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Moments – PhotoBooth software 22 March 2017

Posted by David Wilson in General.
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Capture the moment. You can be that moment. The moment will last for ever. Let family, friends, and guests take pictures in the digital photobooth, or studio. Pictures can be played back nearly live locally or remotely.

Hopefully coming soon to the Mac AppStore!

● Mac (well duh)
● Canon Digital SLR connected by USB to the Mac – may work with other brands (not tested)
● Remote picture trigger requires alternative input (USB button input) and use of 3rd party software such as USB Overdrive
● Optional: AppleTV on the same LAN as the Mac for Airplay and use of 2nd remote monitor, with switch or wireless router
● Optional: Dual monitors on the Mac – you can dedicate the 2nd one to picture display
● Optional: USB (iSight compatable) camera so guests can see themselves before taking pictures
● Optional: PreRoll Countdown, Flash, and PostRoll movies – if you wish to change the existing ones
● Optional: Fancy secure box to hold the Mac, Camera, and other accessories to bring this all together in a turn-key solution

OK, so what is really going on here?

Once upon a time there were things called PhotoBooth’s in various public locations. You could go into the photobooth, close the curtain, pay your money and the booth would take a series of pictures. Then you’d wait for those pictures to be processed and collect your little strip of 4 or so pictures.
Lets roll this idea forward a few decades… and step up what is possible.
This photo studio is based on the photobooth using the latest of technology to deliver “realtime” photos to the guests. At a wedding you can capture moments that your guests create and have them displayed on a big screen TV, over Airplay, behind the happy couple. The moments are more than just for the event, they can become a precious reminder of that happy occasion when reviewed later.

Keep an eye out here for a release announcement!

Here’s a little movie I made:

– David


ChromeCast and TrafficCamNZ for iOS – working again 12 January 2017

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Turns out I had an issue with some web hosting and that issue prevented the ChromeCast and iOS integration from working. It’s fixed now. The updated web page has been published with service restored.

– David

TrafficCamNZ Desktop for MacOS Update is in the pipeline 1 December 2016

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Inspired by the new MacBook Pro with TouchBar I’ve added some initial support for the TouchBar in my development version of TrafficCamNZ Desktop for MacOS.

TrafficCamNZ TouchBar Support.png

Along the way some other things have been done… including now being able to Command-Click on an image in the main window – this causes the Camera Edit window to display allowing you to get quick direct access to the camera.

The Map screen will now display Traffic data if it is available…

And I may have found and fixed an issue that was preventing iCloud syncing between devices from working – this one needs more testing.

I’m excited about the TouchBar support. If you have any suggestions on what touchbar integration you would like to see in TrafficCamNZ Desktop please let me know – I’ll be keen to see the ideas.

– David

TrafficCamNZ for iOS update coming soon 7 September 2016

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I have news!

I have made some changes to the iOS version of TrafficCamNZ, well fixes really and an enhancement on the Maps view… I’ve got more testing to do… so far things are working out well.

● iOS 10 update
● Bugfix
● Map screen will now contain traffic information if it is available ● Added users location button to the Map screen
● Fixed an error where camera GPS position was not saved if updating from current GPS coordinates
● Finally fixed the page scrolling on the main display – it no longer jumps around! ● Camera search is back on the Camera list view!


– David

Using VLC to capture an image from an RTSP video stream 4 August 2016

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This exercise was harder than it should have been.

I’ve got me a shiny new security camera. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Multi-language-Wifi-Wireless-Camera-IP-1080P-Auto-PTZ-Dome-Camera-DS-2DE2202-DE3-W-3X/32556807980.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.73.cIC8rO

It supports RTSP for streaming the video and audio from the camera to what ever is watching.

Plan A.
The software in the webcam also says it supports snapshots at regular intervals that you can set… after trawling through the menus I haven’t yet figured out how to get the image off the camera to my server.

Plan B.
I could write my own software to pick up the RTSP video stream and grab a frame at regular intervals… but before I do that I wonder if some other clever people have already solution this? see PLAN C.

Plan C.
It’s supported by VLC! http://www.videolan.org
And VLC has a command line interface… so this can be automated with a script. That’s simple stuff. For now what’s important is testing getting the image via the command line and VLC. Let’s just say this took a while to sort out. Web references to older versions of software. Differences between the different platforms that VLC is supported on as well. Anyway, long story short. Here’s the syntax.

/Applications/VLC.app/Contents/MacOS/VLC -I rc -v rtsp://admin:password@ –video-filter=scene –scene-format=png –scene-prefix=CameraImage –scene-path=. –scene-replace –scene-ratio=30 –sout-x264-lookahead=1 –sout-x264-tune=stillimage –vout=dummy –aout=dummy –run-time 5 vlc://quit

And he’s a lovely picture!

– David

3D Printing – Troubleshooting 19 June 2016

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Not much to say – just WOW.


Most useful 3D printing troubleshooting reference ever!

– David

3D Printing with the Jaycar Delta Rostok TL-4100 12 June 2016

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Some tips and tricks to get you up and working quickly…

Tip #1: Assembly instructions

The book that comes with the printer is badly organised and the assembly instructions lacking in places.
The trouble shooting pages at the beginning of the book … you’ll need these later!
And be diligent about the screw sizes that you use. This will save you being caught out later.
When you put the top of the printer together… read, read, and check. Have the angle brackets level with the stainless steel bars, and the top plate on top of that. This will give you an extra few millimetres and possibly save you later driving the print head into the platform.

Watch this assembly video… have it in front of you as you build.

