Double DOH!

Posted in Sensing on April 11, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

Finally, an affordable radar sensor.



Posted in Home Made Lidar on April 11, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

So, I am having to hurry up as the commercial lidar are now coming down to where they should be in terms of price/performance.


One step closer

Posted in Home Made Lidar on April 9, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

Here is the gimbal board blinking.

What it took was a bit of work to sort a driver for a USBtinyISP programmer.

Then some fidgeting to get the programmer header to stay in place.

You can actually crash the programmer it turns out by shorting pins – if the header is not seated properly or it moves.

Otherwise, if everything is in place it takes literally a second to burn the bootloader onto the board.

I set the board up as an Uno in the IDE, opened up blink example and uploaded.

Next is to strip out the code from drive one of the 3 motor ports to get a motor rotating for the LIDAR.

Gag and double frack!

Posted in Sucky Wucky RaspingBreathBurry, The downside of Opensource, The Downside of software development on March 28, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

I have officially given up on the OrangePi Zero as the server for my house.  The system drops off the LAN after a week or two of running, which is no good if its running sprinklers and lights etc.

I regretfully inform I have chosen to get a RaspingDoodleBerryPi to drop TheThingBox onto it.

I don’t otherwise have to admit having one.

I got a black case and I will mount it out of sight on back of a black WiFi router.

It will be between you and me.

At least I can give up on this time wasting debugging.

I did almost steal an Odroid C1 off my cluster.  Almost.

Still, I have two small linux boards now.

I am going to re-burn SD and try to build moos-ivp on one of them.

Why not, worked a treat on my BBB.


Back to the home-made LIDAR

Posted in Home Made Lidar on March 27, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

So, got my travel approved for the conference I am going to.  I am still waiting on the review comments back before I generate the final paper.

In the meantime I thought I would dust off the bits I bought for the home-made LIDAR and start fidgeting.


As I am cheating for the prototype, I will need to do something about setting up the Atmega328P based board.

To setup up the board I need burn on the Arduino bootloader, since the system has its own (or so it would seem).

To do that I need use the ISP and …


The pesky board has pads, with no through holes, on the bottom.

Hmmm.  Nasty fiddly work.

But wait!  I did get a gadget for bombing the small quad flight controllers I scrounged.  Et voila!


The gadget fits over the atmel chip and has pins enough to power and program the chip in situ.

Not a common gadget, came across it … don’t remember where.


Only downside it fits a 10 not 6 pin ISP USB programmer.


I have a BAITE evUSBASP 10 pin!

All coming together.

Blowed if I can find info on the pin-outs of the header LOL.  Long lost the paperwork.

However, I do note Atmega328P programming uses pins 1, 7, 8, 17, 18 and 19 on the DIP chip.  So that’s RESET, VCC, GND, MOSI, MISO and SCK.

On the 32pin quad pack it looks like 29, 4, 21, 15, 16 and 17.

So …



The three pins grouped in one corner sit over the corner opposite the chip key.

So now we can re-burn the sucker with the Arduino bootloader.

It would seem that the smudge of bolognese sauce in the photo coincidently marks the keyed corner too LOL.  Do they sell indalable bolognese sauce?  I might substitute with a marker.

Nuances factor, is the chip on the gimbal board 3.3V of 5V.  I have an older programmer that is 5V so I am screwed if the dang board is 3.3V.  That’ll be the next hurdle.

Self induced sabbatical from fun

Posted in Orange Pi, Sucky service Providers, The downside of Opensource, The Downside of software development on February 20, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

Well, not really.

I had another paper to write to get me to a conference.

In the meantime, the dopey OrangePiZero keeps needing reboot every couple of weeks.  Not sure whether its the node-red, the mqtt server OR the hardware.

Previously, when the website went down, I could login via the serial port – so I suspect the hardware again.

I will likely need to pull an ODROID-C off my cluster to take over the house again.

The orangpizero will at least be a great little brain for robots.


Posted in Buyer beware! on January 29, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

Have poor eyes nowadaze.  So I have a few gadgets to help out.  I have a large plastic fresnel lens, a jeweler’s monocle, a hands free mag glass with light, namely:

Most have limitations and I am happy enough that they work within those limitations.

Still, I was looking forward to my USB Microscope.  Only $20 etc. so not expecting much but frack me!

The one that turned up seemed fine.  However, I was dazzled somewhat by the brightness of the LED.  There is an adjustment but, via the viewport, you have pitch black or you flood the viewing field.

The software that comes with it installs BUT the purposed software for the microscope (that includes allowing changing of resolution) installs but does not run on Windoze.  There is a second piece of software (AmCap) that I suspect is a open source program.  It runs fine but does not offer any more functionality than the camera app that comes with Windows 10.  Turns out good old MyCam works a treat with the resolution setting so you don’t need to install anything from the vendor disk.

Functions okay.  Lighting problem disappointing.  I am only using it for fine PCB work anyway so likely not a problem, and it was only $20.

View flooded by bright LED array supplied inbuilt

Using a warm, slimline, LED desk lamp