VR Experiences #2: DIY Rift

December 01, 2014

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 Since i last mentioned about oculus rift at past year, hundreds of commercial & non-commercial oculus clone appeared on web. all big companies rushed into market but there is no any stable consumer product exists yet.

 After I tried a friend's Oculus DK1, decided to purchase it when available. my expectation was a consumer product within next few months or low price used units in ebay at least. because higher price tags doubles the cost due to customs regulations. (xx percent fee)
 
 Anyway, waited a while and decided to build my own kit. Purchased the components at recent summer based on the Rod Furlan's instructions and builded it within 3 weeks including two failed attempts. and i finally catch the original rift experience.
 
 Current unit completely built with same components of DK1, except head tracking thing. i'm not going to play half-life in 540x480 resolution instead of 23" 1080p monitor. so it's not necessary. instead of accelerometer, i installed a magnetometer to it. it's more easy to read single polar bearing rather than complex accelerometer calculations. body kit built with acrylic glass material (the accident, remember?) and bunch of silicon glue. surprisingly it's still under 500gr and tough as hell. i accidentaly dropped it multiple times and not even scratch exists (yet) also integrated a playstation eye webcam for future use, will mention about that in next entries.
 
 Result is $160 cost and 3 weeks of development, enough to watch 3D movies and run tech demos for now. currently still working with software part on my spare times. more updates will be available soon.

  

Air quality sensor upgrade

November 16, 2014

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 previously mentioned about an arduino sketch which can gather data from various sensors and push them to my home automation & personal assistant software called "Judith"

Today i implemented one LDR and BMP180 barometric pressure sensor. LDR's are really old technology, even was exists inside of automatic night lamps at my childhood. i suppose they're just reacting too dark or lighter environment but surprisingly i found this one very sensitive. it can detect light changes step by step while sun goes down at the evenings. currently judith controlling hallway and my rooms light switch based on her own day & night calculations. i will use this data as correction value for cloudly days which light will be needed at a rainy day.

Bosch's bmp180 barometer unit is really small even exists in motorola xoom tablet. you can calculate approx. altitude from pressure value but i can't get the point why a tablet bundled with a barometer. probably a marketing trick to make it more expensive. By the way, it can also measure temperature but when compared to ds1820b and DHT11 it's value 3 celsius lower than others. probably surrounding metal case causes that. also pressure resolution not too high as described in other diy sites. anyway can be used in weather alert applications at least.

it's arduino compatible library available in here


  

New face to boot screen

October 25, 2014

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 Few weeks ago i decided to upgrade my pc's ram modules, this upgrade was also requires bios update due to a bug of mainboard's (foxconn G41MXE) firmware. anyway downloaded the latest bios, replaced the hardware and spent few more minutes then changed the manufacturer's ugly oem logo. my plan was extraction of image file from bios dump and replace it with another picture which is fits byte to byte.

before that, surprisingly found a tool which can already do this process automatically within few minutes. if interested it's available in here: AMISuite.zip

i'm not sure its torrent alive now but at past year (2013) ami bios source code was leaked online from a taiwan based manufacturer's ftp server. also it's available in here. the code is completely ready to compile and well-documented. a great research material for students & modders. you cannot launch your own computer brand like tv show halt and catch fire but free to try non-commercial experiments with it.


  

Lets search a file: the psy way

September 08, 2014

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 once upon a time, google has a desktop search solution. i can't remember maybe at 2007~2008. it was allows you index and search your local files as google search interface.

 after the index feature of windows vista, they're abandoned the project but windows indexer doesn't have not all features of gsearch's engine. for example year 2014, microsoft released windows 8.1 and still have no portable drive support. if you eject drive and jack into another usb port, all metadata is become obsolete. also index process 7/24 working in background even playing games, watching 4K videos etc. that's causes performance drops in system.
 
 Whatever, two months ago i have a lot of spare time and decided to rebuilt their web based local indexer from scratch. it's easy in theory but requires a lot of legwork. then decided to make it as php script, that will allow us faster code upgrades and more flexibility.
 
 Technical Background
 - First implemented an embedded webserver into judith. she's already accepting web api calls for mail & skype notifications, just added few lines extra code.
 
 - then started with a lite version of C.A.I.N it's a codeigniter based web application engine. supports web assets and custom modules which specifically written for itself, im using it in almost all web projects.Indexer project has two controller: one of them building a disk structure and writing them into a portable sqlite database, other controller is showing the search results visually.
 
 - Third step is a custom browser, which is necessary to launch huge inputboxes and show results in a multi-monitor setup. used chromium as web render engine. i already did few experiments with it before, that was the easy part.
 
 and rest of maintenance scripts automatically launching after 5min of idle, adding new files to database and removing the entries of deleted files.Currently it's still a prototype, i will share the project sources after it's become stable.

  

New gadget on desktop: Air Quality Sensor

July 25, 2014

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 past year i was working with a material named methyl methacrylate (aka acrylic glass) its strong, transparent and easy to bend. best component to create cases for electronic prototypes. while working, burned a piece from that, applied glue and burned again with solder iron to clean up splinters. probably that's caused a chemical reaction and exthausted a harmful gas. i aware that after 20 seconds but its too late for my lungs.

