Note to self: How to flash .bin files via “raw” gdb

At the first glance, it’s a very easy task. However it has a number of less obvious pitfalls when you’re working with microcontrollers via some kind of gdb stub or openocd and the memory you’re actually uploading your .bin file is the flash memory of an MCU (e.g. stm32). I decided to gather the common pitfalls in a single blog post.

Typical starter kit: A Chinese stlinkv2 clone flashed as black magic probe and an stm32f4 discovery board

How to use Xiaomi Aqara and keep you privacy

This is my second note about Xiaomi Aqara smart home stuff. Something tells me it’s not the last one. In this note I’ll tell about implementing home automation that will reliably work offline using readily available hardware from Xiaomi and (at the same time) keeping your privacy intact. After all, not everyone is ready to share all the private stuff with some corporate crooks ๐Ÿ˜‰


Adding enclosure for Xiaomi Aqara light switches

There are some pretty good smart light switches called Xiaomi Aqara. It’s basically a light switch with a relay and Zigbee wireless interface inside. They are integrated with Xiaomi zigbee gateway and can be remotely controlled. Zigbee gateway uses them as a proxy in case the battery-powered sensor is not in the direct range. This post will be about adding a better wall-mount box for those little things.


LineageOS + Magisk adventures

I use LineageOS and Magisk root (A magic tool that help Android Pay and root access coexist). With Lineage you can receive updates every week on monday (for my Oneplus 5T) and so far they’ve been really stable. All was good until the last update of may bricked my cellphone. As it turned out Lineage build was perfectly fine, the bug was with Magisk (Once I removed it and flashed the update – everything worked, except for Magisk). In this blog post I’ll tell about Magisk’s epic fail, and will provide a link to fixed Magisk version that doesn’t turn your phone into a pumpkin brick.


Getting rid of wireporn in the bathroom

I have three devices in my bathroom: electric razor, trimmer for my beard and an electric toothbrush. Each of them comes with its own power brick and compete for a single 220v outlet. As a result I caught myself multiple times when at as one item of these is completely out of charge. Or, worse, the power bricks end up in a huge mess-o-wires you have to untangle. (like, the one you see on the left side of the photo below). And, since I deal with this in the morning when I’m in a rush to get myself out to work it’s even more annoying. At some moment I decided to fix that. I didn’t want to add more 220v outlets, since:

a). It’s quite difficult in that particular case
b). I didn’t want to keep all power bricks plugged all the time any way – I never really trust cheap power bricks and for a reason!
c). The total length of the wires gathering dust would re
main intact
d). I needed a shelf for these anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

Therefore,ย  armed with a 3d-printer and aliexpress I decided to make it a bit different. The result you can see on the right half of the photo below. Build details follow.

Besides, if you liked this design, you can grab it on my thingiverse (link at the very bottom of this post).