It has finally arrived!

After shipping, a month ago from the UK, today my Raspberry Zero finally arrived.
Besides the Rzero I also ordered a Zero Essentials Kit because of the HDMI converter and some nice 90 degrees header.

I’m not a huge fan of the Raspberries, but I had to buy this one because of the formfactor. Normally I prefer the Banana Pros a lot more than the Raspberries.
Not sure what the thing will be used for, but it looks nice.
I think I will put an XRF or XBee module on it, and keeping it as small as possible.

Added 1 Raspberry Zero to my stock of goodies.

RC Drivetrain Calculator 1.0 released

The RC Drivetrain Calculator got some good reviews from various users. Thanks for trying out!

From now on the RC Drivetrain Calculator allows the users to customize components and submit components to me. This way the components can be reused for future use. Please let me know if you need some additional components or special features.


Windows 10 IOT Core — Fail for now

Last saturday I received the Raspberry Pi 2. Loaded Windows 10 IOT Core on the SD card and booted it up! Wow that looks cool.
First thing I started is a Powershell session to the RPI! Haha very nice. But..hey wait..where is the FTDI support? FTDI…so basic, and so usefull for the IOT. Microsoft didn´t even take the effort to put something like this in their IOT flagship! Ok ok. The Windows 10 IOT Core is a preview version. I wait for the next release.

Windows 10 IoT Core

Yesterday Microsoft deployed Windows 10 IoT Core.
Microsoft already had a IoT platform together with Intel on the Galileo board. But this is different, and is announced clearly to the public.
The first “Windows” running on the ARM architecture. Very promising!

After this news I decided to buy a Raspberry Pi 2 and start experimenting this weekend 😉

SCCM – Automaticly clear PXE advertisements

If you want to automaticly clear the PXE advertisements of a certain age, you can use the Powershell script below to clear them.
The script determines what advertisements are OK to clear, using a WQL query. Please note…timing logic works accurate if you keep $minutesBeforeAction < 60. Otherwise you might need to alter the logic a bit. Have fun
Import-Module “C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft Configuration ManagerAdminConsolebinConfigurationManager.psd1”

$siteServer = “localhost”
$siteCode = “SITECODE”
$minutesBeforeAction = 15

$query = “select lastPXEAdvertisementTime, NetbiosName from SMS_LastPXEAdvertisement”

$formattedTime = [bigint](Get-Date).ToString(“yyyyMMddhhmmss”)

cd “$($siteCode):”

$PXEAdvertisements = Get-WmiObject -Query $query -Namespace “ROOTSMSsite_$siteCode” -ComputerName “$siteServer”

foreach ($PXEAdvertisement in $PXEAdvertisements){
$simpleLastPXEAdvertisementTime = [bigint]$PXEAdvertisement.LastPXEAdvertisementTime.Split(“.”)[0]

if ($formattedTime – $simpleLastPXEAdvertisementTime -gt ($minutesBeforeAction*100)){
Clear-CMPxeDeployment -DeviceName $PXEAdvertisement.NetbiosName

EzTemp&RH crowdfunding project

Today Eloísa Romero sent me an email presenting me her EzTemp&RH crowdfunding project.

20140912094736-EzTnRH_labeledI really like it. It takes away a lot of the hassle you encounter when measuring temperature and humidity. It also features some quite precise components, including an auxiliary connection for an additional sensor of your choice. Great for an Raspberry Pi!

Take a look at the projectsite.

Cresta TX320 longer antenna

Last week I bought 5 sensors of the type Cresta TX320 for my Domoticz system. Unfortunately they have a very weak transmitting signal strength. One HR++ glass pane and a concrete floor is too much to reach the RFXTRX433e transceiver. I removed the old internal antenna and exchanged it with a solid wire matching the length of 1/4 of the wavelength of the 433Mhz band. That is 17,3 cm from the PCB to the end of the wire.

Please note that I routed the whole antenna out of the top of the device. Routing it downward causes quite a lot of the signal strength to be absorbed by the batteries, which then are close to the antenna.

This setup still has a weal signal strength, but just enough to reach my transceiver.

Cresta TX320 with longer antenna

Cresta TX320 with longer antenna

Cresta TX320 with longer antenna

Cresta TX320 with longer antenna



Home Automation System – Part I

Last week I managed to get WiFi working on my Pi. Because yesterday my Slice of Pi arrived from Ciseco, I could continue building the heart of my Home Automation System (HAS).

The core of my HAS will be the Raspberry Pi. It will be connected using WiFi but communication between sensors and actuators inside the HAS will be done over 868Mhz using XRF modules. So today it was time to add an XRF module to the Pi using the newly arrived Slice of Pi, and an XRF radio I had in stock.

After assembly I installed Minicom on the Raspberry Pi, and connected to its serial port. Then I plugged in a SRF Stick in my Mac to check the connection using the handy tool “CoolTerm”. Everything turned out to be working. Very nice!

Please note that Raspbian has a getty on the serial port by default. So do remove it to get an interface to the XRF. Remove the references to ttyAMA0 from /boot/cmdLine.txt and /etc/inittab.

Next: Building a framework on the Raspberry Pi in Java which will be used for data retrieval and event triggering. Also have to decide which DBMS will be used on the Pi.

To be continued…..

Soldering the Slice of Pi

Finished soldering the Slice of Pi

Finished the assembly. One problem….the case can’t be closed anymore.

Casing fits after making a hole ;)

Cheap and green homelab – Part III

The last few weeks my homelab made a whole different turn. No ESXi, No Hyper-V, No XEN Server. I gave Proxmox a try, and I’m loving it. You get a fully functional and competing virtualisation environment for free. Yes, you can buy support subscriptions, but apart from that you get the whole package opposed to VMWare.

The web interface is pretty awesome. Taking over the console is easy and uses a small Java applet or Spice. This is a huge pre for Proxmox compared to ESXi and Hyper-V which require a Windows client for management purposes.

Give it a try. You’ll love it!