1wire attic cooling

The attic was hot. Mounting a large fan in the vent seemed to help, but it was drawing 5.5A continuously, which is too much for the thermostat/humidistat my roommate bought. He left it on all the time, which is quite a bit of wasted power. I’ve seen 1wire devices online for quite a while and I’ve always wanted to play with them. The easiest way I can afford to connect sensors to computer is with 1wire. I’ve found my excuse.

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Time Lapse Webcam

Project Requirements
At work we needed a time lapse camera of our new student center construction project. It needs to run continuously for entire length of construction project – approx 18 months. It should run mostly unattended.

It captures 1 picture every 5 minutes. Storage capacity is cheap, so after using excel to make some projections, this worked out to be a reasonable rate for our resources. After some more research, I came to the conclusion that flash video has compatibility with most visitors while being relatively bandwidth efficient, but other codecs could be used. I originally got the idea from http://mydebian.blogdns.org/?p=261 but it wasn’t quite awesome enough, so I rewrote using Perl and expanded upon it.Continue reading “Time Lapse Webcam”

Touch Screen Jukebox

When he saw my first jukebox, My friend Derek wanted a touch screen jukebox… So we built him one! A star trek jukebox! (Derek is a good friend so I took payment in Mtn Dew and Taco Bell)

The case is made of MDF, the front is made if plexiglas pained from behind, an old computer case donated the power supply connector and motherboard tray, a touchscreen pulled from a kiosk was purchased on eBay. The rest of the stuff probably came from Radio Shack and Home Depot.

I may be a nerd, but I think Star Trek LCARS is the coolest interface around. So I made an LCARS skin for DWJukebox.

The best free jukebox software I’ve seen so far – DWJukebox

Star Trek LCARS Skin / Preview / Download

Check out the jukebox build pics.

Almost Done!

It’s almost done!

Hanging on the wall, doin its thing.

Inside view. Made hole in wall to run wires into other room for power/network/audio out.

Computer case fans, running off +5v from the only USB port on the craptop.

Using a hasp to keep it closed.

Now that it’s done, what music should I put on it? I’m looking for party music. Please IM/Email/Call Me/TXT Cell/Leave suggestions in comments!

Controls In (And Working!)

I was finally able to put in the switches and hook up the controls tonight/this morning.

Here it is. The jukebox software started right up and everything worked perfectly on the first try.

Closeup of the buttons. The protective coating is still on the plexiglas.

Here’s the rat-nest of wires in the back. I don’t have cable ties on anything yet. The keyboard encoder is just taped to the side with double sided foam tape. The terminal strip is screwed to the bottom.

Shiny Black Front

Shiny things are pretty, so the jukebox is going to be shiny on the front.

The test piece turned out really well. It’s almost like a black mirror or something.

I painted the back side of the plexiglas with Krylon Fusion. It coated well and isn’t a bad paint job, but the front looks really nice.

It’s not very shiny in this picture because the protective coating is still on the front of the plexiglas.

I set the front on the rest of the cabinet. It finally looks like something I would be proud to own.

Jukebox Controls: In Progress

So… with the screen strapped to the back of the craptop, I’ll need some way to control the jukebox. Cheap momentary pushbuttons from RadioShack seemed like a good way to go. This picture isn’t a finished piece, but it shows the buttons wired up into a spare piece of plexiglas for testing.

The buttons do no good without something to connect them to. So I dismantled a keyboard, de-soldered the connectors, and soldered a ribbon cable into the holes. I connected the other end of the ribbon cable to a terminal strip so it’s easier to wire up the buttons.

Having a terminal strip wired up to a keyboard encoder doesn’t do any good if you don’t know which pins to short together to create a keypress. I dug out my scanner and scanned both layers of traces for the keys. I then used my image manipulation program of choice and made the traces colorful and figured out which key shorted which pins.

The keyboard encoder pinout is probably different between different models/brands of keyboards, so there isn’t much point for me to post that here. Another method of figuring out which pins go where is to partially disassemble the keyboard and use a multimeter on continuity test with alligator clips to figure out which key shorts which 2 pins. Yet another method is just plugging the keyboard encoder into the computer and shorting pins and seeing which keypress it caused.

XML Boxes

Summertime gets kinda crazy at work… Gotta have some silliness to keep some sanity. I think XML for a pile of trash is silly enough.

Who would have known empty boxes use UTF-8?

That’s more than a couple boxes!

Gotta make sure the rest of the hallway doesn’t get thrown away. 😛