Jun 272013
FLIRC - a programmable USB Media centre controller receiver

Jamie from the Pi Hut sent me a FLIRC controller for review. What is it? It’s a USB dongle that can be programmed to receive signals from pretty much any infra-red remote control that you may have lying around. And you can then use this to control your Raspberry Pi based* media centre (XBMC, OpenELEC, RaspBMC). Simple Setup Programming the remote controller needs another computer. But once programmmed, FLIRC works perfectly with the Pi. It can’t currently be programmed on the Pi itself, but there are setup utilities for Windows, Linux (x86) and Mac. So, […more…]

Jun 242013
RasPiCamCorder 2 - standalone raspberry pi camcorder with buttons, screen and DropBox capability

This blog is about the very much improved version 2 of the RasPiCamcorder. I originally built a quick and dirty free-standing camcorder two days after the Raspberry Pi camera was launched. I was in a hurry, as there was a Cambridge Jam two days later. Major novelty factor. It worked ok and it looks like this… Now we need buttons Later on I thought it’d be nice to have one that booted straight into camcorder mode and had buttons to control it with, so you don’t need an additional device to use it. I’ve also […more…]

Jun 222013
Testing RS 5200 mAh USB lithium battery pack as a UPS

At the end of my previous blog post, I mentioned that I was going to test the large pack to see if it was suitable as an uninterruptable power supply (UPS). Since it can be charged while being used, it seemed reasonable to see if it works for this function. Three days testing So I decided to put it on test for three days. Those three days ended at 9 am this morning, although I’ve still left it running. The pack has been powering the Pi, while the pack itself is connected to my 1 […more…]

Jun 192013
Pi duration tests and review of two new lithium battery packs

I’ve got a couple of new battery packs in from RS. As part of my testing, I wanted to see how long they could power a Pi at idle, with nothing but the battery pack and an Edimax wifi dongle connected. I know how much power this uses because I’ve made measurements in the past. Model B with just Edimax = 2.0 Watts at idle Model A with just Edimax = 0.81 Watts at idle (included for completeness – this test is on model B) I just want to know roughly how long it lasts […more…]

Jun 162013
Automatic Exposure Compensation Testing for the Pi Camera

In the 4 weeks since the Pi camera came out, I’ve spent a fair amount of time testing and fiddling with different things. I’ve also made two RasPiCamcorders – I hope to document the Mk2 version soon. It’s the reason I haven’t blogged much in the last week. I’ve been working on the hardware and software for it. One thing I hadn’t done until this week was test out the various settings for exposure compensation and white balance. Previously, I’d only used the automatic settings, which work pretty well. But there are some circumstances where […more…]

Jun 062013
Part 2 - Raspberry Pi Camera stills VS video, Old VS New – resolution comparison

In the previous comparison I did a week or two ago, the resolution of video and stills output was compared. With respect to reading a car license plate from across the street, there was precious little to choose between the output. With the latest release of the camera drivers, (sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade) I took the opportunity to run the test again with both old and new drivers. The most noticeable change is that the field of view of the stills is much greater. It transpired that the previous stills output was […more…]

Jun 022013
Nine days' weather in one minute. Time-lapse video with Raspberry Pi Camera

I just got back from a week in France. While I was away I had a Raspberry Pi camera shoot a photo of the garden every ten minutes. I set it on for ten days, the day before we left. It still has a day or so to run, but I FTPed the first 1300 .jpg files from my Pi while it’s still running and made them into a video using Videopad. (You can also do this natively on the Pi with FFMPEG, but I haven’t played with that yet.) The subject matter isn’t the […more…]