Archive for month: April, 2015

Help wanted for new project… The Big Box O’ RF

April 29, 2015 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

As I’ve mentioned over the last few months, I have piles of different development boards, and lots of little display modules and the like. I’ve been thinking of doing a simple radio project, aimed at helping further experimentation with QRP (low-power) radio homebrewing. Inspired by Pete and Bill over at the Soldersmoke Podcast, I thought […]

An Arduino by any other name…

April 27, 2015 | Arduino | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was trying to make some headway on my robotic platform project, so I went digging through boxes in my office to find the large, 12v SLA battery that I know I have somewhere. While searching I found a bunch of stuff: hundreds of red LEDs in a pack, two Arduinos, a Sparkfun breakoutboard for […]

Interested in the history of my callsign: K6HX

April 25, 2015 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was originally licensed under the callsign KF6KYI (Kenwood-Yaesu-Icom, or what I prefer, Kiss Your Iguana) but when I upgraded to Extra a few years back, I dug around and was lucky enough to snag the callsign K6HX (missed out on getting the highly desirable K6TT, which would have been AWESOME). I never really gave […]

Exciting AMSAT-NA opportunity…

April 25, 2015 | Amateur Radio, Amateur Satellite | By: Mark VandeWettering

I read this today: AMSAT is excited to announce that we have accepted an opportunity to participate in a potential rideshare as a hosted payload on a geostationary satellite planned for launch in 2017. An amateur radio payload, operating in the Amateur Satellite Service, will fly on a spacecraft which Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of […]

Monkeying around with the Lytro Camera…

April 25, 2015 | Cameras, My Photos, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple of people on my twitter feed yesterday (aside: I tweet using @brainwagon, and passed 5000 tweets yesterday) had questions about how this light field camera worked, how fast the sensor was, how long it takes to acquire the image, etc… While this is the first Lytro camera I’ve ever had the time to […]

Got a first generation (obsolete!) Lytro Camera…

April 24, 2015 | My Photos, Optics | By: Mark VandeWettering

I spent a couple years of my life working on a light field motion picture camera (and got named on two patents) as part of my former work, so I’ve been interested in light field photography and computational photography more generally. The company Lytro was basically the first to market such a device, and recently […]

New arrivals from Adafruit, and minor updates…

April 23, 2015 | Amateur Radio, My Projects, Raspberry Pi | By: Mark VandeWettering

I think Bill and Pete have been having way too much fun with the radio projects centered around the Arduino and the SI5351, so I decided to join them and ordered one of Adafruit’s SI5351 boards (I still have the kit from Jason’s Kickstarter which will almost certainly be better once I get up the […]

Using a SainSmart LCD panel with the Arduino 1.6.3 IDE…

April 22, 2015 | Arduino, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Yesterday I experienced some frustration with the SainSmart I2C LCD Module that I bought to help Pete and Bill uncover the problems that they’ve been having. If you go and read, you’ll find that I had a lot of difficulty finding the right combination of code that can be used with this module. Eventually, I […]

A (not entirely simple) LCD display for the Arduino…

April 21, 2015 | Amateur Radio, Arduino, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I am a big fan of Bill Meara N2CQR and Pete Juliano N6QW, hosts of the really great Soldersmoke Podcast. Together, they chat about homebrewing ham radio equipment, and what they’ve learned in their lessons along the way. Their “tribal knowledge” is of terrific help to someone like me who keeps making small forays into […]

New I2C peripheral: 6 DOF IMU, $5.89

April 20, 2015 | Arduino, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

This little gadget arrived via Amazon Prime today: a three axis gyroscope/accelerometer that can be programmed via the I2C bus. I didn’t really have any reason to get one, other than simple curiosity, although I suspect that possibly mounting one on my (as yet unfinished) robot platform might be able to determine motion parameters of […]

Tinkering with individually addressable LEDs…

April 19, 2015 | Arduino, LED, Microcontrollers, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

While digging around looking for an LCD module I thought I had stashed somewhere, I encountered a bag with some of 8mm individually addressable RGB LEDs that I had never done anything with. For fun, I thought I’d wire a few of them up on my breadboard and see if I could get them to […]

More camera experiments…

April 18, 2015 | My Projects, Raspberry Pi | By: Mark VandeWettering

Tonight’s tinkering was inspired by the script by spikedrba that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. I took down the hummingbird camera for a little maintenance, and while it was down decided to do some bench testing with new ideas inspired by what I read. Sadly, I didn’t have anything as photogenic as hummingbirds to stare […]

Motion detection in my hummingbird camera…

April 17, 2015 | My Projects, Photography, Raspberry Pi | By: Mark VandeWettering

My goal in experimenting with the Raspberry Pi camera was to try to make an efficient and effective camera which can detect motion. Previous incarnations of the camera script merely looked at the differences in pixel values between adjacent frames, thresholded them at some value, and then counted the number of pixels which exceeded this […]

StarStack… Astrophotography with Cell Phones?

April 13, 2015 | Amateur Science, Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

Tom pointed me at this awesome article about an experiment run as part of the BBC programming Stargazing Live. Basically, they asked their viewers to go outside with their cell phones and take a picture of the night sky with their cell phones and upload the (almost entirely black) images to a website. They then […]

SSTV from the ISS…

April 11, 2015 | Amateur Radio, Amateur Satellite, Space, SSTV | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, it’s not pretty, but I was just using a 17″ whip antenna on my VX-8GR, recorded it with Audacity, and then decoded it with MultiScan on my Macbook. The first bit of the recording is pretty rocky, so I had to start the sync myself. I’ve bean meaning to do some experiments with bad […]