Can I game on a server?

So i’ve wanted to try this one for a while, can I install a desktop GPU into a server, and pass it through to a VM for gaming on?




Well my server has 128GB RAM, 4 SSDs RAIDed together, and 16 logical processors, so like, why not add a GPU and play some games on it!?


I picked up a GT740 second hand on a buy sell facebook group, and i’ve spun up a VM running Windows 10 x64 to install steam on.


I test fit the GPU into my Dell R210, and it doesnt really fit with the fan on, so removing the fan so its just a heatsink lets it fit, but im not sure if the airflow inside will be enough to cool it down? hopefully.


Its not going in the R210 anyway, its going in the R610.


Ill power it down shortly and test fit it.



OK, I had to cut the end off one of the PCIE slots as the R610 only had x8 slots, but that wasn’t too hard, just some very careful dremel work then a small file to clean it up.


I also had to cut off the little lock part of the GPU, the part at the end of the connector, as the R610 raiser card has a large component there (intrusion detection switch maybe?)

With those two parts removed it fits in well.

The system is taking a *very* long time to boot… but it is booting.


the video is coming from the onboard graphics though.



Okay it booted and detected the GPU correctly, but looks like getting NVidia pci-e passthrough is a pain in the ass…. Might look into an AMD card at some point instead. Until then Ill mark this as a maybe!

Maybe ill migrate all the VMs from the R210 over to the R610 and then setup the R210 with a desktop OS ? hmm

Homemade FPV monitor

Hi guys, I wanted an fpv monitor that had a receiver built in. 
Looking around online there’s some for around $100ish but I already had a spare Sony LCD meant for a reversing camera, and a spare RC832 so I

 figured I would give it a shot !
I disassembled both first, and was pleased to find a little free space in the LCD. 

I positioned things around a bit and used a sharpie to Mark things out to get an idea of if this was feasible. 

It looked like it would work !

The cables it had were huge and thick and had multiple connectors and Yada Yada I didn’t want all that so I just soldered to the convenient break out connector !

I did some final position testing and drilled some holes for the buttons and antenna connector, also drilled a hole and filed it a bit for the LED display on the receiver to see which channel we are on. 

Hooked it up and tested everything before routing the power cable through a hole, the hole I drilled inadvertently had a connector right in front of it when ibsealed up the case, this conveniently served to compress the cable and provide strain relief!! (The connector was unused anyway!)

Everything sealed up and working !

Crude holes but meh they work !
It has a tripod screw hole in the bottom and that slot for mounting. I’ll sort something out to mount it later. 

It has the option to disable blue screen so I can always get as much image as possible even with low signal !

Runs off a 3s lipo. 

Not much room inside for anything else or I would have tried to fit something inside to power it…

Picture looks great ! It’s super bright so should be visible outdoors well enough. 

Das me

That’s all for now ! 

Lasers, Robots and Dinosaurs

Yesterday I decided to visit the Robots and Dinisaurs hackerspace in Meadowbank after work. 

I had been meaning to go there for quite some time, and finally got around to going!

I got on the train to Epping from Central and not too long later I was at Meadowbank station. 

Across the road from the station, around the back of the shops, it was easy to find. 

Knocking on the door a man named James was there to greet us, he let us in, we took a quick glance around, and I knew I was happy to be there!

There is heaps of amazing resources available, machinery, tools, parts, everything a young hacker could need!

James showed us some things he had been working on including a laser cut geared arduino powered compass !

It looks pretty damn cool! Haha

Here is some photos of the space:

Ok fine, some photos of the machines I was keen to learn how to use!

The black laser cutter was the objective today, James showed me how to work the CAD software, how to work with objects, to set the machine up and mark its origin, how to properly attach the material to the work area using magnets, adjust settings, all the things!

He used some scrap wood out of the scrap bin to laser cut and engrave a few die that he had prior designed through (Inkscape?)

