Category Archives: Product Reviews

Raspberry Pi 3 A+ VS 3 B+ | compare the raspberry pi 3 a + to the 3 B +

The new Raspberry Pi 3 A+ was just released, basically its a cut down version of the 3 B+.

Here is a comparison between the two.

 

  RPi3A+ RPi3B+ Difference
CPU BCM2837B0 1.4GHz BCM2837B0 1.4GHz Same
Memory 512MB 1GB -512MB
Network Wifi, Bluetooth Ethernet, Wifi, Bluetooth -Ethernet
Size 65mm x 56mm 85mm X 56mm -20mm Shorter
USB Ports 4 1 -3

 

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

 

Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and comparison with model 3B | raspberry pi 3 B+ improvements companison

The new Raspberry Pi 3 B+ has been release. Its the first release in a while.

I just wanted to highlight the major differences between the 3B and 3B+ models.

   3 B  3 B+
 CPU  1.2 GHz  1.4 GHz
 Wired  10/100BASE-T  10/100/1000BASE-T
 Wireless  802.11ac (2.4ghz)  802.11n (2.4ghz and 5ghz)
 Bluetooth  4.1  4.2

 

Review of the Dremel 3D Printer 3D20 | Dremel 3D printer 3D20 review

I have owned the printer for several months now and thought it would be a good idea to do a review.

I was completely new to the 3D printing world, I had no idea how any of this technology worked so I think it will be a useful review to help new buyers.

The units purchase price was around $1300 AUD, which I think is quite high, then again I dont have a comparison to understand what your getting for your money.

From the reviews I have read it appears to be good value for money, especially considering that most cheaper units are DIY.

When you receive the unit it come packaged in a very secure cardboard box, easy to remove. Preparing the unit is pretty easy, remove all the stick tape which keeps it secure while in transit. 

Assembly is straight forward, all the piece fit in perfectly. You will be ready to print your first design in around 10 – 15 minutes.

Once everything is ready to go, you will find an SD card with several designs which you can test.

If you want to download your down design you can, I use a site called www.thingiverse.com This site is one of the best / free available. When you decide to download a specific design it comes packaged in a .Zip file. 

Once decompressed you need to load the .stl file from that design into the Dremel software, which is typically stored on the SD card provided.

The Dremel software is pretty awesome as it comes compatible with Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. Once installed you can load the .stl files downloaded online. 

In the software you can all more objects or move them around on the area which they will be printed on. Once your happy with the appearance you software the design on the SD card.

Remove the card from your PC and insert into the printer, you will find you have to storage sources available, local (On the printer) and SD card. Once you select the SD card you will see a list of objects stored, it will give you a preview of the item and its file name.

So my first print was a storm ship trooper from Star Wars, pictured above. The result was awesome, it was fast to print and the detail was amazing.

The second print was not so great. I wanted to print the storm ship trooper body, the download come in two parts (head and body). The print decided to break when it gets above the legs, the design moves while printing and eventually breaks, see image.

I attempted the print several times (x4) the result was the same, in some prints it will fail earlier.

So, taking this information into account I started printing designs which had a better base to work with. I printed an addition two designs from Game of Thrones which allows you to see the amazing detail this printer has, see below.

 

So once you get the hang of it, its amazing.

After printing the these downloadable designs I wanted to start creating my own designs. I did some research and it quickly become apparent that you need very expensive CAD software.

I came across an open source application called FreeCAD. After installing it I had NO idea how to use it, until I did some youtuding. The Tutorials are quite good online and I quickly built my own designs.

I will create a separate post showing how to do this. 

Overall Im really pleased with this 3D printer, good software from Dremel which is supported by all operating systems. I will do some further research to see if there is a way to prevent the designs from falling over during the printing process.

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.

 

Apple Macbook Pro 13″ 2010 with broken trackpad | apple macbook pro 13″ 2010 battery expanding trackpad broken not working

My Apple Macbook Pro 13″ (2010) spends 90% of its life as a desktop, its connected to my keyboard mouse and monitor and does not see much travel.

wp-1477273918456.jpgLast month I was going on a holiday, on the morning of my flight I disconnect my laptop and prepared it for my holiday. I thought I would test everything and ensured it all worked before taking it with me.

The laptops appeared to be operating fine, but the mouse (Trackpad) was not working. It appears to be raised a little higher than normal. Considering I could not use it on my holiday it stayed behind.

wp-1477273935277.jpgInstantly I thought, oh well! Iv had 6 good years it might be time for an upgrade! While on holidays my mind was working in the background…. I suspected the battery might have extended and was pushing the trackpad upwards…

After seeing the prices of the new MacBooks I thought lets give the old beast some more life! 

When I opened it up I was correct, the battery was ready to explode!

See photos!

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My plan is to replace the battery with a new original batter and install a SSD, ill post the procedure when all the parts arrive.

 

Raspberry Pi – Experiment 3 | Raspberryi pi battery charging uptime experiment

This is the third experiment Im running to build a raspberry pi raspberry_pi_logo-svgsystem which will have the ability to run 24/7.

These first set of experiments are designed so that we can gain an understanding about how batteries can power the raspberry pi and for how long.

I bought a 20AH battery from ebay for around $65AUD, I was not wp-1476456214624.jpgpositive about the outcome because for the previous two experiments.

Boy was I wrong!

After connecting all the components I found myself checking its uptime every few hours, just waiting for it to die off!

Turns out this baby did the trick, it ended up giving the raspberry Pi a total of 4 days uptime. Thats 96 hours, I’m really impressed.

Given the uptime this will give us more than enough power for it to be connected to solar, which will be the next experiment.

wp-1476457726141.jpg

Ill be connect the solar panel and charge controller, and trying to waterproof them as best as I can. Ill post photos when its completed.

Raspberry Pi – Experiment 2 | raspberry pi wifi batteries AA experiment duration

Raspberry Pi Power Experiment 2raspberry_pi_logo-svg

Raspberry Pi

Going on from my first experiment, this one will be slightly different.

I will be using a 12v to 5v USB converter and a 12v AA battery caddy. This caddy stores 8 x AA 1.5v rechargeable batteries. This design will closely simulate my end design which will include a charge controller and a 60w Solar panel.

img_20160927_180201

I did not commit to this design by soldering the wiring and connecting permanently as its a quick dry run test. I simply want to test the duration in which it will power a raspberry pi with a wifi dongle.

img_20160927_180639

Unfortunetly the results sucked! Taking into account that the batteries are not new, the raspberry pi ran for 4 hours and 37 minutes.

wp-1474982622336.jpg

This is a poor a result and is sending me back to the drawing board in regards to my design. I need to think about getting a sealed lead acid battery with some decent capacity.

Tracking

Experiment 1

Oneplus 3 Dash Charge Review | oneplus 3 three dash charge review example fast charging

I recently posted a Oneplus 3 review, which I forgot to mention one of the most important features of the Oneplus 3… Dash Charge.

Dash charge is the feature which enables fast charging of your mobile phone.

Im quite a heavy mobile phone user so this feature is very important to me, and my feedback so far is very possitive.

Basically charging for 34 minutes gave me 64% charge, see screenshots below.

wp-1474541614787.pngwp-1474541765800.png