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  • Lighting Fireworks With a Raspberry Pi

    09 Jul | 15
    • in Raspberry Pi • 
    • in Fireworks • 
    • in Electronics • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    A couple of months ago I purchased several relay boards and switching power supplies off eBay with the plan to re-use one of my original (256 megs of RAM and no mounting holes) Raspberry Pi model B computers as a sprinkler controller. The parts arrived and I set them aside expecting to have time to work on the project after the 4th of July. About two weeks before the 4th though I realized if I got the project assembled in time I could use the sprinkler controller as a fireworks controller. ...

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  • Emulating an old HP-IB disk drive with HPDrive

    14 Jun | 15
    • in Retro • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    It'll never work like that! I bought a National Instruments AT-GPIB IEEE-488 ISA card last year intending to use it with HPDrive so that I could make an old PC pretend to be an HP-IB hard disk. I installed the HP-IB card in the old KT7A-RAID computer I’ve been using for doing lots of other retro things. Unfortunately the card had to go all the way at the end and the HP-IB connector was too large to fit on there which meant swapping the motherboard into a different case that...

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  • How to Recover Data From Chrome's Cache

    27 Mar | 15
    • in Computers • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    Have you ever needed to pull an old web page out of the Chrome cache, and wondered how to do it? I had to do this recently myself. I was editing a comment on reddit, and for some reason it wasn't taking. After hitting reload I discovered to my horror that instead of editing the comment, reddit had replaced the entire text of my post with my edited comment! This was terrible because the post was very long and had been edited a few times. Trying to recreate it from memory would be...

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  • Using an Arduino to Program New Codes Into a Universal Remote

    19 Mar | 15
    • in Arduino • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    I picked up an old Roku at a garage sale recently. I was interested in it because it has composite video out on it in addition to the HDMI, so I would be able to hook it up to some of my older TVs that I have around the house. The owners had lost the remote, but since there’s what appears to be an IR window on the front, I figured I could probably use one of the numerous universal remotes I have. Unfortunately none of my remotes have built-in codes for the Roku. Since at least one of my...

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  • Burning the Arduino Bootloader to an ATmega328 With a MiniPRO TL866CS

    04 Mar | 15
    • in Arduino • 
    • by Chris Osborn

    As I continue working on digitizing old VHS tapes , I decided I wanted to at least partially automate the VCR control so I set about building a computer controlled universal remote with an old Arduino Duemilanove with an ATmega168. It didn’t take much to start running up against the 1k RAM limit. I purchased a ton of ATmega328s for cheap without a bootloader several years ago since I knew I could use another Arduino and a bunch of parts on a breadboard to burn the bootloader, but I...

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