sinetek

Tinker electronics and other miscellanea

More Quadcopter Goodness!

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Written by sinetek

August 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm

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Installation from Source Considered Harmful

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On the desktop, I like running a tiling manager. Awesome fits the bill.

Long story short, wanting to do the same under OS X, and after spending more than two hours trying to coax Macports into installing all sorts of useful applications that would make use of X11, I finally gave up.

I found this gem -> http://www.foldr.org/~michaelw/log/computers/macosx/macports-fatally-flawed

The point to take home is that package management for OS X should not be so dependant upon compiling stuff…… Why, you may ask??

  1. First, compilation environments under OS X are always b0rked. It depends on the version of XCode you install, and sometimes the compiler it ships with bombs up for weird reasons, or code doesn’t like LLVM (what’s wrong with plain old gcc?) or yaddi yadda.
  2. The typical OS X machine is dog-slow and doesn’t have 8GB of RAM available. Considering most OS X users are on a laptop, proof enough.
  3. No real need to. Target one system and it’ll run everywhere: i386.

End of angry rant.

Written by sinetek

July 27, 2012 at 1:16 am

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Arch linux: Make up new words !

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Try it out, it’s hillarious:

echo `shuf -n 2 /usr/share/dict/cracklib-small | tr -d “\n”`

Written by sinetek

August 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm

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HOW TO: Linux on the Revodrive X2 !!

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It seems that currently using Linux on hardware fakeraid-based platforms is not so simple.

In short, once you know of a little bug in the SiI 31xx controller series everything becomes much easier. Over there is a guide which can help you installing OpenSUSE/Fedora/Ubuntu on the Revodrive X2. The idea is you install everything but the bootloader, and then setup grub manually.

Thanks a bunch, CoolZero.

Written by sinetek

August 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

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Quadcopter Has Been Updated !

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New revision of the aforementioned flying gadget.

Written by sinetek

June 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm

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Unbricking the MSI 890FXA-GD70 after BIOS flashing failure with an Arduino

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August 2011 update: code no longer available online, mail and I’ll send it

Whew.

For some reason, flashing the MSI 890FXA-GD70 with the AFUWIN utility will brick your motherboard. I do know, however, that the “flashrom” utility does support this board just fine. I had no trouble flashing under Linux using “flashrom“.

This motherboard uses a Winbond W25Q16 SPI FLASH memory chip. Fortunately enough it is fairly easy to unsolder and reprogram this chip with the help of an Arduino.

First of all, carefully remove the memory chip.

Wire it up to an Arduino:

  • GND (pin 4) to Arduino’s ground
  • VCC (pin 8 ) to Arduino’s 3.3V output (5V would likely kill the chip)
  • /HOLD (pin 7) to Arduino’s 3.3V output (5V would likely kill the chip)
  • /CS (pin 1) to Arduino pin 10
  • DO (pin 2) to Arduino pin 12
  • /WP (pin 3) to Arduino’s 3.3V output (5V would likely kill the chip)
  • DI (pin 5) to Arduino pin 11
  • Clock (pin 6) to Arduino pin 13
Grab the source code. Open up .pde inside the Arduino IDE and change the first line to “#define WriteROM” if you want to write or comment it out (“//#define WriteROM”) if you want to read the ROM contents. Then on the PC side run the script like this (requires python, pyserial and progressbar modules) :  “python biosrecovery.py readfile infile r” or if you want to write the chip “python biosrecovery.py readfile infile w” where readfile is the output file and infile the file the ROM will be written from. Also, you will need to change the path to your serial port in the biosrecovery.py script, the line in question is,
ser = serial.Serial('/dev/tty.usbserial-11BP0464', 115200)
It should be possible to run this script on Windows, hit up the pySerial documentation if needed.
Good luck!

Written by sinetek

May 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

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SwagCopter – a Multirotor UAV !

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So. These last couple months, I’ve been learning about multirotors… It’s a novelty, you never see any around here :(. Well, long story short, it turns out the project is on the brink of success:

The video above features a quadrotor built by a friend of mine. It runs code we wrote in C++, targeted for the MEGA328 chip. Our goal was partly to get our craft airborne and also start from a clean code base we feel would be easy to maintain over the long term for us.

Now, the single most important item on the TODO is adding support for the tri’s!

Written by sinetek

May 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm

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