You don't know til you try . . .


Android Stealth Instant media upload

, posted: 18-Mar-2013 19:08

So you are an activist or high risk photo journalist.
Or just just filming the fuz doing something they shouldn't be doing.

You are documenting evidence when someone grabs your smartphone or demands you delete the incriminating evidence.

While I am not any of the above the technical aspect interested me.
What is the quickest way to get media off your device with the fewest
gestures.

Many camera programs come with a share feature.
The new google+ client also has instant upload.
Unfortunately it uploads any photos/videos you take.

What if you do not want all you your snaps uploaded?
What if you need more?
Or in this case less.

No notification that your local media has been synced so who ever has
your device has no idea that the images are already in cyberspace.

I tried a few apps but all failed on one point or another.
.Too many clicks
.Unable to be selective about what is uploaded
. Notification of upload


1. You need a camera app with a custom store location that is different from your main app.
2. Dropbox account + Dropsync


The wining combination for me.
1. Mobile Hidden Camera - zecurizoft
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zecurisoft.mhc1202&hl=en
Even has a disguised icon/name and stealth mode so there is no indication the device is recording.
Set the video to auto segment at 5mb , makes background uploading easier.
The downside is there is no viewfinder/preview so you do not see what is capturing.

2. Dropsync - TTXAPPS
Can be set to stealth sync in the background with no notifications.
Configure it to sync only the alternative camera apps store location.


-In use-
Unlock phone.
Start app.
Start record.
Point in direction of action.

-Vs normal-
Unlock phone
Start app
Start video
Point in direction of action.
Stop video
Select share
Select share method, (facebook, etc)
Wait for upload.
Start next video


Hope you are in a good reception area.
If you get caught and told to show them the images, start up your gallery app.
Nothing there as the files are stored in a non indexed location.
If your device is taken from you it will keep uploading until power is removed.

Someone non technical will have a hard time knowing what to look for.
Unfortunately the giveaway is the network icon showing data transfer.
That might no be a bad thing as it also let you know it is working.


So be prepared before you go looking for trouble
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-best-photos-of-2012-2012-12?op=1
Try me



SATA SSD into an IDE only laptop.

, posted: 2-Feb-2013 19:07

Why you ask?
17", 1920x1200 resolution
This will be hacked into an industrial application so the fewer moving
parts the better.

We start with a Dell Inspirion 9300.

The current going rate on trademe is nz$150-200.
Pretty good for a 17" 1920x1200 display.
Not the fastest processor but enough for my application. PentiumM

Depending on what you are doing you could use a SD/CF to 44pin ide adaptor.
A lot less effort but you are limited to slow performance.
You can still buy IDE SSD's but they suffer from first generation controller issues.
Intermittent freezing, poor speed.


-Options left were
1. SATA to USB adaptor
2. 44pin IDE to Sata adaptor
3. IDE CDRom to SATA tray.

1.
While the seek times would still be great the transfers would max out at usb2, 30 Mbytes /s

2.
It won't fit in the original HDD drive bay.
Not a major as in this case the PCMCIA is on top of the bay.
Removing this makes enough room to keep it all in there.
Unfortunately the adaptor does not work 100%.
It boots and then the drive disappears.
Not sure if it is a os thing.
Photobucket
http://s.f-shot.com/2d09a6b4be9cacdfb579824777a0fafd

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3.
Fit wasn't great so had to strip it down to bare bones.
The bios would not boot off the drive directly as it was not detected as an optical drive.
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http://s.f-shot.com/ac714cc21012a65868bcb2731dab79dd

A. You can modify the boot loader on the primary drive to boot from the second drive.
Not the best as we are trying to eliminate that drive.


B. Boot from USB and point to the second drive.
Now you have a usb sticking out of the machine.

C. Could not boot from SD reader, no bios option.


This BIOS complains hard when there is no primary HDD.
Stalls boot for 60 seconds before giving a continue message.
So I will get a SD to 44pin IDE adaptor to shut it up and keep things tidy internally.

Until that arrives I will modify the USB Stick into a more streamline configuration.

We are limited to IDE/ATA100 speed, 90Mbyte/s actual ?




Further modifications on this machine might involve putting on bigger heatsinks for complete silent operation.


To make the USB boot stick I used
http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagers.html
rufus.akeo.ie/



Samsung galaxy cutdown

, posted: 3-Jan-2013 22:07

Further to my last entry about broken screen.

What is the bare minimum required for it to operate as a wifi network camera?

This much.

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Well actually a little less.
But I kept the speaker, sim/sd socket on there.
The lower half had the hard buttons, mobile antennas, vibration motor, mic.



Android remote control via USB

, posted: 13-Dec-2012 09:42

With broken screen still a useful device.

Was using it as a network camera.
IPWEBCAM, great program.

Samsung Galaxy S + 30m drop + asphelt =
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Everything else still worked, just no screen.
The top part of the digitizer still worked.
Just enough to slide unlock.

