New Custom Circuit Board Project- ProbeMaster is Born

Last week I finally started designing a project I’ve had in mind for several years. The concept is simple:

A basic breakout circuit board that I can connect to any device under test (DUT) and the result is many spare connections- some with on/off switches already in series and others unpopulated to add any components, connections and measuring equipment I desire.

ProbeMaster PCB

The PCB design was done in KiCad which turned out pretty great I trhink:

ProbeMaster PCB
ProbeMaster PCB

Boards should be here by the end of the week and I will start on the video. As always- source files are in my GitHub repo so you can make your own too.

MKme/probemaster: Probing breakout for hardware hacking. Hook measurement equipment & components into DUT (


Cheapest Amazon Power Supply DOESN’T SUCK!

Reviewing the cheapest lab power supply on Amazon and I was totally surprised!
Amazon Canada (the one shown here) :
Buys on Amazon US (slightly different model- same guts I’m told): Similar options
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Description: UNIROI DC Bench Power Supply, 0-30V/0-5A Available Power Supply with 3-Digit LED Display, Adjustable Power Supply Alligator Clip Leads (Banana Plug and Spade Lugs), Input Power Cord

Electronics Repair Tips Video electronics repair tutorial

Friday on the MKME Lab YouTube channel we shared tips on electronics cleaning with alcohol and pump systems to make the work easier. This is a part of the ongoing videos series covering tips and tricks for electronics hobbyists. Next week we will have a new 360 virtual reality video out so stay tuned!

Raspberry Pi Amazon Echo / Alexa Project raspberry pi Amazon Alexa

If you would like to build the smart kitchen terminal shown in my videos start by setting up your Raspberry Pi set up as shown in the video and detailed instructions here.   You can also start with any basic Raspberry Pi running Raspbian. Now we can set you Pi up to be a fully functional Amazon Alexa powered device.

If you didn’t already watch the Alexa setup video you can see it HERE

As described in the video you need only follow the instructions on the Raspberry Pi Alexa GitHub page here.

Raspberry Pi Amazon Alexa Code


For me I decided to create shell scripts to run each of the 3 commands required to get Alexa up and running.  To do this you just make a new file on your desktop with any name you like followed my .sh.  in each of the files you will enter the startup commands.

Alexa Code

amazon aleza raspberry pi

raspberry pi echo

To make your shell scripts executable you must use the command line tool and do this comamnd for each file

chmod 755
chmod 755

chmod 755

Now to start up your Alexa you just need to double click the shell script icons on your desktop in order starting with the first one.  This is the same as the instructions on GitHub just a bit easier for those not comfortable with the command line

You can also make these start automatically when your Raspberry Pi boots up.  I will try to post instructions for that in an upcoming article.

You can grab any Rasberry Pi parts in the MKME store

If you need any help or want to discuss the build you can visit the MKME Forum Thread here:

Remember to Subscribe to the MKME Lab on YouTube and give a like on the video if you enjoyed this project.  It helps a lot!  Next week we will add full Amazon Alexa control to our Raspberry Pi and give it a tonne more functionality.  Stay tuned!

Raspberry Pi Home Automation Terminal raspberry pi kitchen

Here’s the full instructions to build your smart kitchen display with a Raspberry Pi to display live video, weather reports, news, time and more. To get started you can see the full video overview here:


Go ahead and assemble your Raspberry Pi as shown in the video. The webcam/microphone isn’t needed right now but I included it because next video we will be adding full control and voice activation via the Amazon Alexa service.

You can use the NOOBs software found here to set up your Raspberry Pi. I advise you install both Raspian and Open-Elec so you can use your Pi to watch movies and TV as well by booting into KODI/OpenElec.  See my video here:

If you decide to use Open-Elec you can also see this video how to set it up to watch movies and add various “add-ons” so you can stream just about anything:

Now go ahead and set up your Pi for VNC access.  This way you can easily access and change your Pi from any PC in your home.  This makes it really easy to add new programs or change our setup.



Now we need to set up our website.  Go to the MKME Github here:


Kitchen Pi

Download the files and copy all the files inside the Web Page folder over to your web server. Setting up your webhosting/server is beyond the scope of this tutorial- Sorry. If you need to buy a hosting plan check out BlueHost.  They currently have a plan at $2.95 per month and I’ve heard many people like their service.

Edit the index.php file and at the top change the timezone to your local one:

Web Page Code

Now edit the stream URL’s to whatever YouTube videos or live streams you want displayed on your Pi:

Pi web code

Now edit the getHeadlines area to use the news feed you wish.  There are both the UK  and US BBC links as well as you can try others you wish (not tested here).  I like the US feed fine for my Canadian and US news.

Feed code


Now we need to edit the weather.js file.  Change the location to your location as well as the units to F or C as you wish. kitchen pi


That’s it for the page code!  Set up your pi wherever you wish and open Chromium browser to the url of your site (yourwebsiteaddress/index.php).


Pi page


Press F11 and this will toggle your page full screen and should look something like this: Kitchen Pi Kiosk


If you like you can also make a handy shell script to open Chromium automatically into full screen by using code like this:


pi chromium code


You will need to Google around for methods to make this autostart on Raspberry Pi boot as there are many ways to do it (beyond the scope of this instruction)

Remember to Subscribe to the MKME Lab on YouTube and give a like on the video if you enjoyed this project.  It helps alot!  Next week we will add full Amazon Alexa control to our Raspberry Pi and give it a tonne more functionality.  Stay tuned!