RC Simulator finally has a decent Skybox

Sample of Skybox now used in my WebGL RC Flight Simulator
I would like to thank Heiko Irrgang at 93-interactive.com for posting some really nice skybox’s that are free to use. I have used his ‘TropicalSunnyDay’ Skybox in my RC flight simulator. Looks so much nicer than the old one I hacked together. I just did not have time to do a good job on it, thanks again!

Other Changes:

  • Moved a bunch of the more commonly used features onto the main page with simple icons to click. Much easier to hand launch with 1 click!
  • Reduced the load time a bit by using a fixed terrain instead of randomly generating one on every page load. Hopefully it is a little quicker to load now.
  • Use the arrows keys to move around the flying field.

Python Article on Unit testing

python One of the difficulties in learning a new language is re-learning how to do some common things like unit-testing. Today I was referred to a great article on Python and ‘mocking’, and it was interesting enough that I decided I would post a link to it. www.toptal.com/python/an-introduction-to-mocking-in-python These guys at toptal.com have a blog with quite a few interesting articles on software development, I will be checking their blog regularly for new articles.

RC Flight Sim Physics engine Update

So I was just sitting around this weekend, and out of nowhere I realized that I had a flaw in the RC Flight Simulator Physics engine. I wasn’t even thinking about the simulator, I was thinking about my last RC flight and how tight a turn I could pull with my FT-Bushwacker without snapping the wings in half (grin), which lead me to think about the simulator. Funny how the brain works!
I realized that my inertial tensor was being calculated on the aircraft before I had shifted the model coordinates to ensure the c.g. was at coordinate (0,0,0). I had thought that the inertial tensor calcs would not be affected by that originally, oops. After writing a small function to shift the model coordinates, I tried flying a few aircraft and it made a huge difference. The rotation seemed much more realistic and I was able to reduce the rotational damping factor I had been using (to prevent infinite rotation speed) and still have stable calculations. Right now I have cleaned up the code and some of the hacks that I made to some of the model parameters to get them to fly realistically. Some models still do not fly at all realistically, but most are better. The FT-VersaWing still flys incorrectly, oh well, a work in progress…

Another successful Halloween (For the Daleks)

Many kids and parents had fun watching the Dalek terrorize the neighborhood this halloween.

Ron and his Dalek

It is sad that I only seem to have time to drag this out on Halloween. I did manage to solve my belt slip problems, but after a night of driving around the seat motors are getting slower and slower. Looks like I will need to upgrade the drive train over the winter, hopefully next year it will finally be ready to exterminate my lawn.

Fix to flight sim Gamepad control

I did not realize it until someone tracked me down, but the Gamepad API for my flight simulator was failing. This API seems to change quite often, so I have fixed it once again and updated the web site RonsRCSim. If you have trouble playing it, please send an email to ron@ostafichuk.com and I will fix it.

Rasberry-Pi fast video streaming to Web

I have struggled for ages trying to find a fast video streaming solution to a web page for the Pi Cam, and I finally found one. Unfortunately it involves 2 distinct projects and web sites, so I have created a single web page with references to the two to make it easier for people to find the complete solution and implement it. I am using it for a web interface to my robotic mower/Dalek.
Here are the unified install instructions.

Remote Motion Detection, Summary Image

I have been using the remotemotion.py script for a week now, and it has been working great. As I was looking through the images for the day I realized that the thing I hated most about motion detection software is that there were so many images to look through that it took a long time to find anything. I have a lot of traffic on my street and therefore many motion images to check through to see if anything suspicious has happened. I decided to group all the images into a sequence for each event, and save the ‘best’ summary image to a new directory for a very fast overview of activity. Surprisingly, my simple method to find the best image works very well. The algorithm is explained on this page with a link to the code repo. Now I can quickly go through the summary directory and delete images as I review them without losing the original images. This has saved me so much time!