DIY External Battery Setup for Your Sony Alpha Series Camera

My projects

Finished projects

Enclosures for PCBs with KiCAD -> Sony A6000 external power supply

Spring 2020
A simple dare that blew much wider than the original scope. It all began with my new camera and the desire to film timelapses longer than its battery allows, continued with an off-the-shelf boost converter that I wanted an enclosure for, and culminated in a completely new way of designing enclosures for PCBs - in cases when you don't have any schematics or 3D models for them!

Outdoor solar harvester

April 2019
This is a low-energy solar harvester device that can be used by anyone to power their various outdoor projects - either as a main power source (devices with low current consumption) or even an auxiliary one (that's what I built mine for). Because of its minimal complexity and ease of replication, I envision it as a basic building blog that anyone can incorporate in their projects.
Blog post
Github repo
Hackaday post post

September 2019
Radical revamp of the first version. See this post for updates.
Adafruit blog post
Hackaday blog post

K-Log - temperature logger prototype

October 2017
This device is made with STM32F103C8T6 microcontroller and DS18B20 temperature sensor. Timestamped temperature points are recorded to .csv on microSD memory card.
Blog post

SMS GPS tracker

June 2017
Autonomous GPS tracker based on Arduino with some power-saving tricks. Instead of logging the GPS data, it sends the current location to its owner upon the mobile call.
Blog posts: part 1, part 2

Interface board connecting industrial controllers and FischerTechnic construction sets

March 2017
It all started when the university decided that a course on PLC programming was incomplete without students controlling scale models of factories. Scale models were promptly found - Fischertechnik sold exactly the thing. I, in turn, was asked to provide the circutry required to connect real life PLCs to scale models with tiny 9V actuators and sensors. The fruits of my labor were five rev.1 boards and five rev.2 boards.
Blog post

WS2811 POV display on PC fan

April 2018
Made specifically to impress people on national qualifications of Eurobot 2018 contest.
Blog post

Wireless sensor/actuator network with CC430 RF SoC.

First half of 2014.
This was the project on which I based my thesis, entry in Texas Instruments Analog Design Contest'14 and Hackaday Prize 2014 simultaneously.A network of wireless sensor and actuator nodes made to control an automated greenhouse.
Blog post

A brewing tank out of Soviet top-load washing machine

Second half of 2016
Can you repurpose the old crap washing machine into something useful? I gave it a try. The resulting device is PID-controlled heater from a kettle embedded into the washing machine's tank. This allows keeping the temperature constant for mashing.
Blog post about assembly (google translate)
PID setup blog post (google translate)

Old clock Elektronika 7 brought back to life with LED indicators

Summer 2014
Total redesign of something I basically got during a dumpster dive: Soviet vacuum fluorescent clock Elektronika 7. Only the front glass and a metal frame inside survived my ruthless gutting, the rest being replaced with modern parts.
Blog post (google translate)

Garage heater controlled via text messages.

Fall 2016
Made a garage heating system out of a heating element, huge pipe segment, fan and various electronic parts. Now I can text 'On' to a specific number about one hour prior to my arrival to the garage, and it's going to be pre-heated. Quite convenient in cold winters of Russia!
Blog post

Infrared remote controlled light switch with ATTiny2313

Summer 2014
How to replace a common household light switch with something that you can switch on and off with your TV remote control? Read to learn how I did it.
Blog post

AC power + battery backup for portable tankless gas water heater

Summer 2017
Uninterruptible power supply for your gas heater. Works exactly like the one for PCs: when the mains voltage is OK, it powers the heater with mains power and charges the batteries (I used 2 cellphone batteries). During the outage it flips gas heater's 3V input to stabilized battery voltage.
Blog post

Bench PSU out of computer PSU

First half of 2017
When you design electronics, you tend to demand a lot from your power supply. Multiple output channels, variable voltage, current measurement - not every market-available bench top PSU can offer all the range, and those that do usually cost a fortune.Why not make a perfect bench power supply from one thing everyone can afford - a computer PSU?
Blog post

