Archive for June 30, 2012

Chocolate Making!

Chocolate making is a new hobby of mine that I have recently taken up. I have a chocolate making kit with several moulds and I can get bulk milk, dark and white chocolate locally. Once I get good with doing it this way I will try my hand at making it from scratch to see how I go with it.


Raspberry Pi

I received my Raspberry Pi on Friday and have been playing around with it. The device is awesome I have never had such a powerful device at my fingertips for embedding. I was originally going to wait for the Arduino Due but now I am going to get a couple of adapters made up to buffer my Raspberry Pi’s IO ports to use with prototyping. A 700MHZ ARM CPU with linux support is a lot better then a 90MHZ ARM cpu like on the Due.

The IO options on the Raspberry Pi are awsome. I2C and SPI on such a powerful board are great. The only problem I have so far is hte lack of hardware UART ports but there are USB ports available so that could be fixed with a USB hub and some FTDI chips or even a USB compatible atmega such as the newer arduino boards.

I’d build my lightning trigger on the Pi if I had a fast analog to digital converter but for now it and the inervalometer will remain on an arduino board because it doesnt need all the features or speed of a Pi.

Minecraft Hardcore Survival Season 2

I have started season 2 of my minecraft Hardcore survival series. This season features a normal standard randomly generated map insted of the survival island style seed of the first map.

This map is a lot better in some ways as it starts out hard although it does get easier as play progresses. This map also features more things that can be a trap for the unweary like myself so it will be interesting to see how this season goes compared to the first season.

So far I have set myself a few basic challenges. The first is to build a lookout tower on top of the mountain which contains my home. My second challenge is to build an underwater farm. My third challenge is to get to the nether and build a blaze farm. And my fourth challenge if I get that far is to kill the enderdragon.

Watch Season 2 here:

Software Defined Radio

Ive been experimenting with using a software defined radio receiver while waiting to receive my ametaure radio license. I have been using an RTL2832U based USB tv tuner dongle with SDR Sharp (SDR#)

My current antenna setup is not the best but I plan on fixing that soon. I intend on getting a discone antenna for my scanner and the SDR receiver due to it’s wide bandwidth and omnidirectional nature. But even with my current setup of the main TV antenna I am getting great results at least of high power stuff like broadcast FM

Took me a couple of days worth of fiddling to get SDR-Sharp to work with my dongle but once I got it the setup works great.I tried HDSDR but have been unable to get my card to work with it. But I will figure it out

I am now trying to figure out the windows port of Digital Signal Decoder (DSD) to experiment with receiving digital signals such as P25 but thats on the back burner a bit. I also intend on playing around with GNU Radio when I finally install Linux onto my laptop again. Got the partition all ready and waiting.

SDR Sharp

RTL2832U Buy it on Deal Extreme

Series 1 Of My Hardcore Minecraft Series Is Finished

Just a quick post to let you all know that season 1 of my Hardcore survival island series in Minecraft is now finished. It was fun while it lasted but now it is over due to a supprise attack by a creeper.

Watch the entire series using this playlist

Watch the final episode here:


I am already planning a season two for the series. I will start with a randomly generated world and go from there. Hopefully there wont be any creeper ambushes this time.