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Friday, 27 December 2013

Caching at Box

Out with friends to box near bath today to do some 5/5 caches, first involved going down a slippery slope to find some belongings missing by the time we got out.  After being tipped off by a local off duty copper to who he thought was the local dodgy person we confronted him but soon realised it wasn't him and as we were about to give up a dog walker approached us and asked if we have lost anything, so soon had belongings back in place. The next few were near the swan and were quickly located a favourite cave of mine and onto another where things went down hill, we struggled to solve an earth cache and the instructions for the caches here were very vague and one point ended up away from the rest of the group with all of us now low on batteries. So we will be back here another day, hopefully with another friend who knows the caves better than us. 4 caves and 7 5/5 s with an extra one for two members as the rest of us have done it a few years ago. Pictures will be posted up another day.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Raspberry pi lcd weather station

Tonight I've been browsing andypi.co.uk, I have already a 16x2 lcd that I have soldered using andypi schematics to a pi expansion board (a write up is on the blog somewhere) and after following instructions to download scrolling rss news feed I decided to change the RSS feed to current local weather observation from BBC and change the search time to check once a minute instead of every 30 seconds, something I might change to every twenty minutes soon. I also decided to add a wifi dongle to make it portable.

There are plenty of RSS feeds out there so this project isn't limited (RSS feeds are your oyster lol). 

If you don't fancy soldering all the wires, you can get a screen already soldered at andypi and also further instructions, scripts, etc.

Lastly to all my followers merry Christmas and have a happy new year and please click and view a banner to support the site.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Some of the search terms used to find my blog

Whilst I've been lucky with Facebook, google, raspberrypi.org Pinterest and geocaching site all pointing people towards my blog I also have search terms which show up in my stats on how people found my blog.

Interestingly things like geocaching and raspberry pi feature, puztoxs that came out from the geolympix geocaching mega event feature too, but one term that's there is raspberry pi radar detector and this has got me thinking how hard must it be to make one and has anyone else had much luck either with a pi or arduino?


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Apple woes

Decided Friday I would update my iPhone from 6.1.2 which has been good to me to the new ios7 and was still trying this morning. I was getting tons of errors 3014 3094 4014 being some, I clear one error and get another error.

So this morning was a 35 mile drive and an hour driving to go to the apple store in reading and the same back. Got through the doors just after they opened to be greeted by Liam who once saw my phone became rude and adbrupt and when I handed my phone to him was treated like I was thick. He looked at the bottom and down the headphone jack and told me they couldn't do anything as the phone had been in contact with liquids, I told him that not to my knowledge as I'm so careful with it, surely it be a time thing that's set off these imaginary markers that I couldn't see. Told that was it nothing else I should buy a new one, so I asked to speak to his manager and once I asked about the eighth time he called the manager over. I explained I couldn't get an appointment online as the site seem to return page not found last night and I've travelled a long way to which I was told tough really, however I can have a appointment Thursday afternoon, for now I should just get a SIM card adapter and cheap phone and if I traded my current phone in in its current state of being stuck in a power cycle that I would get very little for it.

So off to three they wanted to sell me a 32gb iPhone 5s on a two year contract for nearly fifty quid a month with ninety nine quid on my next bill. So working out my current twelve quid a month bill against what they were offering works out very expensive for it.  Back to apple I choose the phone I want, have to get an old adapter to new adapter as I don't really want to spend a fortune on new accessories especially not in here. Asked about a leather case to protect my phone and sure enough offered one for nearly fifty quid, don't think so ill eBay one thanks. Then I find I need a nano sim that be £15 quid, yet these are given away free on the cell operators own sites.  Back to three who hats off to them told me that if I was to buy it all from them it be a tenner for sim, but I could have a nano replacement for my current sim and they transferred my number straight over, then finally back to apple store.

Back here I buy the phone and get offered their insurance, I asked if it protected against so called water damage knowing the answer from my first visit of the day, so I then declined the insurance telling then if it lasts 18 months then I would have had my money's worth and that my lovely home insurance covers the phone anyway.

Back to the car park I then had to pay three quid for an hour and a half parking.

