Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Wrapping up

In AVR, Hardware, News, Software, Musings on Oct 6, 2013 at 00:01

I’m writing this post while one of the test JeeNode Micro’s here at JeeLabs is nearing its eighth month of operation on a single coin cell:


It’s running the radioBlip2 sketch, sending out packets with an incrementing long integer packet count, roughly once every minute:

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 15.44.58

The battery voltage is also tracked, using a nice little trick which lets the ATtiny measure its own supply voltage. As you can see, the battery is getting weaker, dropping in voltage after each 25 mA transmission pulse, but still recovering very nicely before the next transmission:

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 15.45.45

Fascinating stuff. A bit like my energy levels, I think :)

But this post is not just about reporting ultra low-power consumption. It’s also my way of announcing that I’ve decided to wrap up this daily weblog and call it quits. There will be no new posts after this one. But this weblog will remain online, and so will the forum & shop.

I know from the many emails I’ve received over the years that many of you have been enjoying this weblog – some of you even from the very beginning, almost 5 years ago. Thank you. Unfortunately, I really need to find a new way to push myself forward.

This is post # 1400, with over 6000 comments to date. Your encouragement, thank-you’s, insightful comments, corrections and additions – I’m deeply grateful for each one of them. I hope that the passion which has always driven me to explore this computing stuff tied to the physical world technology and to write about these adventures, have helped you appreciate the creativity that comes with engineering and invention, and have maybe even tempted you to take steps to explore and learn beyond the things you already knew.

In fact, I sincerely hope that these pages will continue to encourage and inspire new visitors who stumble upon this weblog in the future. For those visitors, here’s a quick summary of the recent flashback posts, to help you find your way around on this weblog:

Please don’t ever stop exploring and pushing the boundaries of imagination and creativity – be it your own or that of others. There is infinite potential in each of us, and I’m certain that if we can tap even just a tiny fraction of it, the world will be a better place.

I’d like to think that I’ve played my part in this and wish you a lot of happy tinkering.

Take care,
Jean-Claude Wippler

PS. For a glimpse of of what I’m considering doing next, see this page. I can assure you that my interests and passions have not changed, and that I’ll remain as active as ever w.r.t. research and product development. The whole point of this change is to allow me to invest more focus and time, and to take the JeeLabs projects and products further, in fact.

PPS. Following the advice of some friends I highly respect, I’m making this last weblog post open-ended: it’ll be the last post for now. Maybe the new plans don’t work out as expected after all, or maybe I’ll want to reconsider after a while, knowing how much joy and energy this weblog has given me over the years. So let’s just call this a break, until further notice :)

Update Dec 2013 – Check out the forum at for the latest news about JeeLabs.

  1. i know that this was coming… JC thanks for your inspiration. Because of this weblog i started to explore the word of electronics 1,5 year ago.

    is this also the end of Housemon?

  2. Oh no !

    I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading (and learning) from your experiments and the development of the jeenodes over the last 18 months. And while I did go back and read ‘every’ post, I wish I had discovered Jeelabs earlier.

    It’s given me some confidence to “try” some tinkering.. And now even things like i2c and spi which were meaningless now are welcome when I read those terms in datasheets, as I know I “could” perhaps understand and make use of them.

    It’s the software stack I get stuck with now.. easy electrons and dijn were great..

    So please do keep investigating and writing and sharing. I will miss my nightly dose of Jee technologies.

    But will look forward to the new writings.

    Thanks JC.


  3. JCW thanks for taking me on the best exploration of technology I have ever experienced, I will be an avid fan of your writings in the future. Good luck for the future. Len

  4. You have left us with a good set of ‘instructables’ for ourselves and for the offspring. The new generation of tinkerers that is growing up around here will certainly be using your pages for education. Supported by hardware and software as your blog is, you have put very useful teaching tools in our and their hands. Thanks!

