How to fix a sticky Yashica TLR shutter

I recently bought a very cheap Yashica 635 TLR on eBay. The reason I chose the 635 was due to it being the only medium format camera ever produced to use either 120 and 35mm film. 35mm is still fairly affordable and easy to develop whereas 120 is becoming more expensive. If the rumours are true that Fuji no longer make film and Kodak aren’t making any more c41 120 then in the near future this will become incredibly expensive, having the 35mm option on the TLR at least allows me to still play with it and not relegate it to being an ornament. So the reason it was so cheap was due to the sticky shutter leaves and the camera was filthy, the shutter wouldn’t open at all. I did some research and found it’s due to the old lubricant on the shutter leaves becoming sticky. The general gist […]

Do you Australians have a Kambrook KFA837 fan that beeps every 30 seconds? Howto fix it:

My two year old Kambrook KFA837 fan has started to beep every thirty seconds and light up, it drives me mad. Having googled the issue, it would seem that quite a few Aussies have the same problem and now they’re out of warranty, what do you do? Well, take it apart and fix it permanently obviously! I can’t fix the lighting up but it’s easy enough to stop it beeping. Please note I take no responsibility if you electrocute yourself, take the correct precautions, disconnect from power and don’t touch anything electrical looking, especially capacitors. Firstly unscrew the four butterfly bolts on the bottom and take the stand off so you can lie the thing flat. Next unscrew all the phillips screws on the back. Note there are two that have a triangular screw top, find a flat headed screwdriver that fits if you don’t have the right bit and […]

Increasing your BTC using 1Broker

Bitcoin’s price goes up, comes down, goes up, comes down.  You can read every forum, every chatbox, every post on BTC and you’ll still not know who or what causes price change in BTC.  By all accounts the big whales are the real ones who can manipulate it, like the recent suggestion a dump from Mt Gox wallet caused the price dip, although that’s been debunked now.  Who knows, there’s a lot of people out there with big BTC wallets and a lot of people wanting to increase their BTC. So how to increase your BTC holdings? You could get knee deep in learning margin trading, but this can be a bit scary and a bit crazy.  If you’re not careful you’ll leverage too high and lose lock stock the whole fucking lot. Another route is to use 1Broker.  This allows margin trading in BTC in stocks/currencies/indices and commodities.  But […]

Howto strip paint from Games Workshop Citadel Miniatures

Recently I decided to have a crack at painting some citadel miniatures. Since I’ve tons of them in the loft at my parents I dug some out. I wanted to start afresh so needed to strip some of paint. These were mostly painted in Citadel Acrylics with the odd bit of Humbrol enamel. I use to use acetone as a kid but it never worked well, so did some research and came up with Dettol antiseptic. This is also safe on plastics.   Above is an example of a model painted well over twenty years ago, badly.  Although not bad for a 12 year old I guess.  All my models were base coated with citadel spray paint primer, then painted with citadel acrylics. So the model is broken down and placed into a glass jar, in this case with lots of others and in fact too many. Top up with […]

GPU & CPU Mining Garlicoin on Windows 10 Machine

Garlicoin has recently gone crazy on Reddit thanks to the meme and a user called DigitalizedOrange stating he’d create a coin if his post got enough upvotes. That was last month and this week Garlicoin went live. I fancied mining some of the coin, more for shits and giggles than anything. I mined BTC long ago, then Dogecoin with GPU and ASIC miners, and when that all turned non profitable I stopped and got into margin trading the BTC on various exchanges. I look back on the days of mining Doge with fondness since the community rallied together to sponsor various projects, including getting the Jamaican Bobsled team to the 2012 Sochi Winter Olympics. We also sponsored a Nascar (the Dogecar) driven by Josh Wise, and we bought socks for the homeless. These were good times, Doge had value, was easy to mine, and much fun was had. Unfortunately since […]

Installing a Mouseover to Amazon Firestick & Virgin TV Go App by sideloading using a Mac

