Picture Frame from a TV and RaspberryPi

Hardware used

Raspberry PI 3B+ you could also use a Pi Zero W, I already had the PI

Sceptre E205W-1600 2020 20″ 75Hz 

VideoSecu LCD LED Monitor TV Wall Mount

Short HDMI cable

Software used

Raspbian

Eye of Gnome

SFTP to map a drive to my Chromebook so I can just take new photos and drag them over into the folder.

SWISH installed on a windows PC or SFTP NET Drive so you can use SFTP like a mounted drive and and not install anything else on the Pi. Not something I needed but its here in case I change my mind or someone else wants an idea.

Installed raspbian.

Pricing out a twenty inch digital picture frame on Amazon they were in the $200 to $300 range. I put this together for under $125. It also lets me use wireless to move pictures into or out of the slideshow.

Change Eye of Gnome to set the time delay for the slideshow. Added eog-plugins to be able to randomize the slideshow.

gsettings set org.gnome.eog.fullscreen seconds N <N= number of seconds between slides>

sudo apt-get install eog-plugins

Edited crontab -e to start and stop the slideshow on a schedule. vcgencmd is used to start and stop output on the HDMI port starting at 8 AM and stopping at 9 PM. I Used Crontab Guru online tool to help set the times. The vgencmd commands are to turn the display off at 9 PM and turn it back on at 8 AM, then at 8:01 start the slideshow.

0 8 * * * vcgencmd display_power 1 <Turns the screen back on at 8AM>
1 8 * * * /home/pi/scripts/display.sh
0 21 * * * vcgencmd display_power 0 <blanks the screen at 9PM>

Wrote a couple scripts to start the slideshow. Make the scripts executable “chmod 755 <script.sh>” and put all the scripts in a folder named scripts.

display.sh
DISPLAY=:0.0 /home/pi/scripts/runslideshow.sh

runslideshow.sh
eog –slide-show /media/Slides/

Used screen to run testing of the scripts.

screen -ls to list screens

screen -r <screen number> to reattach to a screen

The screensaver would kick on after a while and the temperature would go to 84.9’C or higher sometimes. So I disabled the screensaver completely in the GUI. the problem seems to have gone away with that change.

Things to do.

Make a wooden frame for the TV so it looks like a picture frame?

Clean up the power cables

English muffin bread

3 cups flour
1 cup warm water
2 eggs
1 packet dry yeast
salt to taste
Corn meal to coat the bread pan with
Mix one cup flour and dry ingredients.
Add eggs and water
Mix three minutes
Mix in the rest of the flour slowly until a nice ball forms
From into a loaf and set in the greased and corn meal coated bread pan.
Let sit one hour in a warm place or until it rises to the top of the pan.
Heat the oven to four hundred degrees
Bake for about twenty minutes and cover to keep the top from browning to much.
Bake another ten minutes or until it sounds hollow.
Remove from the pan and let it cool

bread
English Muffin Bread

Tasmota Martin Jerry Smart Switch

smart switch
smart switch installation
INSTALLATION REQUIREMENT
It fits the standard mult-gang outlet plate, and outlet box. Just replace your non-smart switch with this smart one in 10 mins.

Neutral wire is required
One-way switch (NOT 3-way)
2.4G Home WiFi network (NOT 5G)
iOS or Android phone
Basic electrical wiring experience
Basic installation tools (screwdriver, wire strippers, voltage checker)
I used these settings that I found and can’t find again from the Internet. With generic it gives me three switch options in the local page but I’m only using one here.

I also have some Martin Jerry smart plugs that I loaded Tasmota on. One problem with these is they display as OFF in the Tasmota software when they are on. I removed entries from GPI04 and GPI05 to get rid of two extra buttons that were displayed in the GUI. The button on the side of the plug works but doesn’t light up right now.

For the plugs that I had, the relay needed to be changed otherwise off was on and on was off. So D6 change 29 to 21 and it works as expected.

I’ve got a generic Tuya Smart outdoor plug that I flashed with Tasmota. It has two outlets on it so the settings are below.

I named the outlets one and two and loaded them into Hubitat with the Sonoff-Tasmota driver as two separate virtual devices as switch number 1 and switch number 2. This plug is branded Amzdest with two outlets.

I tried another outdoor plug that I have this one is three outlets and labeled as Tonbux. I couldn’t get the third outlet working but found a link with a number of similar devices and used the setup from there.

Three outlet outdoor plug
{“NAME”:”Outdoor3Outlet”,”GPIO”:[0,0,0,23,56,0,0,0,21,17,22,0,0],”FLAG”:0,”BASE”:18}

Raspberry Pi Term Server

So I got this idea online to make my own terminal server with a Raspberry Pi and ser2net.

20180301_151019

Hardware needed.

  • UGREEN USB to Serial RS232 Cable Adapter 4 Ports DB9 Converter 9-Pin Male to Male with Hexnuts
  • Raspberry Pi

Software installed.

  • Raspbian Stretch Lite I’m running this on Buster now
  • Ser2net
  • UFW
  • Screen

I think a Pi Zero could also do the job and save a few dollars. So far it remembers the port numbers on reboot and my config is good but I’m working on getting the logging to work the way I want it.

Install ser2net running Raspbian Stretch:

apt-get install ser2net  Then edit /etc/ser2net.conf with your USB to information that I got from running “dmesg | grep tty”.

[ 4.518967] usb 1-1.5.1: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB0
[ 4.523283] usb 1-1.5.2: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB1
[ 4.535015] usb 1-1.5.3: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB2
[ 4.539260] usb 1-1.5.4: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB3

And my ser2net.conf looks like this.