  5. Thank you for sharing your explorations, experiments as well as your thoughts leading to them and all the conclusions you took out of them. And especially for sharing your encounters with Mr. Murphy, those are always interesting, too. I hope being able to read more fascinating articles about your journey through the world of tinkering and programming in the future.

    Thank you, Martin

  6. First, Thanks for all the great content. Secondly, what am i going to read in the mornings now…

    Good luck on your new venture!

  7. jcw, I’ve only started reading you recently, but I really like what you’ve been doing. If not for a daily weblog, I hope you’ll still post some of your findings from time to time!

    And I’m going back to playing with jeenode and nRF24L01+.

  8. pity. because reading is sooo much easier than experimenting yourself ;-) is it feasible to retain the forum as a focal point for like minded enthusiasts ?

  9. Thanks for all those educating and entertaining posts. My daily reading list will miss you!

  10. I’m going to miss your posts, you are an inspiration for many!

  11. Not only the quality and depth of your technical writings but also the ethos of your offering has been significant and very influential.

    Thank you JCW.

  12. Respect! For me the discovery of the JeeLabs blog was life changing. Found a passion I have been lacking for years. Looking forward reading your Leanpub’s

  13. Many thanks for all you have already provided.

    Sorry to see the blog stop, it was always interesting, and encouraged me to buy some of your hardware.

    I hope there will be something I can get via RSS to keep in touch with your activities (or perhaps via Twitter).

  14. JC,

    Thank you, for all your inspiration and introduction back into electronics. I totally forgot how fun this was until I discovered this weblog more than 4 years ago.

    I hope these weblog posts stay online for a time to come, as I have bookmarked a great deal of them to use as reference.

    Looking forward to hear about your new adventures.

    BR Thomas Byrdal

  15. Many thanks JC, you have opened doors for me. I would like keeping a eye on your evolution.

  16. Thanks for sharing all the discovering and learning, it has been a pleasure knowing that a daily interesting reading was there, your weblog has been my favorite reading for ~ 3 years. All the best for you future projects!

  17. Ah, a shame you’re taking a break, I really enjoyed your posts. But then again, good you’re trying out new stuff. And a big thanks for the efforts you took in writing blog posts so regularly.

  18. JC, your insights and posts have been an inspiration. I will miss your daily update and thank you for the insights and motivation you have given me. After 5 years I can appreciate the desire to try a different approach.

    You sent me down a rabbit hole last December when you wrote about angularJS for which I am yet to return, so I haven’t really got into housemon so please keep all your fabulous learning available online as I will get to it

  19. While I’m sorry to see your regular posts come to a close, I appreciate the body of work you have created (and documented). I look forward to seeing the fruits of your creative mind in future. Thank you so much.

    I do hope the forum will continue for a while longer. It is a very useful addition to your own writing.

    Again, thank you for creating this wonderful space.

  20. First of all: Thanks a lot for all the interesting posts! And for developping all the nodes and plugs! With “your” stuff, I put up some nice projects in my house. And I guess I will put up some more. Many, many thanks for all that. It’s a pity that there will be no more daily posts. But I can hardly imagine how much work it must be to write such good posts for each and every day for a couple of years. Perhaps, we can find some “monthly” or so “thoughts” from you in the near future. I hope that you keep the wiki, the forum and the shop running in the future. I wish you good luck and success with all your future projects and that you stay healty so that you can start many new projects. All the best, Physikus.

  21. I follow your work since Metakit — 10 years or more.

    Just bought / subscribed to your Leanpub book.

    Thank you, JC.

  22. Thank you very much for all your work. I always found (and will find) your articles a great source of knowledge, especially because you have the talent to write in a way comprehensive to people just starting fiddling around with electronics (to which I still count myself).

  23. Thanx jc for 4 years of weblog reading!

    I hope you will find your own energy harvesting source to continue your work en enjoy at the same time!