They’re pretty cute, and it was amazing how fast the machine works, especially when I was used to the slow speed of 3D printers!

On the topic of 3D printers, the space has a bunch of them, from commercial types, to homemade, to an egg boy that can draw designs on eggs or other round objects!

I decided I wanted to try making a keyboard on the laser machine. I picked out a piece of wood from the new materials section, because I wanted a nice thin piece some MX switches could clip into, and I loaded up some DXF files onto a USB of a design I liked. 

Importing the files into the cutter software was super easy, and within seconds we had realigned the material and had the box for the plate free from obstruction and held down steady!

I hit go and the machine jumped to life !

I took two revisions, the first one had 4 mounting holes, which would be fine for a metal plate, but the wood is too soft and weak for that. 

In the second revision, Mark and James added in a bunch more holes for mounting points !

Much sturdier!

The second one also has a 3mm white acrylic base as that was in the off cuts bin for free. 

The machine is pretty damn good at getting the detail, and for the most part switches fit in pretty well!

While I was doing all this, Mark and James were working on making a completely DIY DC Motor!

They were following a guide and using some enamelled copper wire, paper clips, a hard disk magnet and a block of foam!

It was pretty cool watching them spend hours on it and get really excited when it finally worked!


Fiber, Fibre and Networks

Over the weekend I picked up some fiber gear from the lab, took it home and decided to replace the links between rooms with it!

I brought home my trusty old Lindy switch I got years ago from ByteFoundry, some multimode OM3 cable with LC connectors, and I already had some 850nm optical transceivers at home in my tool box. 

I replaced the run of copper from the core in the living room to the Lindy switch in my bedroom, it’s just sitting there for now, I’ll grab a Lack when I’m near Ikea next and mount it to that. 

This solves my problem of having to do my wired network projects in the living room ! I finally have spare ports in my bedroom haha 

The core switch in the living room has 3 spare SFP ports?, which leaves room for a second link to my room that I could trunk if I setup a NAS in there, and a link to my flatmates room, still leaving a spare port for a link to the veranda or garage if I setup a rack there. 

There’s little benefit to this as the links are still 1gbps but the fiber has a smaller profile physically to the copper so it pleases me. 
Plus it’s nice to play with fiber!
I’ll get some of that Velcro people use over cables to replace the duct tape as that’s already peeling 🙁
Here’s some photos of how it is:

I should get around to setting up a Spillpass hotspot already!

ESP8266 Arduino Pro Micro 

I was looking everybody’s favorite online store for Atmega32u4 based MCUs for a friend and stumbled upon this little guy:

It sure as heck isn’t a 32u4 but it is rather interesting !

It looks like it’s an esp8266 module in the form factor of an arduino pro micro, I’m a bit put off by the $20~ price tag but it would be interesting to see if they have routed the pins to the corresponding ones as for the pro micro. 

Then you could use it as a drop in replacement without even having to change the code, except you would suddenly have the option to add wifi to your project! 
IoT is definitely getting much easier these days to implement than when this blog first started! Hahaha
No more fumbling around with an Arduino Uno with Ethernet and then little dodgy radios talking to other Unos with the same radio…..

Oh man that was hell 

LED Dress was a success!

Hey all!

Just a quick update to let you know the LED Dress was an awesome success!
It looked better than I imagined!

Once again I want to express a huge thanks to Tearschu for making the dress perfectly, and Naifel for modelling it so beautifully! (Thanks Tim for helping too!)
It’s an amazing feeling having an idea and making it become a reality!

Heres some sneak peeks before I get around to editing the photos:





Original post can be found here:

LED Skirt mark 1

I decided that this year for Vivid Sydney, I will do something I have wanted to do for a long time.

I am going to create an LED skirt.

I got the inspiration from SexyCyborg with her LED skirts over here:

My DIY Underlit LED (Hikaru) Skirt

I’m going a slightly different approach though.