Got yourself a swanky new Firestick?  Definitely worth installing a mouseover, read down for more info. I wanted to watch TV around the house, but refused to let Virgin install their triple shielded coax around my property.  So had to look at other routes to get my cable tv channels into the other rooms.  I found they recently updated their TV Anywhere app to TV Go, which thankfully is a little better than it’s shockingly awful predecessor. I’ve accomplished this by sideloading the TV-Go app onto an Amazon Firestick, and also installing a mouseover toggle onto it, so it’s a bit more user friendly. Firstly, I use a Mac and love using the terminal, I long ago gave up using Windows and would use Linux if it was a little more user friendly to my mac.  Anyhow, this process will be done using a Mac, I don’t have an android […]

Claiming your Bitcoin Gold (BTG) from your Bitcoin (BTC)

  There seems a little confusion on this around the net, so here’s an easy way to do it, after all it’s free money so you might as well, as it currently stands BTG is worth about $130/coin.   Currently there’s only a wallet on an android device for BTG called Coinomi so this is the way I’m going to claim mine, but I don’t have an Android phone, so what do I do?  I use an Android Emulator on my mac. Firstly you need to secure your coins, and separate it from the block that has your BTG.  So we do this by making a new wallet, that has new private keys.  Send the contents of your existing wallet to this wallet address, this will be your new wallet. Now to claim the BTG.  Close your new wallet, open the old one and extract the private keys. For example […]

Remove the default user Pi from your RasberryPi for a bit of extra security

An easy way of making your Pi that little bit more secure is to remove the default user, Pi.  So when setting up a new Pi installation this is one of the first things I do which is very simple. SSH into your Pi as usual:

Switch to the root user:

Create a new user:

Will result in the below, add a decent password when asked and then repeat it:

Add the new user to the sudo group:

Quit the Pi by typing exit a couple of times, first to log out as root then to leave SSH. Log back into the PI with SSH using your new username/password:

Now to delete the old Pi user:

Will give you an output, add the user Pi’s password when asked:

Finally change the default password of the root account, use a new pass […]

Using PiVPN to turn your RaspberryPi into a VPN. Access your home network securely from anywhere, secure any wifi connection

I wanted a secure way of accessing my home network whilst away.  Not only for my Home Assistant installation but to access files, photos, be able to work on scripts and the like.  I did some research into various ways but kept coming back to a VPN.  I found other reasons for using a VPN too, mainly to secure usage of public wifi, prevent region locking, and to use my PiHole DNS advert blocker. For instance, if I’m using public wifi at a cafe/shopping center I can connect via my VPN to secure any passwords/bank details that I enter.  If you don’t realise anyone sharing the same wifi network can gain access to your passwords or data that you enter, scared?  Have a read how they do it here. This same Pi is running an instance of PiHole for DNS level advert blocking, when I’m connected to my VPN, I’ll […]

New Toy! Evolve Bustin, Gen 2, Electric Skateboard, esk8. First Mod, Remote LED Charging Monitor

Ive got a new toy! Well, a second hand new toy! An Evolve gen 2, esk8 board. The specs look pretty cool, top speed 38kmh, range of 30km. Albeit a little less since the lion battery is now 18months old. But it was cheap, like the budgie!  This variation is the Bustin limited edition series, but is based on the Bamboo GT. I haven't been on a skateboard for twenty years so it took me a few kms to get use to even being on a board again. I remember that I skate goofy but it feels weird so I may try regular tomorrow, perhaps absence has changed my style. This thing is so quick. I've mainly used the low speed setting, the fast speed is like a rocket! The brake is surprisingly effective too, and the motor regenerates the battery on braking, great! These boards were nearly £1300 new so […]

AlexaPi, AVS timeout in non Alexa Countries, java.util.concurrent.TimeoutException

With Amazon only supporting a few countries with Alexa, being the UK, Germany and the USA, you may get timeouts on the java app with an error of: java.util.concurrent.TimeoutException It’s a pain when this happens as you have to login with VNC and click the OK button to reset the application. To help prevent it, you can alter the timeout threshold in the java file located at: /home/pi/Desktop/alexa-avs-sample-app/samples/javaclient/src/main/java/com/amazon/alexa/avs/http/ You can edit this with: sudo nano /home/pi/Desktop/alexa-avs-sample-app/samples/javaclient/src/main/java/com/amazon/alexa/avs/http/ You’re after line 69, it looks like this, alter the timeout as below: Restart your Alexa and job done!