2000:telnet:600:/dev/ttyUSB0:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
2001:telnet:600:/dev/ttyUSB1:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
2002:telnet:600:/dev/ttyUSB2:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
2003:telnet:600:/dev/ttyUSB3:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner

<TCP port>:<state>:<timeout>:<device>:<options>

apt-get install ufw

sudo ufw default deny

sudo ufw allow ssh

sudo ufw enable

sudo ufw status numbered

Installed screen:

sudo apt-get install screen

screen -S term <to open a screen with the name term>

To use the terminal server I ssh in and then run screen and open a terminal in there. The advantage to that is I can leave the terminal running during an upgrade and go get some milk and cookies.

telnet 127.0.0.1 2001

Mushrooms in the woods

Can anyone identify these for me and tell me what they are? I think they might be chicken of the woods but they are growing on a downed log that might be hickory or some hemlock.
A quick glance through Cornell returned this link, which indicates to avoid them if it is growing on an evergreen. “Be wary of Chickens growing on conifers (in the Northeast) as they are a different species and can cause poisoning. Chicken of the Woods can make a fine chicken substitute as long as you make sure to fully cook the mushroom.” I am in the Northeast, so I suppose I need to go back and see what these were growing on.

Hijinxs

We lived next to my Grandparents when I was growing up, it made for some good times between my Father and Grand Father.

One time a family of birds made a nest in the eaves of the addition my dad built. The addition contained my parents bedroom and the sound of the baby birds would wake my mother every morning. She insisted my father remove the birds, so he found a good use for them.
Dad caught those babies and put them in a paper lunch bag, took them over to my grandparents house in the evening when grandpa had fallen asleep in his favorite chair and placed the bag on the floor near grandpa. Then dad snuck back outside and watched through the window as the birds began to make noises and escape from the bag. My grand father woke up to the noise and sat there trying to figure out what on earth was going on while dad stood outside the window laughing.
Every year grandpa would plant a garden and my father would plant one to try and compete with his. Each would brag about what they were growing and egg the other on. One year dad had a row of potatoes in, one plant did so much better than the others it was two or three times the size of everything else. It turns out my grand father would wait until dark and sneak over to put fertilizer on that one plant, then come over and mention to my dad how well that one plant was doing and wonder out loud why it was so much bigger than the others. He did this all summer finally telling dad what was going on, they both had a good laugh over that.
There was a truck that grandpa had down by the road and was trying to sell. He also had an old mannequin. He took that mannequin and left the legs hanging out of the hood, boy the cars slowed up and some even stopped to look at that. Not sure how long it took to sell that truck but it did raise some interest in it.

Ryobi RYi2200 Invertor Generator

Planning on doing a little camping, running power tools away from the house, and  during a power outage to get some lights and comfort items like TV. My main reasons for the inverter generator were quieter running and less fuel use. I can’t run my well pump or furnace off this but for my uses it should work.
This unit started after a half dozen pulls and ran fine (part of the handle on the starter cord flew off  while tugging on the cord). I tested it with a 3/8th inch drill attached and it worked well enough for that. We used it to run the pump on the air mattress no problems, I want to try charging a battery with it and see how that works. It started on the second pull and ran well.
Moving a few things around in the garage I found the piece that flew off and popped it back onto the starter cord. This does weigh a few pounds more than a comparable Honda or Yamaha and at 63 db compared to 53 db for the Honda it is louder. It is a tough lift over the top of the tailgate at 57 lbs but with the gate down not so bad.
I put this inside an insulted plywood box with a sheet of tin for a cover. I’m hoping this helps to keep the noise down a bit, not that it is that loud running at idle but I’m hoping to be able to listen to the birds and critters running around.
My number one reason for picking this generator was the price at $549 from Home Depot it was among the cheapest inverter generators I could find locally. It also has a three year warranty that I hope I’ll never have to test.

  • 2200 Starting / 1800 Running Watts
  • 8.75 hours run time at 400 watts and 5 hours at 900 watts
  • 106cc OHC, 4 Cycle Engine
  • Outlets: 120-volt AC (2), 12-volt DC (1) Parallel kit Capable
  • Quieter than a conversation 63 db(A) a conversation is 65 db(A)
  • 51 lbs.
  • 3 Year warranty
  • MFG Model # : RYI2200
  • MFG Part # : RYI2200

I used a chart from Don Rowe to guesstimate average usage of the things I would connect.

I liked the option to hook up 12 volts directly from the generator to a battery, and the possibility to get a second unit and their connector to run them in tandem.


I first went to the local Home Depot as they had the best price I could find at $549 and they are local to me. The box looked like it had been run over and a sales associate offered to have their rental center start it to make sure it worked before I bought it.
Over in rental they laid it on it’s side and dumped the included twelve ounces of oil in, then stood it back up and added gasoline. A half dozen pulls and it started up but as soon as they turned on the auto idle it puffed some smoke and quit. The guy there thought it was out of gas and added more gas. It wouldn’t restart again, even after changing the spark plug and giving it another try. After about a half hour of fiddling I left and went over to another Home Depot nearby and got one there, that didn’t look like it had been run over.

For a comparison of the Yamaha and Honda generators have a look here.
One thing I would like to add is a larger fuel tank.
Generator attached to BERG System

A link here for the B.E.R.G. system for extended run time up to 72 hours.

Trip to Florida

So I’m thinking while I am doing recovery from my first heart surgery (haven’t gotten to this point yet), I’ll have Kirsten find a cheap used RV and for the last month or so of recovery, travel down to Florida. I’m figuring to replace the hoses and belts as a precautionary measure before leaving.
Mom said she will travel with us so we can have three drivers and take shifts. First shift driving, second shift as copilot, and third shift sleeping in the back while someone else is driving down the highway.
A little Class B camper should do it for us I see a few Falcon’s on Craigslist for 5 to 10k.
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