Category Archives: Experiment

Howto setup Rasbian Buster with BATMAN Mesh networking | raspberry pi 3 rasbian mesh batman network

I wrote this article a while ago about setting up BATMAN mesh networking with Rasbian Jesse on a Raspberry Pi 3.

This worked well, but stopped working with the newer versions of Rasbian, since there have been changes to the operating system.

After testing for several days, I found adding one command into the original script gets it to work just fine.

How to below.

After a fresh install of Rasbian Buster, connect to the system via ssh and run the following command to install BATMAN.

Lets create the mesh startup script.

The script will contain the instructions for bring up the interfaces and get  mesh, just change the IP address at the bottom on the next hosts, increment by one. Copy and past the following into the mesh.sh file.

Now let make the script executable.

And add to crontab so that its executed at every reboot

Add the following

Reboot and mesh should be up and running.

Test by executing the following command.

Should see something like this.

 

Dump1090 to MySQL Script | send flight data from dump1090 to mysql

I wanted a script which would read all the live dump1090 aircraft data and log it to a mysql database.

This base script does it, it will dump all the data to Mysql every minute.

It will start the dump1090 server and kick off a process which reads/sorts and inserts.

 

SD Card review on the Raspberry Pi | Improving the raspberry pis performance with different storage cd card

I was running Nextcloud on a Raspberry Pi zero w, the performance is not there.

I ran top to determine the IO Wait times, it was high. High enough that the performance would be impacted.

I ran a test on two different cards.

The is a Sandisk Ultra 16gb ($9) and the Sandisk Extreme Pro 128gb ($120), looks like the price does not improve performance on the raspberry pi Zero. I will write another article when I test the latest Raspberry Pi and see if the results change.

Sandisk Ultra

Sandisk Extreme Pro

 

Review of a 50000mha solar USB Powerbank | testing a solar panel usb powerbank

I have developed an unnatural obsession with powerbanks, I have a large number of them for different purposes.

I decided to start reviewing them to give people information before making a purchase, often these cheap devices are sold with a number of features which may or may not be useful of even work at all.

So ill start off by listing the locations where you can purchase them, and the costs.

So for this experiment ran two tests, one with the unit on its own and another with an external USB Solar panel attached to assist in the charging.

Here are the links and costs to the products.

  • Powerbank 50000mha dual usb with LED – $24.99
  • Solar Panel 6volt 3.5watt – $7.38

01. The first test was conducted in the following way. I put the powerbank in the sun during an overcast day for six hours facing North (10am-4pm). Then I connected it to my phone can checked to see how much charge was given.

Results: 12%

Conclusion. The charge isn’t that much, but its enough to get you out of a sticky situation.

02. The second test was conducted in the same way as test one, but also installing the Solar panel listed above.

Result: 40%

Conclusion: I’m impressed, 40% is decent charge levels for 6hours in the sun.

Overall Conclusion:

Im pleased with this product. I have tested it in the rain, I can confirm its was resistant. Its a tough product, it needs to be if its going to survive in my world.

Powerbank endurance test for Raspberry Pi 3. | testing how long a raspberry pi can be powered via a powerpank

Iv like to test and know how much uptime can be achieved by different powerbank.

I purchased this powerbank case on ebay and then purchased the 18650 3.7v batteries separately.

I have built two powerbank with identical cases but different batteries. 

  • Powerbank – $5.35
  • Batteries 18650 9600mha – $24.80
  • Batteries 18650 6000mha – $22.49

The results?

  • Batteries 18650 9600mha – 23 Hours
  • Batteries 18650 6000mha – 18 Hours

It should also be noted that the Raspberry Pi is online via wifi during the whole test while getting pinged every minute.

Building a Apple Macbook Powerbank | apple macbook powerbank charger

Iv been looking for a powerbank for my Macbook Pro for years. I managed to find one years ago at the price of $300, too much.

I recently purchased a powerbank from ebay and noticed it has a 15 volt option, considering the Macbook chargers are 16.5 volts it should have enough grunt to charge it.

