Know How... 143 (Transcript)
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Today on Know How we are showing you a wireless camera system, our future projects, and your questions our answers.
Father Robert Ballecer: Welcome to Know How, it is the twit show where we play with maracas.
Bryan Burnett: Yeah, we had these left over from last night. What is that called?
Fr. Robert: Mobile Focusing in San Francisco.
Bryan: Yeah, it is like a little mini CES.
Fr. Robert: Well, mini, mini, mini, mini…
Bryan: I've never been to CES so I don’t know.
Fr. Robert: You know who has been to CES here? Everyone else on the Know How crew. Out of the three of us. Seriously, we are not here to talk about maracas. We are here because we build, bend, break and upgrade. I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: And for the next minutes we are going to be showing you some of the projects that we have been playing with. So you can take them home and geek out on your own.
Bryan: And this week you are looking at an article about a remote surgeon?
Fr. Robert: Yeah. It’s the future right?
Bryan: Right. The idea is that somewhere a really talented surgeon who can’t physically be somewhere, will remote in like I do for my laptop to my desktop, and will perform surgery on someone with robot hands.
Fr. Robert: Hopefully he doesn’t hit escape right before he is done. It has been the promise for it while. This whole idea of tell us surgery. So you’ve got, in this particular case, the Raven two. It is one of the high end ones, it came out of the University of Washington. The idea is made got a surgeon who has a stereoscopic camera mounted on top of a robotic system. And he has these very fine manipulators that he can use. They don’t look like joysticks they actually go over his fingers so that he can control with a really finite precision what the arms are doing. Because as you can imagine, you are going to need some precision with surgery. This was promised to us. It is the kind of thing that in the future they would do. You can have a really skilled surgeon who does his morning surgery in London, his afternoon surgery in Washington and then in the evening he is in China.
Bryan: And he doesn’t even have to get his hands messy.
Fr. Robert: Absolutely. Now, in this case he is tying knots. Imagine how hard it is to tie knots with surgical thread from a remote distance. In this case he is just next to it. This is just a demonstration. But there is no reason why he couldn’t be doing this from the other side of the planet.
Bryan: I guess there is enough bandwidth? Because this would be going out over the Internet.
Fr. Robert: Yes. That is where our discussion comes in. This all happens over the Internet. The original tele-surgery unit were kind of like dial-up. And it was not good.
Bryan: You don’t want lag when you are doing surgery.
Fr. Robert: How awesome would that be to gain consciousness in the middle of your surgery and hear the dial-up tone?
Bryan: We are getting the doctor back on the line. Hold on one second.
Fr. Robert: You’ve got surgery. So, there is an issue though. This is happening more and more. And this is what I wanted to talk about.
Bryan: This is the broader scope of the Internet of things.
Fr. Robert: Anything connected to the Internet. We didn’t call this the Internet of things when this was first created. But it is an Internet of things. It goes on the Internet and it talks to its base station and a have a communication so that the doctor can see and he can control the arms on the other side. But even though the hardware is brilliant, the software security is bomb. Because they didn’t design it for that. They are now software engineers, they design the hardware and then they designed the software to interface with the hardware. But they never thought that some troll would attack a surgery machine in the middle of surgery.
Bryan: And not really even that sophisticated and attack.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. This doesn’t have to be someone hacking the matrix to get into the surgery machine. This could just be someone spamming that IP address. They may not even know what it is. They might be running a script that is just hitting a bunch of different IP addresses looking for weaknesses. The problem is, because this machine is not harded and because it doesn’t use encryption of any kind, if you throw enough bad packets at it, it does what is called an e-stop. It is a safety feature. It just means the machine will stop whatever it is doing and wait to reestablish connection with the originator. The problem is, if they keep spamming that poor it will never reconnect. I think losing connectivity in the middle of the surgery is probably not a good thing.
Bryan: That sounds really, really scary.
Fr. Robert: It is horrible.
Bryan: So from your experience in enterprise, what would you do to stop something like that?
Fr. Robert: The first thing is you would never put this on the Internet. Not on encrypted traffic. Have some sort of encryption so that people cannot see the traffic. The other thing you could do with this is run what is called a man in the middle attack. Which, there are two ways to do it for this machine. De-DOS it And then pretend like you are the host when it tries to reconnect to you and then you have control of the machine, which is super bad. Or, the other man in the middle attack is when you start injecting weird packets into the stream. In the middle of the surgery the arm might just decide to go whop. This is bad stuff.
Bryan: This is almost like a movie plot now.
Fr. Robert: It is. The funny thing is, the researchers who discovered this law are also from the University of Washington. So it is the same school that developed the technology and now you have a different generation of engineers saying this is cool tech, but this was a really bad idea. Don’t do this.
Bryan: Well, it is not just this that we have talked about. It is cars too. Smart cars that drive themselves. And then having that separate air gap between the system that controls your breaks and the system that is connected to the Internet that does all the entertainment system stuff.
Fr. Robert: We are seeing more and more of this. It really hit in the 1990s and early 2000’s. When companies realized we don’t have to buy a private line. We don’t have to lease a line. A really slow line. For umpteen thousand dollars a month. We could just use the Internet. And it was a cheap way to get connectivity to different branches, which is a great idea because now it means anyone who has an Internet connection can do whatever you want them to do. But something like this, it is a cool idea to be able to do the surgery anywhere but on the flipside, would it ever really be safe? Even with encrypted traffic, to put a machine that actually has its cause inside of another human being, on the Internet.
Bryan: You know, I am sure there will be some failsafe. Maybe there will be a doctor on hand that just pushes the machine out of the way and says I’m getting in there.
