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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Energenie infrared remote controlled socket


I got one of these the other week and have been testing it.

It's a kit of an infra red add on board and infra red socket. The socket can be programmed to be turned on or off with any remote control and was so easy that my elderly anti technology mother was able to work it and ideal for her to turn on/off her heater or whatever else you want to use the socket for.  Also with the long lead the socket can be placed out of reach, but the infra red part can be stuck with the enclosed sticky pad somewhere in sight of the remote control.

Although I'm struggling to get my infra red add on board to work, I did try the demo one at a recent show at betts 2015 and was spot on. Would I get one erm ok, but if can I pick my automation gear I would go for the radio sockets as they can be hidden but only controlled with the supplied remote or add on board where as this any remote control or this add on board.

Rav Power 6 in one WD02


I got a Ravpower filehub through this week, an RP WD02 model and thought I would run it through its paces.

Now normally when I attend Raspberry Jams I have to take an extension lead and battle for a power socket or take an external battery pack, then so I can connect to the pi either a big laptop or my phone plus the tp link access point plus lead to power it off the external battery.

Not with this, its a six in one device. It has a wireless router that you can use as an access point or link to your mobile or plug into a hotel internet socket for internet. You also have a micro sd card slot that can be used as a card reader or a nas file server, I'm guessing it can only take up to 64gb like what I'm using but couldn't find details anywhere so enough for 15 good quality films, over 10k 3 minute music tracks or just use it for your backup images.

Next was the battery which from flat took me 4 hours to charge with the official Raspberry Pi power adapter and best of all, with one of my add on boards flashing leds last for over the length of an average pi jam to an incredible 12 hours, 14 hours with my seven segment clock display making this more than brilliant for travelling as now I don't need all these extra things just the pi, this with its included lead will also fits from the hub to the pi power socket, wifi dongle and my smartphone (plus the add on board I'm showing) simples.

So do I recommend it? well I love the tp link travel router/access point, but this was so much easier in my opinion to set up and price wise considering how many items are built into this is good value, so yes, now it means I can attend jams again without having to lunge around lots of boxes of kit.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Review: RAVPower® Deluxe 14000mAh USB External Battery Portable Power Bank Charger Pack



I bought this as a whim back in October last year.  Reason being I attend lots of Raspberry Jams, yet power points can often be an issue.

Whilst I have over a dozen power packs now running various projects, very few feel well built, in fact this one feels like if it's dropped it won't spill its load, it also feels strong and sturdy and also looks great.



It comes with a nice travel bag to keep all the leads together, has a built in torch and two usb sockets with one at 1amp the other at 2 amps meaning you can run  two Raspberry Pi s together or run the HDMIPi screen with no problems.

I've tested both ports with a multimeter and can confirm it kicks out a healthy 5.25v and the ampage is what it claims. Many companies will claim that there's can run at the packaged volts and amps but very few do and this is the only one that can run the HDMIPI.

So running time, my wildlife pi camera lasted the entire night with plenty of charge left on it and when running off one  of these at events I can safely say I know will never run out of juice too.  I believe I can get nearly two full days out of it which would be plenty for the wildlife cam.

Yes this is also weighty and takes longer to charge, but if this is an issue go for a smaller device as this is big and heavy due to the amount of juice it holds.

So do I recommend one? Would I buy another? The answer is yes and as my other power packs pack up I will be replacing them with more of these.  They also come with a good warranty if you register on their site and good customer services so you know that if there was a problem which I doubt you will have, that it will be sorted fast.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Raspberry pi robot and camera


I had bought the parts a while back which consisted of a makeblock starter kit and a few extra bits n pieces from the little British robot company and also a control board from Dawn Robotics plus their pan/tilt camera kit.  Dawn robotics also do a raspberry pi image for free or for a small fee the image already on a  sd card.

So after many months of screwing and unscrewing, adding and unadding I got to the stage I could actually test it tonight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBs85aJMST0

It's very simple to set up and I'm still yet to add infra red light to work in conjunction with the camera. I currently have a pi supply bright light kit but need to figure out the wiring so I can get it working.