Logitech Driving Force GT (DFGT) Shenanigans

Some time ago I decided that I want to get myself a wheel and pedals set for some driving and rally games on PC. I looked around and decided that DFGT would be fitting wheel and pedals set for me since it wasn’t that expensive and many people said it is good for beginners. Since the wheel is not manufactured anymore, I had to look around for used wheels on the internet. I found one for 60 euros on Finnish site tori.fi

The problems started after I tested the wheel on my computer. Initial calibration was good, but as soon as I started playing with it, the wheel started ”drifting” (it lost calibration) and became misaligned. I started googling and found out that this is very common fault with Logitech wheels (DFGT, G25 and G27) and it is caused by broken optical encoder disk.

There is an easy way to fix this, which I tried first but it didn’t work on my DFGT. At this point I contacted the person who sold me the wheel and informed him about the fault in the DFGT. There is a brass version of the encoder disk. It costs about 35 euros, shipping included. I demanded a refund of 35 euros from the seller since the fault had to be present before he sold the wheel to me. He denied this, but eventually refunded 20 euros because he sold me a broken item.

I ordered the brass version of the wheel, which came in 8 days from Thailand to Finland. Very fast shipping in my opinion. Turns out, I had ordered a wrong version of the encoder disk, since there are 30 and 60 slot versions. I looked at my broken encoder and thought ”well, this must be the 60 slot version” and ordered that. Turns out it wasn’t. I contacted Glenn who sells these brass encoders and kindly asked him if I could do an exchange since I ordered a wrong version. He agreed and I paid 8 dollars re-shipping fee after I had returned the wrong version.

It took 6 days for the correct encoder to arrive. It took me several tries to get the wheel working with the correct encoder, since I had bumped the optical encoder sender and receiver components. I had to bend those and get them in proper angles, but eventually I got it right and wheel started working and it no longer drifts while gaming.

Scan quickly from terminal and convert image to .jpg

I played around with few different scanning softwares on Ubuntu, and noticed that it is possible to scan from terminal by issuing quickscan command. By searching more, I found out that the image it creates is in .pnm format. I decided to add converting images from pnm to jpg format in the script.

The script can be found at Github https://github.com/ikoutone/quickscan. You can also copy the file called ’scan’ to /usr/bin/ folder on your linux distribution so you can access the scan command anywhere by just typing ’scan’ in terminal.

Mobius WebGUI

https://darkball.net/cgi-bin/mobiusgui

If you click the link above, you’ll see a site filled with different options for Mobius actioncam. This site allows you to create your own SYSCFG.TXT file that you can save in your camera SD card. I moved from Windows 7 to Ubuntu 14.04, and discovered that the mSetup program for Windows didn’t recognise the mobius through Wine emulation software. I have taken inspiration from mobiusgui.com, which isn’t working with the newest Mobius firmware (2.25) when writing this post. The site I have created works at least with firmware 2.25, but I haven’t tested if it is backwards compatible with older SYSCFG files.

The code behind the site is simple, bash and some html to show the site and options. It also includes some javascript for disabling specific options just like mSetup does on Windows. If you find anything that is wrong with it or you have any comments, please contact me via email ilkka@darkball.net or below this post.

OnePlus One – Invites and things

During the springtime I managed to break my Galaxy S3’s glass for the 2nd time. I had replaced it once, but the new replaced glass didn’t like the fall when the phone fell from my pocket to an asphalt. Soon after that I started looking for a new phone and came across OnePlus One, new cheap smartphone from China. Only problem was it was sold only for people who had invites.

OnePlus had their ”Smash the Past” campaign, which I missed because I had no need for a new phone then. They were just starting to give out invites to the winners of that competition and I signed up for the invite sharing list on Reddit. I was on place 1700 something, so getting a phone from this list was a long way and it would still be. Then, I found the Finnish invite list on OnePlus’ own forums and I signed up on it too. I was on place 700 something, and then the day came when they started slowly giving out invites.

Slowly, I waited my way to around 250 place. While I was waiting I took part in many invite giveways on Twitter, Google+ and Youtube, but I wasn’t lucky enough to get one. But then on one day I was idling at ##OnePlusOne IRC channel on Freenode network and person called juliank was kind enough to give me an invite. Thank you for that.

I saw that people were selling the invites, which seems little silly to me: you pay for an invite so you can pay more and buy the phone. Oh well, I guess people can’t wait to get their invites for free. Now I’m waiting for the phone to arrive and then I can retire my somewhat broken Galaxy S3 for good.

Parrot A.R Drone 2.0 Power Edition

I recently got myself a drone. I got interested in them after taking part of sweepstakes where you could win DJI Phantom 2 drone, but I missed my chances.

Below is the video of me doing my first outdoor flight with my drone. I had too steep angle, so my drone went too fast for the first time. That’s why the video is quite bumpy.

