Wednesday, 18 January 2017

BirdBox2017: using motionEye & streamEye

After a couple of weeks of investigation, procrastination and frustration, I think I have reached a decision.


I am going to use motionEye to stream and display video to a remote laptop.


But this has meant a lot of upgrading to the heart of (what was) my 2015 bird box.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Garmin eTrex 10: what's your position buddy?

It's struck me once or twice, when out walking, that I don't know exactly where I am.


Imagine that there is some kind of medical emergency, and I need to call for an ambulance.


"Where are you sir?"

Thursday, 5 January 2017

BirdBox2017: a new year, a new birdbox?

Well, not exactly. No plans to build a new box, but I would like to add a second camera.


As well as the main event inside the bird box, there is often quite a bit of action on the outside, especially during the early weeks, and at the end, when the chicks fledge.


So with only a few weeks left until I need to deploy my two Raspberry Pi powered bird boxes, I need to get on with development.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Pi Zero: adapting the USB socket

Although the Raspberry Pi Zero is about half the size of a credit card, the connectors stick out sideways, which affectively increases the boards footprint once connected.


To make matters worse, the USB socket is the micro version, so you need an adaptor if you only have a standard USB wifi dongle.


So in order to make a really small, headless Zero system, you need to do something radical.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

PiHut Vs. Edimax wifi dongles

A couple of weeks ago I swung by the PiHut website to order some bits & pieces.


While I was there I ordered one of their wifi dongles, just so I could try to evaluate its performance compared to my Edimax dumpy dongle.


So I've just spent a couple of hours this afternoon running a few tests.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Garmin eTrex 10: adding topo maps

If you believe what Garmin say, it shouldn't be possible to download topographical maps to the eTrex 10.


In fact the Garmin website doesn't give owners that option unless they have an eTrex 20 or 30 model.


But I've just discovered that it is indeed possible, and now have my eTrex 10 loaded with a nice map covering much of the south-east of England.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Scheme-ing with The Gimp: batch photo resizing

Gimp (a.k.a. The Gimp) is an image editor, very popular with Linux users and possibly a handful of Windows users.


It includes support for scripting tasks via Python (which most young programmers think is the bees-knees) and Scheme (which most Computer Science students think is the work of the devil).


Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, this post focuses on Scheme.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Checking your internet connection: a simple Gambas project

A few weeks ago I noticed my internet radio was dropping out for a few moments at a time.


Further investigation showed I was sometimes losing the internet altogether.


So I decided to create a simple program to monitor internet availability.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Phone/broadband filter: using the BT Openreach MK3

I have just ditched my old broadband filter module for an ADSL filtered faceplate, as part of recent building work at home.


It was not delivered with any instructions, so I had to incorporate it into my new wiring scheme using (I dare say) non-standard wiring.


But hey! ...it seems to work, and here are some notes.