Archive for category Photography & Images

Wasabi NP-BX1: End-of-Life

As a followup to the DOT-01 battery status, I found the last of the Wasabi NP-BX1 batteries in a drawer where they’d sat unused for eight months.

Recharge and test to get the blue lines, with the red lines from the DOT-01 batteries:

Wasabi DOT-01 NP-BX1 - 2019-11
Wasabi DOT-01 NP-BX1 – 2019-11

The double blue line came from a second recharge of that battery, just to see if more electrons would help. Nope, it’s still dead.

The Wasabi battery with the highest capacity also has the weirdly rippled voltage trace and, when I extracted it from the test holder, came out disturbingly warm and all swoll up. This is A Bad Sign™, so it spent the next few hours chillin’ on the patio and now resides in the recycle box.

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Monthly Image: Deposit Slot

The Dutchess County Board of Elections occupies the building at 47 Cannon St which, if I recall correctly, was a Central Hudson Gas & Electric Company office back in the day.

CHG&E accepted bill payments at all hours through a little slot high on the wall:

Pay Bills Here - overview
Pay Bills Here – overview

A closer look:

Pay Bills Here - envelope slot
Pay Bills Here – envelope slot

It’s solid cast brass, neatly milled, and built to last a thousand years. They don’t make ’em like they used to, probably for good reason.

I’m told somebody once stuffed burning trash through the Arlington branch library’s book return slot. Nowadays, the fire code apparently requires the room behind the slot to be fireproof and isolated from the main structure, which may account for the popularity of outdoor book / media return boxes.

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DOT-01 NP-BX1 Battery Status

Back in February, a quartet of DOT-01 NP-BX1 lithium batteries for my Sony HDR-AS30V helmet camera had mediocre performance compared to an older Wasabi battery:

Dot01 NP-BX1 - new 2019-02
Dot01 NP-BX1 – new 2019-02

After eight months of regular use, they’re even further into mediocre:

Sony DOT-01 NP-BX1 - 2019-10-29
Sony DOT-01 NP-BX1 – 2019-10-29

In round numbers, they’re down from 2.8 W·h to 2.5 W·h and now run the camera for about 70 minutes, rather than 90+ when new. Our typical rides go for about an hour, which means I must swap batteries somewhere along the way.

I still dislike the notion of sticking a 16850 cell next to the camera and powering it from the USB charger running the M20 rear camera requires another helmet cable, but it’s obvious NP-BX1 batteries lack enough active ingredient for the long haul.

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3D Foot Scanning

The Poughkeepsie Library makes a 3DSystems Sense scanner (V1) available to patrons and, after a bit of to-and-fro, I managed to get a not-awful scan of Mary’s right leg:

Mary - R foot - complete
Mary – R foot – complete

This was accomplished under field conditions in a cramped room hosting a Spanish-language “introduction to computers” class. We propped her leg across the edge of a table with her sock as a cushion.

The depth image resolution seems to be 1 mm and the software attempts to stitch multiple views from different angles into a consistent 3D model. The scanner requires a steady hand and a steady model to successfully glue new data onto the existing model; what seem small misalignments derail the matching.

The software has several presets, of which “Head” produces the best results. I have no idea what the algorithm thinks of her foot; maybe it’s been trained on some truly ugly faces.

Exporting the solid model as either STL or PLY allows import into (Windows-only) Meshmixer, wherein I sawed off the pieces we won’t need:

Mary R foot trimmed
Mary R foot trimmed

If only I had a foot fetish …

The 3DSystems software requires a fairly specific Windows 8 (or 10, which is so not happening) + Intel hardware configuration, which recently arrived as a $250 off-lease Dell Latitude 7250 laptop. It works fine through VNC, so I can use it from the Comfy Desk.

However, using a 3D scanner in your own home isn’t actually private:

3DSystems Sense Scanner - EULA
3DSystems Sense Scanner – EULA

All your data are belong to them:

3D Systems may also automatically collect and report back to 3D Systems information about the Software and Licensee’s usage along with limited information about the Device, 3D Printer, and/or other third-party applications. If 3D Systems implements automated data collection practices then Licensee may opt out of providing such data if Licensee has a license that authorizes Commercial Use.

Oh, and then you must activate the software before using it. The library IT folks tell me I can install & activate the scanner on my system without derailing their setup. I have my doubts, but we’ll see how it goes.

I must get into photogrammetry, ideally from the sofware libre branch as described there. The openMVG repo seems promising.

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Monthly Image: Spider vs. Marmorated Stink Bug

Fortunately, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs haven’t been as catastrophic as predicted when they arrived a few years ago, perhaps because native critters have learned to deal with them:

Spider vs. Marmorated Stink Bug
Spider vs. Marmorated Stink Bug

Looks like a week’s worth of spider chow!

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Makergear M2: Octopi Camera Mount

Octopirint / Octopi works wonderfully well as a controller / G-Code feeder for my Makergear M2. After putting up with an ungainly mass of tape for far too long, I printed Toddman’s Pi Camera Mount:

Pi Camera - M2 Mount - Slic3r
Pi Camera – M2 Mount – Slic3r

Which snapped together exactly like it should:

Makergear M2 - Pi Camera Mount
Makergear M2 – Pi Camera Mount

A strip of double-sided foam tape attaches it to the Pi’s case, which is Velcro-ed to the M2’s frame. The cable may be too long, but avoids sharp bends on the way out of the case.

The whole lashup works fine:

Pi Camera - M2 Mount - Octopi timelapse
Pi Camera – M2 Mount – Octopi timelapse

That’s a second set intended for the CNC 3018-Pro, but it didn’t fit quite as well. The B brackets are slightly too long (or their pivots are slightly too close to their base) to allow the C plates to turn 90° to the mount:

Pi Camera - M2 Mount - Config 2 diagram
Pi Camera – M2 Mount – Config 2 diagram

Nothing one can’t fix with nibbling & filing, but I long for parametric designs …

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Monthly Image: Praying Mantis vs. Monarch Butterfly

The Butterfly Bush in front of the house attracts all kinds of insects, including Monarch Butterflies (shown here on the Goldenrod planted in the garden):

Monarch on Goldenrod - left
Monarch on Goldenrod – left

This year, the bush also attracted a Praying Mantis:

Praying Mantis in Butterfly Bush - 2019-09-05
Praying Mantis in Butterfly Bush – 2019-09-05

Then lunchtime happened:

Praying Mantis vs Monarch - 2019-09-11
Praying Mantis vs Monarch – 2019-09-11

A closer look:

Praying Mantis vs Monarch - detail - 2019-09-11
Praying Mantis vs Monarch – detail – 2019-09-11

Now, if that isn’t enough nightmare fuel for you, find some in your own neighborhood.

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