Time-of-Use Air Conditioning with a Vera Smart Home Controller

Picture of Time-of-Use Air Conditioning with a Vera Smart Home Controller

This Instructable will show how to run your home HVAC less often during Time-of-Use peak hours and potentially cut power bills in half on extreme days. I implemented this using a VeraLite smart home controller and tested with both Z-Wave and Nest thermostats.

How does it work? Just imagine during peak hours repeatedly switching your thermostat to Cool for 5 minutes then to Off for 10 minutes. That s all your HVAC needs anyway on a moderate day, but on very hot days it will run less than needed to maintain the temperature you selected. You will continue to get regular bursts of cool air to give some comfort but at a fraction of the cost.

This is automated by coding a Vera scene to run every minute and switch between modes. Scenes are written in Vera s Luup (Lua-UPnP) language and can be triggered to run based on timers or events. It works for both heating and cooling and allows customization based on your power company s time-of-use plan, which may have different costs based on time of day, day of week, or month.


You will need a working knowledge of coding, create and running Vera scenes, and debugging when things go wrong. I provide basic working code examples but you must modify them for your application. To get started you ll need:

  1. Details of your power company s Time-of-Use plan
  2. Vera smart home controller, like the VeraLite ($99)
  3. Any Vera compatible thermostat I have specifically tested this on:

It would be straightforward to modify these concepts to SmartThings and other controllers. Feel free to copy, share, and create your own Instructable to improve upon these ideas.


We received a Nest Thermostat as a wedding present (awesome friends, right?) and it s a cool gadget but it really hasn t saved much money. Someone is home almost all the time so Auto-Away rarely kicks in, and hot California summers either keep the AC running all the time or not at all if you set it too high. With Pacific Gas & Electric with rates ranging from $0.10 to $0.50 per kWh that can be $30 a day. Ouch!

As you can see from the picture above I have been able to flatten those costs out during peak hours. In spite of the high temperature of 107F on Wednesday July 29th 2015 the daily cost was about $12.50.

Crochet Mario ? Box

Step 1: The Base

Make six sides using this pattern

Row 1: ch 2 sc 12 in the second ch from the hook. Row 2: ch 1 sc 2 in each Row 3: ch 1 sc 1 sc 2 sc 1 repeat row 4: ch 1 sc 1 dc 1 sc 1 in the first sc. Then sc 5. Repeat Row 5: ch 1 sc four in the first sc. Then sc 7 in the next sc. Repeat ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ”Sew the sides together. Don t forget that you have to stuff it.

Step 2: Cutting

Cut the yellow and white felt and sew/hot glue the felt on the block

Step 3: Done!

Picture of Done!

Now you have your mario ? Cube! Hope you liked this instructable.

This is Indywave signing out


Field Stripping an M4 Carbine

Picture of Field Stripping an M4 Carbine

Ever wonder how the United State Army s M4 carbines stand up to the harsh environments around the world and still function properly? From the desert dust of Iraq, to the mountain mud of Afghanistan, soldiers must keep their weapons in pristine shape. Having a clean and well maintained rifle may be the difference between life and death for these soldiers. But how do they keep them maintained while they are out in the field? I will be explaining the basic process of disassembling and assembling an M4 Carbine, which is commonly known as a Field-Stripping .

Step 1: Safety Check

Picture of Safety Check

The very first step to the disassembling process is the most important; make sure the weapon does not have a bullet in the chamber. To do this, hold the weapon with the barrel pointing in a safe direction. This will most likely be pointing down at the ground. Once it is pointed in a safe direction, grasp the charging handle at the rear of the rifle (it will resemble the letter T ), and pull it to the rear. Still holding the charging handle to the rear, press in the bolt catch. The bolt catch is on the left side of the rifle; it is oblong and will pivot when pressure is added. While applying pressure to the bolt catch, slowly let the charging handle travel forward. Allowing the charging handle to slide forward, let go of the bolt watch. This will cause the internal bolt carrier group to stay to the rear of rifle, which will expose the Star Chamber. Next, tilt the entire rifle to the left so that the Star Chamber is visible. The Star Chamber is at the base of the barrel and shaped like a star. Visually inspect the Star Chamber to insure that there is not a bullet chambered. After visually inspecting it, take a finger and put it in the Star Chamber to physically insure that it is clear of obstructions. Lastly, press the bolt catch to send the bolt forward. Upon completion of the safety check, the rifle is ready for the disassembling process to begin.


How to take apart and re-assemble a Leatherman Charge TTi

Picture of How to take apart and re-assemble a Leatherman Charge TTi

This Instructable will demonstrate a full break down and reassembly of a Leatherman Charge TTitool. The focus is on the proper placement of parts along with some tips and tricks to make it go easier. We ll be using a couple specialty tools, but you can make do at home with the basic required tools list.

