Archive for November, 2009

Let the decorating begin..

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Been busy in the new flat today, starting the decorating!

I really really hate painting, I loath it, detest it, it drives me up the wall – literally. But I don’t have enough money to get someone else to do it so I suppose I have to :(

I made a start with the ceiling in the living room painting it white, I don’t know why but I just don’t like off white or cream coloured ceilings. I started preparing the walls, they have been painted over wall paper but the paper joins are overlapping and there are lumps and bumps in it so I scraped, filled and sanded them smooth (ish).


Moving Again..

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Yes, for the umpteenth time this year I am moving house again!

I have just been offered a housing association flat just round the corner and as my current landlord just isn’t interested in getting repairs done I have decided to take it.

Its only one bedroom and has a combined living room/ kitchen, but its not too bad a size. Only problem is now I need carpets, curtains, fridge freezer, washing machine and shit loads of paint & decorating stuff because its far from perfect condition.

So, chances are I am not going to be on here as much for a while.

I really, really, hate moving house – this is DEFINITELY the last time (this year lol)

Paisley Xmas Lights Ceremony

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Paisley Xmas Lights Ceremony 2009 - 24Jingle bells, batman smells..

Yes its that time of year again (Bah Humbug) and Paisley has just had its annual lighting up ceremony which I went to have a butchers at.

I was determined that I was not going to get moved into a position where my photos had an ugly lamp post in the middle of them this time so I positioned myself well back where the crowd wouldn’t reach.. Or so I thought. I still ended up with a few ignorant ned types who thought its perfectly acceptable behaviour to just barge past kicking the tripod on route Grrrr


Website Updated

Friday, November 13th, 2009

I am still learning how this wordpress thingy works but I also think I am getting there now..

I have made some changes to the theme files to fix some layout and display issues, this was mostly to eliminate me having to manually adjust the style of these depending where they were posted so won’t be a great deal different from your side.

I have been trying to work out an easy way to include a block of links in the articles, the main reason being tutorials like the DIY Camera Controller are spread over several posts and I wanted you to be able to jump to the other related posts without a lot of faffing about trying to find them.


DIY Camera Controller – The Program – Part 6

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Are you getting excited, desperate to try out the new toy?

We are almost finished with the prototype controller but without the program its not going to do a lot, in fact it’s not going to do anything.

Before you upload the program you need to install a library to control the LCD display, this rather excellent piece of work has been created for you by Dale Wentz and you can find out more in the Arduino Playground

There is a tiny bug in the library code which has not as yet been updated, so to save explaining how to fix it I have included the fixed library along with my program.


DIY Camera Controller – Breadboard – Part 5

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Now its time to start bringing this thing together.

Before you do this you will need to get the Arduino programming environment set up and test your Arduino board. Full instructions can be found on the Arduino Website for different computer platforms, if you need help with this then you can ask for help in the comments below 😉

Once you have the software set up and you have successfully uploaded the blink demo to your Arduino you can get started assembling the controller prototype.

This section will give details how to put together the project on bread board, a solderless prototyping board which allows you to knock up circuits in next to no time and mess about changing things around until you are happy with it.


Renfrewshire – Paisley Annual Fireworks Display 2009

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Renfrewshire Fireworks Display 2009Remember remember the 5th of November..

Last night was bonfire night and I got dragged off to watch the Renfrewshire Annual Fireworks Display by my pals Linda & Tricia so I took my trusty D80 and tripod to capture the event in glorious technicolour digital bits.

The event included a roadshow by a local Radio station which featured some pretty awful sound system, get some bass in there ffs. There were a few rides etc for the kids and of course the main attraction was the fireworks display.

We arrived at the location nice and early to bag a good vantage point, stood there for over an hour camera and tripod ready (anger level 3/10), then the ‘organisers’ said the area had to be cleared for safety reasons, moved us on and erected barriers (anger level 6/10)


DIY Camera Controller – Sensors – Part 4

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

You will need some sensors to get the most out of the controller so I will give a quick rundown on how to make a couple.

The first is a laser trip wire, this is a laser module which sends out a beam which bounces off a reflector back to the laser and is picked up by a photo transistor. The reflector is a retro reflector which basically means it bounces the light back in the opposite direction to which it arrives, this means you don’t have to spend the best part of a day trying to get the dam thing lined up – you just stick the reflector somewhere and aim the laser at it.

Another advantage of this approach is that the detector and laser are in one box, so there is only one cable to worry about, although its perfectly feasible to separate the detector and laser if you wish to point one directly at the other.


DIY Camera Controller – Circuit Description – Part 3

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Here is where we start to get into the nitty gritty..

For those of you who are new to electronics you better break out those peril sensitive sunglasses because this is going to blow your mind! I am about to describe the immensely complicated interplay between literally thousands of components with almost limitless possibilities.

OK, I may have slightly exaggerated with the thousands of components, its actually 9 and 5 of them are push buttons LOL but the limitless possibilities isn’t far off the mark because this basic setup could be the starting point of practically anything you could dream up.