "id": "ac892b87.1c7358",
        "type": "comment",
        "z": "44d7a4fb.e41a5c",
        "name": "butt3 toggle",
        "info": "",
        "x": 390,
        "y": 720,
        "wires": []
        "id": "b5bdbd65.c4e1c",
        "type": "comment",
        "z": "44d7a4fb.e41a5c",
        "name": "butt 2 step dimmer",
        "info": "",
        "x": 410,
        "y": 640,
        "wires": []
        "id": "d7b0f308db912817",
        "type": "mqtt out",
        "z": "44d7a4fb.e41a5c",
        "name": "",
        "topic": "shellies/shellydimmer-D0DF15/light/0/set",
        "qos": "",
        "retain": "",
        "respTopic": "",
        "contentType": "",
        "userProps": "",
        "correl": "",
        "expiry": "",
        "broker": "8c74c5f6.9a7a48",
        "x": 860,
        "y": 600,
        "wires": []
        "id": "8c74c5f6.9a7a48",
        "type": "mqtt-broker",
        "name": "MQTTSERVER",
        "broker": "MQTTSERVER",
        "port": "1883",
        "clientid": "",
        "usetls": false,
        "compatmode": true,
        "keepalive": "15",
        "cleansession": true,
        "birthTopic": "",
        "birthQos": "0",
        "birthPayload": "",
        "closeTopic": "",
        "closePayload": "",
        "willTopic": "",
        "willQos": "0",
        "willPayload": ""

Vector graphics on my demo arduino nano.

New part demo (st7789 with micropython)

(And some WIP)

A little starfield demo

followup on :

Some other stuff

See links below

The smoking monitoring thingy is a new version of my (never posted) BBQ watch.

"If something is worth doing, it's worth overdoing."