Monday, 21 November 2011

Covering Up

I've been looking at a quick, cheap way to make a dry store area for scrap timber, old pallets and logs. I needed somewhere out of the rain, but where there will be a breeze to encourage drying and the best space was at the gable end of the house where we have our coal bunker.

I bought this tarpaulin for about £4 from CPC and rigged it to the side of the house using 10 cup hooks (5 at the top and 5 at the bottom). The first attempt went a bit wrong because I hadn't put enough of a rake on the tarpaulin so the rain just pooled at the bottom. This adjustement seems to be working, but I think I'll drop the bottom end a few inches to make sure any rain runs off.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Anyone for a slice of Pi?

Coming along nicely (almost segueing into) my last post, here's the same idea, 20 years later.

http://www.raspberrypi.org

A tiny credit card-sized single-board computer aimed at teaching kids (and anyone else) about old-school computing, growing-your-own code and building your own kit.

What really attracts me to this one is the provision of an analogue video output, which I could hook up to one of the old 6" LCD screens I've been messing with for about 2 years. I'm thinking of a 20MHz PIC like a 16F690 to collect raw engine data down at the ECU and to send it via a long USB cable to the cabin where a Raspberry Pi running TinyCore and my own Gambas program would decode this into graphs and charts. Rather than a touch display, I'd like to revisit the old Renault Laguna stalk controls, but via another PIC (maybe a 16F628) and USB so the control buttons have some degree of 'intelligence' for the computer to interpret.

Getting closer, but oh so slowly!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011