The steps are very similar to the Wave with the addition of the separate titanium scales. If you are able to practice on the Wave before attempting the Charge, you ll have an easier time holding everything together.

Please be warned that tampering with your tool may void the warranty. Leatherman has a great warranty repair program, and in most cases you can send your tool in for factory repairs.

LED Matrix Dessert Tray

Picture of LED Matrix Dessert Tray

Everyone loves desserts like cake. But you can make them even better by adding LEDs. By setting up an LED matrix under your dessert, you can make it light up and play animations. In this project, I am going to show you how to make a dessert tray with a built-in LED matrix that you can control with an Arduino.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Here is a video walkthrough of the project.

Step 2: Materials

Here are the materials and tools that you will need for this project.


5 x TIP31A NPN Power Transistor

5 x TIP42C PNP Power Transistor

10 x 1 kohm Resistors

5 x 100 ohm Resistor

Arduino Microcontroller

Prototyping Breadboard

Heat Shrink Tubing

Jumper Wires


Sheet of Clear Plastic (such as Plexiglas)

Cardstock or Poster Board

Foam Board


Soldering Iron and Solder

Needle Nose Pliers

Wire Cutters

Wire Strippers


Hot Glue Gun

Step 3: Mark Out a Grid for the LED Matrix

Picture of Mark Out a Grid for the LED Matrix

Take a large piece of white poster board or card stock and cut out a square that is 10 inches by 10 inches. Then use a ruler to mark out a grid of smaller squares that are each 2 inches by 2 inches. This should give you a total of 25 smaller squares in five rows and five columns. Each square will be one location in the LED Matrix.

I will be using two LEDs in each square. To center them, I made two lines connecting opposite corners of the square. This marks the center of the square. I then just marked two locations evenly spaced from the center point.

Step 4: Insert LEDs into the Card Stock

Picture of Insert LEDs into the Card Stock

Mark the locations of each LED. Then use a pin to poke holes for each of the leads.

Insert the leads of the LEDs through the holes. Be careful to keep all the LEDs in the same orientation. You want all the cathode going in the same direction and all the anode going in the same direction. The easiest way to check this is to make sure that the flat edge is on the same side of each LED.


Tiny Chicken Nuggets

Picture of Tiny Chicken Nuggets

Let s make some mini cookies with the Yummy Nummies Chicken Nugget Set! I bought this at Smyths for £6.99 and is for ages 6 and up. The kit lets you make 10 ( or more ) tiny nuggets with ketchup! Great fun!

Step 1: Watch Full Video Here!

Made using the Yummmy Nummies box set! Which is great for kids :F

ESP8266 Weather Station with Arduino – #1 Hardware

Picture of ESP8266 Weather Station with Arduino #1 Hardware


I read about the ESP8266 first in March this year and I didn t know what to do with. And now I m really fascinated how easy the connection of an Arduino to the Internet can be. Like others I set up a weather station on a breadboard first and sent data to thingspeak.com. This ends up in a highly condensed stripboard layout and the needed software package.

Why stripboarding and not etching a PCB?

There are a lot of good PCB layouts around. But I want to build something that everybody can do easily at home. A soldering stick, stripboards and parts are easy to get. But etching a PCB is often a hurdle. So, my challenge was to make the design on a stripboard within the size and functionality of a etched PCB.

What are the functionalities?

  • measure temperature, humidity, pressure and illuminance (brightness)!
  • send all data to thingspeak
  • ESP8266 can be turned on and off by Arduino for energy saving
  • additional digital IOs
  • Runs on 5 to 12 V
  • and a lot more

Why ESP8266 and Arduino?

Every one of them have its advantages. The Arduino is perfect for dealing with sensors. And the ESP8266 is perfect for the Internet connection. And I can turn off the Internet for energy saving ;).

And the best:

The weather functionalities are only one aspect. You can measure nearly everything with this board because you have the following sensor pinouts of the Arduino:

  • 2x analog
  • 6x digital
  • I2C for WIRE connections
  • 1x reset
  • 1x button

Windows 10 on your HP Stream 7!

Picture of Windows 10 on your HP Stream 7!

Or other similarly cheap tablet~

Were you one of the people that bought a $100 Windows 8.1 tablet? Do you love your tablet? Well, my answer is yes to both! I freaking love my little HP Stream 7! While it doesn t have enough power for anything intensive, I love being able to use it at my job as an IT tech!

If you re like me, you ll want to get Windows 10 on your Stream 7 as fast as possible!

Unfortunately, if you actually used the tablet, you will find that you probably wont have enough space to install Windows 10 if you go through the standard upgrade procedure. Instead it ll just say Something Happened .

Great job Microsoft you ve succeeded in making an error message even more cryptic than your usual ones.

After researching this issue and spending a day or so working on this problem, I ve decided to create my own tutorial to help those in need!

