Category Archives: A Little Sunshine

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Jasper Image Updates[Update]

I have been quietly working on the installer and image.  However, there have been 2 OS updates since I started.  So I am refreshing all of my images with Raspbian Stretch.  I will be making it available soon.  Also, if anyone has a class 10, 4GB MicroSD they want to donate. I am trying to make the image as small as possible.  Please contact me directly for details.

The new Image will be based on Raspbian Lite as mentioned above, and will have the basic dependencies met.  It will also have newer versions of all the software pre-compiled to save you the hours of time it can take.

I am working on software to auto-configure most audio devices.  This is something I hope to include soon.  Please keep an eye out for the new links.

Thanks,

Matthew Curry

[UPDATE]

Thank you to TJUMP7 for the 4gb Card!  Small Image coming soon!  Keep an eye out for that and the installer….

Updates on Kill-Switch (E-Vehichle for son).

During my latest testing phase, there was an accident with the motor controller.  This has put a small speed bump in my little project.

However, this may be a blessing in disguise.  I wanted to put in my own motor controller before, but I was trying to do this build without purchasing much.  So, I was using the built-in controller within the old hover board housing.  This came with many obstacles; for one, the circuit was very sensitive to change.  If I wanted it to work; the LEDs and everything had to be perfect. Otherwise it would throw errors. Keeping in mind that I do not have any manual, documentation, etc on the hardware here.

Once I replace their motor controller with mine, it will be even better for my automation.  I actually do have RPI motor controller HATs; however nothing rated for 500w.  So I am going to be using the following per side. http://a.co/eHzWM2i

This will allow me to control the speed with the battery, and hub motors I already have. Just add a potentiometer per side, and were in business. Those pots will be controlled via very small servo.  This will allow the user to control them, but the servos will put them back to zero (stop) after use.  This also enables the control via RPI3, as I mentioned before.

On another note; I am considering using casters in the front since you will be able to steer via the controls.  Alternatively, I get one controller and use it as a throttle only.  This would work, but then I would have to have front steering.

 

Thanks for all the support,

Matt Curry

DIY Eclipse Glasses

Nothing Fancy here, but they work. (Use are your own risk)

First off, never look directly into the sun!  Always have the PROPER eye protection!

Supplies
1. Pen
2. Paper
3. Cereal box
4. Aluminum foil
5. Scissors

Yes, that’s it!

How to make an eclipse viewer yourself:
1. Put the cereal box on the piece of paper and trace the outline of the bottom of the box, creating a rectangle.
2. Cut out the rectangle.
3. Take two pieces of tape and make loops, then place them on both ends of the rectangle.
4. Take the piece of paper and place it inside the bottom of the cereal box tape-side down.
5. Close the cereal box up once the piece of paper is inside.
6. Create two holes in the top of the box, one on each side.
7. Cut the holes out with scissors — one will be for your eye, and the other will be covered by foil.
8. Tape the top of the box down revealing the two holes.

9. Take a piece of aluminum foil and cover one of the holes up (it doesn’t matter which one you choose.)
10. Take your pen, make a tiny hole in the middle of the aluminum foil.

And you’re done!

Building E-Vehicle/Robot for Son!

I am building a robot (named aptly: Kill Switch) from old parts I had laying around, and it is powered by hub motors from a ‘hover-board’.  The stats were pretty strong for small kids; so I am building a lot of safety into it.

This will include software, and hardware measures to ‘take over’ the device, and even limit speed.  Eventually I will be able to return him back to a certain spot with playtime is over.  I hope to automated charging as well eventually.  There are a lot of features I have ready; however I am still building out the hardware.

This can be difficult to do and keep extremely safe.  So for starters I am testing it only; and I have 2 kill switches I am putting in to ensure safety.  One the person will have to keep his foot on constantly for the buggy to run.  The other is a simple quick kill switch.  (Eventually these will be automated).

The Device already has an RPI3 with a small motor-controller for future automation’s.  This will control other aspects of the vehicle via software.  Such as speed limitations, power usage, GPS, WIFI, BT.  I will also be using a pico router to establish a LAN around the device.  This is for media, as the vehicle will have speakers/screen to watch/host media on the LAN.

Hardware Safety Features:

  • Dash Kill Switch
  • Foot Kill Switch
  • Flip/Tilt Sensor
  • Lights
  • Front
  • Rear

Once testing is completed, and it works; I will go through how I set it up.  However, this will be piece by piece as I do it.  I have even considered some youtube videos.  However, that will depend on my success in doing this on a budget.  I am also using completely reclaimed parts, minus a couple bolts I bought.  So its been free so far.

