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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Geocaching at box quarry

Back out at box today with bear claws, amaytom, lotc and haforn. Been to these caves quite a few times and each time we discover more new places within.

But after a few problems last time the previous cache owner came round with us to give us pointers and to try figure out where we had gone wrong. He showed us many interesting facts and places within the caves as well as witnessing us solving the earth caches.

As expected is was wet and very muddy and obviously dark as you can see from the picture.

Another great day out where I became exhausted and rather achy by the time I got home with lots of muscle pains from cramp and muscle pulls. But all worth it for a great day.

This picture is of cathedral where they use to lift the rocks out of, must admit I love this part of the caves and another crane up the slope.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Bit coin mining on the pi

Today I got my first payout of $9 not much but not bad for a 335mhz usb stick. This took about two months but I have since got a red fury which should reduce the time to just under a week and a cheap bfl jaleopeno should be here soon too this will bring payouts down to around every two days.

I'm also looking at adding a adafruit lcd with buttons to view what's going on and have also installed plugins to view my miner on the move.

Ok I don't see myself making huge amounts but will start to see a break even on the devices in 6 months plus electric costs.

I will do a detailed write up soon, but feel free to make a donation to me (doesn't matter how small) to:


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

My adventures spread international

While I hoped I would hit 2k views on my cache berry pi, it was my raspi sat nav that took me by surprise and actually overtook cacheberry and my tv project bringing in views from nearly every country in the world and tons of retweets and reports, including adafruit.

My latest post on fixing a broken sd card socket I thought would be even more popular but wasn't, however it has been quite popular appearing on many foreign raspberry pi sites including this one:

Using a translate program I got this:

As we all well know, when we introduce the SD card in the Raspberry Pi, this is part of it out of the slot. This is a problem since any punch or Raspberry IP fall to the ground, can cause breakage of the slot where the SD card is inserted. At this point you have two options: or buy another Raspberry Pi (currently are not things to go shopping every few minutes), another option is to replace ourselves the slot with a bit of skill.
Paul Brown has written a tutorial to repair the SD card slot clean and cheap. The price of a new slot is 3 lbs and just need a bit of welding and reading this tutorial.

Hopefully as this blog becomes more and more popular I will have more and more projects to blog along with reviews of new products and other raspberry pi stuff.

Thanks to all my loyal followers and everyone who has helped to make my blog successful.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Fixing a broken sd slot on a raspberry pi

Now the raspberry pi is excellent in every way apart one, the sd card socket. The amount of people I know that suffer from this and after a chat to 4tronix about it and a kind offer to fix it for me I thought what could go wrong?

My first step was to use a pair of electrical/jewellery plier cutters to cut the 15 connections, once this was carefully done I was left with this.

Next up was to desolder, now never used desolder wick before, but what experience I have had of desoldering wasn't a happy one.

So what I had to do was place the thin wick over each soldered area one bit at a time, placing the solder tip on top using the heat to heat up the desolder wick so that it would get hot enough to melt the solder and absorb it.

With the new sd card holder bought off eBay ready, I was left with this nice clean solder free board.

Ok there's a bit of solder left on a couple of connections, but very little. 

Next up was to carefully hold the sd card in place with all connectors touching the correct spot on the raspberry pi, now soldering one connector in one end, I then start the other end ensuring the solder covers the motherboard connection along with the connector.

So far this has taken about 15 minutes for first attempt, although not happy with two of the connections it works, by not happy the solder connects the card in/out sensor switch but a bit bumpy.

Leaving the pi for a few minutes I come back to it for another look using a magnifying glass and all seems fine.

Now for the final stage to try it out, plugging in the sd card all seems fine, good fit and sd slot stays intact.

Firing the pi up and bingo, it starts loading and while I type up this blog it's doing a sudo apt-get update.

And that's it a working pi again all for around three uk pounds in total, certainly cheaper than a new £25 pi.

Monday, 13 January 2014

My top five projects in recent months

Realising I've made some pretty good projects and things over the pass few weeks I thought I would do a run down.

5.  Oled display on pi. this showing how to set up an oled display from adafruit on a raspberry pi

4.  Lcd weather display. this was firstly a lcd made following andypi s instructions to making and wiring the display and using bbc weather for the weather updates.

3.  Adafruit tft touchscreen for pi. soldering together a touchscreen and set it up for raspberry pi

2.  Raspberry pi sat nav using an adafruot tft touchscreen I was able to add sat nav to it using a usb gps and navit.

And my number one project so far this year:

Cacheberrypi geocaching device also took the most time to make and most proud, had over 1000 hits in less than a week along with interest from various magazines and Internet sites.

