Active holidays at home: Free-diving in the fjord, canoe-picnicking on Storvatnet, hiking in Sweden, camping on Storheia, bouldering in the city.
After a rather murky and rainy December, snow finally arrived short after midnight of the first day of the new year. As my last day of new-years-holidays turned out to be a perfect cold and sunny winter day, me and a friend went out to Bymarka for a nice cross-country skiing trip. The beautiful sunshine also lured Odin, our local free-roaming pony, out of his shed. The trip of course included a waffles-and-hot-chocolate-stop at Skistua and some wilderness skiing along an unprepared forest trail.
Now that the evenings are getting darker again, I spontaniously went to Digs/BEAR for a concert of 2/3 Harakiri to open the concert season. When I first saw them about two years ago at Verstedhallen, I was blown away by the intense stage-presence of the singer. Since then I have seen him a couple of times in various combinations at the Sunday-Jam-Session at Antikvariatet (of which he is the owner).
The setting at Digs/BEAR worked really well. They were playing inside the big front-window facing the street, much to the confusion of some passing pedestrians.
The first thing you see when you enter Antikvariatet is a relatively normal cosy pub. Only when you pass through the hall, which looks like it just leads to the rest-rooms, you’ll discover the back-room which is a very curious blend of library, living-room, and bar. This is where last Sunday’s concert and open-mic night took place.
First Edvardsen & Sønn, a really talented and entertaining duo of father and son (or son an father 😉 ), were playing the Blues. Later, the stage was open to anyone interested. And there were plenty! As each of them only played two or three songs, there was a great variety in styles. For the last songs, the singer got a mix of rather surprised musicians on stage. Together they performed an amazing interpretation of the classic ‘I Shall be Released’ (video below).
The recent Hak5 episode 1903 inspired me to build a King of the Hill version for quadcopters. Shannon and Darren talked about their acrylic drone-fighting cage, the last-man-standing matches they had, and their future plans including a version of king of the hill.
Since then, I’ve been working on my own implementation of the king of the hill idea based on an old ADJD-S311 Color Light Sensor Evaluation Board from Sparkfun which I still had lying around. Combined with an Pololu A-Star 32U4 Micro for the brains, a single button for input, and an LPD8806 based RGB-LED-strip from Adafruit for output, this made a pretty nice tinkering project.
The micro quadcopters are split into 2 to 4 teams and are marked with differently coloured stickers at the bottom (red, green, blue, yellow).
The light sensor in the centre of the platform is initially passive and set to maximum sensitivity. In combination with ambient light, the A-Star Micro can detect whether the sensor is covered or not. As soon as it detects that the sensor is covered, it is set to active mode. It then evaluates reflected light using a white LED and a lower sensitivity setting. Based on the measured rgb-colour, ‘the brains’ decide which team the drone on the platform belongs to.
After a team covered the sensor for 3 seconds to win a point, the platform needs to be cleared for 5 seconds before another winning point can be gained.
The game play is set-up using the single button. First the number of teams is shown using the LEDs in the vertical stand. Clicking the button iterates between 2, 3, or 4 teams with different colours. After a long-click, the number of winning points are selected. Again by clicking the button 1, 3, 5, or 7 winning points can be selected. The game starts after another long-click with the progress being displayed on the vertical bar. As only a single LED strip is used, additive colour mixing occurs between the teams. The game continues until one of the teams achieves the necessary number of points, upon which the winning team’s colour flashes along the bar in ‘knight rider’ fashion.
The CAD models can be found at Onshape, a really interesting web-based CAD solution done by veterans of Solidworks. (log-in and search for ‘Drone King of the Hill’, couldn’t find a public link … still beta 😉 )
The source code can be found on GitHub and relies on the awesome cross-platform code builder and library manager PlatformIO.
So it has been slightly over two years now, and I must say I love this place. From beautiful nature, interesting city live, and a good music scene to the new water-front with bbq, it has it all!