Category: Hakology

Hakology Day 47 : Blog Entry

Up bright and early this morning covered almost head to toe in fibre glass insulation. Rearranging the loft to start putting some temporary flooring up there. Also want to reposition my discone and dig through some of the old tech. I was thinking about trying to pull my old acorn electron down and making a short vblog on it see if I could power it up etc … 1985 vintage … 26 year old capacitors hmmmm ? 🙂

Six hours later and I’ve used all the floor boards I have. Still a long way to go but its a start. Completely knackered going to have a rest and contemplate my next job.

Hakology Day 46 – Blog Entry

Today was spent tinkering with the FM transmitter. I swapped out my initial 150cm half wave wire antenna for a 165cm solid core half wave, fashioned a crude battery pack from two D cells some wire and duct tape. After modifying the battery pack I moved the transmitter to the loft and went and did a little range check. The modifications possibly boosted the signal by 20-30 meters. In total line of sight I think roughly 200 / 250 meters reach which isn’t too shabby. FM needs a lot more power to extend range and I think the circuits good to 12v and is currently running at around 3v will do a little more reading before I start experimenting with different power supplies and voltages, also want to check the data sheet for the transistors.

Hakology Day 45 : Blog Entry

Woke up very late today but respectively I had a very late night last night, tweaking the rpi/reddit/python/arduino project. Im having issues with serial communication somewhere there’s a few bits / bytes being lost? It very irregular and after a little bit of debugging I think its either the serial message get out of sync and missed part of the message or the arduino is rejecting certain characters. The reddit API JSON comes utf-8 encoded and needs converting to ASCII before I send it to the arduino, I’m processing the string to remove and replace irregular characters, I’m going to try changing the baud rate later see if this has an impact.

RE. Wardriving idk if it was where I had the GPS dongle positioned in the car but the GPS co-ords I converted to KML where ALL OVER THE PLACE so maybe its down to kismet and the –use-nmea-gps option this is the only thing I’ve really changed since I last went out. (Regardless of GPS I still managed to get some good data.)

The LED matrix project is looking very slick now, apart from the serial message issues I’m pretty darn happy with it.

Managed to get my keyboard in the post this morning on its way back to the manufacturer for the second time, think I’ve mentioned this before but, really hope they get it right this time (I’ve even requested they send me a different model this time round.) *fingers crossed*

Chores done thinking about doing a vblog assembling a small FM transmitter I purchased from ebay. Will try and get the next main hakology video done first though.

Im only rendering the sdr# video! … still dont have the perfect solution for screen capture but its done now … the audio is terrible near the start next time will record on another device as noise supression appears to be playing hell with my laptop capture, meh, its done now time to move on and not make that mistake in future.



Todays VBLOG I made an FM transmitter from a small kit I purchased on ebay. Just rendering the video and preparing to upload it. This by far was the most enjoyable vblog I’ve done so far may be more to come like it.



Hakology Day 43 : Blog Entry

Time to get busy NO MATTER WHAT. Had a great weekend spent with my son and family, we even did a little coding using the reddit API. Sunday was cool too, I managed to grab some bargains from a few second hand sales, nothing exciting or tech related, just a few books on survival/bushcraft/scouting. Today im going to attempt to record the SDR# video as the last time I forgot to hit record! (*not quite I forgot to hit record but that’s another story/rant), I’m also ready to go war driving so that might be a thing in a few hours. Had some more breakout / dev boards turn up in the post but not the one I’m waiting for, lol, its always the way.

Nothing ever goes as planned, I went for a little war drive earlier after having installed kismet, gpsd-clients and gpsd. Recently I reinstalled debian with lxde and I couldn’t figure out, or seem to kill the gpsd process to set my gps as the default device (/dev/ttyUSB0), no matter what I did couldn’t get kismet to detect the dongle in gpsd or even find the configuration file. I decided to run kismet with the –use–nmea option BUT this was a lot less reliable in kismet than what gpsd usually is. Then my netbook went to sleep as I havent figured out the power saving settings in lxde yet. (I’ve been using lxde less than a week) I pulled over to restart my scan but accidentally chose the wrong wireless device when I restarted kismet, so all in all a complete mess. That said I’m working on a little script to load everything at once correctly so this won’t happen again. I really newb’d out tonight, If at first you don’t succeed try harder.

sudo kismet -c wlan1 -use-nmea-gps /dev/ttyUSB0 -gps-reconnect true
DO NOT USE THIS FOR GPS IT SUCKS … I had the most sketchy log files using this syntax to call kismet. Might have been the way I had the dongle positioned but I think its the way netxmltokml process the file when its been generated using that switch.



