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_group=2
hdmi_mode=1
hdmi_mode=87
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.

Thermal Imaging

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

Cat.

Hand.

Hot shower.

Open fridge door.

Torch light.

Wifi Routers

Apple wall charger.

Macbook.

iPhone.

Hand under running water.

Residual heat from a hand on a book.

Energy saving bulb.

Brother on laptop.

 

Revival

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.

Water Tank

I know it has been ages since my last post. As part of my New Years Resolution, I will try and clear all the backlog starting from November last year. For now, a short one.

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During spring cleaning two days ago, we discovered that the water flow became very slow after a few hours of water usage. Since the tap was connected to the tank we suspected that a faulty ball valve wasn’t letting enough water flow into the tank. It has happened before so we went up to inspect the tank.

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The tank is located at the highest possible position on the house for obvious reasons (so you get water pressure in every room) so naturally it’s almost impossible to reach. Access is through a small window and we need to use a ladder propped on a table to reach it.

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The lid of the tank was almost impossible to open. Once opened, as expected, the ball valve was limiting the water flow. While trying to adjust it, the brittle arm broke. So a new valve was needed. Mark cleaning the tank while waiting for the replacement ball valve to arrive.

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Draining the sediments at the bottom. Teh O ais anyone?

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View from up there was great! Perfect for stargazing on clear nights.

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New ball valve, reused the old ball.

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Installing the new ball valve. Look how clean the tank is!

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Last look from above the tank before going down.