Puk's random ramblings!

TinyWhoop Quadcopter Build

So I fancied having a crack at the Tiny-Whoop craze. I had a micro-quad for a while but was a bit annoyed with breaking props once a day. 

This TinyWhoop is based on the Eachine E010 mini quad

In itself the quad is a great little thing, but it has the option of turning into something really fun! $20AUD delivered, what more do you need! Time for an upgrade then. I’ve already got a half decent transmitter from my other quads, so I don’t need the cheap Chinese thing, I’ve got some Dark Edition, Insane speed brushed motors too thanks to Benedikt at Micro-Motor Warehouse. Time for a sit down and think what I actually need. I want to replace the flight controller with something more useful, the BeeBrain is ideal and made for purpose, unfortately a little pricey for me, BangGood do a ripoff called the Beecore which can handle Betaflight, so tick to that. Next is motors, of which I already own a spare set of DE brushed, although all brushed motors fail quite quickly. Okay so camera then as this needs to be FPV. For the money the TX01 AIO camera again by Banggood is cheap does the job. 

So shopping list:

  • Eachine E010
  • Beecore
  • Brushed motors
  • TX01 camera

How handy that Banggood offer all this in one package here for only $80aud. Albeit comes with a TX03 camera which is a little heavier than the TX01 but does offer changeable strength vtx. 

So I chose the Beecore with FRSky frequency as this speaks happily to my existing Turnigy transmitter and XJT module. 

I ordered some mega awesome punchy mylipo HV 205mah/25C 1S batteries from Micro-Motor-Warehouse, (many thanks to Benedikt for his promptness as always) and sat and waited. Note that I ordered the batteries with the new style connectors known as PH2 or the more clinical JST-PH-2.0. The batteries can suck so much current that the standard JST connector acts like a bottleneck. 

So it all arrived:

I also ordered a DVR for my goggles, a loop to protect the camera aerial and a camera mount that fits the E010 chassis plus a little lipo back.  So let’s build the bugger:

First job, reinforce the chassis, I used two part epoxy resin called Araldite and strengthened all the bridges:

Next is solder the JST-PH-2.0 pigtail loop onto the Beecore that I ordered from MMW with my batteries and fit the Beecore to the chassis. 

Check for the direction arrow on the Beecore so you put the right motors on the right corners with the right props. Note there are two clockwise motors and two counter-clockwise and they require the right props on the right motors.


The red metal thing is the camera mount. 

Next job is to mount the camera and solder to the power points that the pigtail is joined to. 

Job done! Piece of cake in the scheme of making quads. Next job plug into your pc/mac flash betaflight, configure and fly. I’ll get a video up as soon as I’ve got my dvr sorted!

Time to get Whoop’in!

Fixing a Pebble Steel with screen tearing

So I’ve been a fan of Pebble since its initial kickstarter. Think I’ve had five as it stands but have always gone back to my trustworthy Steel. The week long battery life and step tracking covers all I want in a smart watch. That being said now I’m starting to control my house with Siri I may end up getting an iWatch in the near future. 

Here’s my problem. This is a first gen Steel, so is now nigh on three years old. It was actually replaced under warranty by Pebble for this problem but has been sat in my drawer since. I thought I’d have a go at fixing it and having a google found I could. 

Flip the watch and unscrew all four screws:

Use a torx 3 screwdriver. Pop your fingernail under the edge and pop the back off. 

The reason the screen tears is due to a poor connection between the LCD and the board. All you need to do is put a spacer between it, I used 0.5mm thick polystyrene sheet. You could use cardboard. Leave the metal tabs exposed. 

Whilst you’re at it now is a good time to regrease the seal to help waterproof your fixed watch. So find some silicone grease, I used some bike suspension grease. Gently apply it to the rubber seal before you refit it. 

Refit the back, tighten the screws in an X fashion to evenly torque it down. So one corner then the far opposite corner and repeat. 

Hey presto! No more tear. It’s not been synced to my phone so ignore the date and time, it’s just defaulted. I’ve left it turned on for over a week and still no tearing. Time to paint up the edges and get a new strap. 

Credit to HarryTeicher on the pebble forum. 

