12V-5V DC/DC Converter from Banggood

Testing out this 12V->5V DC/DC converter from Banggood. It's useful useful for 12V deployments with of a Raspberry Pi (which needs 5VDC). It also terminates with a microUSB plug, which goes directly into the Pi -- no need for any hacks. I measured the Pi 3 using roughly 90mA @ 12V on idle, and around 320mA @ 12V with all four core fully loaded, display, andUSB keyboard/touchpad connected. No low-voltage indicator appearing on the Pi's display during peak loads. I didn't notice any heat o...

DIY 737 Throttle Quadrant - Testing Motorized Throttle Levers

Testing a Motorized Throttle Lever for my Flight Simulator. When the auto-throttle is engaged, aircraft's systems are supposed to control the engine throttles automatically, which includes moving the actual levers. I've used a 12V 28BYJ48 Stepper Motor (modified for bipolar format for more torque) and a A4988 Bipolar Stepper Driver, together with a potentiometer to sense the Throttle position. Right now I'm still testing it standalone, with a Raspberry Pi generating pulses every 30 mil...

Power Supply Enclosure Project

I've been using a AC to 12VDC converter and a 12V to 5V converter on my desk for the last 10 years, to test out various project stuff. Recently I've been exploring stepper motors, and needed a bit more power than what my existing power supplies were rated for. So it was time for an upgrade. Thoughts The switching power supplies I typically see on the market have a metal frame but semi-exposed AC power connections. While they're cheap and reliable, I'm not a fan of this design and decided t...

Car Phone Holder for a Note 3 + Folio Cover

My dad uses a folio-style case on his mobile phone, so as to protect not just the body of the phone but also the front screen. A downside of this is that the Galaxy Note 3 with such a case is too big to fit inside any car phone holder. So each time he needs to use Waze while driving, my dad would need to remove the phone from the case, and replace it back again after he's reached his destination. This is all too much work so it is time for the 3D Printer to come to the rescue ... We rummaged...

A Race from WMKK to WIII ...

I was planning to fly on KL809 today, but due to last-minute decisions there were no more seats available. So I ended up booking a seat on JT281 instead, which was serviced today by PK-LZH: As I was on the aerobridge, I caught sight of the KL809 plane as well (flown today by PH-BVK). Interestingly, it was in WMKK alongside it's sister plane PH-BVB, sporting a KLM Asia livery (there is usually only one KLM flight per day). My flight was delayed by about 40 minutes. Being a no-frlls airl...

Booking Directly with Low-Cost Carriers vs via Travel Agents

(This is not a paid advertisement. I wish it was!) One of the ways low cost carriers achieve their cheap fares is by cutting out the middle-man. When flying with a low cost carrier, you book your ticket directly with them online, do your own check in, and even print out your own boarding pass. Meanwhile, I needed to book a ticket for KUL-CGK. I usually fly this sector on KLM as it has decent flight hours and for a full service airline the fares (around MYR300-400 return, if you book early...

Build NSIS for CentOS

The Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) is an open-source tool for building "setup.exe" for Windows that install your application. In addition to installing files into their proper locations, NSIS is scriptable and can be used to implement logic during the installation process. The ouput of NSIS is an .exe -- this is not a Microsoft Installer Package (.msi). While .msi is probably better package management tool, NSIS has one advantage that works for me -- you can build installer progra...

DIY 737 Throttle Quadrant - Time For Some Housekeeping ...

My 3D printer went bust last Friday ... it's fixable but I have to wait for parts to arrive. So the whole weekend has been spent suffering from 3D Printer Withdrawal Syndrome. Meanwhile, an idea came to me on how to better edit the 737 Throttle Quadrant body. Earlier, I had imported the original 3D model by thingiverse user jamang1999 (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:725470) into TinkerCAD where I planned to slice and dice it into smaller pieces so that it could easily be printed on a 3D p...

Linux UDP Network Client Library for X-Plane 10 and 11

Up till now, I've been using the ExtPlane plugin to integrate my 737 home cockpit components with the X-Plane Flight Simulator. ExtPlane is a third party plugin that gives networked devices access to X-Plane's DataRefs and Commands. With it, external devices can query the current state of the Flight Simulator, such as the current airspeed and elevation, or the present position of a switch. It can also be used to manipulate state within the Flight Simulator, such as to change the state of a...

Sha's Guide To Identifying Commercial Passenger Airliners

Ever spent time plane-spotting? Or watched videos such as these? Have you, as I have, looked at a plane and wondered what make and model it is? The easiest way to find out is is to do a google or FlightRadar24 search on the registration number of the aircraft, which will usually give you the history of that particular aircraft and some pictures. You can also narrow down the choices by looking up their airlines fleet. But what if you're out and about and don't have the internet handy? Or ...