More changes to Ron’s RC Sim

I was playing around the last two evenings after work and added some features:

  • When a bullet hits the ground there is a little ‘puff’ of dirt and a sound.
  • When a Bomb hits the ground there is a big sphere type explosion and sound.
  • When you crash the plane into the ground too hard it explodes in a burst of cubes.
  • When the aircraft flys too far away the camera zooms in automatically.
  • Also I started work on my physics engine, you can toggle between no physics and my work in progress by hitting the ‘p’ key.
  • The ‘i’ key will return the aircraft position back to it’s initial position.
  • Added a google ad to the bottom left of the screen, it would be nice to make a few dollars for my work…

I have a lot more work on the flight dynamics engine. Tricky stuff! Once that is done I want to get working on the interface for building your own custom foam flier within the game

WebGL Remote Control Aircraft Simulator

Winter is a strange thing. Blizzards can be very unpleasant, but when I get trapped indoors I tend to get bored and write code. The huge blizzard we had last week resulted in the start of an RC flight Simulator! I have been doing RC cars, planes, helis since I was a teenage (a very long time ago). FMS was my favorite RC simulator, but I am super tired of getting it to work on newer laptops, so I decided why not try to write my own simulator? That could be a lot of fun! (Yes, my definition of fun is a bit unusual)

I have added the RC Simulator to my site, under the WebGL section Rons RC Sim. I have a ton of work to do on it yet, but you can fly around right now with a gamepad controller and it makes sounds. You need Chrome or firefox or the latest IE to make it work because of the gamepad support. I have only tested it on chromium (under linux).


Finished Raspberry Pi motion security cam

On the weekend I finished building a raspberry pi home security camera. I successfully removed the IR filter according to some Youtube video instructions, and placed the entire setup within a halogen flood light to provide it with some weather protection. The wifi dongle was routed outside of the case to make sure it would get a strong signal, it is fairly well sealed and should survive the weather. The USB power supply needs to be protected from the elements, I will see over then next few months how that holds up to minus 30 celcius.

I used a Model A pi board and camera that was purchased for $40 from these guys are my favorite electronics supplier with the best prices and service I have found. The wifi stick was about $15 and the halogen case was $14. I have many power supplies and misc. usb cables laying around, so I used them instead of buying more and the entire project cost me about $70.
The instructions for setting up the motion detection software can be found at

The device uses wifi only and provides a live stream (that only seems to work in firefox), it logs all video events to my NAS box using the samba protocol.

Here are some pictures of the finished project. Simple but effective, I think Red Green would be proud of my use of black electric tape, sorry no duct-tape was used in the making of this project Red. Next time…




MK808B Mini TV

Just got a MK808B, ordered from . It is a very speedy little dual core android 4.2.2 device with 8GB flash. So far it is pretty fast, runs YouTube great, but a bit warm. Netflix does not work properly, the video driver goes wonky immediately once a movie starts, but the device does not crash and keeps working smoothly when you exit the playback. Hopefully a patch will fix this eventually. The Wifi gets interference from my 2.4ghz keyboard, so I had to move the dongle away on a usb extension plug that came with the device. I will look for a bluetooth remote, or maybe pair a Wii controller up to it?
I am thinking of writing a webcam security app for my next mobile project, I looked around and could not find one with motion detection. Anybody out there know of one?

Update: After waiting almost 5 months for a fix, the fix ends up breaking more than it fixes (wifi and bluetooth dead). This device is not worth using due to the lack of support. Do not buy one, you will be wasting your money. I am going to stick to the Raspberry Pi for now.

DBFEngine Precision

My old nemesis ‘precision’ has once again reared it’s ugly face. I missed the stringstream precision settings (stupidly assuming the string stream would recognize a double vs. a float type, bad assumption). The stringsteam library is a good example of where bugs come from. Anyways, fixed it and updated the page and github.

DBF Engine minor update

Added a faster way to read doubles (type=’B’) without string conversion from the DBF, the function is called readFieldAsDouble(int). Sometimes, strings are just too slow when you have a lot of data!


So I finally had time to post the DBFEngine I wrote in C++ as open source. It can read and write simple dbf (foxpro) files. It was made for people who needed an easy way to import and export without having to use ADO or some other huge database engine. Enjoy! DBFEngine

MODBUS on the Raspberry pi

Today I compiled a simple MODBUS application to run on the Raspberry Pi. Since MODBUS has no security build into the standard, this will only be good for home or private networks, or through a VPN tunnel. My goal is to make a simple device that can be used to monitor things around the house. The first thing I am going to monitor and control is my garage door and man door in the garage. I will be posting all the instructions under the Pi Projects Section on the site as I complete it.

Javascript Horizontal Bar Gauge

I have just released a simple horizontal Bar Gauge under the javascript section. The purpose of this gauge is to be used on mobile apps where a smaller rectangular gauge (wider and shorter) is a better fit. As usual it is free for anyone to use in any way they like as long as they leave the license text intact.