Using Siri to turn on lights in your home, home automation with Home Assistant and Homebridge and LimitlessLED

So my RaspberryPi has been working away as a Pi-Hole for a few weeks now, and I decided to see what else I could use it for whilst it’s sitting idle.  I’ve always liked the idea of home automation, but always found it a touch expensive, now prices are coming down I thought I’d dip my toes in the water.

Please be aware, this blog post isn’t a full howto, it’s more of a reminder to me of how i did it, so there may be parts missing.

I fitted LED strips behind my TV many years ago to create some backlight to make movie watching easier on the eyes, so I decided to have a go at playing with these.  I replaced the old remote IR controlled 5050 LED controller with a LimitlessLED/Milight wifi controller, and bought a wifi bridge.  It’s very easy to setup, the controller uses the same AC/DC transformer that the previous controller used and the wifi bridge just needs a usb connection, so I plugged it straight into the Pi’s spare usb port.  I initially made them talk by using the Milight app for my iPhone and then had a think where to go from there.  Piece of cake.

Next I installed Home Assistant on the Pi, it’s got a Pi image so job’s a gooden. I SSH’d into my Pi, and firstly updated the PI that’s already running Rasbian:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Next install HA, this takes approx 2 hours!
wget -Nnv https://raw.githubusercontent.com/home-assistant/fabric-home-assistant/master/hass_rpi_installer.sh && bash hass_rpi_installer.sh

Add the user hass to access the GPIO pins:
sudo adduser hass gpio

Now you can access the control panel via your browser and your pi ip address, in my case:

Woohoo!! Although there isn’t a great deal here right now. Time to get editing the config file, in my case I’m now adding a password to protect the HA system and adding the config for the LimitlessLED wifi bridge. Be aware the yaml code that HA and HB is written in is very text layour sensitive, if it’s not set to how it likes it wont work.

  platform: limitlessled
    - host:
      version: 5
      port: 8899
      - number: 1
        type: rgbw
        name: Lounge

So now the LimitlessLED can be controlled via the HA browser page.

Next to add Siri integration via Homebridge. So to install HB, we need to install Node and Avahi:

install homebridge
sudo npm install -g --unsafe-perm homebridge hap-nodejs node-gyp
cd /usr/lib/node_modules/homebridge/
sudo npm install --unsafe-perm bignum
cd /usr/lib/node_modules/hap-nodejs/node_modules/mdns

Install HB:

install homeassistant plugin for homebridge
sudo npm install -g homebridge-homeassistant

Edit the HB config file to talk to HA:
nano /home/pi/.homebridge/config.json
Add the text:

        "bridge": {
                "name": "Homebridge",
                "username": "CC:22:3D:E3:CE:30",
                "port": 51826,
                "pin": "031-45-154"

        "platforms": [{
                "platform": "HomeAssistant",
                "name": "HomeAssistant",
                "host": "",
                "password": "matthew1",
                "supported_types": ["light"]


Start HB by simply typing homebridge

Now goto Home on your iPhone and setup the house, you should be able to search and find the LED contoller and add that. Now telling Siri to turn it on/off will work!

Now setup HB to start on restart via systemd for Raspbian:

sudo mkdir //etc/default
sudo nano //etc/default/homebridge

Text for the file:

# Defaults / Configuration options for homebridge
# The following settings tells homebridge where to find the config.json file and where to persist the data (i.e. pairing and others)
HOMEBRIDGE_OPTS=-U /var/homebridge

# If you uncomment the following line, homebridge will log more
# You can display this via systemd's journalctl: journalctl -f -u homebridge

sudo nano //etc/systemd/system/homebridge.service

Description=Node.js HomeKit Server
After=syslog.target network-online.target

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/homebridge $HOMEBRIDGE_OPTS


sudo chmod 0777 //var/homebridge/
sudo cp //home/pi/.homebridge/config.json //var/homebridge/
sudo chmod 0777 //var/homebridge/config.json
sudo useradd --system homebridge

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable homebridge
sudo systemctl start homebridge

Check status of HB and HA:
systemctl status homebridge
systemctl status homeassistant

I installed a DHT temp and humidity sensor to the gpio pins so i could get an output to my phone or ask siri, so here’s how i installed it:

git clone https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_Python_DHT.git
cd Adafruit_Python_DHT/
sudo python setup.py install
sudo ~/Adafruit_Python_DHT/examples/AdafruitDHT.py 22 4

I downloaded extra icons from:

Here’s how my current HA page looks:

I’ll upload my config files later for backup too.