If you have any ideas for future blogs and projects then please get in touch, if you like my blogs then please click an advert as this helps support my site and future projects, many thanks

Lastly if you have a project or item you would like me to review please email me removing myfishyknicks to get around the spam trap.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Raspi sat nav

After getting the adafruit display on another post on this blog working I  thought, I wonder if I could get a sat nav working on it?


sudo apt-get install navit

Sudo apt-get install gpsd gpsd-clients python-gps emacs

sudo apt-get install subversion freeglut3-dev imagemagick libdbus-1-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libdevil-dev libfontconfig1-dev libfreetype6-dev libfribidi-dev libgarmin-dev libimlib2-dev libpq-dev libqtwebkit-dev librsvg2-bin libspeechd-dev libxml2-dev ttf-liberation

the compiler and other stuff needed:

sudo apt-get install gcc cmake zlib1g-dev libpng12-dev libgtk2.0-dev librsvg2-bin

sudo apt-get install libglc-dev freeglut3-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libfreeimage-devlibqt4-dev libgps-dev espeak

then we need the latest navit repo

mkdir navit-build
cd navit-build
cmake ~/navit

if you want to add POI's then this will need to be done in .CSV format and this needs to be done:

cmake --enable-map-csv ~/navit

then you need to find the navit.xml file to configure navit and do:

cd ~/navit-build/navit/

This will take around an hour so best to go off and do something else, then you should be ready to run.

Start gps with:

sudo killall gpsd
sudo gpsd /dev/ttyUSB0 -F /var/run/gpsd.sock
cgps -s (cntrl c to exit)

go to the navit map site make your map up by highlighting the area you want, choose get map and save it, rename it as something me reconisable like ukmap.bin, place it on a usb stick and plug it into the pi before copying it to the .navit directory.

The great thing with navit is you can also add poi s so technically I can make this into another cacheberry device too.

There is some stuff on raspberrypi forums about naviit, probably easy enough to set up a adafruit gps unit on the pins or via a ttl usb device. I however just used a bulk standard usb gpsr the sort you get on eBay to plug into your laptop shipped from a foreign country.

Have discovered my screen was loose as the two thin strips of tape holding it on wasn't sticking so gorilla glue has been used and currently is placed between two cups to apply some pressure to keep in place whilst the glue does it stuff.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Stepper motors on the pi

Out playing with stepper motors today, using 28bjy-48 and a uln2003 board which I purchased off eBay a while back for about a pound each but had to wait for a month for them to arrive, obviously buying them from a uk company would have meant next day delivery but for about double and sometimes triple the price.

To make a stepper motor work it needs to be provided with a sequence of high and low signals to each of the four inputs in a correct sequence of high and low signals the motor will turn rotating the spindle, this motor can turn clockwise and also anti clockwise by reversing the sequence.

I cannot remember the coding I originally used, but Matt Hawkins over at raspberry-pi-spy has written an excellent short python script which is excellent to play with to get a good understanding of how a, the script works and b, the stepper motor works.

Thanks Matt for the following script:

# Name: Stepper Motor
# Author: matt.hawkins
# Created: 11/07/2012
# Copyright: (c) matt.hawkins 2012
#!/usr/bin/env python
# Import required libraries
import time
import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
# Use BCM GPIO references
# instead of physical pin numbers
# Define GPIO signals to use
# Pins 18,22,24,26
StepPins = [24,25,8,7]
# Set all pins as output
for pin in StepPins:
  print "Setup pins"
  GPIO.output(pin, False)
# Define some settings
StepCounter = 0
WaitTime = 0.5
# Define simple sequence
StepCount1 = 4
Seq1 = []
Seq1 = range(0, StepCount1)
Seq1[0] = [1,0,0,0]
Seq1[1] = [0,1,0,0]
Seq1[2] = [0,0,1,0]
Seq1[3] = [0,0,0,1]
# Define advanced sequence
# as shown in manufacturers datasheet
StepCount2 = 8
Seq2 = []
Seq2 = range(0, StepCount2)
Seq2[0] = [1,0,0,0]
Seq2[1] = [1,1,0,0]
Seq2[2] = [0,1,0,0]
Seq2[3] = [0,1,1,0]
Seq2[4] = [0,0,1,0]
Seq2[5] = [0,0,1,1]
Seq2[6] = [0,0,0,1]
Seq2[7] = [1,0,0,1]
# Choose a sequence to use
Seq = Seq1
StepCount = StepCount1
# Start main loop
while 1==1:
  for pin in range(0, 4):
    xpin = StepPins[pin]
    if Seq[StepCounter][pin]!=0:
      print " Step %i Enable %i" %(StepCounter,xpin)
      GPIO.output(xpin, True)
      GPIO.output(xpin, False)
  StepCounter += 1
  # If we reach the end of the sequence
  # start again
  if (StepCounter==StepCount):
    StepCounter = 0
  if (StepCounter<0):
    StepCounter = StepCount
  # Wait before moving on

5v and gnd connections should be obvious while the other four go to pins 18, 22, 24, 26. (Ch1, ch2, ch3, ch4)