SonOfAGun! MarkB, that temperature controller was going to be my second project! Maybe I'll just buy that thing. Except for the 12V, it's pretty much what I wanted, with the addition of 7-segment readout and buttons and such.
I recently got into Sous Vide cooking. The commercial devices you can get at Walmart for like $65, and they let you connect with your cell phone and control and monitor the cooking. I don't need that, but I did want to try it out. I pulled out my old crock pot and wired up my Arduino Uno to a DS1B20 temperature sensor and a sugar cube relay board, and ran some tests. I wondered what kind of temperature accuracy I could get. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought I might have to do some sort of PID algorithm or hysteresis, but with just a simple "< threshold turn on, > threshold turn off" algorithm it kept the water within 1.5 degrees F. That was good enough for me, so I seasoned up some steaks, stuck them in ziploc bags, and tossed them into the water. Oh my GOSH! It was almost trivial to cook that way, and it was some of the best steak I've eaten ever. I'm not even a connoisseur of fine steak, but I'm sold! I liked it so much I have cooked similar stuff several times a week for the last few weeks, and I don't see myself cutting back anytime soon. It's hogging my Arduino Uno, and I want it back. I need to figure out how to do oneWire on the STM8, and then build a circuit with an opto-isolator and triac instead of the relay board, and I'll be good to go.
The project I'm currently working on is a mailbox door open detector. It simply signals me when the mailman comes. Eventually I plan to have it actually alert me via text or Wifi or something, but phase one is just an LED on the mailbox pointed at my house that blinks after the mailman has come. The STM8 board is perfect because it will be battery powered, and spend the vast majority of the time in Low Power mode. I had planned to use an Arduino Pro Mini, and build a circuit with a couple of MOSFETs that would power me up when the switch was activated and allow me to power down from software after sending the signal. But I have already ripped the voltage regulator and power indicator LED off one of my STM8 boards and tested it, and it will work fine just in Low Power mode.
Ray, I find that the vast majority of my projects don't need even 32KB of flash. I have done projects with AtTiny85s, or even AtTiny13s that are still in use. I even did one with an AtTiny9. But I got tired of how inconvenient it was to write in Assembler and hook up the wires to download the programs. I expect there will be some learning curve with each new sensor and actuator but since I have already found where the core files are hidden, it won't be as bad. Grep is my friend. I also found the example sketches, by the way. It would have been nice to know they existed. And where to find them.