RFID Treasure Chest for LARP

I built a treasure chest which opens if a riddle is solved. To prove that the riddle is solved, the players need to put the correct three RFID/NFC tokens (out of several tokens to choose from) onto three RFID readers in the correct order. If they fail too often, a curse is uttered! In this post I describe the hardware selection, the electronics, the assembly and the software.

Root shell on a MStar based UMC TV (Sharp LC-24CFG6132EM)

Not being happy with a few things on my Sharp LC-24CFG6132EM smart TV, I decided to dig deeper, hoping to find ways to reconfigure some settings. While I not achieved that goal yet, I at least managed to gain root access to the Linux running on the TV. Since the TV set is based on a MStar product, I suspect that my procedure will work for any MStar based TV, at least those manufactured by UMC, which for Europe own the brands of Sharp and Blaupunkt. So here I document the procedure.

Media Center revisited: Libre Computer “Le Potato” plus LibreELEC

While Raspberry Pi with xbian is already a versatile media center, I’m not 100% satisfied with everything. And, with the advent of H.265/HEVC as German DVB-T2 standard, the technical requirements have outrun the current offerings of the Raspberry Foundation. So I decided to migrate my Kodi media center to brand-new Libre Computer’s Le Potato board with LibreELEC, and here are the steps to do so, starting from the xbian media center described in an earlier blog post.

TARDIS housing for my Raspberry Pi media center

When I built my media center, it went into a simple black box: Boooring! Since we watch a lot of Dr. Who on funk.net, when a Raspberry Foundation blog post on 3D printed cases featured a Tardis housing, it felt just right to have one. The 3D files are available on Thingiverse, and so I put the files into the 3D printing services of the usual supects – to be shocked by the resulting prices: More than 100 € for this thing? It nearly made me buy a 3D printer, but luckily I found out about 3Dhubs, where many many […]

Touch Rotation with 10″ Display from Joy-IT

I got myself a 10″ multi-touch display from Joy-IT for my Raspberry. I’m quite satified with the display, it has a relatively high resolution, very good display quality, good viewing angle, and touch works very well – the necessary driver is included in Raspbian. Two things that could be better: The backlight is not software-controllable, and the position of the HDMI and USB connectors is not optimal. In the end I want to use the display mounted vertically in a wall, so I included the line

into /boot/config.txt. Unfortunately this only rotates the display, not the touch input, so […]

Creating the “Perfect” Hiking Map for Germany and other Countries

In this post I show how to create useful hiking maps by merging OpenStreetMap data with the usually excellent official maps of the cartographic offices of Germany and several other countries. Using MOBAC and Maperitive, a transparent layer containing POIs, landscape features and elevation information is generated from OSM data and then overlayed on the official maps. Also, mapsources for OruxMaps are derived for the various countries.

Using PB6/7 of ATmega328P with Arduino IDE

The Goal For a small project I used the ATmega328P MCU – and then the small project somewhat exploded and I needed more and more I/O-Pins. Suddenly all but the PB6 and PB7 pins were in use, and I needed exactly two more… The Arduino IDE did not offer pin numbers for these pins, since they are used for the crystal oscillator on Arduino. My project however did not rely on ultra precise timing, so the internal oscillator was more than enough, leaving the two pins open for other use, but how to address them? I guess with Atmel Studio this […]

Building a Media Center for German IPTV

The Raspberry Pi with Kodi is a versatile media center. Getting it to work with German IPTV in a stable fashion is however somewhat challenging. In this post I outline the necessary steps to set up a XBian based media center, to make it usable on a rather small SD TV screen, to avoid the 30 minutes offset problem with the public German TV stations, to make the channel mappings stable and to control the media center via IR remote control.