Multimedia Library Server

I’ve always used iTunes to manage my sharing and remote playing of my media library within my home.

As you no doubt know, iTunes sucks at sharing/streaming media. I used iTunes because it was the path of least resistance despite all the verbal abuse I’ve hurled at it…it’s bloated, slow, crashes etc…but that’s a whole different article…. 😉

Enter Plex. My Padawan at work turned me on to the Plex Media Server and my media consumption has been upgraded beyond my wildest imagination.

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PID Hardware Photos

I was (and hope to again) working on a PID loop for the dragon’s main light. The idea is simple- vary the heat lamp using a servo and rheostat. Some of you have expressed interest. Here are the photos of the servo setup. The code however is so bad I don’t even know where to start. If you get something working please let me know!

The servo and linkages work perfectly through the full 180 degree range. The issue is the PID code….

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PID? What is it?

Wikipedia says that a proportional–integral–derivative controller (PID controller) is a generic control loop feedback mechanism (controller) widely used in industrial control systems – a PID is the most commonly used feedback controller. A PID controller calculates an “error” value as the difference between a measured process variable and a desired setpoint. The controller attempts to minimize the error by adjusting the process control inputs.

So what?

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Decade Counter!

I wanted a way to have a “rotatable” counter to indicate that the LCC was still looping properly.  I finally found something! A decade counter (as noted in an earlier post)!

Now instead of pulsing one led I have a “spinner” type of effect. I don’t have to keep track of where the “count” is….I just pulse it. Coding this would have been a nightmare. Of course wiring 10 LEDs is a mess but it’s a cool one.

decade counter mess
decade counter mess

Code Updates

I haven’t worked on the Tri-Temp project in a while. I am going to go through and update the code a bit to lower the memory usage based on what I’ve learned for the LCC projects.

The original LCC code will have an update posted soon too. Mostly memory updates and a few control changes. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to bother but since the original LCC is still running my lizard’s climate I figured why not.

The Next Lizard Climate Control…

I’ve started on LCC 2nd Gen or LCC2 or LCC II. I don’t know what to call it. BUT I do know it’ll be killer.

This one is going to be everything LCC 1 was not.

So far I have:

  • Ethernet
  • 64 GPIOs
  • A better RTC
  • 2 OLED displays
  • The RTC can be updated via serial — no need to upload code to the Arduino, update the clock and then reupload the LCC code!
  • More cool factor….

So check this out- I2C rocks! The awesome Centipede Shield from macetech.com is HUGELY awesome. Via the I2C 2 wire interface you now have access to 64 Digital ports. In any combination of In or Out. This is the cornerstone of the new LCC hardware. Especially since the Ethernet takes a lot of digital ports. This thing is way cool. If you need more digital ports get one asap.

The OLED displays are really neat. I got 5 from a Kickstarter project and they’re now generally available from Sabernetics Tech. They’re tiny and bright! Since you now have 64 ports you can have as many of these displays as you want. Just put each on its own port to select which one to write to…If you don’t you’ll write to them all at once! Gotta love bus networks (I2C).

I hope to make the LCC’s ability to control lights and heat sources more generic. Since the IO is so plentiful I can make the code generic enough to handle fans, heat mats, uv lights etc in different combinations.

Keep checking the site as I post updates about this project!

LCC v5 is almost ready

Lots of code changes and some hardware. Here’s some of them:

  • Added ShiftBright RGB LED to pins D2, D12 and D13
  • Added code for ShiftBright
  • Updated DEBUG routines
  • Day overhead handling is updated to wait longer before turning off
  • Added yellow and red LED indications for day overhead conditions
  • Night cold conditions are mirrors of day as appropriate
  • Switch 1 is now only for UV lights
  • Switch 2 is only for heat- in my case the heat rock is on all the time and the heat lamp is switched
  • Cleaned some functions of unneeded statements

Version 5 should be released soon. It’s still not running live yet. If you want an advance copy let me know.