DIY hadware watchdog for PC

January 2018
A really simplistic project - watchdog timer for PC made with one Arduino Uno and one reed relay. What makes it special is Java code that makes it tick and the fact that everyone can make it.
Blog post
Arduino blog

Time fountain

July 2014
Here's how a time fountain works: water mixed with fluorescent paint (from a felt tip highlighter) is pumped up to a certain height, then it drips down in single drops. Infrared LEDs light up the drops from both sides at a specific frequency. When you adjust the frequency, you can make the drops appear to stand still or even "fall up".
Another video

Liquid contamination sensor

Second half of 2012
The whole device was assembled by the company, but they hired me to write the firmware (PIC16F877). Principle of operation is this: liquid (usually oil) is pumped through the tiny slit with an optical sensor, the resulting pulse train is counted and converted to the liquid's purity class.
Manufacturer's website

Fully functional combine harvester scale model, remote controlled

Fall 2012
Made per request from my hometown's Agricultural University. Bruder's scale model of John Deere Combine Harvester T670i (what's it with me and scale models?) was turned into a remote control model of real harvester with every aspect of it operational - combine head can be raised/dropped, grain auger extended/retracted and switched on and off. The whole remote control is accomplished via Bluetooth and C++ application written with Qt framework.

Fully functional tractor scale model, remote controlled

Winter 2012
Logical extension of the previous combine harvester model. Also Bluetooth-operated. Besides the basic tractor's ability to drive (duh..) this one has a set of parking assistant sensors to keep it driving aligned aside combine harvester.

Power outage detector

Started February 2018, finished that fall after a long hiatus.
Quite a niche device a family friend once asked me to build, this bunch of wires in laptop's charger enclosure stays most of the time plugged into the wall, beeping like mad during the power outage. Why? To wake up someone who wants to know when there's an outage.

Plasma speaker

September 2012
Can be plugged into any audio source equipped with 3.5mm jack, acting as a replacement for conventional speakers. High-voltage spark will be modulated to your music, effectively giving you a spark that plays the music. Shortly after filming the video I stuffed it into an old plotter's enclosure:

Spot welder

March 2016
How to use the microwave oven creatively, especially when you already tried stuffing every single thing inside? Well, you can use the transformer connected backwards to make a welding machine. This machine can weld tiny parts that your run-of-the-mill stick welder will melt to a puddle.

Charger for 12V batteries

End of 2015

Unfinished projects

Smart house

Second half of 2015
Ambitious cooperation between me and my friends. The idea was to create a voice controlled smart home (but wait, there's more!)  with voice recognition that woks offline. Even though the project itself dwindled down to nothing, my experience with Vocore board has been crystallized in this post.

CNC machine + stepper driver

End of 2012
Another audacious project that I personally had to abandon due to lack of experience in mechanical engineering. That's why, after assembling the whole machine frame out of sticks and mud and stepper driving board, I had to dismantle the whole thing - lots of inaccuracy problems and I didn't have the heart to dig at them all.

PH probe interface

End of 2017
PH probe measurement usually involves negative voltages, and not every microcontroller board can boast anything other than positive supply rail. With this circuit, you'd only need an Arduino, for instance, to supply 5V and measure PH with one ADC channel.

Smart parking assistant

End of 2017
Was abandoned after a thorough market dig turning up similar products (Nedap sensit and Libelium smart parking) as well as much cheaper alternatives (DingTek DO100, ROSIM WPSD-340)


First half of 2013
My first take at building a complex microcontroller device from scratch. ATTiny2113 in its core, supercapacitor-backed RTC.

Escape rooms

Sabotage - The walking dead


January 2016
The most complex device for escape rooms I've been asked to make. It's got one huge plexiglass panel with 64 independently controlled LEDs arranged as a maze, and another panel with 64 buttons mirrored with LEDs for navigation. After solving a maze there's also relatively simple escape routine depending on the number of players in the room (which is set by the operator).

Fingerprint scanner

December 2015
Common code-protected electromagnet-locked door, with one interesting addition - to open this one, you'll have to find some scientist's severed finger and scan it.