Rather than just skirt-underlighting I am commissioning Tearschu to make a frilly skirt similar to this dress here

Edit: found some similar to the look im going for!

Dress I made for my Senior Prom, hope you guys like it!

I am going to be embedding some strips of WS2812B addressable LEDs into the skirt, hopefully it’s going to give a nice washed colour effect into the whole skirt!

I will post progress pictures as I go with the build.

Parts list:

Arduino Nano:
Power UBEC:
attery: Turnigy NanoTech 3s LiPo


Power source:

I am going to use a hobby UBEC that can do 5v at 3-5 amps 🙂
I have linked it above under the parts list. It will be connected to a 3s LiPo battery for powering both the arduino and the LED strip.

The LED strip can draw up to 3.5 amps at 5v at full brightness, this will only really happen if all the LEDs are lit, and white. but to be safe I am investigating power sources that can handle this.

I may end up just using a USB battery bank with its 2.1 amp output.
I am pretty sure thats all ill need.

Nevertheless I have a reddit post in /r/askelectronics over here where I am asking if there’s a better solution!

Some other projects that I may find useful to refer to:


I rigged up a little 3 pixel test strip to get the code worked out, ideally I want to have a push switch that can change between colour patterns / modes.

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I’m looking around to see if this has been done before because I’m terrible at code \o/

I did some testing with a 16 pixel ring to get a better idea of the colour mixing.
I really love the colours that come out of these things, they’re so vivid and will mixed!
I’m getting super excited for this to happen!


The electronics are ready!
I have completed it all and the power supply works and i’ve charged up the batteries!
Check out these pictures:

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The code is ready!
I have uploaded it to GitHub here:
It’s made from a number of places and things mashed together, it has a few modes, and is fully configurable of course.
Tactile switch on digital pin 2, leds on pin 6, set for 60 leds at the moment.
has an off state, a rainbow chase, and a number of solid colours because they’re nice!

And here’s a video of the strip!

More to come…

HamShield Motion Sensor

I am in need of a motion sensor for something, and I have this HamShield that I got from KickStarter recently.


heres some code I have mashed together that *MIGHT* make the radio send an SSTV image when motion is triggered..


I have to rest it and refine it first! its just mashed code from examples!

[su_expand more_text=”Code:” less_text=”Close Code.”]/* Morse Code Beacon Test beacon will transmit and wait 30 seconds. Beacon will check to see if the channel is clear before it will transmit. */ // Include the HamSheild #include #define PWM_PIN 3 #define RESET_PIN A3 #define SWITCH_PIN 2 // Create a new instance of our HamSheild class, called ‘radio’ HamShield radio; int calibrationTime = 30; boolean sensorActive = false; boolean previousSensorState = false; int pirPin = 4; //the digital pin connected to the PIR sensor’s output // Run our start up things here void setup() { // NOTE: if not using PWM out, it should be held low to avoid tx noise pinMode(PWM_PIN, OUTPUT); digitalWrite(PWM_PIN, LOW); pinMode(pirPin, INPUT); digitalWrite(pirPin, LOW); // prep the switch pinMode(SWITCH_PIN, INPUT_PULLUP); // set up the reset control pin pinMode(RESET_PIN, OUTPUT); digitalWrite(RESET_PIN, HIGH); // Set up the serial port at 9600 Baud Serial.begin(9600); // Send a quick serial string Serial.println(“HamShield FM Beacon Example Sketch”); // Query the HamShield for status information Serial.print(“Radio status: “); int result = radio.testConnection(); Serial.println(result,DEC); // Tell the HamShield to start up radio.initialize(); radio.setRfPower(0); // Configure the HamShield to transmit and recieve on 446.000MHz radio.frequency(145570); Serial.println(“Radio Configured.”); Serial.println(“Sensor Calibration in Progress”); Serial.println(“——————————“); for(int i = 0; i < calibrationTime; i++){ Serial.print(“.”); } Serial.println(“”); Serial.println(“Sensor Calibration Completed”); Serial.println(“Sensor Reading Active”); delay(50); sensorActive = false; previousSensorState = false; } void loop() { // takes the pin value and saves it to the sensorActive boolean value if(digitalRead(pirPin) == HIGH) { sensorActive = true; radio.setModeTransmit(); // Turn on the transmitter delay(250); // Wait a moment radio.SSTVTestPattern(MARTIN1); // send a MARTIN1 test pattern delay(250); radio.setModeReceive(); // Turn off the transmitter } if(digitalRead(pirPin) == LOW) { sensorActive = false; delay(250); } // performs action if the state of the sensor changes // since this is a loop, here is now it works: // if the sensor pin goes HIGH (on) after it being LOW (off), the sensorActive value changes from the previousSensorState value. // it then turns on the LED. when the pin goes LOW (off) it will do the same thing but opposite values. // it also prints status to serial. it will print the time of triggering by providing the number of seconds that have passed since the program started. if(sensorActive != previousSensorState) { if(sensorActive == true) { previousSensorState = sensorActive; Serial.println(“—“); Serial.print(“Motion Detected At: “); Serial.print(millis()/1000); Serial.println(” Seconds”); delay(50); } if(sensorActive == false) { previousSensorState = sensorActive; Serial.println(“—“); Serial.print(“Motion Stopped At: “); Serial.print(millis()/1000); Serial.println(” Seconds”); delay(50); } } } [/su_expand]

