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Easy, Cheap and Robust Cloud Hosting Solution from Digital Ocean

For the past couple of years I have been hosting with Hostgator. I was a happy customer until the acquisition by EIG. In the past 2 months my blog was down for almost two days. I really wanted another cheap and best solution for hosting my website. Another thing is the response time has gone so bad over the months. When you goto their website for support you have to wait for 30 to 45 minutes for the technical guy to come up say something. So I decided to part away from hostgator for bad service and being very expensive.

Last week my friend Ambarish recommended a new cloud based hosting service from DigitalOcean. First I was very sceptical about this cloud as I tried hosting my site with same configuration on Amazon Cloud and did not get good result. But I though let me give a try. So I migrated my blog and did a test run for couple of days and I am pretty happy with it.

Some of the best features I like about DigitalOcean

  • Very easy to create an instance. (Droplets)
  • You have very good list of configuration to choose for the instance
  • The instance can be loaded at 6 different location. I chooseย Amsterdam as I wanted my instance to be high all the time ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • You can boot the instance from variety of images
    • Fresh Linux Distributions
    • Pre build Linux Distributions with custom application like WordPress, LAMP, Ruby, GitLab etc
    • Your own custom images
    • Your existing backup images
    • Even from recently destroyed images
  • Automated Snapshot backup etc.

ssd-virtual-servers-banner-468x60

The journey with DigitalOcean has been really good. Will be updating more on how to related to DigitalOcean and some stats in a months time. They are giving away 10$ credit for every referral I make. Please click on the banners in this blog post if you wish to get a new account. You will be supporting me on my hosting cost for this blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

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4WD Robotic Car controlled over Bluetooth with iPhone App

After massive brain damage I finally managed to build a prototype 4WD Robotic car controlled over Bluetooth using iPhone app. This was done using serial communication between Arduino mega and Hercules motor driver. Sorry for not posting detailed pinout diagram. If anyone interested in detailed connections please drop me an email or comment. The real trick was to make the serial connections work and test without connecting the USB cable on Hercules. Hercules board should have had two serial communication pins for easy testing as it was pain to keep removing the connected Arduino serial connections for testing. Anyways its done now ๐Ÿ˜‰

Parts used in this demo

You can download the source code used in this project “CarRemote” in Github. Please forgive my bad C code as it been real long time.

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4WD Robotic Car with 15 Kilo Load Test

Finally I put together my 4WD Robotic car. Thanks to Hercules Motor controller it’s doing what I am expecting of it. My self challenge was to make it carry 5 gallon water bottle. Few attempts failed as the motor was starting and stoping fast and the bottle was jumping out of the car. So I had to increase and reduce the speed slowly.

Parts used in this test

Source code used for this experiment ๐Ÿ˜‰

Watch out for next update with remote control ๐Ÿ˜€

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Time Lapse Video using CubieTruck and Nikon D200

Today it was whole lot fun exploring the possibilities with Raspberry Pi and DSLR for taking time lapse video. Latter I moved from Raspberry Pi to CubieTruck so that I can attach hard drive for large storage capacity. I found a small command line utility gphoto which can be used as remote control for a DSLR. I can use the utility to click a photo and stream the picture to the Pi.

The version I found on the apt-get was little old so I had to compile my own version. Then you can play around with the gphoto command to play around.

EDIT: Forgot to mention about the cronjob

Last but not the least to make the images into a movie

It was fun I hope you will enjoy doing it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Capacitive touch Drumkit with Raspberry Pi using MRP121

Couple of weeks ago I backed a new project Touch Board: Interactivity Everywhere on kickstater. This project excited me so much and I couldn’t wait for the finished product to arrive in March. I started to search for capacitive touch chips and finally landed on MPR121 breakout board on Sparkfun. Ordered them and received it 2 days ago and could not wait anymore and directly jumped into building a drums kit.

To make this work I did some research and everything was available but from different website. In this article I will put everything together in one place. I will go step by step

What do you need ?

1) Raspberry PI loaded with Raspbian OS.
2) MPR121 Capacitive Touch Sensor Breakout Board
3) Aluminium Foil for touch board
4) Connecting Wires

Configure I2C

I2C is a very commonly used standard designed to allow one chip to talk to another. So, since the Raspberry Pi can talk I2C we can connect it to a variety of I2C capable chips and modules. Please follow anyone of the following links to configure I2C on your Raspberry pi.

I2C and Raspbian wheezy
Adafruit’s Raspberry Pi Lesson 4. GPIO Setup

Connect the circuit

Can you detect the address of the MPR121 board ?

If you are not able to see 5a, try the command with i2cdetect -y 0. Still no luck! Google is your friend…

Download Code

Thanks to Scott Garner has contributed the complete source code of the beetbox. Download the code from github and run the program.

You should be able to hear the sound when you touch the foil inputs. If you are not able to hear the sound you can refer to this article to play sound file from command prompt in Raspberry Pi.

Thanks to Bare Conductive for inspiring this project… ๐Ÿ˜‰