After this video, I ordered a sports cross from http://centralusdronesales.ecrater.com/. Kyle has good selection of mods, spare parts and such. While I was installing it, I also balanced and straightened my props. Before this there was small amount of ”jello effect” on the videos it recorded, but after balancing it’s all gone. I’m very happy about this. Kyle did a tutorial with hairdryer, but since I didn’t have that I used a heat gun. I had to be careful because too much heat could melt the plastic propellers.

Below is a picture of my drone after I had finished the sports cross install and put it all back together. I’m very happy about the drone and think Parrot has done marvelous job with creating a device that is fully repairable and modifiable.

Kokemuksia FM-lähettimestä RDS –toiminnolla

Kyseessä siis tuote http://www.motonet.fi/fi/tuote/476141

Lähetintä ostaessani löysin vain yhden ketjun kyseisestä laitteesta, jossa sanottiin, että äänenlaatu on huono. Itse olen nyt käyttänyt lähetintä parin viikon ajan enkä ole huomannut mitään ongelmia äänenlaadun kanssa. Toistettavat kappaleet ovat olleet 320kbps tai V0-laadulla. Lähettimen omaa äänenvoimakkuutta ei paljon tarvinnut säädellä, eikä sillä kyllä ollut mitään vaikutusta äänenlaatuun.

Kansioiden selaus ei ole kovin kätevää lähettimen omalta näytöltä, mutta kyllä se asiansa ajaa. Kyseinen lähetin jatkaa samasta kappaleesta mikä soi silloin kun autosta katkeaa virta. Random-toisto näyttää toistavan vain saman kansion sisältä kappaleita eikä pompi kansioiden välillä, mikä on hyvä jos musiikit on jaoteltu esim. sinun omat musiikit omassa kansiossa muistitikun juuressa ja vaimon kappaleet toisessa kansiossa.

What Does OpenStack Offer To You?

It’s free and open source!

It offers a free alternative to VMware. The license costs for VMware are quite large if you are running a big cluster. OpenStack on the other hand is free, open sourced solution. Of course there are some costs; hardware, electricity, administration, OS licence if you decide to run it on RHEL.

You don’t have to take every component that comes with OpenStack. For example you can leave Swift out of your environment if you don’t need storage. OpenStack being open source means you can modify it how you want based on how it fits to your purposes. This also means that you don’t have to wait for your vendor to fix something small in the software that would come in the next update, which can cost money when you can do it yourself.

Storage
OpenStack’s Swift is quite versatile. It can be installed on a single server, which uses only one hard drive, but it is at best when installed on multiple servers.

Adding and removing storage nodes is fast and easy. Add the node to the storage ring configuration and re-balance it. Swift starts automatically replicating the stored files to the new node. Replication is done with rsync, fast and efficient software.

Recently PayPal replaced their 80 000 VMware servers with OpenStack. Their main reason was speed, as mentioned earlier it can take months for vendor to release a fix for something small. Full article and reasons can be found here. Another PayPal’s reason was scalability. They get sudden spikes of traffic and OpenStack can help and deploy new virtual machines to balance the load

Netgear Universal WiFi Adapter (WNCE2001)

I have had a problem with my Playstation 3 and wireless, even though the Playstation and my wireless modem are in the same room, the connection has always been slow. Plus the Playstation doesn’t support Wireless N-standard, but my modem does. I had been looking for a device like this for some time on Amazon UK, but the offering wasn’t good, or I didn’t find them with the terms I used. Whenever I found something, the seller didn’t ship to Finland. Thankfully I managed to find this in one of the stores here in Finland.

Netgear makes it very easy to set up. There is a guide with instructions and the support for Wi-Fi Protected Setup is there too. I wasn’t sure if my modem had the support for Wi-Fi Protected Setup, so I chose to do the configuration manually in browser. It was a one minute job, and very easy. After configuration, you simply plug the network cable from this adapter to Playstation and power it up.

What about speed and reliability? I have used this for little under a month and download speeds on my Playstation have grown significantly. Only once it has started to act up by my Playstation 3 showing ”internet cable unplugged” message, but it was only because the adapter was right next to Playstation in small space that gets heated by the Playstation.

I also watch movies and tv-shows from my laptop with PS3 Media Server. Before I had to reduce the quality because the wireless was slow and couldn’t keep up with the bandwidth required for the stream, but now I don’t have to worry about that. I can get good quality HD over WiFi and the only problem is whether my laptop can encode the stream fast enough, but for now it can handle it.

Overall, it was well worth the money.

Darkball.net has changed homes

My site has changed home. The site was hosted on a Debian server located in Germany. Currently it is run on Ubuntu Server, which is ran on OpenStack cloud at Espoo, Finland. In a couple of months, it will move homes again, this time to Kajaani, Finland.

This change of locations has brought new features, DarkPad, an EtherPad open for everyone to use. Another new feature is a SSL certificate from StartSSL. It is accepted by browsers, so it’s much better than self-signed certificate.