Monday, 31 December 2012

Looking back over the year

Looking back over the year I have to say its been a good year all in all.

The bad things first, the few bouts of bad depression, falling out with a good friend and my daughters rebellion against everyone. There was also the caching ban by a certain few but I won't go into that.

However a lot of positive things happened, being the first to one hundred 5/5 s being joint first with wonky donkey into the most geolympix events attended, the geolympix, the Christmas summer camp event to name a few.

I've also started to learn Linux coding language, got a raspberry pi or seven and made my tv project which I'm yet to show off.

I also came joint 5th in the country for the employee of the year competition, staying the night at the fa Hilton up leictershire way. Second in the depot back shift member of the year for all my hard work and highly regarded by those above for my hard work dealing with the cross government mail contract and do pleased that my efforts have been appreciated especially on my down points.

I also got to take out caching some friends who I introduced to 5/5 caching but to find a proper 5/5 in this day and age is hard. While I never hit the 9 or 10k mark in geocaching a 8.5 does me fine, just wished the weather and depression didn't hold me back as it did.

I'm still learning to use the raspberry pi, hoping to learn more about the gertboard in the coming year and make more projects hopefully geocaching orientated and hopefully patch things up with old friends too.

While 2012 has been a great year overall with lots of achievements and things learnt I hope 2013 will be better.

Happy new year all and feel free to click on the links on the side, just need 6000 clicks to get my cheque from google lol.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

my tv pi project

It all started when I saw skpang's portable computer project. From that point I knew I had to try and make my own one.

Once I had sourced a cheap 3.5" screen on eBay for about ten quid I was set to go, I will be getting a 7" next as its a bit small to work on but for films and iplayer it's good enough.

Firstly I had to take the screen apart to by pass the 12v to 5v bit. Luckily I found four pins pass this bit that I could connect to, so after hacking the lead down and adding a USB lead to power the screen I soon had the av lead reattached and shorter. The only problem I did have was as the screen was cheap it did have a few pixels that were dead.

Next stage was to add raspbmc to the pi, I also added iplayer and a few other uk on demand catch up tv add ons. I then got a remote control to use on it, an open case to let it ventilate and heat sinks to keep the heat down.

I also added the ledborg, but need to work on that even through it does work and lights up the case nicely.

I then purchased some cheap three quid speakers from babz media to do the sound and run them, the tv, raspberry pi, wifi and remote receiver through a cheap 7 way USB hub bought for a couple of quid and run by a 5v 3a decent power lead to ensure there is enough amps, on a 1amp psu the device kept crashing.

The raspberry pi has been slightly clocked to allow it to keep up and so far no problems watching films, even through before I slightly clocked it it did stutter here and there, now the only stuttering is when the Internet can't keep up with it.

So total price for the project including the pi leads, psu etc came to about 70 quid. Taking out the stuff I can use for other projects (or if you already have a pi and the basics) would come to around £20.

Have a go, nice easy project and I now have a 20 quid portable phone charger to try and run it all from 5v 2a 8500mh so should be able to keep it running for a few hours.

Dunsden series

We went out on the dunsden series near reading today, wore Wellies which I was grateful for due to the waterlogged area. We passed a house that was once lived in but had been left in a bad state. Parking at near 9 we went round anti clockwise, frodo covered in mud within seconds. We could also see the tracks of other animals as we walked round. A few dnf s, but a good day out, a good view of reading and also the floods. Later on we went to get a cache in a hedge and actually found two dormice playing in the hedge. Near the end the footpath Was flooded, knee deep and over the tops of my Wellies, frodo became cleaner here as he swam around in the footpath. A nice afternoon out and nice to get back out after the recent weather and seasonal illnesses.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

bugs, virus s and sd cards

After a great Christmas I was hit today by a big that left me in bed disliking light especially tv light. So after a good sleep I was able to come up with new ideas.

First was I have an sd card that claims its write protected when it's not. Thanks to a friend I will try out this tomorrow to see if it will fix it.

Next I'm trying to come up with making my own camera rocket that I can fire up into the sky and take pictures. I've got most of the concept there, tube, big elastic, parachute, but just need to find a way of running an old web cam with small battery and USB/sd card and can power for a few minutes, have wondered about just using a wifi cam straight to pc. Any ideas or other projects that could help then let me know.

Next up is the raspberry pi user guide book, a very good read and I've learnt more from this than all the Linux and unix books I've been reading recently, certainly a well received Xmas present.

Over the coming week or so I should have lots more bits coming to add or use with the raspberry pi, so watch this space.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Not much

Not much to report been too busy with my pi s, however with a week off soon I will be able to spend some time writing and learning python to hopefully do something with the gertboard.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

wow great service

After contacting newit earlier during the week a helpful Jason said to return the pi. Well today the replacement has arrived and a quick turn round at Christmas.

A big thank you to all at newit, merry Christmas and have a happy new year from a very happy customer.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Xmas pi n caching

We went to the excellent Christmas geocaching event yesterday by the Cachehoppers, I kind of got dragged as I wasn't up to talking to people even through I doubt it showed.

We got to do around half a dozen caches with a couple of ftf s for good comfort.

Today I was up early, needed to get a doctors appointment. 8.30 am straight through to receptionist who seem to think they can assess you on the phone. "erm
I need to see the doctor I'm not having a good time and I'm on anti depressants". Soon had an appointment for ten minutes later so quick run outside and de I've the car to turn up just in time for my appointment. Extra tablets later I was back at home.

Whilst drinking a cup of tea I notice the memory card on pi 2 the tv project was at an odd angle, on closer inspection I could see the sd holder wasn't holding so will have to see how I can get this solved. Took off the heatsinks and out of the casing so it's ready to go back as soon as I hear back from the suppliers.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

not much about pi

Not much to report really, have been rather down with depression. Have felt so low that at times I've wanted to lock myself away from everyone.

Caching has been quiet, not due to weather, just lack of nearby caches and quality caches. The trend for a soggy film canister just seems to grow, whilst a good quality hide deminishes.

On the pi front I have finished a few kits, the gertboard is running but with problems on LEDs 3,4,7,11. All the connections seem to have power and all LEDs work, but not plugged into the pi. Even after replacing the red LEDs with green and amber it didn't improve things. I then got the ladder board kit to find one red and two amber don't want to work and same again resoldered it. Then two berryclips where led s 2 and three don't want to work neither, which leads me to think its either the board or the software, answers on a postcard.

Yesterday the other part of team text got their 5000th cache, well done to Thierry and Helena on achieving it.