Testing out RasPlex

November 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communications, Linux 

I decided to try out RasPlex after having run OpenElec and RaspBMC for about half a year, and before that XBMCbuntu for a few years. I’ve been using plex server on my file server for a few months already and plex on the tablets/phones to stream movies, tv shows, etc while in bed. I haven’t had that much time with RasPlex yet, but I’m really impressed so far, especially when you start looking at what type of infrastructure it enables. I’m now using the same chain of applications for my tv, phones, tablets, and laptops, this is something I’ve never been able to before (if you except NFS/SMB solutions with VLC or some such video player, which has proven unstable for the phone/tablet cases in my case, high def videos will stutter a lot among other things).

My main problem with the entire setup is that my fileserver is a bit too weak to transcode 1080p on the fly, it is a D525 Atom CPU however, and I didn’t see this usecase when I bought it, so I’ll have to live with it for now ;).

All that said, I’m still very happy with XBMC, but I feel that RasPlex so far has given a more… mature feeling. It seems to work very well with no big hickups so far, the UI on RaspBMC and OpenElec was really slow, something that still holds true in RasPlex, but it is better.

Raspberry Pi + 2x Arduino Nano V3.0

March 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Development, General, Hardware, Linux, Robots 

Quick update, during my evenings I’ve been working with one of the Raspberry Pi’s I won on a local contest a few months ago, and it’s generally derailed into some kind of “let’s put as much stuff on it as possible”, meaning that I currently got my Raspberry Pi hooked up with:

  • Slice of Pi
  • Adafruit PWM driver
  • Raspicam on a simple pitch/yaw servo gimbal that me and my 1,5 year old put together in 10 minutes. Controlled via PWM.
  • MPU9150 sparkfun breakout board
  • 2 Arduino Nano V3.0

The two Arduino Nanos have split functionality, where one will provide me with data that needs to be gathered frequently, and the other is used for slow processes such as reading out 1-wire temp sensors etc.

The first nano will have the following functions hooked up to it:

  • 3x HC-SR04 ultrasound distance sensors
  • Voltage measurement 0-20V circuit
  • Control of 2 relays
  • 3x line tracking sensors
  • Reed switch
  • 2x motor controls via L298P chip

The second nano has the following hooked up to it:

  • MPX2200GP pressure sensor (will use something else soon’ish)
  • 2x 1-wire DS18B20 temperature sensors.
  • Others?

The general idea was to move timing critical stuff off the raspberry to the Nano and let the first one deal with quick sensor readouts, while the second Nano is dropped off with relatively slow sensors (DS18B20 takes very long time to read out for example). The two nanos will talk to the Raspberry via SPI I think, or possibly serial ports, but this is less likely as it would either require me to use one USB serial driver and the raspberry UART or get a 2 port USB hub of some kind and talk via USB UART’s.


I’ve meanwhile also played around with Eagle CAD for the first time in my life, making some electrical drawings of the hookups. I’m considering making a PCB layout of everything when I get there, not sure if there is any interest in this out there except for “the lols”. The image is still very raw and missing a lot of stuff that I know needs to be added at some point.

During christmas I spent some time making opencv haar cascade training on clementine detection and generally fooling around with it. I think I’m leaning towards making a robot (chassi on the way) which will travel around in the room looking for objects… I guess some of the sensors are a little overboard for this, but it’s all fun and games while it’s not work… 😉

1 hour Raspberry pi camera controller

February 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Development, Linux, Robots 


Kids really chew into your spare time. I got some time the other day to have some fun with a Raspberry pi, raspicam, Adafruit pwm servo driver, 2 servos, double sided tape, tape and cardboard. In 60 minutes I managed to make the “thing” in the video. OK, some stuff was pre-assembled :-).

Also, I’ve just finished setting the construction up running on Battery power. 2x zippy compact 3300mah 4s (14,4v nominal LiPo) in parallel via a 5v 5A bec powering both the servos and the Raspberry hardware. Running everything including servos for 4 hours , my measurement is that I’ve used less than 10% of the battery capacity.

The servos are currently controlled using up, down, left and right keys and the application is just a modified example from Adafruit. However, it should be very easy to integrate with either the mpu 9150 breakout unit I’ve also installed and make a simple gimbal of sorts.

But first I’m planning to test integrating the code with the opencv haar object recognition stuff I did during the Christmas holidays, for example track clementines.

Raspicam and OpenCV instructions

December 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Development, Hardware, Linux, Robots 

I have previously gotten the opencv and python bindings to work via the 2.3 opencv system and facial recognition did work, but the system is bugged out and I could only get 64x64px image size.

I followed these instructions to get the raspicam to work with opencv and simplecv


However, there where some minor details wrong with it so here is a short list of the updates to the installation instructions on that page.

I noticed a few problems as I saw it with the above instructions, or possibly I didn’t read the instructions well enough. That said, very good info! Thank you!

Here are the issues I had:

The opencv_2.4.5.sh script pulls in libopencv-dev which in turn pulls in the entire libopencv2.3 from raspbian repositories, which in turn meant that simplecv was still using libopencv2.3.

apt-get remove libopencv-core2.3

Once that is removed, python-opencv is also removed and simplecv will not even run anymore. Adding the following will add the path to where the python cv bindings are.

export PYTHONPATH=/usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/

And finally, the LD_PRELOAD to actually use the correct uv4l libraries.

export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/uv4l/uv4lext/armv6l/libuv4lext.so

Once this is done, you should no longer get the munmap errors etc, and large resolution should work:

SimpleCV:1> cam = Camera(0, {“width”:640, “height”:480})

SimpleCV:2> cam.live()