OLKB Neutrino Keyboard

This week I’m finally making great progress with my hand-wired mechanical keyboard.
I had finalised the electronic hardware a while ago, and now that a colleague has helped me out with programming the Teensy 2.0 the only thing that remains is to get some nice keycaps for it to replace these cheap red placeholder caps, and to create a nice case for it.
I am thinking ill go with something wood, but I am not sure how ill mount it in yet.

I also made a custom USB cable by buying some paracord, slicing the ends off an Astro Gaming USB Cable, spending hours sleeving the cable into the paracord, and then resoldering some connectors to the ends.

The heat shrinks pretty damn messy, ill tidy it up some time but it works for now.

Anyway please enjoy these short albums of photos:

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TBS Discovery Pro Restoration


So this post is going to be basis for a number of updates, essentially I picked up a TBS Discovery Pro quadcopter off ebay for $200 in pretty crummy condition, and im in the process of restoring it to its former glory.

This post is where I will be posting my progress on this, as well as to reddit but eh, this is my turf.

So just for backlog:

Here’s the eBay item page:

Here’s two threads on me trying to identify damaged / broken off components:

So I am restoring this quadcopter….

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Can I just take a moment to vouch for how incredible isopropyl is at cleaning these boards? just look at the photos and see for yourself.

Here’s the auction win screenshot:

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Finally, here is the album of the photos of my initial disassembly / the damage.

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The hardest thing for me is going to be replacing the I2C port on the Pixhawk…

I really don’t know if I can do it, and im worried I’ll mess it up even more..


If you’re great at tiny soldering please hit me up if you can help!

The SD card, I WAS able to pull flight logs and data from it, but I won’t post it here because it probably reveals the location of the previous owner’s home..

From the electronics I have tested, it appears to work, and the telemetry is a 433Mhz 3DR system. (I confirmed later by removing the heat shrink.

The gimbal motors need replacing, and the main motors need new bearings, the I2c port needs replacing, and the receiver needs its antenna to be fixed or replaced. The top board MIGHT not work, I cant test until the gimbal is repaired. but that would be around $220 to replace im told.

Once these are done, I am confident it will fly once more! (oh and two props are fecked)

Ill also need a new telemetry module, as having one isn’t very helpful 😉

The USB port on the Pixhawk was pretty crusty and unreliable, but ordered this and connected it up and we’re back in business!

As I mentioned at the start, Ill update here when I have more to post!