Raspberry Pi on 800×480 Screens

Most smaller screens used in a CarPC setup runs on 800×480 resolution. To force Raspberry Pi to output 800×480 resolution via HDMI, add the following code to /boot/config.txt with a sudo nano /boot/config.txt command. Remember to remove previous parameters if they exists already.

hdmi_cvt 800 480 60 6 0 0 0

After a reboot, you should be able to get your Pi to display crisp and clear 800×480 native resolution on your screen.

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Long Lama, Miri

I have figured out how to post to my WordPress Blog from Microsoft Word. This is the first such post. If this works it will be easier for me to post and I will definitely try to revive this blog. You can try it out yourself if you use WordPress too. Link is here: http://wpmu.org/how-to-use-microsoft-word-to-publish-directly-to-your-wordpress-site/

For the past 4 days, I was at a small town in Miri commissioning a generator panel for the town. It’s almost 4 hours by car on very bad roads. Almost only accessible by four-wheel drives. Which is not uncommon to see 90% of cars in Long Lama are four-wheel drives. Due to the locality, they are not fed by the grid yet so electricity is generated by using Diesel engines. There are 11 of them. This is the power station with two gigantic Diesel storage tanks.

A bridge has not been built yet to the town so we had to do a ferry crossing. I haven’t done this since I went to Lundu a long long time ago.

These are the existing gensets. The power station is incredibly loud and hearing protection gear is required. On hot days the whole place is very stuffy too.

Generator panels are used by operators to control the generators. They work 24 hours in 3 shifts.

A large turbo on a Diesel engine. Turbos make the engine more efficient so they can be built smaller.

This is the engine control panel. This engine runs at 1500RPM. With a 4 pole alternator, it generates 50Hz exactly.

This is the new engine.

4 days is a long time in a small town. The pace is slow and generally the people are very easy going. It’s good to get out of the hustle and bustle of city life and just enjoy the peace and tranquility in the rural areas once in a while. Then perhaps we will remember what we live for.

Sunset by the river.

And this is entertainment for the night.

Also found this remote telemetry unit measuring water level and rainfall. In the background people are racing small boats powered by pump engines.

Local children enjoying their evening at the town basketball court. Fortunately electronic gadgets have not taken over their lives yet.

Long Lama is a nice town. But I ran out of things to eat in 4 days. But it was good fun.

3D Printed A Flow Control Lever Tool

One of the things I need to do every morning is adjust the flow control valve on the water heater because depending on the time I shower, sometimes the water pressure is too high and sometimes it is too low. This water heater is not fed by the storage tank so there is a variation of pressure throughout the day.

Flow control knob. Small, stiff knob.

The problem that I face is that the valve is quite stiff and requires quite and effort to turn. Also, the small knob makes it difficult to make fine adjustments to the water flow. So I decided to design a tool to make this chore easier.

Designing the tool on Google Sketchup 8. I actually had to make some changes to the original dimensions as the first prototype was a bit too small to fit.

Printing out the tool on Solidoodle 2.

Testing it out on the flow control valve.

It works! Now I have a long lever to accurately adjust the water flow to my liking.

Of course, this is just a crude solution to the problem. A more elagent solution would be to put in a motorized flow control valve and a flow control sensor and use a microprocessor to constantly regulate the flow so I get constant flow regardless of the time of the day. But that’s another story for another post.

Thermal Imaging

I recently got my hands on a Fluke thermal imaging camera and here are the results.



Hot shower.

Open fridge door.

Torch light.

Wifi Routers

Apple wall charger.



Hand under running water.

Residual heat from a hand on a book.

Energy saving bulb.

Brother on laptop.



It’s been almost a year since my last post. I was busy with work and I let the server and domain expire. I recently found time to set everything back up after coming back to Kuching. So here’s hoping this will sustain.

My previous blog was in php-nuke so I had to migrate that database into WordPress. This was a big problem because I had 1024 posts and the database structure was very different and I wasn’t ready to manually transfer all of them. After fiddling around for a few days I stumbled upon this site: http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/migrate-posts-from-phpnuke-to-wordpress

I edited the script a bit and after executing it, I managed to transfer all the posts from the php-nuke database to the wordpress database. You can get a copy of it from http://tzywen.com/script/copy.txt. Just make sure you edit the file to reflect your database configuration.