s Intel Inside, Workshop/Studio from English Lake District owned by Gerry O'Donovan #shedoftheyear
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All photos are copyright of the sheddie Gerry O'Donovan
  • Intel Inside
  • Gerry O'Donovan
  • English Lake District

Category: | Workshop/Studio

Intel Inside

My hobby shed is an electronics workshop where I design, build and debug printed circuit boards to control my house and garden.

The printed circuit boards then slide into shelves in the shed.

This is a never ending ongoing development.

I then have to write the software to control the microprocessors, hence the shed name 'Intel inside', this takes hundred of hours of shed time.

These processors are to control my heating, lighting, burglar alarm, garden watering and topping up fountains and water features.

The shed has underground cables running to each room in the house and to control nodes in the lofts and of course the down stairs loo.

The garden also has underground cables running back to the shed so sensors can "talk" to the shed and commands sent out to operate remote control water valves, lights or sirens.

The cables and tubing crossing the lawn to monitor and top up the water feature nearly ended in the divorce court but do not worry you cannot see the scar any more, I told her it would be ok, eventually

The 600 jam jars (this is not a typo, confirm the number 600) I use to store my valuable treasure are labelled with the electronic component name and number. Only 200 jam jars are on the shed wall shelves, the others are in boxes on metal racking.

How do I find anything? The shed computer contains the database loaded with the contents of all the jars. I can find anything within a minute!

You sheddies who are hoarders should use "File Amigo", it is free on the web.

How many of you know that you have just that thingy or tool you need for the job you are doing and cannot find it, so have to go and buy another!! Catalogue your treasure!

Sitting at my workbench with electronic control racks either side, I have the PC, test gear and various power supplies all within easy reach. Above me is the console showing the state of sensors, alarms and circuit breakers. I can get on with my system development.

Advantages of being a sheddie:-

- You have somewhere to go to enjoy whatever you do.

- When you have finished you do not have to tidy away, just walk away and come back when you want to continue. This is the best bit.

- Your sheddie fetish can be yours alone

One day I will make my shed speak....

'bing bong the shed has just topped up the courtyard fountain'

or

'bing bong the shed senses that you have an intruder in the back garden'

When the shed speaks I will change the name from 'Intel inside' to 'HAL'

You all know that one day all houses will be controlled by their sheds

UPDATE:- Father Christmas brought me a text to speech converter so the processor can talk. It has nine voices. I use Perfect Paul as does Steven Hawkins. This is early days, give me year or so to upgrade all the software.

Shed designed by me in multiples of 19 inches. Thats a bit odd! This dimension is used in electronics for shelves and racking systems to mount printed circuit boards. It is the width of your shoulders, you see it in submarines, computer centres and on aircraft.

Shed built by the local prison. Excellent service from Her Majesty's Prison Haverigg here in the beautiful Lake District.

It was delivered and erected by a couple of the Queen's guests and I recommend their service.

It is 10 inches off the ground, mounted on many pairs of building blocks. Each pair of blocks has its own damp proof membrain.

My advice to prospective sheddies is keep it high, keep it dry, let the air blow underneath and your shed will out live you.

All sheds need shelves and racks to store whatever treasures we nerds think are really valuable.

I recommend 'Unistrut'. It is big boys or girls Meccano! It is electro- plated so does not rust. Cut it to length paint on the grey paint stuff they give you and it plates the cut ends! no rust

The elephant in the room ( or shed ) of most sheddies is damp. I recommend MDF for shelves in your shed but it must be the green version, easy to cut and does not warp with damp.

Talking of shed maintenance, I treat mine once a year with Cuprinol Shed and Fence protector. I am not a shareholder or trying to impress a judge but find the stuff good and easy to apply.

More advice, treat the outside before it looks as though it needs doing.

Always give the south facing wall two coats.

Do not use preserver that puts a 'skin' on your shed as when it starts to peel it looks shabby and even worse needs rubbing down prior to treatment.

I do not know if my advice is good but it works for me.

Enjoy your sheds!

For the techno-nerds among you....I am running an Arduino Mega on a eurocard as my main processor. My output drive card uses 3off 74HCT540 buffers followed 3 off 2803 0.5amp drivers giving me 24 output drives in all. My real tme clock, DS1307, and text to speech converter, Emic2, mount on a further card.

These cards slide into a 19 inch shelf.

The shed processor is built to run 24/7 but a separate 5 volt supply powers all the displays so when I leave the shed I put it into dark mode to save on power

Year first entered 2011

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