Bulk Ubuntu Installations

Posted: 25th August 2013 by Ben in All Posts

I was recently tasked with installing Ubuntu on ~200 used PCs going up for auction. Rather than spending days/weeks performing these installations one by one, I decided to spend a couple of hours configuring a PXE server for automated installs. There are a few things I’d do differently next time around, but in the end this saved ALOT of time. Click for a brief explanation and pictures of the setup.

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Rover5 Prototype

Posted: 5th June 2011 by Ben in All Posts, Arduino

I purchased this awesome robotic platform from toysdownunder.com (great store, check them out!), and for this initial testing phase I’ve modified my WiiDefender circuit to a) send and receive commands wirelessly and b) to drive 4 motors rather than 2.
More shots can be viewed by ‘Reading More’ below. Far from finished, it’s an extremely ugly (but functioning) prototype. I was too excited to not post about it.

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Dial a shell with Asterisk

Posted: 13th February 2011 by Ben in All Posts, VoIP

I ‘needed’ to setup reverse SSH to address two issues; remote access to my NAS at home, and not opening/forwarding ports in doing so. The only downside to reverse SSHing is that it needs to be launched from within the target network… Not exactly practical for what I wanted to do, and if something goes wrong you’ll be locked out until you can physically return to the network, so I created a phone attendant to do it for me:

Read More for more information:
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DTMF Schematic

Posted: 22nd January 2011 by Ben in All Posts, Arduino

A few people have emailed in asking for the code and schematics of the DTMF Decoder I built a while back. Here it is:

Hope it helps! The code can be found in the ‘My Arduino Code’ page menu on the left. Short of writing a complete tutorial for building the thing, only the following components were used:
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The second WiiDefender

Posted: 17th June 2010 by Ben in All Posts, Arduino

Video:

New version of the WiiDefender. I ditched the pre-built Arduino, bought a couple of ATMEGA chips and started from scratch on a piece of stripboard. I’m fairly pleased with this – it’s definitely better than my original ghetto breadboard from last year (shown in one of the posts below). Anyway;

Code: http://www.vulcan.id.au/arduino/xxWiiDefender/WiiDefender2010.pde

Decoding DTMF Digits

Posted: 17th June 2010 by Ben in All Posts, Arduino

This is my somewhat finished DTMF decoder. DTMF (or ‘Dual Tone Multi- Frequency’) refers to the sounds telephones make when you press a digit. I have used a MT8870DE chip to capture these digits as they’re pressed. This is not limited to just one phone, nor limited to just the dialing stage of the call – once this is on the line, it will decode /everything/ – mailbox pins, phone banking etc. The less evil side to this is the ability to command any circuit with any telephone. The example I like is that it’s possible to call home, press a few digits and turn lighting/aircon/anything on or off. And that is what appeals to me.

Code: http://www.vulcan.it.cx/arduino/xxDTMF/DTMFcode.pde

Really bad video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlfrU5LdsN0

Cheap alternative to Xbees

Posted: 17th June 2010 by Ben in All Posts, Arduino

My current project/experiment  is built around a pair of 434Mhz RF modules (found here: Transmitter and Receiver) – At about $5 a pop, you can’t go wrong. Outdoors they’re expected to have a range of somewhere near 150 meters. Basically all I’m doing is sending an instruction over the air to the bot on wheels, telling it where to go. The code so far is at the end of this post.

The rear of the EEE (Transmitter)

Front of the EEE beside the bot (Receiver)

No video just yet, but there will be very soon. For now full size images and the code can be found here: Vulcan Radio Freq/

Old WiiDefender on breadboard

Posted: 17th June 2010 by Ben in All Posts, Arduino

Note: I have since completed this project in full. It can be found in one of the above posts :)

The Arduino Duemilinove + a Wii nunchuck + a cheap DC motor ‘Nerf’ style turret. Simple and a lot of fun. I won’t paste the old video and code for this one, so definitely check out the more recent post

Arduino powered LCD

Posted: 17th June 2010 by Ben in All Posts, Arduino

I purchased this LCD module by itself. With the help of the awesome Arduino LiquidCrystal library, it didn’t take long to setup. I then decided to display computer stats on it, which I achieved with a program called ‘LCDSmartie’. The video below quickly shows how awesome this tool is. Also the code below will emulate a ‘standard’ (and expensive) LCD so that LCDSmartie will happily send us the data/stats.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1-83J0prxs

Code: http://www.vulcan.it.cx/arduino/xxLCD/LCDSmartieRemote.pde

Very simple example of using a $3 Infrared receiver with the Arduino. In this case I’ve programmed it to move the motors in whichever direction I’m pressing on my TV remote.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF5dvDdUAo4

Code:  http://www.vulcan.it.cx/arduino/xxWalkers/Walker2-USB-IR.pde