So would I recommend using the apple shop in future, no, it was the worse experience I have had, a 4s that still doesn't work and a 600 quid sent on the credit card.

From what I can see apple are quick to take your money but not to help or provide customer service. But hats off to three and also to sky promotions team giving out bags of popcorn and wishing everyone a merry Christmas, I think it was that that stopped me from going into full meltdown in apple.

Lastly was the idiots walking around the shopping centre stopping dead for no apparent reasons, changing directions for no reason and general not understanding how to walk through a shopping centre.

I know I'm not well at the moment but Christ these sorts of people make me look like a genius.

So total spent today parking, fuel, phone over 700 quid which could have quite easily been just fuel and half parking price had apple either tried the update themselves or replace the phone, next time I'll just go to my local car phone warehouse.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Cacheberry pi add on

After finding that the pi would occasionally throw a wobbly if you switched it off without shutting down I decided to add a switch that resets the pi.

On the pi board p6 near the power socket has two holes, I soldered two pins in here and bought a cheap pc reset button switch off eBay which I attached to p6. Now if the pi hangs or I need to turn it off I can hold the switch in and switch off the pi at the cigarette socket or press it quickly to reboot.

I have also added it to the top and also cut a little hole to let the heat out.

The p6 where I soldered the two pins (not soldered in this picture)

Monday, 9 December 2013

Cacheberry pi case

After looking around the house I found a small cardboard box. With some gaffa tape I had left from taping up geocache containers I had everything I needed. A hole in the roof and in went the gps, next was a hole for the usb so I can update the caches with a usb stick. The other side where the flap is a small hole for power and to get to pi if needed. To the front I had to cut a small hole for the i2c module on the back of the lcd to sit through with the lcd sitting flat along the side of the box. Lastly was to bring the led out the top and face forwards so you can see what is going on.

I then finished taping it all together to make it stronger and look a bit better, I know it looks blue Peter ish but that's the fun.  As the tape warms up and slightly shrinks over time it will mould better creating (hopefully) a better case.


And finally front with led 


Whoops broke the pi

I accidentally knocked the raspberry pi off the table last night and Sod's law it fell using the sd card as point of impact with the floor snapping the sd card holder. With part of an old credit card cut to size and some arildite I managed to mend what was left. An idea I have had since is to get a micro card converter and glue the micro card converter within and just use micro sd cards but for moment I will have to see how this lasts out.


Cacheberry pi update

The latest thing in this project was to make a gpio plug that I could plug n go. No messing with breadboards or loose wires, but I did want to be able to swap the lcd or gps should either failed and this is what I made.
The start

Soldering iron needs a new tip thus the poor soldering

Tidying up

And with the lcd and gps attached.

Next part of this project is to find the right size box I can use to build it all into.


Repair or replace

My voltmeter started flashing low battery last night so I opened it up and used a spare 9v battery to replace the flat one. It got me thinking again, should you bother replacing a three quid battery or just buy another three quid multimeter? When I snapped one of the leads it was cheaper to buy another multimeter than buy the leads on their own, but surely we should be looking at repair and maintain instead of chuck and replace?

Friday, 6 December 2013

Cacheberry update

I managed to getting it working with a ublox gps off eBay for under a tenner.  Certainly cheaper than the adafruit one and also runs off 3.3v. However word of warning it won't flash or blink till it actually gets a lock this is what was making me think it wasn't working. The first time it can take up to 45 minutes to get a lock. But providing you have clear view of the sky I would say around a few minutes max.

There we go, you have the £30 pi just get a £7 ish i2c lcd screen and less than a tenner gps and you to can have a cheap cacheberry pi too.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Cache berry pi success

As some will remember I started off with jclements cacheberry pi project before moving to aurock s which is an updated version.

After having problems with the i2c lcd screen aurock pointed me to his development area and bingo the hd44780 file worked perfectly.

I need to have another look at the ublok gps as I couldn't get that working, so for now have the adafruit gps wired up.

There still needs to be some work on the calculating of nearest cache as it keeps getting stuck on one or jumping to another miles away, but so far I'm happy.  

I'm guessing this could be used for speed cameras or petrol stations providing you have the data in csv form.