Rpi Media Server | Testing video playback from external data source [Documentation]

So first we need to make sure I can output video files from a usb source.

I’ll be using “usbmount” and omxplayer, to get these packages make sure you’re pi’s setup correctly and run the following commands:

Note: make sure no storage devices are plugged into the usb port when you install “usbmount”

Once those are installed you can start trying to play videos off of the usb drive (eventually the thumb drive  will be replaced with a large hdd

I’ll be using filezilla to transfer to and from the pi.

Check out the video below to see omxplayer in action:

Edit: The upload failed and I forgot to check on it. Come back soon for the video.

I’m choosing to debug my Pi over composite. The reason being is because I’m going to be working a lot with video outputs, and I don’t have a second hdmi ready monitor. I’m going to be using the EasyCAP usb video capture card. This will also give me the ability to record what i’m seeing as well. This 100% better / much more efficient than buying a second monitor and filming on it. Of course when this is ready for implementation, it will be plugged into a television with HDMI so the picture will be amazing.

Rpi Media Server | [Declaration]

The goal of this is to become independent from cable TV while still being able to do all of the same things we would with a cable service – I.E still consume content in the living room on the television.

It should also improve upon the experience. I want to be able to stream content from the Pi to any capable device. That list includes but is not limited to:

I’ll be working on this post most of today, so they’ll be a few posts coming.

Plane | 3 Functional Parts and Other Ideas [Documentation]

I’ve still got no idea what i’m going to name it.  If you’ve got an idea in for the name, feel free to leave it in the comments. Actually on that note, If you’re reading this PLEASE leave a comment. I’ve had A LOT of bot traffic lately so i’m starting to really crack down on who’s a real reader or a bot.

So as you can see in the video above, I’ve gotten all 3 components working. I can use either joystick axis to control either the left or right servo independently. The potentiometer controls the value that is sent to the esc. As you can see by the code the esc signal is just a servo.write command. The controller code is identical to the last “Plane” post with the exception that the code mapped from the pot goes to 170 instead of 225. This is because I switched from a analogWrite() to a servo.write() signal.

Vehicle Code:

I’ve also been starting to think about how i’m going to take this thing to the next stage. The parts list still exists here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqD_oicSxsvmdFlPU1VPSkt6aHpoa0hqSEgwdDE2RGc  if you want to check out what i’ve done so far. I’m starting to consider materials to make the body out of. Right now the main contendor is making a frame out of aluminum dowels welded together. I’ve got a friend who can weld aluminum so assembling the frame won’t be an issue. If I go with this option, i’ll be able to cleanly mount things to the vehicle itself, and not have to worry about things splitting or cracking. It will also be heavier than if I were to go with an all foam body.

I’ve also been considering what i’m going to get for a camera for this thing. As one of the goals for this was to be able to take really nice areal videos. I’ve tentatively landed on a camera called the HackHD. The thing that’s most attractive about it is that it can do 1080p video capture AND composite video output at the same time. This is great because my original plan was to have 2 cameras – one for HD video capture, and one to transmit back to my computer. The only problem is it’s price. I could easily just hack one of those HD keychain cameras to make it operable via micro controller – but I would need to use two cameras which could be cheaper after all but powering two separate cameras would be pretty difficult.

I need to wirelessly communicate with the vehicle as well. If you look through some of the videos on my old youtube channel you can see a little RC tank that communicated via bluetooth, so I’ve got a shred of experience with homebrew wireless. Again, I’ve tentatively landed on a solution. I’ve concluded that using an Xbee system would be the most flexible while maintaining stability. It can be used as a long-range serial TxRx pipe which is what i’m prototyping with now, so the whole code’s built around that. I’d be using the XBee 1mW Wire Antenna – Series 1 (802.15.4) for the transmitter, as it’s easy to power and has an omnidirectional antenna with a range of 1 mile. While I may not be flying a mile away, I’d like to have the flexibility. I could fly in the woods, in the snow, or in the fog. To connect the xbee to the Arduino I’d probably use the SainSmart XBee USB Adapter because it’s got the UART broken out. I could use the same board to connect it to the pc as well. I could make the whole system work for around 72 dollars, which is a little high but I really want it to work well.

I’ll cover powering it in another post, but I think the next thing I get is going to be the wireless stuff. I’ve been thinking a lot about how i’m going to proto a moving vehicle, I’m thinking of some kind of fan-boat thing. Or a 3 wheeled fan propelled car.


www.youtube.com/thesupertechchannel is officially going away. I will be removing all videos pertaining to content that is hosted on this website, and re-upload them to my new channel at www.youtube.com/esological. They will be reinstated on this site as well.

The why here is irrelevant. This change will slow me down a bit a first – I know i’ll be losing 90% of my audience by this change. Over time however, this change is one that needed to happen. thesupertechchannel was created in a time where I really didn’t know what content I wanted to make. I was a kid in middle school with a laptop and a copy of Sony Vegas. My analytics show that >= 50% of my views are found via search engine anyways so as long as I market myself better or at least as consistently as I did in days past, it won’t take me long to get to the point where I get ~ 100 views per video again.

I will also be able to analyze where my traffic is coming from better with this change. Hopefully I’ve some audience from this website,  and now that i’ve implemented changes in the back end of the operation of this site to be able to see where views are coming  from, I’ll be able to tailor content style to whatever posts get me the most traffic – what viewers want.


also: minecraft, www.esologic.com:25565