Controlling Infa-Red IR devices with Home-Assistant & AlexaPi on a Raspberry Pi (Non smart, Dumb devices)

In this post I’m continuing my Home Automation and Home-Assistant journey. I already have an Xbox-One with a kinect so routinely say “Xbox on” which turns on the TV, SoundBar and Foxtel (cable) box. This also accepts volume up/down, change of channel, record, Netflix and games. So I’m moving to a completely voice driven household with using Alexa or Siri to operate the lights. But how do I go further? What else is there in the house that I can’t talk to, what remote controls do I still use? There are several things in my apartment that cannot be controlled via wifi, I live in a typical late 90s midcity Australian apartment and have the ubiquitous through house aircon/heating unit with buttons on a wall and a remote control in the living room and vents to each room in the apartment. So since my apartment reaches dizzying temps in the […]

Increase WordPress Upload Filesize, WordPress App HMAC error

I find WP a help and a hindrance at times. It’s a pretty good platform, albeit a little slow and bloated so I try and keep the plugins few and far between. I recently found I couldn’t upload pictures via the WordPress app, and got an error of “The corresponding HMAC for this file does not match”. After some googling, it would appear this is because of the max upload file size. I tried a couple of different routes to fix this, firstly .htaccess file, secondly wp_config.php updating, using a plugin. None worked. The easiest way I found was simply to create a file called php.ini in your /wp_admin/ with these two lines in it:

Job done!

Using IFTTT and Alexa Voice Service AVS on a RaspberryPi to control HomeAssistant

This is the next post in my multipost of using a Raspberry-Pi 3 as the center of my Home Automation world. Firstly I set a Raspberry-Pi 3 up in headless mode, then installed Pi-Hole to block adverts at local DNS level, so saving you much needed bandwidth. Next, I installed Home-Assistant, and then Homebridge, which allowed me to use Siri to access my various bulbs in the house. Lastly I installed Amazon AVS but all it does is tell me the time, weather, flash forcast, todo lists etc. Here’s the previous posts: Part 1, Headless Pi Part 2, Pi-Hole, HomeAssistant, LimitlessLED Part 3, Homebridge, Siri, Apple Home Part 4, Alexa AVS on a Pi Config files Using IFTTT Now due to it’s limitation, I can’t simply say “Alexa, find my devices” to find the lights that I can control in my home. So I need IFTTT. If you’ve never used […]

Airfix 1/72 Fokker Eindecker e.ii, A01086

I’ve wanted to make one of the new Airfix models for a while, since they were bought by Hornby in 2006 they’ve started to roll out new kits made from new moulds with new decals, instructions, and type of plastic. They make a nice kit, not a lot of flash to cut away and very few mould lines. The plastic is a great material, not shiny and hard like Tamiya. A real nice thing to make. I added the rigging wire and chose to paint it a Fokker grey, rather than the boxart of canvas. These planes rarely left the factory in the same colour so it leaves a little room to play with. The rigging wire i used fuse wire, hardly to scale, but it was all I had and this was just meant to be a brief weekender kit and to test new Airfix’s new material. A lovely […]

Setting up a Raspberry-Pi, Home-Assistant, Homebridge, Siri and Alexa. Part 4: Installing Alexa-Pi, Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service

