Rodrigo Alvarez

Tinkering as a way of life

K75 Restoration: New endevour

For the last few years I’ve wanted to restore a classic motorcycle. I’ve been looking around on second hand sites but it is hard to find reasonable prices in Spain. You can’t expect to pay less than 2k€ for a larger than 500cc motorbike and even in that case, the state of the engine can’t

Kiteboard line splitter – V2

In the last few months, every time I’ve gone kiteboarding and looked at the line splitter (now V1), I’ve had the feeling I could do much better. After watching this video about compliant mechanisms I encouraged myself to design a new version of it. The improvements I want the line splitter to have are the

Kite Foil – It’s done!

We finally made it! As we were on a time constraint to finish, some on-the-fly decisions have been taken. First and most obvious, it’s black. No, it’s not carbon fiber, but it looks pretty much like it. It does not add to the functionality, but it does raise the “coolness” factor of the device. Secondly,

Kite Foil – Back wing & Fiberglass layup

For the last few weeks we have been working on finishing both front and rear wings. From my side, the back wing needed to be printed. As we did for the front wing, it had to be split into an odd number of parts in order to fit in the print bed. The challenge to

Home automation Project – Part 4: Building the “unknown device”

Developing this project in such a linear way means I can really understand my needs and constraints. I now have a clear set of requirements of what my unknown device must do. Requirements WiFi connectivity 433Mhz RF emission Serial port for debugging reasons Have 3 buttons to trigger the same commands as the original remote

Home automation Project – Part 3: Reverse Engineering RF Signals

My idea is to create a device that replicates the signal that the remote sends to the blinds, triggered by an MQTT command. Good, but what does this signal look like? For that I have the perfect tool, an SDR (Software defined radio). It’s basically a radio device that has the ability to tune into

Kite Foil – Design & Lamination

We’ve been busy the last few weeks working on the kite Hydrofoil. While I was working on the rest of the design, to allow independent work, my colleague has worked on the mast. The design will be composed of 6 main parts shown below in different colours. The wing box (not shown), the mast (turquoise),

Kite Foil – Motivation & Front Wing Design

Motivation Last Saturday my friend Gonzalo Bandeira and I were bored and decided to meet for a round of Pitch & Putt. Being the golfer he is, his mind was set elsewhere. He soon started “pitching” the idea of starting to learn how to ride a hydrofoil with our kites. A quick search on Google

Home automation Project – Part 2: System Architecture

Up to now, everything has been pretty much getting COTS (Commercial of the Shelf) components and installing them. There hasn’t been any “automation” in my home automation project.Therefore, I’ve been digging around on the internet to find which solution is most adequate for me. Main Server What I am NOT looking for? Easy, closed solutions

Kiteboard Line Splitter – V. 1

One of my favourite hobbies is kiteboarding. It turns out every time you want to set up the kite, you have to lay down the lines. Although very simple at first, I always manage to make a mess out of it. This is normally wouldn’t be a problem when launching off the beach. However, on