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Activity

FagensDen made a post to FagensDen:

Hey

SeasonallyChallengED!

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Phase One Success!

So I have successfully managed (barring a couple of school boy errors) to get an access point up and running, installed JMRI and then had trains running on a short piece of test track with an android app! The setup in on an old Raspberry Pi b but it works fine and clearly demonstrated that the system will run on a Raspberry Pi Zero W, which I ordered and has arrived today.

To get to this place I:

  • Installed a USB Wireless NIC
  • Installed Hostapd (Access Point Daemon)
  • Installed DNSMASQ (For DNS server and DHCP which is a requirement for easily connecting to the AP)
  • Allowed routing and Pass through for IPV4 from WLAN0 to ETH0 (when connected) (Not required but may make things easier when attached to the AP and requiring access too the internet from home)
  • Installed JMRI to allow access to the Controller
  • bought a SPROG II controller to program and run trains via JMRI.

Next I need to get the card in my new Zero and test again! To access the internet via the AP I would need a USB Hub and a USB ethernet adaptor when using the SPROG.

One thing, when using the AP as a router, the link speed is low, this is in part due to the spec of the Pi, but also the internal Nic on a standard b, b 2 or b 3 is essentially a USB NIC so shares the same USB channel as the Wireless NIC and the SPROG.

Anyhow, a great evenings work.

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Remove the Rubbish

You can of course start with the Raspbian lite installation but I wanted access to the desktop if I needed it, but I didn't need any bloat, sure I'd need Java installed for JMRI but a things like Libre Office just took up space. So I went on a look around.  Libre Office came off first but I also removed Wolfram and Sonic Pi.

If you are or know you are going to be tight on space removal of some desktop apps can free up space on your sd card. If the computer is not going to be run as a desktop PC there is no need for them to be there.  I left Python and a browser because python may be useful and you never know when you may need the web.

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Restart

I Had some issues with the SPROGPI board and in the end opted for a SPROG 2 and I think in hindsight this was probably going to be the better option.  I can plug a SPROG 2 into my laptop and run from there as well.  True I could use VNC to run the train from a desktop and do it that way but there may be times when I need to use my laptop directly.

With this in mind I have finally got round to sorting out a Raspberry Pi and SPROG for model train control.

For the bare minimum this project will need:

  • 1 Raspberry Pi (I'm using a Zero)
  • 1 power supply, SD card etc...
  • 1 wireless adaptor (if not using a zero w or pi3
  • 1 SPROG and USB cable.
  • 1 SPROG power supply
  • 1 Model train with a DCC chip installed
  • track and connecting cables.

The end result here is unless the Pi joins a wireless network it will not be able to get to the internet for updates, this may not be an issue but if the Pi is running as an Access Point and there is still a need to get onto the internet, I'd recommend either using a Pi B or at have a USB Ethernet adaptor if the internet is required.

For a truly independent and portable project the Pi needs to be set up as a wireless point with routing to allow access for connected devices should an internet connection be be needed.  This is to allow a small layout to simply to be plugged in anywhere.

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The Plan

My plan is to make a Raspberry Pi CUPS (Common Unix Printing System). I will connect an old wired printer. Over time, more features will be added. But for now I am only planning simple printing functionality. So that computers on the network can print easily.

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Colin made a post to Evening Projects:

Hacking Christmas Lights

For a quick project I bought a cheap set of battery powered lights.  The lights are multicoloured and have a battery pack with a switch, they can be on or off.

The pack come supplied with 3 AA cells and I put my multi meter and found that  that the short length of light was running at 5v with a current of just over 50mA: perfect!

Using some breadboard, a 3 pin male header, a NPN transistor and a 2.2k Ohm resistor, using the "gpiozero" python library I was very quickly pulsing the lights on an off.  Time for a more permanent solution.

So the who circuit is now mounted to some stripboard. 

So pin2 (5v) plugs into the board and then to the positive terminal of the battery-pack.   The negative terminal is connected to the collector of the transistor.  Pin 11 (GPIO17) is connected to the 2.2Kohm resistor and then onto the base of the transistor.  Finally the emitter is connected to pin6 (Ground).

So I've made an alright thing a little better.

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Colin made a post to Evening Projects:

PiBakery

PiBakery is a fantastic utility to create tailored SD cards for booting up a Raspberry Pi

It works in the same way that Scratch does so you can add new different elements. For instance on first boot you can add a wireless network with properties, change the host name, password, set the Pi to start up not logged in on CLI, install tight VNC sever and then reboot. Then on every boot after that run VNC server. Once happy that it is complete it can then be burnt to an SD card (PiBakery downloads a copy of Raspbian when it is installed) or save the "program" as an XML script (warning here it looks like passwords are saved in clear text so don't put anything in here that you wouldn't want to advertise).

This is quite useful especially with Pi Zeros because you can build a card and set it up without having to plug in a hub.

I used it this evening and really like it.

See more information here.

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Colin made a post to Evening Projects:

Hacking a Raspberry Pi Model B

I have a board that I need to try. I don't want to try it on my Pi 3 so I thought I could alter an old Model B I have hanging around.

Having contacted the manufacturer I know that the board does not use any pins beyond 26 so there is no reason why the board would not work on an old B except that the Composite Video Out was in the way.

Solution was to set to with a soldering iron, a solder sucker and try to lever it out with a fine flat head screwdriver.

The yellow connector is the one.  It did turn into an epic, my soldering iron has a fine point and there is a lot of solder on the three pins on the bottom of it.  Also there is a lot of metal on the connector so the little point on the iron had a hard time getting the solder hot enough.  However after some perseverance I got the connector off.

As an added bonus it boots up as well!

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Colin made a post to Home Cloud Server:

Raspberry Pi 3 boot direct from USB mass storage

One of the issues with a Raspberry Pi was that it is relatively easy to corrupt an SD card if you had power issues or got lazy when switching off.

The Raspberry Pi 3 has the ability to boot from USB mass storage, it does need an up to date version of Raspbian and either latest version of NOOBS or using apt-get to update the OS and then some configuration changes though.Instructions can be found here.

This does change things somewhat, however my owncloud server is running on a Pi 2 so I will need to press my new Pi 3 into service (New?  My old one blew up!) or buy a new one if I intend to go down that route..

Again I stress it will not work on anything but a Pi 3 B and as far as I can see will not work with any of the A series (unless the A 3 when/if it is released may), B, 2 B either Zeros.

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jaffacakes made a post to De-tech :

De-tech

Hello 

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jbrown_1975 made a post to TARDIS-PC:

TARDIS-PC : Parts

I placed an order for the components I will need for the "PC" part of the TARDIS-PC. I've got a Raspberry Pi 3 w/5V 2.5A Power Supply coming my way. as well as a Composite A/V Cable and a wireless keyboard w/Trackpad.

The TARDIS itself is going to be made of wood. Well, wood and glue. Actually, it'll be wood, glue, and a bunch of patience. I'll be going out tomorrow to get the wood bits that I will need, then I can start working on building the case while I wait for the parts to show up.

Waiting is always the worst part of a project...well, no, waiting, and then finding out you got the wrong part is worse, but waiting in itself sucks - so I'm going to try and occupy myself with some small-scale woodwork. :)

Allons'y!

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Starting the planning

I had built a pi photobooth a while back and it broke (for a variety reasons) and had lots of flaws.  So I'm starting from scratch and doing some planning and would love some feedback.

**Basic Requirements / Desires for the photobooth:**

* Small, compact, easily transportable photobooth.
* Small screen to preview pictures. (already have https://www.adafruit.com/product/2315 from previous project)
* Basic buttons to manage interface, start picture.
* Pi camera for pics
* Wifi to connect to printer (Canon CP910)
* Bluetooth to connect to keyboard for troubleshooting (nice to have)
* Battery or plug operation
* Interface for updating the “label” for the printed pictures.

**Open Question**
* Choosing between Pi Zero vs. Pi 2 (or 3) - battery requirements? Processing speed? Multiple ports?
* Use of PiZero BT/Wif hat? https://store.redbear.cc/product/iot-phat.html
* Battery options for Pi Zero vs. Pi 2 or 3 - will the pi zero have enough juice for the screen/wifi/BT?
* Need to verify that I can print over USB as a back up to Wifi on the pi.
* Is there existing software solutions for managing photobooth experience? 

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Roy made a post to Arduino based:

How to control RGB LED Strip with Arduino

Today I want to make a LED Scroll Bar as the above picture showed. Ten LED strips can flash in different effects by using a control board.  

Required Components

LED strip, Arduino Nano, Dupont line and a control board.

How to control RGB LED Strip with Arduino?

Step 1) Preparation

Cut the LED strip into 10 pieces and each piece has arbitrary number of LEDs.

Then, weld the traverse at an interface of the LED strip. Here I prefer to use Dupont line to connect.

Step 2) Design

Make a control board. Using the control board to control the flash pattern of LED strips. Aided by Arduino Nano and equipped with a keypad, we can make the LED strip flash in different patterns.

Step 2.1) Start with Designing Schematic

To design my circuit, I choose a free online EDA tool called EasyEDA which is a one stop design shop for your electronics projects, it offers schematic capture, spice simulation, PCB design for free and also offers high quality but low price Customized PCB service. There are a large number of component libraries in its editor, so you can easily and quickly find your desired parts.

You can access the following schematic diagram through this link

Notes: The voltage of the LED strip is 12 V and Arduino Nano is 5V. Please remember to add a power regulator such as AMS1117-5.0.

Step 2.2) Create the PCB Layout.

You can see the PCB layout in the following diagram:

Step 2.3) Make a sample

After complete the design of PCB, you can click the icon of Fabrication output above. Then you will access the page PCB order to download Gerber files of your PCB and send them to any manufacturer, it’s also a lot easier (and cheaper) to order it directly in EasyEDA. Here you can select the number of PCBs you want to order, how many copper layers you need, the PCB thickness, copper weight, and even the PCB color. After you’ve selected all of the options, click “Save to Cart” and complete you order, then you will get your PCBs a few days later.

Step 2.4) Take delivery of the PCB

When I received the PCBs, I am quite impressed with the quality, they are pretty nice.

Step 2.5)Welding

It is very easy to make a control board. Just as the following picture described, as soon as the components are welded, it is completed.

Step 3) Connection

Connect the LED strip to the control board and at the same time please pay attention to the positive and negative of the terminals. 

As the picture showed below.

Step 4) Download a program

Connect it to a 12 V power supply, download a program (Check the full code below) on the Arduino Nano and run it.

Press the button to switch flash mode. If you want, you can also customize or recreate my project with or without changes,here are my RGB light effects project files. Also you can access the Arduino Code, Required Components and other details of this LED Scroll bar by following the given link.

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