Comments Welcome!

February 21st, 2010

I started this blog as an exercise in recording my own thoughts, research and creative activity – as well as learning more about the WordPress publishing platform.

Early on it was pretty much a solely personal exercise… but as I’ve tweaked the site layout, added Search Engine Optimisation, generated a few trackbacks from busier blogs etc. I’ve been noticing a steady increase in visitors.

My posts generally don’t have ‘Allow Comments’ enabled – so I thought I’d open a sticky ‘Comments Welcome!’ post that did. So if… :

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CHDK on Canon IXUS 860IS (Powershot SD870IS)

December 14th, 2010

CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) enhances the capabilities of Canon Powershot cameras in a non-destructive, non-permanent way.


CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) enhances the capabilities of Canon Powershot cameras in a non-destructive, non-permanent way.

It features:

  • Professional control – RAW files, bracketing, full manual control over exposure, Zebra-Mode, Live histogram, Grids, etc.
  • Motion detection – Trigger exposure in response to motion, fast enough to catch lightning.
  • USB remote – Simple DIY remote allows you to control your camera remotely – I really do have to make my own USB Remote Cable 😉
  • Scripting – Control CHDK and camera features using UBASIC and Lua scripts. Enables time lapse, motion detection, advanced bracketing, and much more.

There’s lots more info about CDHK at the FAQ.

I installed CHDK on my IXUS 860IS (Powershot SD870IS in the US) a while back though I’ve been using precious little of its functionality.

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iPod Touch 2G iOS 4.1 – jailbroken and optimised

November 19th, 2010

My old jailbroken iPod Touch 2G iOS 3.0 has been languishing.

Although it’s where I used to test out most of the audio and music apps I came across, Cydia got corrupted and stopped launching a while back. While it gave me the testing ground and impetus to jailbreak my iPhone 3GS iOS 3.1.2 – my iPhone is now where I try out new apps and Cydia tweaks.


But with an iCreate>Music taster workshop as part of Play Space at Contact Theatre in early December and a new Akai SynthStation 25 to play with I thought I’d upgrade it to the latest iOS 4.1, jailbreak it and to look for ways to optimise the iPod 2G hardware. Here’s how I got on…

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Boarduino + FTDI Friend

November 2nd, 2010

I’ve been thinking more and more that it’d be useful to explore smaller form factor Arduinos and clones for future space restricted projects – and though there’s plenty to choose from as a start I opted for the Adafruit DC Boarduino (Arduino Clone) Kit (w/ATmega328) – v1.0 for $17.50 and “a tweaked out FTDI FT232RL chip adapter” in the FTDI Friend + extras – v1.0 for $14.75.

My previous experience of other Adafruit kits – such as their Motor/Stepper/Servo Shield – gave me confidence it would be well documented and supported – and this particular combination seemed both cost-effective and flexible… saving $7.50 on the USB version – albeit losing the USB power and USB-serial converter, rx/tx LEDs and the rx/tx 1K series resistors… and $5.25 on the standard USB FTDI TTL-232 cable yet gaining “a little extra – in this case it’s the extra-long headers that you can use to plug it into a breadboard, or a 6-pin extension cable (which will also let you rearrange the wire order). There are also blinkies, 2 red & green LEDs that pulse when serial is sent or received. In a pinch, you can even use it to program AVRs (it’s a bit slow but works!).”

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Dave’s Auduino

August 31st, 2010

The Auduino has been a great project to learn about Arduino hardware and software – and in the process find out a lot more about basic electronics and various components, prototyping, fabrication techniques and source suitable suppliers etc.


Even though the project is relatively simple I’ve done what I normally try to do – aside from getting fairly obsessive/compulsive – make something refined but within imitations. It’s intended as a ‘thank you’ for Dave Mee from Madlab who lent me this Arduino Starter Kit for an Arduino Workshop way back in February 2010.

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My Arduino workings

July 17th, 2010

I’ve been working away on a couple of projects recently – the Auduino synthesiser and DMX control of a Colour Kinetics iColor Flex SLX 50 node light string – and though I’m not quite ready to post about these yet I thought some of my interim research and workings worth noting…


Arduino to DMX

I found a recent Frizing project – ARDUINO TO DMX CONVERTER – which uses the same RS485 chip as Daniel Hirschmann’s Super DMX Shield – which I bought all the components for from Farnell bar the 8 Pin DIP IC Socket (doh!) – so although this was all PC based I thought it might worth looking at in the interim.

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My Arduino needs…

July 4th, 2010

I’ve started a shopping list of Arduino related things I need and want… as I research and come across things of interest… and here’s some of my thinking and things I’ve found out.


Starter Kit

I need an Arduino starter kit of my own – and looking around at the various options on offer I think that the Fritzing Starter Kit seems amongst the best choice… and not because it’s brimming with components – quite the opposite in fact – but it does come with a useful plastic project box, a servo motor and hookup wire set which I’ve not seen elsewhere… and at 72.45 € – £60.57 – it seems a good deal and supports the Fritzing project too…

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Auduino and onwards…

June 26th, 2010

My SparkFun components arrived… taking 9 days from order in the US… but since I thought I’d build Dave Mee an Auduino as a thank you for lending me his Arduino kit I bought some additional 4.7k linear rotary pots, knobs and an audio jack socket from Maplin for an equitable £9.95 in the interim. They’re chunkier – but chassis fitting.


So I had a good day at Fablab Manchester on Friday…
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Expectant Auduino

June 20th, 2010

With my SparkFun components in the post I’ve been preparing for building my Auduino – researching the Google Group a bit more thoroughly and following up on some of the links… and it really does seem like an ideal ‘my first proper’ arduino project…


I think the demo video on Jesse’s Studio Blog post illustrates how much fun this could be…

So I’ve now collected a series of Auduino sketches that variously:

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All things Arduino

June 13th, 2010

Had oodles of fun (sad I know) browsing the and online catalogues looking for components for the Auduino I’m planning to build… and getting a bit sidetracked with all sorts of interesting things…

Essentials include:

Audio Jack 3.5mm – £1.03
Audio Jack Breakout – £0.65
Rotary Potentiometer – Linear – £0.65
Potentiometer Knob – £0.65

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Modular Music Box

June 5th, 2010

I’m currently researching how to make and control sound with an Arduino as well as sourcing possible components for the mooted Monomatic Modular Music Box for the “Analogue is the new Digital” exhibition as part of AND Festival in October.


With a total budget of £400 solutions and parts need to be cheap & cheerful – yet do the job…

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