Posts tagged hardware

Installing FlatCam on macOS Sierra

first install homebrew if you don’t have it already!

download and install Python 2.7.x from

Then in Terminal:

brew tap cartr/qt4
brew tap-pin cartr/qt4
brew install qt
brew install pyside
brew install cartr/qt4/pyqt@4

To enable Python to find packages from homebrew:

mkdir -p /Users/xxx/Library/Python/2.7/lib/python/site-packages
echo 'import site; site.addsitedir("/usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages")' >> /Users/xxx/Library/Python/2.7/lib/python/site-packages/homebrew.pth

Install requirements for Flatcam

brew install geos
brew install spatialindex
sudo -H pip install numpy matplotlib rtree scipy shapely simplejson
sudo -H pip install svg.path

Download FlatCam from


Start with python 

Applescript to Start / Icon on Mac OS

tell application "Terminal"
    do script "python /Applications/FlatCAM-8.5/; exit"
end tell

Upgrading XServe (2009) Drive Modules

Lately i thought it’s a good idea to reuse the old XServe 2009 Model (only capable of running OSX up to 10.6) as a VMWare Sphere Host. But this model has just one harddrive installed in an ADM (Apple Drive Module) with a capacity of 80 GB.

I grabbed a 2 TB Western Digital green harddrive and replaced the 80 GB drive in the drive carrier.

But the ESXI installer couldn’t find the drive 🙁

After some online research i found a hint that the ADM only use 1.5 Gigabit Mode for Serial ATA. So i installed a jumper on position 5-6 on the Drive and voilà – it worked!

gEDA open source electronic design automation

gEDA is installed using macports, but when installing i found a little problem when xgsch2pcb complained about a missing update-desktop-database
[important]fix: install desktop-file-utils first[/important]

complete install commands:

$ sudo port install desktop-file-utils
$ sudo port install geda-gaf
$ sudo port install pcb
$ sudo port install xgsch2pcb
$ sudo port install gerbv

useful addition: Mac OS X launchers for the commandline tools make it easy to start the apps and to double click documents, launches X11 and the responsible program:

DIY DMX Steuerung mit ArduinoDIY DMX Controller using Arduino

Arduino, ein einfacher RS485 Treiber IC und ein Widerstand sind alles was man benötigt um einen billigen DMX Lichtkontroller zu bauen und man bekommt auch noch eine voll funktionsfähige Software gratis dazu.

Als Erstes bauen wir den DMX Kontroller, ich hab mich entschieden dafür ein Arduino ProtoShield zu verwenden. Das Design basiert auf der Arbeit von Tom Kness. Einfach nachbauen und den “Input” mit D0/RX auf dem Arduino verbinden. Ich hab mcih für einen Jumper entschieden, damit ich leicht zwischen D0 (damit wird aus dem Arduino ein OpenDMX Interface) und D3 – ist der Standardport für die DMX Simple Bibliothek – wechseln kann.

Als nächstes benötigen wir eine Lichtsteuer-Software und das bitte gratis. Q Light Commander ist gratis und Open Source und für Mac OS X / Windows und Linux verfügbar.

Das Wichtigste ist allerdings, dass vor dem Start der Software der FTDI USB Treiber (wird vom Arduino IDE mit installiert) beendet wird!

Prüfen ob der Treiber geladen ist:

$ sudo kextstat | grep FTDI

Treiber beenden:

$ sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext

Treiber wieder laden:

$ sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext

Arduino, a simple RS485 driver, one resistor is all you need to get build your own cheap DMX light controller and get a full featured controlling software for free.

First you have to build your DMX controller, i’ve chosen to build it on a ArduinoProto Shield. It’s based on the design by Tom Kness. Just connect the “input” to D0/RX on your Arduino Board. I used a jumper to switch between D0/RX (for Arduino as a OpenDMX Interface) and D3 which is the default Output for the DMX Simple library

The next thing we need is a free Software to control the lights. I use Q Light Commander which is available for Mac OS X / Linux and Windows.

