Eagle and PCB design with Matt Venn

webGerberAt Wuthering Bytes in Hebden Bridge, in the afternoon Tas and I attended Matt Venn‘s Eagle cad workshop, if we had been there all day we would have made a Shrimp board.

But since I have been using eagle a littlebit, and am far from any good with it, we sat in in the afternoon, (I used his github as the base for my node circuit).

I did some more work on my RS485 Ardiuino Node PCB.

Tas and I went to the Wurthering Bytes tech festival with Manchester space program, however due to administritive errors that didn’t go ahead.
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Other Websites

For a while I have been looking after, and running other websites, these three make for new additions to my portfolio:

  • Biscuit – for girls who like girls and boys
  • FreedomNews – The new news site for Freedom Press
  • FreedomPress – An online store front for the Freedom Book Shop

I hope that I can pick up some more work for my portfoilo soon.

RS485 R-Pi to Arduino

I found the following code extracts for the Arduino (I have a Diavolino) to work with the RS485 shield from here:

Code for the transmitter:

void setup()
void loop()
    Serial.println ("hello RX_Test");

Code for the receiver:

String mydata = "";
void setup()
void loop()
    while (Serial.available() > 0)  
        mydata += char(Serial.read());

    if (mydata.length() > 0)
        mydata = "";

And a guide for the R-Pi shield (from here).

Putting the two together (I don’t have two Arduinos and shields) so using the R-Pi and the Arduino, with the R-Pi set to be master, and the R-Pi as a slave,

I have carried out the two changes to the R-Pi config from here, and installed minicom (Bob is helping).

sudo apt-get install minicom
minicom -s
F - Turn off flow control
A - /dev/ttyAMA0
E - 115200 8N1

Wire the R-Pi and the Arduino together

Raspbery Pi and Arduino connected via RS485

Raspbery Pi and Arduino connected via RS485 (note the RS485 connections).

Using both Arduino Sketches above, you can get two way coms from the Arduino (via the Serial Monitor) to the Raspberry Pi:

Set up for long distance communcations…

Set up for long distance communcations… of about 300mm

to exit from Minicom Ctrl+A, then Q

Building a Diavolino

On Saturday I picked up an Evil Mad Scientists Arduino clone, The Diavolino, from MadLab‘s little shop “Invent-ory” to use with my RS485 stuff. the Diavolino requires assembly yourself (official instructions).

The FTDI I bought was this one: RHX PL2303 USB To RS232 They are about £2.29 per. however where Windows 7 will grab the drivers from Windows Updates, there is a little bit more work to get it to be happy on a mac:
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RS485 on Arduino

Arduinon RS485 GPIO Shield

Arduinon RS485 GPIO Shield

Following on from the RS485 on an Raspbery Pi post, I also picked up a LinkSprite RS485 Arduino board from RoboSavvy (Arduino RS485 schematics).

I plan on trying to get the two to talk to each other, using a short bit of three cores:

  • A aka ‘-’ aka TxD-/RxD- aka inverting pin
  • B aka ‘+’ aka TxD+/RxD+ aka non-inverting pin
  • Gnd

I plan on trying to set up a Master / Slave relationship with the Raspbery Pi being the master, and the Arduinos the slaves (Full arduinos will be replaced with Shrimps or equiv and a Max481CSA).

RS485 on a Raspberry Pi

R-Pi RS485 GPIO Shield

R-Pi RS485 GPIO Shield

The Link Sprite RS485 GPIO Sheild for a Raspberry Pi alows you to make use of (abuse) the RS232 port in the R-Pi’s GPIO as an RS 485 Port.

There are several good advantages to RS 485 over 232 and some awsome ones.

RS485 is capable of both multidrop and very long cable legnths (even though the data rate can be a bit rubbish, and its normaly half duplex).

I picked up my R-Pi LinkSprite RS434 shield from RoboSavvy (schematics). The plan is to use RS485 from a R-Pi to several Arduino nodes for my Boat Automation.
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Bridge to New Islington Tram Stop

New BridgeUnder planning proposal 106102/JO/2014/N2 there is a plan to put a bridge, and access in from the Marina side of the Ashton Canal to the Tram stop.

It looks like the hand rail work is either like for like on the bridge, or has already been done…


The stairs are yet to be reinstated



This is where the path will go through:




You can see the TfGM tram stops on the other side of the grass.
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MCM comic con Manchester

Trolling at work

Skippy The Bush Kangaroo

Skippy The Bush Kangaroo

I have been working at CASS Industries for a while, one of my co-workers changed the logon music on a computer I use at work to the theme tune for 1980s Austrialian childrens TV show “Skippy The Bush Kangaroo”.

He listens to Radio 4 a fair bit, and as a revenge trolling I going to broadcast over the top…

Using a Raspberry Pi I am going to broadcast a song continuiously…

This simple hack turns your Raspberry Pi into a powerful FM transmitter! It has enough range to cover your home, DIY drive-in movie, a high school ball game, or even a bike parade (depending on the stragglers).

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Dear people, you are doing it wrong…

Again… go skippy, or eCar’s site is not skippy.org.uk

This page will keep getting updated with examples of people who can’t follow simple instructions:

Dear Skippy,

Ionut Cristian Otincilescu <otinionut@gmail.com> has written to you on the subject: Phone Contact

Hello, I’ve missed a call from you (01179066900) this morning. Can you tell me please what is all about?

Kind Regards

Your Webserver

Ionut Cristian Otincilescu

Dear Skippy,
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Project Wonderful

UK Waterways Ranking