Welcome to Part 4 of my multipart blog of setting up a Raspberry-Pi to be the center of your homeautomation world. To recap what I’ve done so far: Set the Pi in headless mode, ie it’s never going to be connected to a monitor Installed HomeAssistant so I can control lights in my apartment, set automation like lights on at sunset if i’m home. Installed Pi-Hole for network wide advert blocking. Setup Homebridge, to link HomeAssistant to Apple Home on my IOS devices, so Siri can control my lights, show me temperatures in the apartment etc. Here are the previous posts: Setting up a Raspberry-Pi, with Pi-Hole, Home-Assistant, Homebridge, Siri and Alexa. Part 1, Setting up a headless (monitorless) Pi And now for making my Pi into a cheap Amazon Echo. Now know from the outset, that a RaspberryPi with Alexa cant do all the things an Echo […]

Setting up a Raspberry-Pi, with Pi-Hole, Home-Assistant, Homebridge, Siri and Alexa. Part 3: Installing Homebridge and using Siri and Apple Home

This is part 3 of my multi-post of setting up a Pi with HomeAssistant, Homebridge, Siri and Pi-Hole. If you want the previous parts here they are: Part 1, Setting up a Pi in headless mode Part 2, Installing Pi-Hole, Home-Assistant and setting up Limitless-LED (Milight) bulbs So now onto the fun part, you want to control the lights you’ve setup previously with Siri, either by talking to your IOS device, or using the favourites option on your slide up menu, which you probably didn’t know existed! Installing Homebridge Lets crack on. SSH via terminal into your Pi (Putty if you’re a Windows user) and install homebridge: Install git and make: sudo apt-get install git make Now to install Node, this is on a Pi3, if you’re on a lower pi refer to this site for installing homebridge. curl -sL | sudo -E bash – sudo apt-get install -y […]

Setting up a Raspberry-Pi, with Pi-Hole, Home-Assistant, Homebridge, Siri and Alexa. Part 2: Installing Pi-Hole and Home-Assistant, using Limitless-LED lamps

Welcome to Part two of my home automation/raspberry-pi blog posts. If you missed setting up the headless Pi, here’s part one. So I’ve got my Pi quite happily working away in headless mode, slimmed down installation and on the network. Time to put it to use! The first thing I install is Pi-Hole. This enables network wide ad blocking via DNS. It’s superb, literally superb. Read up on it at Here’s how to install it: Open a terminal, ssh into your Pi. ssh pi@ Run the installer: curl -L | bash The installer will ask for your password at somepoint, then load a graphical interface for your setup. Select both IPv4 and IPv6 ad blocking. You can edit your static ip address here, if you didn’t in my previous blog post. Make a note of your password it presents you, although you can edit it later. See if […]

Setting up a Raspberry-Pi, with Pi-Hole, Home-Assistant, Homebridge, Siri and Alexa. Part 1, Setting up a headless (monitorless) Pi

My previous post of setting up a Raspberry-Pi with HA, HB, Siri got a massive amount of hits and I had a few emails, as tbh, the post was more for me than general public so I’m going to write it again, in a multi-blog entry. First of all setting up a Pi to run without a monitor, headless we call it. Firstly I will state that all my work is done with a Macbook Pro, you can obviously, 100% use Windows, but for SSH you’ll have to download Putty or some other client, I won’t go into Putty usage here, it is however very intuitive to use. The only real difference between using a terminal on a Mac and Putty is the way you connect, in Putty you have a connection tab, enter the details in that, IP, username, password, in a terminal shell you simply use one line […]

Uptime of my RaspberryPi HomeAssistant & Homebridge, Siri Failing to Operate HomeBridge

So I just thought I would upgrade my Home-Assistant installation. I logged in via ssh and ran the usual update command, then thought i’d check the uptime. I cant remember the last time I shut down my Pi, other than when I went on holiday for a month. 62 Days isn’t too bad, that was the day I returned from holiday! There isn’t a time HomeAssistant or HomeBridge has failed properly on me yet, other than my own issue. I have noticed that when using Siri on my iPhone6 to turn the lights on/off or report room temperatures, on occasion I get a reply like “I didn’t hear back from your devices Puk” or “Sorry I couldn’t do that Puk”. I admit I did get a little frustrated with this, then when I sat down to think about it and check it out, my installation is fine and working, this […]