Play  Nes, Snes, Sega Roms on an Xbox-One with Nesbox!

I follow /r/xboxone on reddit and this popped up the other day.  A guy has managed to make Microsoft’s Xbox browser, Edge, play roms due to its javascript support.  Simply upload any rom for gameboy, NES, sega, snes, to your onedrive account (obviously for legality you need to already own said game), open the browser at:

And the Xbox will launch the emulator.  Select the Rom and happy days!  Here’s Sonic playing a demo:

Have a RaspberryPi not doing anything? Turn it into a local add-blocking device with Pi-Hole

I found myself with a Raspberry Pi lying about not doing a lot so wondered what I could do with it. A quick google and I found Pi-Hole! It’s a great bit of kit which makes websites think you’ve downloaded the ads but you have downloaded a small text file from the server. As it blocks at DNS level you can use it on every device on your network by simply putting the pi’s configurable ip as your DNS server address on all your devices and hey presto!

So easy to install, just install rasbian on your pi, ssh into it and run:

curl -L https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

Follow the config, select to block IPv6 and IPv4 ads, select your IP address and reboot, Robert’s your mothers brother!

You’ll end up with an output similar to this when you visit the pi’s IP address: in my case.

Just set your various devices to under the advanced tab of the network connection to the DNS address of your pi-hole, once again in my case and you’ll be blocking ads!

PlayStation Vita, Henkaku and Adrenaline

Got a boring Vita that looks like the image above? Now you can change that, run a PSP emulator, run backed up/dumped games, run Retroarch and other system emulators!
I’ve had a vita for a while and never really done much with it. I had a PSP1000 previously with homebrew running on it, and have eagerly waited for the Vita to be hacked open.

Sure enough, after so many years Henkaku has come along and boom. If you’ve a Vita with firmware 3.60 or below you’re sorted, if it’s beyond 3.60 then sell it and buy another as you can’t do shit with it. All you have to do to install henkaku is aim your in psp browser to https://henkaku.xyz/ and boom, it’ll install away by itself. Be careful though, each time you reboot it’ll have to be reinstalled.

Once this has installed, find molecular shell and open it, by pressing select will initialise an ftp server. Download FileZilla for free on your pc/mac, enter the details you’re seeing on the Vita and you can transfer whatever you like to it.  Now google and download a vitashell vpk, transfer it into the ux0: directory. Close the ftp server by pressing O and launch file you’ve just transferred to it so it installs vitashell.

Now vitashell is installed you have access to the whole system. Find and download maidumptool, install this by transferring it to the vita via the ftp server in vitashell again and selecting it once it’s transferred. Now you can go google mai dumped games and install them (obviously if you already own them for piracy concerns).

Edit. Since the above article there is now Adrenaline available thanks to TheFloW. This enables us to run a PSP emulator via using henkaku’ beta cousin taiHENkaku at http://beta.henkaku.xyz/. So we can now use a PSP inside your Vita, here’s me playing GT and Tomb Raider, Sonic, Mario and Mariokart :

You have to download a PSP demo or mini to make use of Adrenaline via the PS store. To do this follow the GitHub howto by TheFloW

Edit. Since the above comment the PS Store spoofing for FW 3.60 has ceased to function so you can’t download a mini or demo to install Adrenaline. Wololo.net has a way around this apparently.

WordPress error: Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 41943040 bytes exhausted

So upon updating this site the other day i received this error and nothing would load.  I had a good crack at googling and found a way to resolve it.

Get your FTP client out, find wp-config.php in your sites public_html directory, open it, way down at the bottom find:




Just above it, happy days, the site worked again.

A Beautiful Evening in Sydney



Some of our friends were borrowing an apartment with this harbour view, we nipped up to their balcony between pubs to take a butchers at the view.

The below pictures were taken from our usual F4 ferry ride home.  All shot on an Iphone 6s Plus.  I’d have preferred my Nikon, but not bad all the same!