On that note, I have been building the chassis, but if anyone in the Dallas, TX area has an old go-cart frame that rolls/steers, I am looking.  I think it would make it a lot lighter.  Shoot me a message, info is on my contact me page.

 

MUCH More to come… Please keep an eye on the series…

-M

Need DevOps Help?

  • Had issues with your DevOps pipeline?
  • Need help streamlining automation or configuration management?
  • Need to green field or “lift and shift” applications into the cloud?

If you are trying to do any of these, and running into issues please contact me.  I am now open to consulting directly.  Fixing even a few small inefficiencies can have a huge impact on the bottom line.  Not only that, if the DevOps philosophies are really taken up, its likely that the employee base will also be happier, and proud of their accomplishments as a team.

As far as technologies I support, please take a look at my Technologies page.  (Updated often)  I am also happy to take on new ones for a project if needed.

Creating an efficient pipeline is what I do; and a fully functional system that is working well can be an amazing thing.

 

Matthew Curry
MattCurry.Com

 

The Eagle Has landed….

All,

I have made it…. the move is complete!   I just wanted to say thank you for everyone that has been waiting on me.  I know I have taken a while on a few things, and I am finally in a position to run with everything again.  I finally have a decent internet connection [330mbps/330mbps]; so I will also be able to host things at high speed for us now as well.

As far as the installer goes, I hope to be done very soon with it ;  I am putting my final touches on it for the Pixel desktop.  If I get time I might be able to get Bluetooth working!  However, I have to get caught up first.

For those waiting on hardware, most has been shipped with a few exceptions.  I have notified those people.  I have a true ‘shop’ area again, and this will allow me to be much more efficient.  Meaning shorter wait times/etc…

 

Sincerely,

-M

Thank you to all… Jasper v1.6 Image News!

First, I would like to say thank you to the community members for helping out. I have gotten a lot of input on the new image.  This has also given me better feel for what the community wanted in an image. Which leads me to the next bit of news.


Some of you are undoubtedly wondering why I have not released my Jasper v1.6 image as of yet.  Well, I can assure you there are very good reasons.

Firstly,  I have had some severe family/health issues come up as of late which take priority.  I am also in the middle of moving a family of 5.  Combine that with the other reasons below, and I feel that most will feel the wait to be worth it.

This leads me to the next bit of news, however shocking it may be.

  1.  There will be no version 1.6 image.
    1. There will be no image at all…
  2.  Instead, there will be a full installer.
    1. This is one of the reasons for the delay.
  3.   The installer will work with a full GUI, and on the desktop.
    1. Examples:
      1. Full ubuntu Install.
      2. Fresh RPI install with GUI.
  4. The installer will be iterated on by feature going forward.
    1. We can add community approved features one at a time.
      1. Example:
        1. Change Jaspers Name
        2. Change STT after setup
        3. Etc.

FAQ (COMING SOON)

  • So whats that mean for me?
  • What do I do if I am running Jasper v.15?
  • Where do I get the installer?
  • Do I need to upgrade?

 

Jasper Image v1.6 – Coming Soon!

There are already several improvements to the image, and I have put out feelers for any fixes/updates/etc that I can do to make the user experience better.  I already have a few of the obvious ones, however please feel free to report them in the new slack room “image-v1-6”, or in the Forums at the following LINK.

I am already working on it being pre-installed in the future with a REST api on it.  Making it easy to integrate with anything!

I will be posting the release notes with the new updates with the new image, and here as a post.  So please keep an eye out.

 

Thanks,
Matt

NEW Jasper Documentation!

Hello All,

First, I want to thank everyone that has been patient with me so far in getting these things done one at a time…

I know it is not easy to get some of these things completed without good documentation.  So, with the help of a few community members, I have started what is a very rough draft of our documentation.  It is neither complete, or ready….  However, we are adding information as we go, so keep a close eye.  Even feel free to clone it, and contribute.  There will be documentation on how to do both of those coming as well.  Feel free to watch here, the repository, or the Support Forums/Slack for updates.  I update them all.

If you have items you would like to see added to the documentation, I would run it by myself, or d34dman first.  If we have not already written it (there are some not committed yet); then we will just let you know to put in a PR (aka Pull Request).  Once we have both reviewed it and give it a thumbs up.  We will merge it.

Alright, all that said… Here is the link to the documentation!

 

Thanks,

Matthew Curry