The only component I ordered was the custom Apple cable. Here is the shopping list.

Ok, lets get started with the project. This project can be completed by a beginner, its not complex at all. You just need to ensure its completed correctly as it may cause damage to your Macbook is connected incorrectly.

So i found a Coaxial power cable in my garage, this is the cable connected to the powerbank. We need to fuse this cable with the custom Apple charge cable.

Once we connect the two, we must ensure we seal them correctly using some shrink seal.

I finished and connected it to my Macbook Air 11″, worked straight away. You must ensure that positive and negative is connected correctly. This is achieved by using a multimetre.

When you have completed the project before connecting to your laptop, using a multimeter compare the created cable with the power adapter. You should achieve readings like this.

If your happy with the results then you can connect it to your laptop, you should see the green light which will then turn to orange indicating that its charging.

Results?

Im really happy with it. I did a test of it charging capabilities. I charged the powerbank 100% and then connected it to my Macbook Air which had 15% charge. It charged it to 48%. Its probably around an extra hour of operation on the Air. Enjoy!

Howto setup Raspberry Pi 3 with Mesh wireless networking using B.A.T.M.A.N. | raspberry pi 3 wifi mesh networking batman howto

For around two years I have been trying to get Mesh networking going on the raspberry pi’s. I have used different Pi’s and bought a heap of USB Wifi dongles which also did not work.

I tried again the other day using an out of the box raspberry pi 3 with the standard Jesse Lite os, this worked.

I have been testing the setup lately and I’m really impressed. I have been able to have connectivity throughout my house and into the backyard, this is around 50+ meters of connectivity through brick walls. I will continue testing of the range and application features.

Here is the howto.

FIrst, we install a few packages we might need.

We download the BATMAN source, and install it.

Here we’ll create the script which we just to establish the wifi network and mesh networking. Save it to /root/mesh.sh. Make sure you change the IP address at the last like and increment upward for each device you setup.

Make the script executable.

Add an entry into the crontab to run it at startup by typing “crontab -e” and adding the following line.

Reboot the Pi and it should be operational, to test type “ifconfig” it should look like this.

Note: the bat0 is the mesh network and the eth0 is the hardwired network connection.

Once you have all the devices online, you can ping to see if they’re online or type this to see if batman can see them

Should look like this.

In this example you can see three other Pi’s online.

 

Building a 24/7 Raspberry Pi using offgrid power. Solar and battery operated outdoors. | raspberry pi 3 iot 24/7 solar panel battery charge cmtp02 wifi mesh node weather station

After doing months of research and experimentation I have finally completed my task. Building a raspberry pi with the ability to running 24/7 outdoors off grid using batteries and solar power.

Why? There are thousands of applications for this kind of setup, here are some I would like to experiment with in the future:

  • Mesh network node, over a wide area
  • Weather station
  • Outdoor wifi hotspot
  • Outdoor wireless camera node
  • Wifi bridge

Priorities. Project objectives were,

  • Cheap
  • Waterproof
  • Heatproof
  • Robust
  • Simple

Considering this was a experiment / proof of concept this was put together using things I found around the house, obviously if this was built for commercial applications the housing would need to be built using steel and this would make the costs go up. This was built using the following components and costs:

  • Raspberry Pi $49.50
  • Raspberry Pi Case $10.85
  • Micro USB Cable $1.00
  • 12v to USB Converter $5.11
  • Solar Charge Controller CMTP02 $12.00
  • Solar Panel 60Watt $59.98
  • Bucket
  • Battery AGM12-20 $65.00
  • Total: $203.44

Once I had all to components I used Styrofoam which I found in my garage to build a base which will be located at the bottom of the bucket, the objective will be to hold the battery in place and also insulate it form the suns heat. see below.

 

 

 

 

Once we have a nice tight fit, we’ll install it in the bucket. I will also use the leftover Styrofoam which I have crusted into small pieces to fill the gap between the battery and the wall of the bucket. This will stop any movement and will also provide insulation to the battery itself.