Additionally this web site has some supplemental instructions that are critical to pay attention to. Particularly around the print head and a possible short circuit with the temperature sensor… you may receive it in this condition. When you’re threading the wires around… be sensitive to the fragile nature of these wires.

Tip #2: Firmware update

The web site here has firmware for the printer. It also has a link to the arduino software for loading, compiling, and installing the firmware update.
There is a file called Configuration.h – in this file is a line that you can set the height of the printer. It will likely already be set at 274 (millimetres)… I had to change mine to 270 because I installed the top plate lower that I should have (top plate was flush with the stainless steel bars.


Tip #3: Update EPROM settings

Back to those pages in the front of the instruction manual… one of them says to change a value in the firmware.
Do this on your PC using the Repetier software as shown in the book.

Tip #4: Repetier software

I tried to configure things using the Mac software… and had a particularly hard time. Turns out that the Mac software is very very much out of date and it doesn’t look like a update will be coming out anytime soon. So I’ve recycled an old PC, installed XP (yes… I know)… and I’m driving the printer using that.
Now, being that this is an old PC… when printing there is a message that pops up saying the onscreen display will not be updated while printing… actually it’s a really nice feature that graphically draws the object as it is printing, layer by layer… You can turn ON this feature in preferences… DO NOT DO THIS. if the software says it’s disabled, leave it disabled. I force enabled it and had a 2 hour print blow out to over 12 hours… and the resulting output was horrible. The software struggled to send print commands while it also tried to update the display. Your millage may vary – you can try this at home – you have been told.

Tip #5 : Troubleshooting – hardware

When you turn on the printer and the LCD display lights up… if you see a message at the bottom of the screen like MAXTEMP – look at the front of the book again and it will give you a guide as to what is wrong. If everything is working it should say something like “printer ready”.

Tip #6: Slicers

Using the Repetier software you open .stl files (and probably some other object types). These objects then need to be “sliced” and turned into a string of commands (G-Codes) that can be sent to the printer for printing. As shipped Repetier has two slicers built in. I’ve for the moment settled on using Slic3R with a 0.2 precision. The settings are _mostly_ as specified in the book. Layer height is 0.2 and critically the first layer parameter is 0.35 (this makes sure enough plastic is extruded to ensure the object sticks to the platform),
You can edit some of the other settings later after doing some print tests. Slower printing should give you more accurate results…

I have also been to the Slic3R web site and downloaded the latest version of the slicer, replacing the installed components supplied in the Repetier software.

Tip #7: Calibration 1

I’ve gone through a role and a half of plastic so far doing calibration… it can be a long road.
There are additional calibration instructions at the tech brands web site. http://www.techbrands.co.nz/store/product/tl4100.aspx
Read these instructions. Coupled with the firmware update for printer height and the turning of the three screws to fine tune things… you should get this setup and working in a relatively quick space of time. Make sure that you have some sheets of paper on the platform to protect it from damage. Your end result is to have one sheet of paper under the print head with a little resistance on it when you pull the paper.

There is nothing wrong with the print head being too high an not having your print sticking to the platform. You’ll learn by observing and adjusting.

Tip #8 : Calibration 2

Now you need some test objects to print.
These two are good.
1. 5mm calibration – http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:24238
For me this was a real test as the first 3 x layers printed well. The last two, when I looked really really closely during printing, were extruding too much plastic.
This was fixed by updating that EPROM setting I mentioned above.

2. Lots to test, including overhang: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1621676
This is an object I’ve designed in sketchup. It tests precision and overhang (without support objects).
You can test on this object using different slicers and different precision settings.

As you print each object – document what you did, mark the object with which print number it is so you do not lose track of things.

Tip #9 : not printing?

I had an issue that appeared to be the plastic was not feeding correctly. I had switched from white PLA to black PLA (because I ran out of white). I had been printing mic calibration objects just fine… learning etc… and then I couldn’t print anything… the extrusion would not work.
In the end I determined this was because the nozzle was blocked…
Heat up the head while in the extruder.. and when hot – use the software to retract the plastic as quickly and as much as possible. Remove the plastic, Cut off the end. You need to get that blockage out. I’ve also used a socket set to remove the hot nozzle and poke plastic in the top and pull out the dirty plastic… and using that same trick, push in white plastic left overs and when I observed white coming out the nozzle I new it was clear.

Tip #10 : where do I get this stuff? (AliExpress – wow!)


Good luck, hope that helps.

– David

TrafficCamNZ Desktop for Mac v1.2.7 released 21 January 2016

Posted by David Wilson in General.
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A new version of TrafficCamNZ Desktop for Mac has been released and will be available from the Mac AppStore.

v1.2.7 includes
● Fixed an image layout issue on the main screen – single pixel per image row/column
● Fixed a possible issue when saving the camera data file

– David

TrafficCamNZ v1.9.8 released 18 January 2016

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A updated to TrafficCamNZ for iOS has been released.

This release includes:
● Fixes some icon imagery
● Bugfix for data import / update

Did you know that you can rotate your iPhone 6+ sideways and the image view will show you two images instead of one.

– David

Resizor 1.0.1 for Mac has been released 18 January 2016

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It is available from the Mac AppStore.

In this release v1.0.1:
• Specified image sizes can be a fraction of a pixel
• A button now reveals in the finder your image directory
• Enhancements to image sizes when saving – images that are x.5 in size are saved as x
• Updated to include support for 3x images
• The file naming convention has been updated to now be imagename[width]x[height]2x.png – 2x, 3x present if applicable

– David