Looked into options to remote control it.
All it needed to do was auto start the IPWEBCAM program.

There was the app based methods.
VNC, Team viewer.
Not much good here as it required them to be installed.

Came across Screencast.
http://www.talkandroid.com/4472-android-screencasting-and-control-via-pc-now-available-unofficially/

Just what I needed.
Unfortunately I needed to run some commanded that required root access.
The phone was rooted, it still required the allow button to be clicked.
Easy if the device had a full D-Pad.
The Galaxy S does not.
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Final part of the puzzle
http://www.guidingtech.com/15008/adb-control-keypress-broken-android-keys/
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And we have a winner :)

So if your screen is toast but you still want to poke around your device, here is how.


Also tried T-Plan robot.
http://www.t-plan.com/robot/index.html
Promises remote control without rooting.
Could not get it to work easily.
I didn't bother asking for support as I got screencast working.
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How big a heatsink do you need to run a green laser pointer continuously?

, posted: 7-Jul-2012 09:53

At least this big. Ambient 15degrees Celsius.
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Purchased from eBay, us$4.61 including shipping.
http://s.f-shot.com/181bc523b1053313c9d870c0f28853ab


I need to run them 12 hours at a time, overnight for a project.
Due to the low price these do need a few seconds to warm up.
Once warm they behave as normal.
They start dimming when the case get to 28+ degrees.
Case is diameter 13.75mm. I only have a 13.5mm drill bit so a little pressing with the vice get's it in there.
I could also have scrapped off the rubber black coating for better heat transfer/fit.
Or used a smaller/no heatsink and fan.
Being battery powered why waste energy when you can go passive.
Will also be quieter.

**LASER WARNING**
While they many only seem like toys with 5mW of power they are still dangerous due to the concentrated nature of the beam.
Keep away from eyes and planes.



Laptop backlight woes

, posted: 4-Jul-2012 09:46

You know the story, turn the laptop on and screen is dark.
It makes all the right noises.
In order of least to most expensive fix.
Cables - Inverter - CCFL Tube - Screen - Mainboard

In my case I could still see a image with a torch shining on the screen.
It also flickered on briefly at boot.

Photobucket
YNV-18 , HP 8730W
I scoped the pins to make sure it wasn't the mainboard.
7 pin connector.
1+2 , Vcc, either battery or pluged in ac adaptor.
3+4 , Gnd
5,6,7 Didn't note exact allocation at the time,
PWM (for brightness control), Enable Backlight (active high), Enable Light sensor (active high)


The hunt for an inverter began.
A used replacement was located online.
us$14 including shipping.
Even with the fastest shipping it was 4+ days away so went with standard shipping 5-14 days.

On to Trademe for something temporary.
There were a few pin compatible units available.
Purchased one.
Tried a few when I went in to collect.
No go :(
Grabbed a known working one that wasn't pin compatible and tried my luck.

YNV-C07
Photobucket
It was also 7 pin.
Wired the 3 control signals to the Enable backlight line.
It works :)
I didn't make the joining cables long enough, otherwise I could have put the cover back on.
No major, just wait for proper one to arive.
I can still close the lid.
Full brightness all the time though.
Photobucket


I also contemplated and upgrade to a LED backlight.
http://www.lcdparts.net/XB_laptop.aspx
Nearly double the brightness would come in handy during summer outdoors.
Unfortunately they don't hav e a 17" kit.
No eta on one either.
I could have joined two 8.4" kits together.
May still do if I find this too dim outdoors.

Permalink to Laptop backlight woes | Add a comment (1 comment) | Main Index


Review: 720P Outdoor Day/Night IR IP camera

, posted: 3-Jul-2012 21:07

Purchased from eBay for us$128 including shipping.
http://s.f-shot.com/1b23bebc0cdeb6980e61a2dac813b9a6
Photobucket

Ordered with the 3.6mm lens.

Branded as Wi8 on the auction listing.
Status page on the camera show as Model IP1200.
Manual (word doc) had all manufacturer references stripped but properties showed it's original file name.
Was for model gxv3601, Grandstream. This is a GS clone.

Update:
Looks like the gxv3601_HD based on specs.
http://www.grandstream.com/index.php/products/ip-video-surveillance/gxv3601-hd
http://www.voipsupply.com/grandstream-gxv3601-hd


Made my life a little easier when I needed to find out how to connect it to my security software, Vitamin D (www.vitamindinc.com)
http://vitamindinc.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=718&p=1276

They could have made the case smaller but I guess they don't want you to feel ripped off so kept a big case.
Most likely used the same case across different models.
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I had to refocus the lens.

It does have a mechanically removable IR Cut filter.
This means picture quality is not compromised during the day by having  no IR Cut filter, as found in cheaper IR cameras.

I put a descant pack in there just in case.
The last cheapie didn't have one but after seeing one in a higher end camera I put one in to be safe.