Hakology Day 39 : Blog Entry

Progress I managed to get my LED matrix working with the md_max27xx library, going to see if I can get multimon-ng+python the send the last received message to the matrix. Also reinstalling my netbook OS as things have got a little messy.

Hakology Day 38 : Blog Entry

Good afternoon, just getting warmed up. Going to try and record the SDR# video today and start re-writing that matrix driver. Had a productive evening last night posted the new VBLOG and mini intro video for the VBLOG channel. Now the fun begins with windows screen capture at least I won’t have to mess with the file format, but from experience I’m going to be recording in chunks as there’s nothing more frustrating getting to the end of recording a long tutorial and finding out the screen capture failed to save.

Too much shit being talked today … I’m avoiding social media. *reaches for a datasheet*

Hakology Day 37 : Blog Entry

Good afternoon hakologists, I’ve finally got the LED matrix ‘working’ I’ve managed to find one library that draws correctly to the screen, with a little bit of effort I think I could rewrite it for multiple matrices. Today I’m going to get a quick vblog together then later tonight hopefully record the SDR# video. Then we’ll take a look at multimon-ng and demodulating pager messages.

Need to send a massive shout out to gir, for sending hakology 2 RPi Zeros from the US as I couldnt get any at a reasonable price anywhere in the UK. Ridiculous considering they are made less than 50/60 miles from my house.

Family stuff over, vblog recorded, introduction video for vblog channel recorded, vblog rendering, time to get the kettle on and make a brew, thinking I might have a look at an old netgear router I have, see if I can connect using those new USB2UART boards. If I’m feeling really productive I might even get the sdr# video done.



Hakology Day 35 : Blog Entry

Reflecting on the weekend, have been working on a few projects. One using the max7219 LED matrix driver, which I’m considering writing my own library for as everything i’ve tried seems to fail, I have it working and can address each LED individually but haven’t been able display anything useful ie. fonts or text effects … anyway that’s a work in progress. I turned my hand to configuring a small 1.3″ OLED screen someone donated a while back now I can see it was some kind of addressing issue in the code I initially got it running (there were 2 pixels columns on the far right filled with random bits and a couple of leading pixel columns missing) anyway its working now I noticed the version I was running was from the google code repo and checked github see if the project was still live and found some more recent libraries, installed those and that seems to have remedied the problem.

Managed to sort out a good method for screen capture in gnome3 debian jessie. Was having issues capturing the screen in a format I was able to get in to my editing suite. Inadvertently I found out that debian jessie has built in screencapture/screencast ability. Pressing shift+ctrl+alt+R, a small red dot will appear in a panel near your login/logout  panel to show if you are recording, files are automatically saved to your home videos folder, to stop recording just hit the keyboard shortcut again.

These files happen to be in webm format, I havent yet tried running the webm files through handbrake to see if I can convert them to mp4 as my editing suite doesnt natively support webm and one huge problem with the built in screencast is it only records my desktop and no audio. (Maybe I’m doing something wrong, would be easier to just use the built in screencapture)

So eventually my final solution was to record using kazam to mp4, this captured the video + audio, was even hoping I wouldnt have to transcode it again, but still the default format output by kazam isnt compatible with vegas, I then ran the files through handbrake and imported them and everything seems ok … now all the audio syncs with the video perfectly.

Its a bit of a mess/bodge job but it works, maybe if I get some time in future I might have a look see if its possible to edit the default screencast settings to capture audio+video and output to a compatible format preferably mp4.

NB. The default screen recorder only allows you to record for 30 seconds use the following line in terminal to change the maximum record time.
gsettings set max-screencast-length 45