This Newsletter will appear a bit different since I am having to write it on my windows10 laptop and not my sturdy RISC PC. My RPC is currently in bits awaiting my fitting of a new RTC battery. I am hoping the corrosion has not spread to the Motherboard.
I have now repaired my RPC and reissued this version.
There are now 10 of us booked to go to this evening. We haven't been here before but it seems to have a good reputation as a Gastro Pub , so I am hoping it will be good.
This was a usual an excellent evening and several interesting devices appeared. Gareth was persuaded to begin with his Stirling Engine which he demonstrated by supporting it above a cup of hot water. I had not seen one of these before. It is shown in the picture here. It consists of a small piston linked to a large piston driving a flywheel. It works by heating and expansion of gas in the large piston and cooling and contraction of gas in the smaller piston. As described eloquently by Duncan as an external combustion engine. Apparently they are very efficient engines and fascinating to watch.
Second up was Michael with his power bank for recharging his mobile phone. Recharged via a USB port on his computer rated at 1300 mA h and giving 4 charges to his phone. It has 2 device ports.
Next John showed us his mini vacuum cleaner powered from USB and using his second gadget which was a small LED display indicating voltage and current showed 0.3A was taken. Available from CJE/4D and especially useful with an extra cable to check on USB current drawn by a Raspberry Pi. His third gadget was a Juice Cube which is his power bank equivalent.
Peter then showed his first gadget which is called an Easy Arm and enables you to clip a mobile phone or tablet onto a desktop and allows it to be manoeuvred into any position.
Duncan talked about his PC TV which is a USB plug & Play TV. It came with only a short piece of wire as an aerial but also fortunately an external aerial socket but as it also has a remote control you need it in front of the computer for the control to work but then the aerial wire is in the way so it is a bit awkward. But a further problem is that it has its own channel numbers and they a can be different each time you turn it on. The supplied PC software comes as a single install software. You can use it with VLC and need to know which multiplex it is transmitted on and input this in MHz. The unit must be plugged in once the computer is running It installs with a random password in an obscure place on the hard drive which you must find and write down and use to login other wise you get no privileges to do anything.
Gareth's second gadget was the App for his e-car for the Renault Zoe which allows checking of charging schedules and could check on the car battery charge and also set heating to come on etc. remotely. Currently there was a problem with his Zoe not charging so was being checked at Renault and requires a new charging socket. Start charging status, charge scheduling and history.
Michael then showed his MSI Cubi N Windows 10 PC which a micro PC normal connectivity 2 base starts 2.5" HD or Microsim 88 SSD bluetooth screen and keyboard. On Special offer £50. It has VGA and HDMI. Useful as a media server or just browsing. Runs better with MS edge than Firefox.
Peter then offered his selfie stick for Android phone bought in Gran Canaria, an unloved gadget free to a good home, but no-one was interested. It claimed to be compatible with iPhone, but when he tried it, it triggered a hundred pictures not just one!
Duncan then took us back to the past with his spokeshave found in a junk shop. He thought it was unusual because it had guides underneath to produce a 45 degree chamfer on the edge of a piece of timber. No makers name or date. Quite useable.
Gareth presented his Bose folding Bluetooth headphones with a microphone, very useful on the train to London. Also in the house they work through out the house and means that he can be on a conference call anywhere and isn't tied to his office.
Michael showed his USB-VGA adapter from displaylink.com giving 1280x1024 resolution useful can upgrade firmware for resolutions.
John mentioned that the Raspberry PI 2 now being sold does not have the same chipset as originally which worked better with RISC OS. The current ones are using the same chipset as R PI3 but there is a lot you can't do on it. John may have something to show us later (next meeting perhaps Ed.).
R PI 1 worked quite well but not with "clones". ( ed. Couldn't quite catch that.)
Whilst Peter set up his gadget John told a story. He is writing a book for his grandchildren - a social history of himself. He wanted to complete it for Christmas. He has the text complete at 70,000 words 176 pages and wanted to print it A2 size using Ghostscript to make a PDF file. He thought he would print the exported file as A2, but it printed as A4. He then used Drawaid which can define a drawing for you and generate a Draw file, but it would only print as A4 as well. He has eventually found a default setting in Ghostscript for A4 which he needs to change to A2.
Peter showed his customary culinary items in the shape of an egg cooking kit which uses a controlled amount of water to produce a soft or hard boiled egg.
Whilst waiting for his egg to cook he showed his self-stirring mug with a flask of coffee.
Duncan also showed us his video digitizer from analogue sources, he had not tried it out yet.
We had some discussion about digitizing audio and reel to reel tapes.
Quite an entertaining evening with some Stollen Bites and Mince Pies to celebrate the festive season.
Our Future Programme
The next meeting will be on Arduino and Raspberry Pi developments.
|ICENI Future programme 2016/2017|
|January 18th||Winter Social Evening - The Shepherd , Langham TBA||All|
|February 15th||Arduino/Raspberry Pi||All|
|March 15th||Mac Evening||Peter et al|
|April 19th||AGM + IoT||All|
|May 17th||RISCOS Update - New Impression||All|
Our meetings are held at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE , for a map and other details please see the website.
Membership fee currently £10, visitors free.
We are continuing our publicity for EAUG events , however their website has not been updated for a years now. So if you wish to know information please phone one of their contacts.
Meetings are at the Great Baddow Village Hall, on the second Tuesday of the month
opening at 7:30 p.m. for a start at 7:45 - 8:00 p.m.
Their website has not been updated since 2011
"ICENI does not have any Insurance cover for computers or other equipment so please be advised that you bring machines to the club at your own risk."
However many household insurance policies will include cover away from home often with no increase in premium. (Ed.)