small screen for the raspberry pi 3

I thought I’d do some prep work for a project that I’d like to finish before the Christmas break:  a time-lapse rail kit for the Nikon D750 DSLR camera. I’ll be going to Arches National Park in Utah for that week and wanted to do some astrophotography and sunset time-lapse videos. Here’s vaguely what the rig will look like:

pi-lapse

This photographer/inventor David Hunt has done a pretty good job on his rig and has produced some stunning videos. I hope to take things up a notch since I have access to a 3D printer and a variety of extruded 80/20 aluminum rails from ActoBotics, for example.

Oh… and the entire rig will need to be portable since I’ll likely be backpacking it into the park. Fortunately, I have a sewing machine and a good supply of marine-grade canvas to create something to hold and carry all of this.

TFT

Fortunately, Fry’s Electronics sells some of what Adafruit has to offer and in this case, it’s a tiny TFT screen with a touchscreen built in. It’s technically called a “Pi Hat” since it connects right to the top of a Raspberry Pi 3, for example.

adafruit-1601

I’ve got it connected to a Raspberry Pi 3 and have inserted a new 4GB microSD card for this project and furthermore, have loaded Raspbian Jessie Lite for that image. Although my version won’t have a nifty graphical desktop like the photo above, it will still run touch-based graphical menus.

Python

Looks like I’ll be using the Python programming language for this project. I’d prefer JavaScript but I only have a few weeks to get this “production-ready”, so to speak.

Kivy

The next step in developing graphical menus which respond to touch is to install the Kivy  framework for Python. The menu should allow you to set some configuration options for the spacing of the photos, the number of photos for the series and things pertinent to stepping the camera along the rail using a motor. Finally, there would be start and stop features for each session as well as on-going status.

Nikon

The Nikon D750 has a remote-shutter system and I’ve managed to find a good third-party version of the cable which should come in handy for this. I’ve spec’d out that interface so I should be able to remotely fire off the camera from the Raspberry computer.

Overall

This should be a fun project. I hope I can finish it in the perhaps five weeks left before Christmas break.

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keeping busy

Sorry for what must seem like a brief interruption in posts but I’ve been busy lately. Perhaps three weeks ago I left my job at the pharmaceutical company and I’ve now picked up an evening gig two nights per week at a software coding academy in downtown San Diego, having started on Monday of last week there.

Parts

Of course, I’m continuing to print parts on the 3D printer. I just designed a pencil holder and a coin with the academy’s initials as part of the logo and have printed each as samples.

Software

I’ve recently created some programs and plugins in the 3D printer space.

Tutorials

I created a short fifteen-minute presentation for ES6 Let & Const and presented that on Tuesday evening and I just finished a tutorial on 3D printing for them as well. I’m now an instructor so I’ve been reading through their curriculum to get myself up-to-speed as quickly as possible.

Upgrades

I’m currently working on a pass-through for the Robo C2’s now unused filament holder hole through the back of the printer since the dual-spool upgrade has been so successful.

In conjunction with this is the second-extruder upgrade project as well as another to allow my Nikon D3200 camera’s remote shutter release option to be fired off by the printer itself. As part of this, I’ll be moving the speaker to the outside of the printer so that it can be heard better.

I’m continuing on the final implementation for the dual-filament run-out detection block which wants me to do some soldering.

Food

I’ve had some recent successes making tasty meals. One advantage to working less hours is that you now have the time to make great food instead of relying upon packaged dinners. I’ve made some convincing Indian meals from scratch and without a recipe which is new for me. And when I say “successes” earlier, I guess I mean to say that I’ve created what is to me some of the best food I’ve ever eaten (soup, chowder, chili, spaghetti sauce). I now have perfected mango lassi, another Indian favorite, and the basic smoothie recipe. I’ve learned to buy chicken in bulk and then to cook it in a variety of ways which keep it tender and moist while still ensuring that it’s thoroughly-cooked. I routinely pan-flip what I’m cooking like a pro.

Did I mention that I own a toque blanche and a chef’s uniform? I was fortunate enough to take some seminars at the California Culinary Academy. I would say that sauces and breads would be my specialties… or perhaps apple pie.

I’m now batch-making tea and iced mocha for several day’s consumption because I’m like that. I would be baking things to the extreme but San Diego’s weather has been so hot lately that I avoid the oven now when I can. Perhaps next week will cool down a little for that.

photography

Soon enough, I’ll be hacking some sort of remote shutter thing to my 3D printer and firing off photography from GPIO within a sliced print job. But for now, I’m just getting used to this camera. It’s a Nikon D3200 and these were all through a Nikon AF-S 55-300mm zoom lens, aperture-priority, F/8 on a semi-cloudy day in Pacific Beach with an Insignia UV filter and lens hood.

DSC_0068DSC_0079

jpeg 2000 and you

If you’re slightly (okay, seriously) cynical like me then when you read about an interesting new virus you probably silently wonder if it was created by one of the anti-virus software companies. So here we are, staring at yet another new graphical file format that’s emerging: JPEG 2000. Perhaps the only people who love receiving a .jp2 file as an email attachment are the friendly folks at Adobe who make money selling you software subscriptions for PhotoShop. The rest of us are stuck wondering how we can convert these into something useful.

JPEG 2000

Born out of the relative beaurocratic boredom of 2000, the Joint Photographic Experts Group wasn’t otherwise gainfully employed and—working with the Global Version-Ratcheting Consortium perhaps—decided that the Internet and email was working too well indeed and needed a sharp correction in order to put the balance of the marketing universe right again. And so they introduced new standardized filename extensions like .jp2 and .jpx as well as mime types image/jp2 and image/jpx for your webserver.

Imaginary Interview With the Joint Photographic Experts Group

Q:  So, um… why don’t you guys just suggest we use the PNG standard since it’s already well-supported and just trash JPG since it’s so lossy?

A:  Ah, very good question indeed. That would have been an excellent solution of course if only the letters ‘P’, ‘N’ and ‘G’ somehow fit into our group’s name. And it doesn’t. So we had to mimic what PNG does, come up with some new file format and break the Internet.

Q:  That’s kind of… stupid.

A:  Yes, but we are the experts. See? It’s in our group’s name so you have to do what we say.

Q:  You don’t, like, accept bribes from big software companies like Adobe, do you?

A:  Every day. A Joint-Photographer’s gotta eat, right?

internet_broken

Support

Fortunately, I’ve put together a handy/information support matrix for the JPEG 2000 file format for your convenience.

Application Support for JPEG 2000
Adobe Photoshop Yes
Adobe Lightroom No
Apple iPhoto No
Apple Preview No
Autodesk AutoCAD No
BAE Systems CoMPASS No
Blender No
Phase One Capture One No
Chasys Draw IES No
CineAsset No
CompuPic Pro No
Corel Photo-Paint No
Daminion No
darktable No
DBGallery No
digiKam No
ECognition No
Microsoft Edge No
ENVI No
ERDAS IMAGINE No
evince No
FastStone Image Viewer No
FastStone MaxView No
FotoGrafix 2.0 No
FotoSketcher 2.70 No
GIMP 2.8 No
Google Chrome No
GraphicConverter No
Gwenview No
IDL No
ImageMagick No
Internet Explorer No
IrfanView No
KolourPaint No
Mathematica No
Matlab No
Mozilla Firefox No
Opera No
Paint Shop Pro No
PhotoFiltre 7.1 No
PhotoLine No
Pixel image editor No
QGIS No
Safari No
SilverFast No
Windows Explorer No
XnView No
Ziproxy No