  24. Such a shame… I’ll miss your daily news a lot. But most of all, thank you soooo much for sharing your knowledge and findings in such a clear and understandable manner. It has been most encouraging and inspiring. I really hope the shop will stay open for many years to come and that new products will be added along the way. Best of luck in the new approach you’re trying. And perhaps, one day, there will be another get-together like last April which I enjoyed tremendously. Take care jc, and please keep us posted on your fantastic work!

  25. You’re posts are excellent and a source of inspiration. I’ve had a lifelong enthusiasm for electronics and when I finally had time to re-engage with it recently, I stumbled across your site and find the information invaluable. In fact, it became my first read of the morning. You have a true gift for taking the complex and explaining it. I look forward to your publishing effort. Good luck and thank you for all the posts through the years.

  26. JC, Thanks for your efforts writing this, its been great and I will join the many here and tell you how much I’ll miss your posts. I know the effort of publishing every day, in the end it gets too much. Its a shame you couldn’t keep this going ad-hoc.

    Will you continue to develop and support Jeenodes? And I guess interact with us in the forums?

    Good luck for what ever you do in the future, and I look forward to reading about it in your book.


  27. Another message from a daily reader: I agree on everything said before. I really liked the blog, and shall miss it. I remember myself refreshing my browser lots of times at 00:01… Thanks for all the time and effort you’ve put in to this blog, it’s been really inspiring!

  28. JC, Will miss your talented writing SOO much! Inspiring, interesting and even fun at times! You really reignited my interest in electronics in combination with microcontrollers! Thank you for all! Good luck with your future adventures!

  29. Thanks a lot for sharing your passion and experience with all of us, its been really great to read your posts about tinkering with something, sharing knowledge or just musing about something. I start to believe that sharing your passion with others is something that makes us create something bigger than ourselves and helps to bring people together and helps them to become bigger. And you are a huge inspiration for me in this and I am very grateful to you for doing what you are doing. I am totally looking forward to your new writings on Leanpub and good luck to you!

  30. Hi JC. Thanks for your inspiring blog.

  31. Hi JC, Please accept my thanks for all the inspiring work you have done in your blog.

    There is something very special in the combination of your writing skills, your thought processes, the approach of practical experiments and even the visual design of the blog itself, that is so inspiring and truly wonderful. I am sure that I will continue to refer back to your blog many times in the future.

    I look forward to following you in your new projects – “onwards”, best wishes, and good luck!

  32. Hi JC, I have recently stumbled on your blog and have found it fascinating – it has rekindled my passion for embedded control and real-world computing which goes back to the days of the 8085 and wandered through the 8051 and Forth. I shall enjoy reading thorough your archive and experimenting with your kit. Good luck in your ongoing endeavours!

  33. Thanks for your tremendous, almost unbelievable output of technical writing, energy and curiosity. We are all the better for it! I will look forward to your further adventures.

  34. Wow. Over thirty kind comments and over two hundred people signed up for books which don’t even exist yet. I’ll do my best not to let you down. Writing in the context of a larger story for a book is very different from writing piecemeal for a weblog, but I’m already looking forward to the bigger picture this could lead to.

    As for this site, the wiki, the forum, and the shop: nothing is going to change. There is no reason for me to stop or pull out of any of that. The only change is that I’ll no longer add daily posts. I’m deeply honoured by the fact that so many readers have been following these posts so regularly. One explanation that comes to mind is that it has always been new and genuine information. Whether the exploration of some physical computing project, or some personal observation or musing – I have always strived to add something new to that echo chamber which we call the internet.

    Sooo… we will meet again, via leanpub or else through an announcement here. I’m not going anywhere, I’m not even shifting gears all that much – merely exploring new avenues for my passion of tinkering with this “computing stuff tied to the physical world” and writing about these adventures. Once I’ve tried a few things and decided how to proceed, I’ll let you know.

    Happy tinkering and thank you for making it all so worthwhile,

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