Introductory movie projector

December 2015
Introductory video for the escape room scenario - to launch it, the player has to solve a puzzle first.


December 2015
A giant meat mincer. To exit the room, you'll have to figure out how to start it. Knowledge of basic electrics helps.


December 2015
Weird contraption I don't even remember the point of anymore. The thing is, there's 2 taps and you have to turn them to set temperature on LED display to predefined value four times, thus unlocking the exit hatch.

Glovebox with viruses

Glass vials with "virus cultures". Quite similar to the table with breadbox I made before, only there's 6 readers now, and arranging them pushes the prize from the internal inaccessible shelf into your hands.


Exit revision 1. Player puts the vaccine on the pillar to get out.

Exit revision 2. Player has to pour vaccine into the flask to get out. Was quickly reverted to rev. 1 due to clumsy players splashing water every which way :) . Also on the picture - replacement flask.


The bomb

March 2016
This was easy to make, though hard to carry in the open for obvious reasons 😀

Time machine

April 2016
Players enter the metal encased room (this is the time machine). It's dark inside, the only source of light being a small light up display. The room also has a huge flat-screen TV on the ceiling. The players travel back in time after typing the correct date on the keypad (the device switches on the floor-shaking motor and the video sequence of major historical events in reverse order). The door opens up, releasing the players into the "past" where the whole game takes place. To exit the game, they must enter the today's date on the same keypad and travel back to contemporary time.
Unfortunately, this was never installed in an escape room because the owner pulled the plug on it.

Password protected locks

First half of 2016
Another take on making the boring coded locks interesting - adding funny sounds when you press buttons.

Claustrophobia -Behind the scenes

Landline phone that plays walkthrough tips

Dialing a secret number plays a pre-recorded message, dialing any other number - another message.

Skeleton in the closet

As soon as players place the skull on skeleton's shoulders, they hear it exclaiming something like "complete at last". Then, a door unlocks.


 After plugging a perforated tape into the gramophone and playing it by turning the handle, the players hear the melody they just reproduced on the speakers and unlock the next puzzle.

Miniature animated scene

Each switch does either toggles the lights or opens/closes the door on the scene. Setting them in correct sequence will open the chest nearby.

Short circuit

When you open the door, it powers up the final device. After five seconds it cuts the power simulating the short curcuit with noises and visual effects.

Prompter's booth

It's simple - you have to find the prompter's book of lines and put it back into the booth. This will open the door.

Projector + brick in the wall

This one is a bit tricky. Players have to pick one colored glass out of a whole stack and plug in into the projector. If the color is right, the projector will become operable.Then, lighting up one inconspicuously-looking brick in the wall will reveal the secret message.

Mixing console

Really complex device for end of game scenario. Includes solving sudoku puzzle with color-coded audio jacks and total control of the scene in the room (projectors, scenic curtains etc.).

Claustrophobia - Steampunk train


To get into the train, players will have to present their pass.

A couple more phones

One of them with faux-rotary-dial thing, another one with the real deal. The real rotary dial was especially fun to hack - it closed a switch momentarily for each number dialed.

Table with a breadbox

What you see on the second picture are holes with RFID readers that were covered afterwards. A set of RFID tags is implaned into the cups and saucers. Arranging the china in correct order will trigger the breadbox to open.

Fog machines

Two fog machines for extra immersion into the train atmosphere. One of them puffs into the room when a player opens a window, another one stands in the trench in fron of the train and produces fog at set intervals.

References to my blog

Neoway M590 GPRS tutorial -
Neoway M590 GPRS tutorial -
Neoway M590 GPRS tutorial -

Tiva and Stellaris Launchpad RTC usage -
Tiva and Stellaris Launchpad RTC usage -

Use Platformio to develop for BluePill with Arduino framework -
Use Platformio to develop for BluePill with Arduino framework - (Google Translate)

Vocore Tutorial -


Mobrob team, Robofest robotics event (April 5 2012, Moscow)
1st place in "Navigation", "Defile" and "Team event"

"Robocross" self driving cars contest (July 10-14 2013, Nizhniy Novgorod)
3 place