 

 

Now we need to take note, I have completed a similar experiment here where I tested the battery and Raspberry Pi alone without solar or controller. I managed to get 4 days uptime.

Next we will need to run the wires required for the solar panel, I drilled a hole at the bottom of the bucket and brought the wires up to the top. I did this because if water comes through the hole it will stay at the bottom and not harm the electronics.

 

Next we make another circle with the Styrofoam and fit it on top of the battery, this is where we will house the electronics. Its the safest place as the lid will be water and air tight.

 

Now we can connect the Solar controller CMTP02 to the battery and to the Solar panel, finally onto the 12v to USB controller.

 

Bringing it to life! Install the raspberry and have it connect to my home wifi network. Then seal the bucket and setup somewhere in the backyard where it will get the most sun,facing North (In Melbourne).

Now Im will testing this setup, it should run forever like this. During my first setup run, I had connected the solar panel the wrong way due to bad color coding on the cables. Now that its fixed its been running for three days and the battery is currently on fill charge.

Building a weather station Raspberry Pi 3 IOT | Raspberry Pi 3 weather station weewx IOT

I wanted to build a weather station located at my holiday house, functional reasons were to know when it hasn’t rained in a while so I knew if the garden needs watering.

The nerd in me just wants everything to be network enabled.

The components I used,

  1.  Acurite Pro 5-in-1 Color Weather Station with Wind and Rain
  2. Raspberry Pi 3

The setup was very simple and quick to set up!

Lets get started!

After installing the weather station somewhere around your house and switching on the base station. You should now be able to see the weather at the base station, information such as rain, temp, humidity etc should be flowing.

Now connect the base station to the raspberry pi via the USB cable.

SSH onto the raspberry pi, to check if we have connectivity do the following.

When you see the device we have connectivity.

Bus 001 Device 005: ID 24c0:0003

How to configure the server and install the software, in this setup we’ll be using weewx for our communication with the weather station and data gathering.

Then navigate to the raspberry pi IP address through your web browser.

http://192.168.1.1/weewx

Mobile Flight Control Tower | how to build a mobile flight traffic control tower using linux raspberry pi and a usb dvb-t tv tuner

Although I love the internet, I still want my tech to operate without it. Going forward with this theme I want a mobile Flight Control Tower, as I’m a plane enthusiast and admire these machines and their operations.

Using a Raspberry PI as my platform, the options are limitless. There are internet / app based options for getting flight data feeds like flight radar 24 but as you know, i want to control my tech!

First things first, how on earth are we going to accomplish this?What hardware will be use? How much will it cost? Lets start with our shopping list .

TOTAL: $80.83

This a very cheap project which is a lot of fun. 

 

Lets get started with the howto….

So after you have built the OS on the raspberry pi (Raspbian), ssh onto the machine and execute the following.

Now you will need to edit the following file and enter the following parameters.

and paste.

Now to install the dump1090 application which actually displays the planes on a map.

All done, lets start the application

This will start the application with networking.

Bring up your web browser and point it to http://ipofraspberry:8080/

So now our project is complete, you can see all the planes flying around! But this project is a mobile control tower which means we’ll need a way to view the planes on the go, so i thought I would use a wifi card acting a wireless Access point.

This way, if your in the car and you want to see whats flying ahead, you can just connect with your phone or laptop and take a look.

 

Access Point Setup

Edit the DHCP server config

Uncomment the following three lines

Scroll down to the bottom of the configuration file and enter the following.

Edit the following file

replace

with 

Then edit the interfaces files, have the wifi section looking like this

 

Lets setup the Access point, enter the following.

 

You will notice I connected the driver out.. As far as I know its not needed. You can locate yours if you like and put it in

 

Then edit and change

 

To this

Then edit this

From this

To this

Edit this

vim /etc/sysctl.conf

Uncomment this

net.ipv4.ip_forward=1

Enter the following iptables rules, into the command line

Then save the rules permanently 

Restart the raspberry so that all the changes take affect.

Once restarted navigate to http://19.168.100.1:8080

This is because the WiFi NIC has been given a different IP.