The ntpi: accurate time with a Raspberry Pi and Venus638FLPx

One of the things I’ve always loved to tinker with is time sources and synchronization. Typically this has been tied to sensible things like the Network Time Protocol and designing and maintaining time distribution systems for broadcast networks. Lately though I’ve been toying with ‘real’ time sources – GPS and MSF broadcasts. This is a quick tutorial on how to set up a Raspberry Pi, which at only a few watts makes for an economical time server, to talk to a Venus 638FLPx GPS receiver (available from Sparkfun on a suitable breakout board here). Continue reading The ntpi: accurate time with a Raspberry Pi and Venus638FLPx

Getting airborne

Last week I got paid! And immediately blew a hundred quid on parts for the UAV project.

I’ve already got an airframe, speed controller, and a Turnigy 9x TX/RX pair. Unfortunately the Turnigy is bust (thanks, China!) so I needed a better solution. Rather than go crazy and buy an expensive RX/TX paid I decided I’d roll my own solution using some off the shelf parts. The core of this is a board from Adafruit which will drive 12 PWM or servo outputs from I2C, plus a Raspberry Pi SBC and an XMOS XC-1A development board. Continue reading Getting airborne

Moving on from student radio to the real world

After 3 years of messing around with student radio and, to a lesser extent, student television, I’ve gone and gotten a job doing lots of the same stuff (but I get paid this time!)

This August I’m joining the BBC Research and Development team in the Internet Research and Future Services section, working on some very cool tools for audio and video archive analysis and retrieval. I’ve been working with the section for a month now as part of a placement related to my RadioDNS/IPTV work, and the team in R&D and IRFS is fantastic. The atmosphere is brilliant, and I’m proud to be joining the team there.

This blog will continue to be updated as and when with my at-home projects, like my unmanned aircraft work and side web development projects like the booru-on-rails project. That latter one has been proving quite the challenge lately and has been quite a lot of fun to work with in a production environment – I’ll be writing up some posts on that for sure. Just because I’m employed doesn’t mean any of my open source projects are vanishing or becoming unmaintained, either – I’ll be keeping on top of things as best I can. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can get my mini-IRIS project done (a lightweight EBU R128 normalizing dropbox for radio stations).

So – stay tuned, and keep an eye on what I’m up to at work via the BBC IRFS blog!