This tutorial should apply to any of those Windows 8 tablets that only have 16 or 32gb of space.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

The Windows 10 install took several hours for the initial upgrade. You ll probably want to find a good power supply (the cable that came with my Stream 7 died after a few months).

In addition to a good power supply, my procedure uses a USB drive to temporarily store Windows 10 installation files. You ll need at least a 4g flash drive that can be overwritten temporarily for this procedure.

You ll also need a microSD card or second USB drive that can store 9gb or more for mandatory Windows 8 recovery files.

Then you ll need to find a way to connect both USB OTG and power at the same time. You might be able to get away with supplying power to the tablet then connecting the USB drive later, but in the interest of the least riskiest solution, I ll say that you need to find a way to connect power and USB at the same time.

I m not affiliated with this link at all, but from what I know, this is the cheapest solution to provide 1a+ of power to the tablet as well as provide USB OTG capabilities.

This is also an option but it costs just as much as your tablet does, so as cool as it is, I do not recommend it.


Add more privacy to chain-link fence with wood art

I have a neighbor who likes to spy on my backyard projects through the chain-link fence door. I wouldnt mind so much but sometimes I get right out of bed into an early morning outdoor project wearing very little clothing. We are in the dog days of summer in Houston so clothing should be optional right?

I already have planted a mexican coral vine slowly covering the opposite side. So to avoid any embarassment, I decided to make it difficult for a peeker.

First measure the height and width of your chain-link door/area. Determine how many boards you will need. I only needed six 60 ³ x 5 1/4 inch plus two for bracers to cover the area, depending on your boards width this may vary. I reclaimed boards from another older fence that also needs to be regraded.

8 10 reclaimed wood boards (I used a mix of cedar and treated pine)

6 8 zip-ties (stainless steel or uv-resistant black)

wood glue

liquid nails and gun

brad nailer/stapler

Step 1: Cut two boards in half.

These are the top and bottom bracers.

Step 2: Plane the pieces a bit.

Picture of Plane the pieces a bit.

TX/RX makerspace has a woodshop with a Delta 13in. planer. I wanted the reclaimed wood to have additional character without trying to make it look too newly cut on both sides so I had varied pieces.

Step 3: Align and arrange the boards.

Picture of Align and arrange the boards.

Layout the boards. Glue and staple/nail/screw the top and bottom bracers. And attach the two remaining bracers on the opposite side.

Step 4: Screw holes around the perimeter. Add art. Hang.

Picture of Screw holes around the perimeter. Add art. Hang.

The holes are for the zip-ties when it is time to hang it to the gate door. I recycled some scratchboards that I used for pyrography practice. I arranged and glued with liquid nails the pattern to cross the board seams for additional stability. But you can use your imagination on this part. After the glue dries, place the piece onto the door and use the zip-ties to attach it.

Solved my neighbor challenge and can enjoy my morning solitude again.

Remix your own chain-link fence.

How to take apart and reassemble a Leatherman Skeletool multi-tool

Picture of How to take apart and reassemble a Leatherman Skeletool multi-tool

This Instructable will give you the step by step on how to fully dissassemble and re-assemble a Leatherman Skeletool multi-tool. The steps are the same for any version or year of the Skeletool.

Without experience and proper tools, the Skeletool can be a difficult tool to work with. The main purpose of this Instructable is to give you pictures and suggestions that show all the parts of the tool and how they re assembled. You may need to revise your methods based on the tools you have on-hand.

Please be warned that tampering with your tool may void the warranty. If you re having an issue with your tool, Leatherman has a great warranty repair program, and in most cases you can send your tool in for factory repairs.

If you re looking for a specific modification to your tool and would like to have a warranty, please check our our website. We will mirror the original factory warranty on the functionality of all of our modified tools.

Step 1: Tools and materials list

Picture of Tools and materials list
  • your Skeletool multi-tool
  • 2x torx 8 bits
  • a screwdriver that accepts 1/4 ³ bits
  • a poker to remove the pins (we re using an old torx 8 screwdriver)
  • a 3/8 ³ punch (we use a Craftsman 42861)*
  • either a vice, vicegrip pliers, or a clamp**
  • loctite (optional, as needed)
  • oil for lubrication (optional, as needed)

*The purpose of the punch is to help align and compress the springs when reinserting the pins. If you do not have a punch that will work, you can compress the tool in a vice to align the holes

**This demo is done using a specialized rig holding one of the torx bits vertically. You can accomplish the same thing with a vice or clamps.

You can find replacement blades at our website:


Here are some shortcuts to the available blades for the Skeletool:

Damascus Blade for Skeletool (all versions)

420hc Combo Edge Blade for Skeletool (all versions)

154cm Plain Edge Blade for Skeletool (all versions)

If you have any questions or requests, you can reach us directly at: