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29 posts

De Soldering

Posted by mcb1 Top Member Jan 21, 2017
Some time in 2015 there was a discussion about Soldering and De-Soldering, and what some members owned or used.   At work we have PACE desoldering stations, but they are rather large, and the consumables are relatively expensive. Personally I find them less than ideal, however that could be because it isn't my own and consequently there are some areas that need attention.     I decided this was an ideal topic to discuss some tricks I've picked up over the years.     ...

Rear View Camera

Posted by mcb1 Top Member Oct 25, 2015
Despite my hectic schedule, I seem to have required to add this to the list ... rather much higher than I wanted.     Tenting For most of my life we went camping in tents. In the early days, my mother had made small pup tents with a fly over the top, and these proved excellent in all sorts of weather.   After getting a driving licence I ended up in the van movement, so sleeping wasn't a tent affair, and it worked out great while there was two (or three) of us.   About 20+ ...
One of the advantages of having some knowledge of electronics, is the ability to save money on repairs. Over the years I repaired a few houshold appliances, simply by knowing where to find information and narrowing down the problem.     Information The first thing to do is search for a manual. You are after a 'service manual' rather than the owners manual, and in many cases there is one somewhere in the world. Often you can find the particular appliance was sold under different bran ...

Mounting 2

Posted by mcb1 Top Member May 16, 2014
After many delays I have made some progress toward the physical mounting of the camera and Solar panel. The previous blogs detail the plan (and any variations) Pi Webcam Pi camera update RPi to controller interaction Camera Location and Mounting Mounting considerations and revision     After a discussion with the Field Manager it was decided that adding a 100x100mm metal post to the wooden corner post would help with visibility during grooming, as sometimes the corner isn't visi ...
Since my last post, I've been doing other projects including the Catch Santa Challenge and this security style camera controlled by an external modified PIR. This was a very useful challenge and gave me time to experiment and play with the camera and Raspberry Pi.   The cable between the RPi and camera is far to short, and limits the options for mounting. Unfortunately element14 don't carry a longer cable but there is one here 300mm cable. I also had some limitations with the SD card pro ...
This is part of my project to fit a solar powered RaspberryPi webcam at Mt Lyford that starts here   An excuse for a field trip (to a skifield) on a nice day, is not to be missed, however this trip was all business, with a couple of other things to look at/repair as well. The exact location and mounting method was one of the things on my list.   Snow, ice and the odd heavy machine (groomer) means that unless its well anchored, its very likely to move. Snow is a strange thing, and t ...
Processes, Applications and Function Having resolved some of the hardware issues, it's now time to put some thought into how the whole thing will work. The controller has overall control because it runs 24/7, but could go into a sleep mode when the system is shutdown.   The controller is responsible for :- RTC (Real Time Clock). Battery charge. Systems power (RPi and Wireless link). Battery voltage. External shutdown button. External Status indication. Receiving future data.  ...

Pi camera update

Posted by mcb1 Top Member Aug 7, 2013
My solar powered  PiCamera installation took a step closer yesterday with the link options resolved. Link The WiFi link for transferring the data requires a directional antenna. The Antenna design needs to be rugged to withstand the hostile environment, as well as the distances.   The links are 350-500m (click on image for full size) Google have some neat features that allow you to view the profile of the line. (Save the line, and then right click on it) While the heigh ...


Posted by mcb1 Top Member Aug 6, 2013
I was fortunate to get my hands on an early release of the PiFace PiRack. (I prefer to use the small i in the blog)   This has been mentioned in the PiFace documentation, but there was little other information.   The PiRack is designed to extend the GPIO pins of the RPi (Raspberry Pi) out to a series of right angle headers, and an end connector. You then stack 4 x PiFace Digital boards (or any other boards) onto the connectors. A second PiRack fitted to the last connector gives the ...

Pi Webcam

Posted by mcb1 Top Member Aug 3, 2013
I was fortunate to receive a Pi camera to use as a webcam. This is no ordinary straight forward project but is located on a skifield   To add to all the problems associated with the environment, the location has no cabling for power or communications. Hence the project requires Solar and WiFi over approx 400m, meaning some custom aerials as well.   To save power the controller needs to initiate a shutdown, and startup at set times, as well as orderly shutdown an ...

KL25z Update

Posted by mcb1 Top Member Jul 30, 2013
One of the comments made by myself and others was the lack of headers.   This has now been rectified (Australia/NZ) as of July 2013. The Mini CD is not included which is not a large problem as the software is downloadable.   see   Well done E14 Mark ...

KL25z second part

Posted by mcb1 Top Member May 15, 2013
I have been trying out various IDE's for this board, and have returned to   I have sorted out headers for the board, although like Nico you need to cut some.   The other problem is shields, there are none that suit this board, and the current offereings are not even close to the price I expect. I have a plan, which in concept will work, but needs a little more thought to make it truly universal, and useful.   My parts for the project I had in mind got delayed, so i r ...

KL25z Initial impresions

Posted by mcb1 Top Member Apr 18, 2013
This is a posting on the initial impressions of the FreeScale KL25z board.   I received mine in the mail, with much anticipation, and I wasn't disappointed. It comes in a cardboard slide-out box, with a card showing the pin-outs...nice.   The board is smaller than I anticipated, and even comes with rubber feet attached ...nice   A mini-disk is supplied with CooCox IDE, however for the initial trial I have choosen to use free online compiler.   The guide from E14 ...

PiFace Digital

Posted by mcb1 Top Member Apr 18, 2013
I was hoping that the hardware might have arrived by now, however its seems to have gotten lost. I have sent an email to ask for any tracking numbers, so it can be chased down.       Never mind I have been downloading and gathering the information in preperation.   The idea is based on a similar project done with an Arduino. Monitor the temperature of a DS18B20 temp probe, and activate one of two relays to either apply heat or cooling to the environment.   Use an I2 ...