The most important thing is to unload the FTDI USB drivers (which you probably use for Arduino development because they get preinstalled with the Arduino IDE)!

check if the drivers are loaded:

$ sudo kextstat | grep FTDI

unload them

$ sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext

load them again

$ sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext

SerProxyGUI 1.0

SerProxyGUI ist eine grafische Oberfläche für die kommandozeilenbasierten Seriell-Proxys “TinkerProxy” oder “SerProxy”, die eine Verwendung der Proxys ohne Editieren der Konfigurationsdatei erlaubt und bietet eine komfortable Auswahl von vorhandenen USB Seriellen Geräten. Diese Software ist vor allem bei der Verwendung von Flash Anwendungen, die mit serieller Hardware (z.B. Arduino mit Firmata) interagieren sehr hilfreich und leicht zu bedienen.

>>> download

The first release of SerProxyGUI is now available!

SerProxyGUI is basically a GUI wrapper for the commandline serial proxy “TinkerProxy” or “SerProxy” that allows to use this proxy without editing the configfile and to choose from a list of available devices. This application is very helpful if you are using Flash applications to communicate with hardware like Arduino running Firmata.

>>> download

Revert an iPod Touch (iPhone) to a previous Firmware Version

Here’s how to revert to a previous firmware version on your iPod Touch (iPhone?), even when apple states in it’s release notes for the new (beta) firmware that it’s not possible to revert 😉

The trick is to correctly enter your iPod into the DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode.

  • start iTunes
  • connect your iPod to your computer
  • press the power button and home button down for at 10 seconds
  • release the power button and?keep the home button pressed until iTunes shows a message that it has found an iPod in recovery mode
  • option – click on the restore button in iTunes
  • select your firmware file (in my case 2.2.1), if you can’t find it, download it here and rename the .zip file into .ipsw, then select it in iTunes
  • the firmware update starts, but keep patient! (sometimes it seems nothing happens, but wait, you will see it does)

Calibrate your Monitor for HD video editing

If you’re lucky to have a monitor calibration gadget (xrite iONE, huey, …) it’s quite easy to calibrate your monitor to see the correct colors. I was wandering how i could use these devices to calibrate my monitors for HD video editing – the question was what white point and what gamma value to choose for this?

Important: I’m trying to setup my monitors to judge colors of video material targeted for LCD/Plasma monitors, not for CRT TVs!

After some research i found the specifications dealing with HDTV:

ITU-R BT.709
EBU – Tech 3299

To put it short, the targets to use in the calibration software are:

White Point: 6500 K (D65)
Gamma: 2.22

Fix your Macbook Pro’s DVD burning

I tried to burn both DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL media on my (pre late) 2008 macbook pro with no luck. Toast 9 reported a “Media Error” and i also got an error when i tried it by burning a folder directly with Finder. After some googling i found a very easy, yet very successful fix:

clean your DVD drives lens 😉

Yes, it’s really that simple! I put an old and very cheap DVD lens cleaning DVD in my builtin slotloading DVD drive, let it spin for some seconds and then hit the eject button. After this cleaning Toast started burned my DVD+R DL disk without trouble. I will try it with DVD-R DL next.

Update: even DVD-R DL are working without a problem now!

Re-Flash LaFonera with original Firmware

After playing around with my LaFonera and ddWRT i decided to go back to the original LaFonera firmware. I liked ddWRT for it’s feature-richness, but as my requirements changed i don’t need the router to sit inside the LaFonera and thought it would be good to re-join the fon community 😉

I found most of the commands to achieve this on Stefano Testi’s Blog in this article. I ran into some problems because i tried this on Mac OS X, so i added some steps to this procedure to succeed.

Read More »

Sleep Modes for MacBook Pro

I’ve set my sleepmode of my macbook pro to use the “old” style of sleeping and my mac was very stable and had nearly no problems with waking from sleep.

But as my battery seems to loose capacity i had the problem that if your battery empties very fast in sleep mode 0 (old style), you will loose all data and your mac will shutdown!

Therefore i will switch back to the original setting and as i had to google for how to do it, i take a note in my blog 😉

Old style:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

Standard on new macbooks:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3

To check the status:

pmset -g | grep hibernatemode

read more here

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