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 it wasn't a serious damage but i stayed in hospital for one night. after that accident i researched about an air analyzer gadget like r.r.t.s equipment in doom movie. finally discovered MQ gas sensors which manufactured by an east-land company named HANWEI.
 
 purchased MQ5 and MQ9 for testing purposes and found incredibly sensitive which can be used at industrial level. MQ9 sensitive for waste gases like CO/CO2 and MQ5 can detect combustible gases such as propane/butane.
 
 mentioned on previous entries, i already have a talking (in turkish ofcourse smile.gif) digital assistant named judith. she's serving me since 5 years and can provide visual & audible notifications based on internal variables. eg. battery level drops below 50 percent or memory usage higher than 90 percent etc. today i developed another application to gather data from arduino and send to her.
 
 first, tested it with a deodorant which is seen in video. after 36~48 hrs of work, both of sensors become very sensitive even detects human fart (including silent ones biggrin.gif) also product datasheet verifies that by calling it as "internal burn-in time" two week later i discovered a fact, usual raw value of mq9 sensor is around 200~250 but its dropping to 150 at each morning and weekends. streets are empty in these hours, my opinion diesel car exthaust causes carbon contamination in district and it detects them. if this kind of a gadget exists on market, peoples can barely see side effects of liquid fuels.
 
 we're fucking up the planet earth, this is the another fact.

  

New update: Kantharos IDE v1.2.1

June 15, 2014

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- implemented new exception handler
- updated php installation and manual to v5.5.11
- autocomplete feature implemented based on php5 reference
- fixed minor ui glitches
- UTF-8 file encoding issue solved


  

Strange signals on radio ocean

June 15, 2014

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 2012 was SDR year. some guys (Antti Palosaari and Eric Fry first) discovered possibility of using realtek RTL2832 based devices as generic radio.usually that chips can be found in usb dvb-t sticks which can bought with 10$ from most markets. In same year, i read an article on hackaday and decided to purchase one of them. and did almost all available stunts from positioning ships & airplanes to gathering weather data from satellites in past two years.

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 i was seen strange signals while playing with it, now compiled all of them in this article. my setup is 1x Terratec Cinergy T Stick, 1x indoor tv antenna with built-in amplifier and 1.6ghz netbook which is seen in picture. all signals recorded in same session at 14.06.2014


 Signal #1: 415.6mhz
Its looking like aprs stream, also frequency fits but no any decoders can handle that in my software arsenal.

 

 Signal #2: 448.5mhz
that one is very similar to tty teletype, probably customized and encrypted for military purposes. also local police and fire department still uses old analog walkie-talkie systems in here, conversation stream can be seen in 450~455mhz.

 

 Signal #3: 150.3mhz
I have no idea about that, usually amateur satellites uses that frequency range but my setup cannot catch that signal in this level. it's a mystery.

 

 Signal #4: 152.6mhz
another signal in same frequency range, its like a telemetry data and most interesting one ever seen. due to signal level, probably its coming from a meteorology station where is 6km away from here.


 edit on 30.06.2014: it was a network beacon of new model DMR radio. next week i monitored same channel about 48hrs and got a digital voice stream. decoded it via dsd+ and just hear conversation from new hospital of city. looks like new goverment building uses new tech.

 

 Signal #5: 135~137mhz
yes, most strange part is in here. i was seen that few times but i supposed its a device glitch or software error. then someday tried with different antennas & different angles and i seen signal level was changed. it's obvious to coming from far away and it's not human made. i seen some guy's article which is mentioning about detecting galactic rotation with software defined radio. he was demonstrating similar signal shapes in screenshots. my best guess is that's a frequency reflection from moon or other planet's surface. we're living in a huge signal ocean, that's possible.

 

 playing with sdr is fun but it uses too much system resources, my opinion it cannot be used in business or other proffessional purposes. if interested, you can proceed following links to dive into ham-radio world:

 

 http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr
home of the first apps developed for RTL2832


 http://www.rtl-sdr.com/
a blog about all about things which you can do with RTL2832


 http://hackaday.com/?s=RTL2832
all available articles about 2832 on hackaday


 http://sdrsharp.com/
win32 sdr application which has native RTL2832 support

  

New Release: FTP Live Sync

May 07, 2014

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 Livesync allows us edit server side scripts on the fly by modifying its local
copy. basically it's a ftp client which can monitor changes in filesystem
and upload modified file to remote server.

still in beta but its functional now.


  

New Revision: WIADUC

March 22, 2014

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 Due to new local censorship on turkey, i revised the dns manipulator tool called "wiaduc"

 
it can help when you're cannot access to public dns servers such as google (8.8.8.8) or opendns (208.67.222.222) etc.


  

Pain and Suffer inside: Displaylink Adapter

January 31, 2014

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 as mentioned on my recent tweets, was looking for a low cost multi-display solution about couple weeks. gaming oriented gfx cards already providing this feature but they costs as a new computer and requires gigantic power supplies. that will an unnecessary investment.

 
finally i purchased an usb displaylink adapter with a fast decision. i supposed its an gfx chip which can communicates with mainboard via usb port.

 
..But it's not
It creates a virtual desktop on your system by using software and captures realtime video from it. then device receives this video with 50~250ms delay. i don't sure that's applicable in commercial industry but it's terrible idea.

 
Suffer begins
Maybe their certified products working without any trouble but i did my second mistake by purchasing an unknown chinese brand with high price. its getting warm on first usage and resets itself due to overheating. and i decided to use it by replacing heatsinks instead of refund. this time heatsink melts its plastic cover, and i installed a small fan into it. wtf. this is madness.

 
The Cure
ofcourse i didn't use it due to its noise, i researched more and finally found the Sapphire HD6450 Flex edition it uses an unique technology called "Flex" to get three displays same time. that's exactly what i need but its obsolete a little bit and hard to find in local market. then found on someone's ebay store later.

 
after the two weeks, i received item, installed it to my mini-itx case and sent that usb-crap to trash. if you're planning a similar screen setup, stay away from displaylink devices.



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