Nordintown Blog

Rubbish musings, projects and hackerings from Nordin

Project Intro: Dirty Great Screen

Feb 112015

57north are hosting a hacker camp, CampGND, in the raw scottish wilderness; well wilderness of sorts.. we may have poor toilet facilities, which is raw for some. Amongst the not-so-light drinking and poorly conceived meals, I shall be building a DIY portable projector screen as my camp project.

The Aim:
A weekend to build/test a car-housed foldaway outdoor cinema, complete with ambient edge lighting. T

Things I'll be hacking:

  • an ancient but functional InFocus LitePro 620 projector/sound amp, mounted to point out my car window, with power lead to the genny.
  • Raspi + OpenElec + boblightd + ardunio nano + PC power supply
  • 2 to 4 WS2812B RGB LED strips (assuming they arrive)
  • a number of things to try as cheap high-gain front and rear projection screen material
  • old tent poles, strap material, eyelets and anything else that might be useful to hold up the screen and keep tension.

Project Milestones
MS1) Build the screen, attach first material, test projector, Movie 1
MS2) Add ambient lights and control, Movie 2

I'd have 2 attempts, one each evening, to watch the original Wargames or 5th Element, then Kungpow/Kung Fu Hustle. If it craps out, then Techno DiSCO!

Call for parts
Hmm any old tent poles from dead dome tents you have will come in very handy. An oldschool Power-to-screen PC supply might be cool also

Project Intro: Research and design of self-organising, algae farming, soft robots

Apr 062017

An amateur home-based project to design and evaluate self-organising, algae farming, soft robots.

This is a project started inpersuit of a personal interest in home-grown complete food sources. The notes below for my project log and project substages will be added ad-hoc.

The project itself will take place in 3 phases: (1) Stable Spirulina cultivation and remote monitoring via a conventional self-built monitoring platform, (2) evaluation and improvement of a self-built remote sensing and actuator 'nodes', tethered and water-bound to distribute aeration, inspection and monitoring; and (3) Migration from central controller-based coordination to autonomous, untethered agent-based methods. Succinct project updates will be made on the Research Gate platform whereas informal project notes will be made on the Author's personal blog (


Phase 1: Stable Spirulina cultivation and remote monitoring via a conventional self-built monitoring platform.

1.1 Preparing the culture medium

Chemical ingredients for the cost-efficient RM6 culture medium [1] (Roof, Kaushik and Prasanna 2006) were obtained via various Amazon and eBay supplier sources. Super single phosphate (SSP) was substituted with an alternative inorganic phosphate source Potassium Phosphate due to SSP sourcing problems. Measures of all fertiliser ingredients were made for a 4l liquid volume within a 4.5l demijohn growth vessel, marked GV1:

  • Potassium phosphate 5g,
  • Sodium nitrate 10g,
  • potassium Chloride 3.92g,
  • magnesium sulphate 0.6g,
  • calcium chloride 1.6g,
  • sodium chloride 2g,
  • sodium bicarbonate 32g.

The stated measures of each ingredient were made within 0.5l of dechlorinated local tap water and added to 3.5l within GV1. Any crystallised ingredients were ground to powder form.