Saturday, August 27, 2011

XBee Enabled Joystick pIII

If you are arriving at part III first, check out the first two parts.

Xbee Enabled Joystick, part I
Xbee Enabled Joystick, part II

I finally got around to demonstrating this project. It has been a long time in the making. Throwing an Arduino with an XBee shield onto my homemade RC boat, Das Boot seemed like the simplest method to demonstrate the 'XBee Enabled Joystick'.


The setup is the same as before in the first two parts. I only changed the sample rate on the joystick XBee to 0x021, which translates to 33ms, or about 30Hz. Below you can find sample code I used to demonstrate this project. I'll admit, the code was quick and dirty, but demonstrates some principles of parsing the XBee sample packet.

Enjoy the video!

Monday, August 22, 2011

How to Neuter the Invincible Tornado (How to Remove the Speaker)

My mother-in-law decided to give my son an Invincible Tornado for his birthday.

Looks like a fun little R/C car. Unfortunately, there are 2 versions. One version (the version we got) plays annoying loud music when powered on. My mother-in-law warned me about this, and suggested I do what I know how and mute it with my electronics know-how. I'll be going through the steps for anyone else with aching ears.

  1. Remove 3 screws on top
  2. First, remove the 3 screws on the top of the vehicle. The screw on the front is covered by a sticker that can be peeled back.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Turnigy 9X Antenna Hack

I finally finished my Turnigy 9X Antenna Hack video! This moves the antenna to the wireless module, making it possible to completely remove the wireless module. The video is a little long, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

HowTo: Handbrake + Ubuntu + Encrypted DVDs

Every now and again I re-install Ubunutu and have to figure out how to re-install Handbrake and the DVD decryption.

Just a disclaimer, the legality of this is suspect, and this should only be used to make back-ups of DVDs you own. Blah blah blah. Be honest.

The following instructions come from Medibuntu documentation and Handbrake Ubuntu Installation instructions and work for me on Ubuntu 11.04.

The 5 steps to use Handbrake with Encrypted DVDs on Ubuntu

  1. Install Handbrake. There is a handy Ubuntu PPA, which has the most recent Handbrake builds.
    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases
  2. Add the Medibuntu repositories, which have the libraries for decrypting DVDs
    $ sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get --quiet update
  3. Install the libdvdcss2 library for decrypting DVDs
    $ sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2
  4. Update everything and install Handbrake
    $ sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y && apt-get install handbrake-gtk -y
  5. If everything went well, you can run handbrake with
    $ ghb
    and you can read encrypted DVDs! Hooray!