Gertboard order has been delayed

After a short wait my Gertboard has finally arrived. The package I assumed was the Gertboard was actually a gift from those fine people at Yorkshire Tea. Due to high demand the delivery of my Gertboard will now be 19th November, guess I’ll just have to experiment with the breadboard and LEDs for now.

The board comes in kit form, I’ll post on my progress assembling the kit.

Raspberry PI add-on board - Gertboard
Assembled Gertboard (determined mine will look like this)

The Gertboard is an expansion board for the Raspberry PI designed by Gert Van Loo (the guy that designed the original alpha hardware for the Raspberry PI). Gertboard expands the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins and will allow you to interface with the outside world.

Soldering is easy:

Purchase Gertboard:

Gertboard resources:

Gertboard assembly manual:

Gertboard user manual:

Gertboard test progams

Car radio – no memory

I recently purchased a new stereo for my van: Clarity CCE203DAB £69.99 from Halfords online: link

Installation was a breeze, took all of 5 minutes. After turning the ignition off and then on again I realized it had no memory, the same problem as my last stereo (due to the wiring of my vehicle). I updated as the old stereo was cassette and I wanted to see what DAB radio was like, have to say DAB is awesome. So many channels, very quick to scan channels and so so clear.

Anyway, the wires on the stereo are colour coded: yellow = memory+. Red = accessory.

Memory needs to be connected to permanent live and accessory to ignition live. The cabling in my van was the other way round. Maybe because it is a French model? or just a few years old?

To solve my problem I cut the red and yellow cable on the radio connector (didn’t want to alter the van wiring) and connected the other way round (red to yellow, yellow to red). Before doing this I tested with a multi-meter to make sure the wiring from my van had permanent live going to where the yellow wire will be and ignition live going to where the red wire will be.

Next step is to install an aerial splitter so I can use the original van aerial for DAB and FM. I know the aerial should be different as the FM aerial may be to long but we’ll see what happens, don’t want to be drilling holes to fit a new aerial and the magnetic one I have wouldn’t last five minutes on the motorway.

Motion detection for £45

Raspberry PI

Using a Raspberry Pi, a Microsoft VX-800 webcam and Motion – linux motion detection software.If motion is detected images are uploaded to dropbox and an email is sent to prompt looking in dropbox. Seen as the Raspberry Pi could also run on battery power there is even the possibility of a portable motion detection system (wildlife cam??).

  1. Install Motion
  2. Configure Motion
  3. Install
  4. Configure mail
  5. Re-configure Motion

1. sudo apt-get install motion ** For best results build motion and ffmpeg from source (see bellow)

2. sudo nano /etc/motion.conf

Check palette configuration is compatible with camera

sudo motion -n   ** (runs in debug mode, printing problems to screen)

3. Download from github.

Save files in /usr/local/dropbox  (sudo mkdir /usr/local/dropbox;; cd /usr/local/dropbox;;sudo wget;;sudo tar -xf andreafabrizi-Dropbox-Uploader-cdc2466.tar.gz)

sudo ./

follow onscreen instructions. Once configured don’t forget to copy ~/.dropbox_uploader to home directory of user that will be running motion (ie if starting motion with sudo this will be roots home) or edit and change the CONFIG_FILE= line to point to your config file ie CONFIG_FILE=/usr/local/dropbox/.dropbox_uploader

sudo /usr/local/dropbox/ upload /var/www/pic/1.jpg /motion

** Make sure the target folder exists in dropbox first.

4. Create a .mailrc file (mail profile). I use google apps for email so mine is as follows:

cd /root
sudo nano .mailrc

set smtp-use-starttls
set ssl-verify=ignore
set smtp=smtp://
set smtp-auth=login
set smtp-auth-password=pwxyz
set from=” Name)”

Save then test mail:
echo “Test Email message” | mailx -s -v “subject”

5. sudo nano /etc/motion.conf
Scroll down to the external commands section
Change the ; on_event_start value line to:
on_event_start echo “Your message” | mailx -s “Your Subject”
Change the ; on_picture_save value line to:
on_picture_save /usr/local/dropbox/ upload %f /motion/%d_%m_%Y-%H_%M_%S.jpg
Change the ; on_movie_end value line to:
on_movie_end /usr/local/dropbox/ %f /motion/%d_%m_%Y-%H_%M_%S.avi
Save and restart motion:
cat /var/run/motion/
kill [pid returned by above command]
** Start in debug mode to test
sudo motion -n
If all is well restart motion in daemon mode (just sudo motion)

Building Motion and FFMPEG from source