drink's blog

Walkera Devo 7e Modding

A little while ago I acquired a Walkera Devo 7e from a friend, for use with my assorted R/C aircraft. This is a pretty dandy little radio in its own right, which speaks the Walkera Devo radio protocol. By doing nothing but reflashing it with Deviation firmware, you can add support for the Spektrum DSM2 and DSMX protocols. But if you're willing to pick up a soldering iron, you can accomplish a whole lot more for not too much money.

Ambilight Clones, Windows, and Arduino

Long, long ago, when I first heard of Philips Ambilight, I thought it was one of the coolest silly things I'd ever heard of. Today, much later, I finally have gotten around to rolling my own Ambilight clone using an Arduino Nano and WS2812B strips. I did not have to write any code, because other people have already done it for me. Figuring out which people had done what properly took me the better part of a day, so I will now share my knowledge with you here. This should be a cross-platform (Win/Lin/Mac) solution, but I have only tested on Windows.

W126 vs. D2: What it's like driving the A8 vs. the 300SD

For quite some years now, my main mode of transportation has been a 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD, a base model-plus-sunroof 3 liter turbo diesel. This represented the budget version of the Mercedes flagship sedan, if you will, but still cost as much as a small house. I am finally moving up to something slightly newer, a 1997 Audi A8 Quattro. Like the Mercedes, when it was new, its price was similar to that of a small home. There are other similarities and differences, and only recently have I had the opportunity to make any kind of comparison.


Audi 32V V8 Head Job in the A8

Quite some while ago, I bought an Audi A8 Quattro for what seemed like a good price. It was not a bad price, it just wasn't a good price after all. It's been a learning experience, which is automotive slang for I should have spent more money. I haven't become an expert by any means, but I've got a good overview of the vehicle, especially the engine. This is partly because I used Google to translate VAG1 SSP2 105, 161, and 162, which are "V8-Motor", "Audi A8", and "ABS 5 ... Audi A8" respectively, and partly because I've replaced both head gaskets. The following text is adapted from some text I wrote in response to an email question, which came in response to a post on QuattroWorld A8 forum. I thought it might be of interest to others thinking about doing a head job on the 32 valve Audi V8 Motor.

Fixed-Wing Drone on the Cheap

Some little while ago, I picked up an e-Flite Apprentice, a fairly common foam "trainer" model airplane which is normally sold "ready to fly" with everything but the battery and charger. It was part of a lot of stuff that I picked up for ten dollars, and came without the radio. First I repaired it and mounted a HobbyKing HK-T6A v2 radio, but I quickly decided that it should be more than just a plane.

Drone On

Well, I finally built me a drone so's I could fit in with all the cool kids. What follows is a short description of my experience with helpful links for someone else who would like to build a substantially similar quad. I built basically the cheapest quadcopter you could use for anything more than just crashing into stuff, a SK450 whose parts were primarily sourced from eBay — and usually with the very cheapest parts.


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