The Gif Camera v1

I’ve been looking to do something with the RPi camera since I got my hands on one and this December holiday I decided the time was right. Just before leaving on holiday I thought it would be great to build a low-fi point and shoot camera that did away with view finders and the ability to review your images.

After getting the basic camera up and running without much hassle I decided to add the bonus feature of being able to take animated gifs. The camera is controlled with 3 buttons (take a photo, take a gif, power off), all the images are saved to the sd card which i copy over to my laptop via scp whenever I get the chance. It is powered by a 2600mAh power bank that is usb chargeable and lasts a few hours.

The code for the camera is written in python and is really simple you can have a look at it here:

The camera is currently housed in a RPi case and held together with tape in a very tasteful manner as you can see above. As I improve the code ill do the same regarding the housing.

Here are some examples of the animated gifs below

joined107  joined182

joined167  joined185

The Chinchilla

Chinchilla STM32l152 custom boards

I made my first attempt at circuit design towards the end of last year with these boards. The design is heavily based on the stm32F4Stamp by Frank Zhao (many thanks), I changed out the chip to the stm32l152r6t6 and did the necessary changes to the schematic to accommodate a slightly different pinout. Below is a close up of one of the boards I received from the fab house


After getting the parts and some soldering I put the boards together and everything is working.


I also put together a small cradle to help with the programming and testing of the boards that you can see below in the top of the image. The usb connector on the boards was originally used for programming the stm32F4 with the bootloader but the stm32l152 chips dont have this and need to be either programmed via serial bootloader or a programmer. The usb is used to power the board and is connected to the usb lines of the chip. Using the stm32l152 discovery board I can program the chips via the swd connector


The internet is here to stay : Websites for all occassions

As I am now fairly certain that the internet is no longer a passing phase and here to stay for the foreseeable few months.

I have taken it upon myself to learn its language, and as a gesture of good faith I have created a new website and have begun filling it with more websites as I become more accustomed to its mother tongue.

(I made a website where I house new websites that I make as I learn how to make them)

Websites for all occasions

Websites for all occasions

In time my hope is that our differences will fade into the past and a new friendship will begin to blossom.

(I want to be able to build websites.)

Just look here



Show And Tell

Last week I was asked to talk about some of the work I have been busy with recently at a new series of talks hosted by 10and5. The talk series is titled Show and Tell so it was directly down my alley, check out the write up here .

I spoke of pretty much all the work that has been on the blog thus far.

Here are some screen shots from a video by Kerry Friends (many thanks)

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.17.11 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.17.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.19.38 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.19.57 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.20.10 PM


Here are some videos i’ve made with a Raspberry Pi time lapse camera . The camera is made up of the RPi, battery pack and RPi camera module. I don’t have any picture of the camera itself but its nothing special, mostly tape.

The camera is controlled with a python script that runs at boot, it takes a photo every min until I remove the power.So the camera can just be taken where you want it, positioned and turned on and left.

These two videos are made from two different storms

Fake Real Stuff (frs)

Some new prints of fake real stuff (frs).

One of my favourites being a scanned cross section of an actual pine tree i found online. For all those drunk on the allure of 3d printing, rapid prototyping is a relative term. By taking 90 mins to print this 5cm high 3cm diameter tree trunk, planting and growing an actual tree is still a contender.




3D Printering

Over the past 3 months i’ve been building a 3d printer and its finally done. Here are some blurry photos of the process




And of course here is a pic of my inaugural print, failure in its material form.



This was supposed to be a 2cm.After some calibration i managed to print a fairly accurate 3 cm cube, but about midway throughout the print something or other exploded molten green plastic every where so the print never reached the 3 cm height it was destined for.




That is all.


The cost of humour

A small app that lets your computer mock you whilst you inevitably destroy your/its hard drive.


Face Detection Friday

Technology has always maintained the potential to drastically affect our lives by augmenting the way in which we move through the world. In accordance with this HHH devoted some part of last Friday evening to contributing to making right on this promise.

Have you ever looked at a desk, or anything that isn’t a face, only to have that ‘not face’ catch you off guard and ask you a question?

HHH gives to you “Is That A Face?” to preempt those situations when you mistake people, for things.

“Is That A Face?” is an iPhone app used to detect faces, and answer the conundrum once and for all “ that a face?”

It works on Girl Designers,


out of focus Boy Designers,


and Unamused Personal Assistants(UPA’s).


What about ECD’s?


You Betcha.


“Is That A Face?” even works on FEP’s (Fictional Egg People)


But this begs this question, Did the face detection app come before the face.

No, That’s stupid.

With “Is That A Face?” you can say Hello faces, and goodbye Not Faces.


*other body part detection coming soon

Mouse Portraits


Haha, no.

Here’s a something I hacked together last week and haven’t had a chance to post about.


Have you ever wondered what a computer mouse sees?

of course you have, you’re a thoughtful and complex individual. After coming across various posts online about accessing optical mouse sensor data, i did as well, and after I gave it a go I ended up with the above. What you are looking at is essentially a point and shoot camera made from a mouse, plug into into you machine, run the app and right-click to take pictures.  I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take portraits of everyone I work with in the office.

I should mentioned that the image quality is limited to 256 grayscale pixels, but lets be honest how much attention do you really give to the people around you, in terms of office colleagues these might as well be plaster face casts.

Here is shot of my face  i took while i was building it.


It helps to look through the person and think of something else to bring the image focus (now it’s exactly like work).

Here is one of Jade a designer her at HC:


These images are not from the ‘raw’ optical sensor in the mouse, to focus the sensor for these images i took the lens from a cheap webcam and attached it to what i can best describe as the sensor’s shutter. Below is an image of a ‘p’ taken from the back of my drivers license before i frankensteined the webcam lens on the mouse, this p is about 1mm high.


The best thing about this is that it is real, and actually works, I’ll post a whole bunch of process photo’s of the build below


This is the mouse I used, offices are great places to find these, the are pretty much on every desk.


The black square is the optical sensor that picks up all the image information


The mouse in this image is a different one to the one i ended on using, this model worked i just broke it. But here you can see the webcam i used, it’s a really cheap model with adjustable focus, i just screwed off the lens and fixed to the mouse.


I piggybacked on the existing buttons for the shutter and where the scroll wheel normally goes i even added a viewfinder/hole


The next step is putting the left click to use, adding a battery and storing the images on the mouse itself which can then be downloaded at a later stage. Technically this is working but it needs work as i only had a few hours to put this all together, it could also do with a flash/duct taped torch as it struggles to take pictures of the sun.