Now for the image quality.
Vitamin D is configured to capture at 1280x1024.
The previous camera in that location was a webcam.
Photobucket Photobucket


The first day of operation did produce some artefacts that triggered the software.
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Night time.
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Sample videos, as exported from VD.
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For the money I happy with the picture quality.

Unfortunately Vitamin D does not go higher than 1280x1024, otherwise I would use 1080p cameras.
For basic home security 720p is ok :)
Better than the 280p analog.

If you must have more resolution I also use
Milestone xProtectGo
http://www.milestonesys.com/productsandsolutions/xprotectproducts/xprotectgo/
The free version is limited to only 5 days storage.


Update:
License plate performance, per comment request.
With the current lens in there I can read plates out to 15m straight on.
Photobucket

To have enough pixels for automatic LPR, 10m.
Night time License plate reading as a bit tricky.
You have a retro reflective surface and headlights.
Really need a dedicated camera for night time plate recognition.
High shutter speed and high FStop lens.
Just did a quick test with some manual settings.
1/100, IR Pass, Colour mode.
Unfortunately I could not force the IR lights to stay on.
They turned off once the light reached the daylight threshold.

Looks like it actually works prior to the IR shutting off.
Also heavy fog is setting in.

Fog
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IR on
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IR off
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When is fast food not fast food?

, posted: 23-Apr-2012 20:00

When it is slow and undercooked.

I was going to just give drop them an email with my review.
But I could not find anything on their site or on their menu.
chickenrun.co.nz
There was a feedback box in store but no feedback forms.
They did have a pen , kept my boy amused for a few minutes drawing on their menu.

The shop opened up after being under construction for 2+ months.
After being opened for 2 weeks they had to close due to equipment failure.
2 weeks later they reopened.
Fast forward a few weeks and we were ready to try it.
One of the gimicks was you got a free soft serve while waiting for your meal.
It wasn't until after I had ordered that I found out their icecream/milkshake machine was broken.
Was the told it was going be 20 mins.
Went for a walk.
Came back and was told it was going be a few more minutes.
It was finally ready at 30 mins.

The meal did look good upon opening it at home.
After a few bites my wife noticed the chicken was a little under cooked.
I did notice my skewered chicken was a little tender.
Upon closer inspection it too was under cooked.
Checked my son's meal, mostly cooked.

I then remembered the customer after me when I collected my order, a pregnant woman.
Hopefully they cooked her meal properly.


The last time I felt strongly enough to post a review online was after watching "The Thin Red Line"
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120863/
Saving private ryan it was not :(
I am sure it made a great english study project, but not something I paid to watch.



What you need to know about electric ride on toys.

, posted: 22-Jan-2012 19:33

You always want a better life for you kids.
And getting them the toys you always wanted when you were a kid goes with that right? Wink

Photobucket - Photobucket

Exhibit A.
64L x 45W x 43H
My story starts with a $25 purchase from trademe.
Your standard 6v Small quad.
Rated up to 25kg.
1 wheel drive.

My son is 4 Yrs old, 10.4kg, 100cm tall.

This quad was bit small for him.
Our section is on a slight slope, 5 degrees?
It had trouble doing the up hill part.
Worked ok when fully charge.
Got a new battery for it.
So after 2 laps, 100m, it stopped going up hill.

If the grass was even slightly damp, it would slip.
1 wheel drive fail.

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Exhibit B.
90L x 62W x 55H
New from trademe, also 1 wheel drive.
I had higher hopes for this as it looked like it had more traction.
Not so.
There are 3 positions for the seat.
Due to having the seat so far back the center of gravity is also quite far back.
Leading to reduced grip on the front tyres.
Moving the battery to the front might help a bit.
When this happens, it just turns on the spot.
See video below.

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A note on the product from TM.
It is listed at 80kg max but the sticker on the body says 30kg
You need to add washers to the seat screws or it just goes through the plastic.


Exhibit C.
A used one from TM.
Two wheel drive, big size.
100L x 70W x 65H

Battery was bad so had to get a new one.
We have a winner :)
A little on the big side but just enough power.
It handles the up hill just fine.
Being 2 wheel drive it has all the traction required.



Running a MILWAUKEE M12 Drill from an alternative battery

, posted: 29-Dec-2011 15:53

I needed to replace my aging drill.
Picked up a used 2410-20 from Trademe for $70
InternalPics

Battery from Hobbyking.
nz$15 landed

Soldered some connectors and tested.
Photobucket

No go.
After a bit of reading. the third terminal was for a thermistor.
Phew, I was worried it was a smbus or something fancier.
http://forum.drc.su/review-milwaukee-2420-22-m12-hackzall-sub-compact-reciprocating-saw-vt4584.html

Soldered a 10k reisitor across the GND and SENs terminal.
Sorted :)

I only used it intermittently so not too fussed with battery life or looks.
Although I could connect a bigger one if required.

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