Spotted an Echidna when walking the North Head, Sydney

We were quite happily walking along, heard a rustle in the bush and this little guy popped out, walked under our feet and off into the other bush! An Echidna.

Byron Bay Looking Beautiful

Spent a weekend in Byron, can’t be seen in these pictures but there were dozens of Humpback, Southern Right Whales and Dolphins in the water.

Hasegawa 1/48 Hawker Typhoon mk1B

Here’s my recent build of Hasegawa’s version of the Hawker Typhoon. Wearing insignia of 609 Squadron based at Thorney Island, 1944.

It went together fairly easily, few join line issues with the upper fuselage and wing roots. I decided to spray in the invasion stripes as the kit decals looked fairly rubbish for them. My first time having a proper crack with an airbrush and compressor.

Constructo Albatross – Wooden Model Ship

I’ve been building a wooden model ship for a few months, here above is the current state.  It’s taken quite a while to get to this point, probably six months worth of odd evenings.  I’ve shelved it for a while as didn’t want to start the rigging for a bit.

Here’s an album in imgur of the a buildlog if interested.


HMS Albatross – Constructo Model Kit

Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1D Corsair

So I needed a hobby whilst job hunting and found a decent local hobby store in Sydney. I ended up buying my first model kit since I was a kid, probably in about 14 years. Having some spending money made me able to buy the right gear to have a decent go at it, whereas when I was a kid I had no money for paint, decent brushes etc. So here’s the result:

Foshy, walking LeJog, 1033miles

I came across a blog by a chap called Foshy, who walked Lands End to John o’Groats.  I’ve often thought of cycling it, but never toyed with the idea of walking it, although it does sound a great idea, reading his daily post was pretty cool.

Have a butchers: http://foshy.co.uk/


Why did I buy a DJI F450 Quadcopter?

So apparently I jumped head first into the quadcopter world by building this weapon. It’s not a drone, if anything it’s a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) but that sounds bollocks too.  It’s a quadcopter, it’s got four rotors and is piloted by me, with a transmitter and sometimes I wear video goggles so I can fly it in first person view (FPV) depending on the situation.

So the finished product, a DJI  (yes they make Phantoms) F450 on my walking backpack with RayBans for scale.

DJI F450

Read More

Majestic Munros


Driving back home from Scotland is always a bit depressing, not only due to the 700 mile drive but I hate to leave the place.  As we headed down the A82 a couple of days after Christmas, the snow having only landed the previous night, I had a great view up to Meall a’ Bhuiridh on the right at 1108m and Creise (1100m) over the moor. Two munros looking magnificent in the morning sun.  Even my shitty iphone camera managed to take a decent picture of them in the distance.  Scotland is such an incredible place.

Picture taken from here.

Buildlog with DJI F450 Flamewheel Naza V2 and a stock Turnigy 9x Transmitter

It took me a fair while to get my 450 airborne with not knowing anything about the hobby and did a lot of research.  The whole process wasn’t listed anywhere with the items I used, so thought I’d write a buildlog of my process, perhaps it would help someone else.


Read More

Turnigy 9x Stick Calibration

First thing to do when you’ve got a new transmitter is to calibrate the sticks. Very easy to do on the 9x, although it’s not particularly well-known.

Just follow these easy steps.

Read More

Turnigy 9X Switch Error / Beeping

So you’ve bought yourself a Turnigy 9X transmitter, turn this shiny device on and you are presented by an annoying beeping noise and “Switch Error” and first thing you do his hit google.

It’s not broken, it’s just telling you that it needs the switches all moved to the off position. Move all the switches upwards and away from you (this doesn’t include the sticks), and hey presto, no more annoying noise.  Something I found out rather quickly!

Make a Half Dollar Silver Ring


I was surfing Reddit as I often am when I came across a guy who had posted a thread about a ring that his father had made from an American half dollar coin. I often find myself with nothing to do and this piqued my interest. After some googling I found that all pre 1965 American large coins were made from solid silver, or thereabouts, and these are easy to turn into a ring. So at that point I jumped on eBay and bought myself a Half Dollar coin, a 1958 Ben Franklin coin to be exact for £7 delivered, bargain! A bit of further searching and it would appear I could flog it to the yanks for about $40 if I could be bothered, I couldn’t, so ring making commenced.

Read More

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén