Bracing the Pixel 3a on the deck railing. Despite the star near the top, it decided to not invoke Astrophotography mode.
This was apparently a Pink Moon and a Supermoon and surely some other adjectives nobody cared about until Webbish media discovered they could generate ad revenue using clickbait headlines concerning a monthly event.
A Yubikey 5 NFC turns out to be perfectly compatible with any website using Symantec’s (no longer available) hardware key and VIP Access (definitely a misnomer) app to generate TOTP access codes, because the sites use bog-standard TOTP. The only difficulty comes from Symantec’s proprietary protocol creating the token linking an ID with a secret value to generate the TOTP codes, which is how they monetize an open standard.
Fire up the app, wave the Yubikey behind the phone, scan the QR code, wave the Yubikey again to store it, sign in to the Schwab site, turn on 2FA, enter the ID & current TOTP value from the Yubikey Authenticator, and It Just Works™.
Of course, you can kiss Schwab’s tech support goodbye, because you’re on your own. If you ever lose the Yubikey, make sure you know the answers to your allegedly secret questions.
Equally of course, you’re downloading and running random shit from the Intertubes, but …
Now, if only all my financial institutions would get with the program.
The “camera” actually has the outside dimensions of a Spigen case, rather than the bare phone, because dropping a bare phone is never a good idea.
The base plate pretty much fills the M2’s platform:
I originally arranged the four corners around the plate to print everything in one go, but an estimated six hours of print time suggested doing the corners separately would maximize local happiness. Which it did, whew, even if the plate ran for a bit over 4-1/2 hours.
The snout is a loose fit around the 5× widefield microscope eyepiece, with the difference made up in a wrap of black tape; it’s much easier to adjust the fit upward than to bore out the snout. An overwrap of tape secures the snout to the eyepiece, which I’ve dedicated to the cause; the scope normally rocks 10× widefield glass.
The tapered hole exposes the phone’s fingerprint reader to simplify unlocking, should it shut down while I’m fiddling with something else.
The microscope doesn’t fully illuminate the camera’s entrance pupil at minimum zoom, with 4.5× filling the screen and (mostly) eliminating the vignette. The corner blocks have oversize holes to allow aligning the camera lens axis over the microscope optical axis. The solid model incorporates Lessons Learned from the version you see here, because you (well, I) can’t measure the camera axis with respect to the outside dimensions accurately enough:
Although it’s less unsteady than it looks, microscopy requires a gentle touch at the best of times. The adapter doesn’t add much wobble to the outcome:
The field is about 14×19 mm with the camera at 4.5× and the microscope at minimum zoom:
You can see a little darkening on the upper and lower right corners, so the phone’s still minutely leftward.
The field is about 1.5×2 mm at full throttle:
Color balance with the cold white LED ring isn’t the best, but it’s survivable. Mad props to OpenCamera for exposing All. The. Controls. you might possibly need.
The Google Pixel 3a camera, unlike the camera in my older Google Pixel XL, takes spectacularly good images through a widefield 5X eyepiece on the stereo zoom microscope:
That’s hand-holding the phone against the eyepiece while manipulating it with the other hand. Definitely not the most stable arrangement, but the camera copes well with slight motions. I really need a gripping hand for the camera, to free up another for the microscope’s focus knob.
The --parents parameter tells cp to recreate the directory structure holding the picture in the target directory, thereby keeping the pix neatly sorted in their places, rather than creating one heap o’ pictures.
Come to find out I’ve edited slightly over 7 k general-interest pictures in the eighteen years I’ve been using digital cameras, of maybe 27 k total pictures. Call it a 25% hit ratio; obviously I’m not nearly fussy enough.
Then there’s another 16 k project-related pictures, of which 10 k were edited into something useful. With an emphasis on utility, rather than aesthetics, a 60% hit ratio seems OK.
Which works out to half a dozen pictures a day, every day, for eighteen years. I loves me some good digital camera action!
Anyhow, my long-disused Kindle Fire fits perfectly into the welded-on clips, with just enough room for a right-angle USB cable, and Photo Frame Slideshow Premium does exactly what’s necessary to show pictures from internal storage with no network connection.
All I needed was a small block holding the Kindle against the far side of the frame:
A strip of double-stick carpet tape holds the block onto the frame. To extract the Kindle, should the need arise, slide it upward to clear the bottom clips, rotate it rearward, and out it comes.
Getting a good block required three tries, because the basement has cooled off enough to trigger Marlin’s Thermal Runaway protection for the M2’s platform heater. A test fit after the first failure showed the long leg was 1 mm too wide and, after the second failure, I reduced the fan threshold to 15 s and the minimum layer time to 5 s, producing the third block without incident.
The OpenSCAD source code, such as it is, doesn’t deserve its own GitHub Gist:
// Block to hold Kindle in a picture frame mount
// Ed Nisley - KE4ZNU
// November 2018
Protrusion = 0.1;
cube([18-4 + Protrusion,44-10 + Protrusion,10 + 2*Protrusion]);
My old Gen 1 Kindle Fire hasn’t seen much action lately, so I figured maybe it could end its days by becoming a slide show / picture frame. While fiddling around, I tried to fire up the Amazon Shopping app:
Clicking the big orange button fired up Amazon’s Silk browser, which promptly crashed.