Hi! I’m Cal Bryant; this is where I attempt to document my projects and write technical guides. Check out my about page if you want to know who I am and what I do.

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Blog articles

Damage to CNC tool

CNC Routing: Speeds and Feeds

A friend has his own CNC router; he built it himself in 2009 and has been upgrading it ever since – though it’s been a while since it was last used.
Feb 25, 2023 - 14 min read
Various prompts

Destroying the right server

Have you ever run a destructive command on the wrong server? The year was 2010; I had 3 servers that I maintained with a few friends.
Feb 5, 2023 - 5 min read
My 3 yubikeys

10 ways to get the best out of OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is an open-source CSG based script-only CAD package. As it’s script-based, it’s fantastic for parametric design and the files can be version controlled just like a software project.
Oct 11, 2021 - 11 min read
Thinkpad with cover removed

The "ultimate" Thinkpad

In 2019 I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad X230 with the intention of using it as cheap laptop for travel/home use. Being a X series thinkpad the construction quality was good, but the display was absolutely terrible – a 1366x768 TN panel.
Sep 27, 2020 - 14 min read
my 3 yubikeys

How to get the best out of your Yubikey with GPG

I’ve been using a set of Yubikeys for some time now, not just for 2FA but for SSH authentication, remote code signing and password storage too.
May 19, 2020 - 14 min read
dsnet commands

How to set up a wireguard VPN in minutes with dsnet

TL;DR: Check out dsnet for an easy way to manage a wireguard VPN. Background Wireguard is a relatively new VPN tunnel. It is now in the linux 5.
May 8, 2020 - 5 min read
Top of my modified gaggia classic

Modifying my Gaggia Classic Espresso machine

I’ve owned a Gaggia Classic (pre-2015) coffee machine for about 4 years now. It’s served me rather well, and still produces delicious coffee. Triple shots of 100% crema!
Jan 20, 2019 - 12 min read
3d rendering of bezel

Universal wall mounted touchscreen bezel

After moving house, I no longer had my elaborate DIY home-automation setup running. I no longer had my touchscreens in place of lightswitches as detailed here.
Dec 30, 2018 - 3 min read
Inside subwoofer

Large Horn Subwoofer Build

A few years ago I built a massive folded horn subwoofer that now lives in our lounge. It’s approximately the size of a refrigerator, and will happily produce bass that can distort your vision!
Dec 29, 2018 - 16 min read
dstask showing tasks

Dstask, a Taskwarrior Alternative

If you’ve just discovered dstask, I recommend the README file which contains everything you need to know! I’ve been using taskwarrior (which I still maintain is excellent) to track what I have to do on a daily basis.
Dec 27, 2018 - 3 min read
display on wall

3D printed wall mounted touchscreen panels from Amazon Fire tablets

For my home-automation project I needed some professional-looking touchscreen panels capable of running the web-based interface that I developed to control my home. Looking around, I concluded that I’d have to make the panels myself given the proprietary nature and expense of existing home automation control panels.
Mar 17, 2016 - 7 min read
tank status

ESP8266 based Tank level sensor

I needed a way of measuring the volume of remaining fuel inside a 1200 Ltr fuel tank. The tank is outside, far away from my main home automation controller computer.
Feb 27, 2016 - 5 min read
Laptop on my custom stand

Quick hack: Breadboard VESA laptop stand

Just a quick hack! I needed a decent laptop stand. I happened to have a few spare VESA monitor arm mounts. I ordered a breadboard on ebay together with some black M4 countersunk bolts, some washers and Nyloctm nuts.
Jan 31, 2016 - 1 min read
Server with UPS

HomePlug AV network failover

My home network is reasonably fault tolerant; the main router is on UPS, as is my HP MicroServer running ubuntu. I use 2 HomePlugAV 500 network adapters for a reliable connection (compared to WiFi) between the server and the router as they are on different floors.
Jan 22, 2016 - 3 min read
Inside rcdos

RCDoS: cause a power cut from your phone

Moving into a new house, I felt I needed a way to test the RCDs and wiring on ring mains. It was an excellent opportunity to over-engineer something for the sake of it.
Feb 2, 2015 - 3 min read