raspberry pi

keep the catcam up to date

Written by  on July 10, 2018

Logging in to the raspberry(ies) to update them on a regular basis takes time and effort. Both are currently dear.
Also: while the catcam is taking pictures, you can’t update the rpi-binaries.

So I made this nice script, which first suspends the catcam-operation while renaming the script from the cronjob, then does all updates, reverts the renaming and then reboots the MCU.

Make it executeable via ‘sudo chmod +X updateCatcam.sh’ and also add it as cronjob (once a day).

netdata for monitoring several (headless) Raspberries

Written by  on March 13, 2018

I had netdata already recommended once two years ago, but .. it was quite helpful to track down the issue with the camera on the catcam-raspberry. Yes, of course I could login via SSH or VNC and then manually check if it is still running, or just call “catcam:19999” in the browser.

Install on Raspbian Jessy via:

Catcam upgraded!

Written by  on March 13, 2018


Terminator is watching you!

Finally! The old catcam-setup of a RPi 3 with a NoIR v2.1-camera was working for almost one and ahalf years without any issues. I’ve had improved the PiCamGifForTumblr-script several times, also changed location – never any issues. More than 40.000 GIF were uploaded.
But then I decided to buy a new, fancy case in black (of course) which should add some camera-support. And then two weeks afterwards it stopped working. Sporadically frozen. Sometimes 10 min after start, sometimes during the night. I checked the casing, if all power connectors were tightly fit, I installed netdata on it, I did longterm temperature-measurements (never over 54 °C even with closed case), I ran with minimal setup or with cam attached.
Then it became clearer: the camera was working for singleshot-mode, but for the 30 pictures every ten minutes, it broke. So, it was time to order a new camera, 1080p (5 MPixel) were enough, but for four more Euro I could get two IR-illuminators … so, why not? The focal distance of the objective is adjustable, it looks like it works (long time-test needed). But I am happy. And we can watch cats (and family) in darkness :3

tracking bugs in complex systems ..

Written by  on March 6, 2018

Some weeks ago I’ve replaced the case of the ‘catcam’. A Raspberry Pi 3 which was running for 1.5 years without interruption with the nice script & python-upload triggered by a cronjob. And now the device freezes. Still running, but neither accessible via SSH nor VNC (of course, if SSH is not working ..).
I left the case open; removed the camera; upgraded kernel and Raspbian: nothing helped.
My last guess is that the camera stopped working. But to be sure I want to let the RPi3 long-time with temperature-logging. So … we need a simple program:

executed like this, because else the output is buffered up to 4 or 8 kByte:

and the content of the textfile is something like:

backup your Raspberry Pi-sd card

Written by  on February 28, 2018

Newer versions (8.24+) of coreutils dd have also a progress-option, but not the one bundled with the current distribution ..
add param: “status=progress”

The moment you login the first time remotely via app to your Redmine <3

Written by  on August 7, 2017

aka: Accessing Redmine outside your local network via Android-app.

I set up port-forwarding via the router. Dynamic name is set via the Synology NAS.
So the url to use is: http://metrik.myds.me:5002/redmine

And after testing 5 (in words: FIVE!) apps with really mixed results, I choose:
Redmine Mobile app made Easy

Redmine on Raspberry Pi 3

Written by  on August 6, 2017

There was the need to write down in a structured way all the ongoing (private) projects. Keeping track, assign them to the members of my family, etc ..
From former working experience I knew OTRS, Redmine and JIRA. All with their respective benefits and drawbacks. (tl;dr .. I prefer Redmine.)

Hardware: RPi3; 32 GByte SD-card; keyboard; mouse, 1920×1080-monitor; power-cable
Software: running Raspbian; then follow this tutorial

Since this does NOT yield success, add those steps:

Et voila: working version. Go on, create accounts, roles, projects and tickets 🙂

Enforce HDMI with 1920×1080 on Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspbian

Written by  on August 6, 2017

Ok, we have a brand new RPi, an SD-card with the latest Raspbian, some brand new monitor with HDMI-input only.
Everything is set up, the power plugged in, one LED shines, another one, then “no signal” on the monitor.
0. SSH-access not possible due to the fact that because of those botnet-takeovers of RPi in the past the default access was disabled for fresh images.
1. Wifi with VNC also impossible, because how to set the Wifi-credentials if you can’t see something?
2. VGA not possible due to hardware-limitations.
Great 🙂 I love when soft-/hardware does not work out of the box :’)

After a while of tinkering I remembered that I had to enforce the HDMI-ouput on the first RPi (the one for the catcam).
Can be set inside /boot/config.txt (leafpad is the current default editor on Raspbian).

Prepare an SD-card for Raspberry Pi (3)

Written by  on July 30, 2017

Download latest Raspbian-image:
* https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian_latest

Install etcher:
* add “deb https://dl.bintray.com/resin-io/debian stable etcher” to /etc/apt/sources.list
* “sudo apt-key adv –keyserver hkp://pgp.mit.edu:80 –recv-keys 379CE192D401AB61”
* “sudo apt update && sudo apt install etcher-electron”

Use etcher .. (I think this step is self-explanatory).

20190807: etcher for Win (10): https://github.com/balena-io/etcher/releases/ – also as portable version

RPi: force certain resolution for VNC in headless mode

Written by  on October 7, 2016

Edit /boot/config.txt (maybe via “$ sudo nano /boot/config.txt”) and add the following two lines:

Other sources suggest also to tinker with the hdmi_mode, but for my Raspberry Pi 3 this was sufficient.

Full official manual for config.txt.