Saturday 28 June 2014

Hacking 433MHz Remote Controllers

With the introduction this week of the Energenie Pi-Mote control board, my first reaction was to reach for my credit card and place an order.

I don't know just yet what I'm going to do with it, but it seemed like a relatively cheap toy to play with.

While waiting for this starter kit to arrive, I remembered that I was given a 433MHz control kit earlier this year, but had not got around to doing anything with it.

Friday 20 June 2014

The Phonic MX881 Audio Mixer

We recently acquired a vintage audio mixer, which I just had to save from becoming landfill fodder.

I say vintage, but this mixer was probably designed in the early 1980s and I guess it remained in production until the mid-1990s.

Having taken the back off to re-attach the mains transformer, I had a good look around for any sign of a manufacturing date, but found no clues.

Monday 16 June 2014

Bird Feeder Etiquette

I use to think that there was a definite pecking order around our bird feeders, with smaller birds always giving way to larger species.

But closer observation over recent years leads me to believe that the situation is far more complicated.

And by slowing down the video captured by my RaspberryPi camera system, I can observe detail that I would have missed if just watching from my kitchen window.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Powering The RaspberryPi

For the majority of RaspberryPi users, powering their Pi from a standard 5 Volt USB supply is the best and safest option.

The power supply is of fundamental importance, and if this does not do its job properly, your Pi powered project may be unreliable, or simply not run at all.

Most of the time, almost any 5 Volt USB power supply will be OK to power the Raspberry Pi when running with just mouse, keyboard & display, providing it is powerful enough.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

BirdBoxPiCam2014: open the box

Although the great tits left this nest box a few weeks ago, I decided to leave the box undisturbed until June.

The system has been triggered four or five times since then, but I suspect this was only caused by flying critters like bees, moths and large flies, as their visits were too brief to result in any useful video capture.

So today I took the box down and opened it up...

Sunday 1 June 2014

Portable PiCam: more video

With lots of activity at our bird feeders, it seemed like a nice sunny day to play with my portable PiCam.

Now we are into June, many of our garden birds are bringing their young to the apple tree that supports our collection of hanging bird feeders.

This invariably leads to a certain amount of conflict between different species, and also between grumpy members of the same group.

Real Time Clock for RaspberryPi

I bought a Real Time Clock module (RTC) about 6 months ago and I've only just taken it out of its anti-static bag.

With two potential projects in mind that may require an RTC, I opened the packet, wired it to my RaspberryPi and then....not a lot happened.

So I had to take a closer look and see what was causing the problem.