Fr. Robert: If that doctor had the skill to do the surgery he would have done it in the first place. And, it is not just robotic doctors, it is not just cars, it is everything that we are putting on the Internet right now. Everything you own that has connection to the Internet. That is your laptop, your watch, your bands, whatever it is you are doing. It is sensors that control everything from traffic lights to power plants. All of these gadgets that were created at the time when they didn’t really worry about security, are now suddenly having to be exposed to a really insecure Internet.
Bryan: So we are having to change our minds.
Fr. Robert: All right. Let’s get away from robot docs who are trying to hack us. We have been reminded by our TD that we may need to move on. All right, so what we have in front of us is a wireless camera system. This particular one was designed for remote control vehicles. Not necessarily quad copters. I have used this on boats, an FPV lunchbox, this one I have set up for use on a quad copter. There are a few things that you are going to need for any kind of wireless system. This is sort of the starter kit. This one came with a kit that I bought from Hobby King for $100, it included everything I need it. This is a receiver and this is the thing that is going to receive your signal. It just outputs to a screen or two goggles or whatever. This is a transmitter, so this is the device that is going to take the video signal that it receives from the camera and it is going to broadcast it at 5.8 GHz. It is a tiny little guy. And of course you’ve got the camera unit and you’ve got antennas. On the other side you are going to have to have some sort of display. This one is a super cheap one. It is a quantum. This entire kit cost $100 versus like if I were to get a Fat Shark where just the goggles could run me $300-$500.
Bryan: Fat Shark is one of the more popular brands.
Fr. Robert: It is a popular brand. Fat Shark, I like Immersion rigs but those are mostly the transmitters. A lot of this gear is interoperable with other gear from other manufacturers.
Bryan: Did you have to put this together yourself?
Bryan: I was wondering why there is glue showing on the sites and stuff.
Fr. Robert: This is literally something you can’t assemble on your own. This is the screen, I bought this one on eBay for four dollars. So this is a screen that you would put in your car so you can look at the backup camera. It is not great resolution but what they have done is created this faux mold and if you look at the back it is a rearview mirror camera. That is actually where you put the little ball. And then they give you this lens that you can move back-and-forth to adjust it to your face.
Bryan: What is the resolution that the camera is putting out anyway?
Fr. Robert: It depends. This camera is decent. It is putting out I think 600 lines of resolution.
Bryan: So you don’t really need a high resolution screen.
Fr. Robert: And, the other problem is that high-resolution cameras would need high bandwidth. We don’t need that.
Bryan: And this isn’t for recording purposes. We just want to be able to see from the point of view of the craft.
Fr. Robert: That is actually a very good point because people think that when you see those videos on YouTube that is what the pilot is seeing.
Bryan: I wish.
Fr. Robert: Never. Unless the pilot has a cable going from the quad copter. He’s got like a 50 foot HDMI cable and is just flying the quad copter around his head. You can’t do that. Just the wireless bandwidth for that would be enormous. Especially since you are moving. We are not trying to give you the run down for all FPV systems right now. We are just showing you the basics. If you are going to create your own you are going to need something to receive the signal, you are going to need something to send a signal and you are going to need something to create the signal. So that is it. You need for basic parts to any wireless camera or FPV system.
Bryan: And this is all put together.
Fr. Robert: Right. So I 3D printed a little pod here so that I could put these in. This is not a great 3-D print by the way, it is okay. But I will make it better. Let me show you really quickly how this would work. I have got this going out to both these goggles and to an up convertor that I installed on the back of the table. If you connect that power, lets turn on receiver, the camera, and turn that one. There we go. So now, we are broadcasting from this camera to the receiver. Go ahead and that these goggles on. Use the slide on the side to adjust.
Bryan: All right. Here we go. I am immersed. It is the future, Padre. Okay. I look as cool as I thought I did.
Fr. Robert: Hold this up because one of the things that we want to talk about when we are dealing with these wireless systems is the polarization of the antenna. Notice that both of these are in the same orientation. They are circular antennas. We are going to explain in a little bit why we want to use circular antennas rather than linear. I am going to go ahead and do a walk around. This is a higher power transmitter. This is transmitting at 500 mW, which technically in this configuration is illegal. We shouldn’t be doing this. A lot of transmitters will come in at 200 or 250. I have even seen them down as little as 50 mW. But most of the time, they are transmitting line of sight. We are going through walls, we are going through ceilings.
Bryan: Here in the studio we have a ton of Wi-Fi signals and stuff. With that interfere with it at all?
Fr. Robert: This is 5 GHz. We do run five and it won’t be running into that. These things will be frequency hopping so that they will try to clear a way from any interference. But, for example this is where Burke spends most of his day. Hi Burke. Hey, you know what? We haven’t had a chance to show the Know It All’s what the Know Hole has been demoted to. There we go. So, the Know Hole is sort of like the crack of no right now.
Bryan: It is pretty tiny now.
Fr. Robert: So, it is not too bad. Considering all the material that we are going through right now. A transmitter like this actually has a decent amount of punch.
Bryan: The video has been pretty solid. There are a little hick up but we are going through walls and stuff.
Fr. Robert: The reason why I am doing this is because we want people to see that what I am doing right now is the equivalent to getting this thing 100 m away from you. But in line of sight. But you are not going to get super steady video. You are going to get jitters, low resolution and breakup.
Bryan: A you know what? I feel like this would be perfect for if I was flying FPV. I don’t need it to be super sharp. This is way better than just trying to fly by sight.
Fr. Robert: Right. Yes and no. You will notice there is very limited depth of field.
Bryan: That is true. That tree is coming up pretty fast.
Fr. Robert: So like right now I am next to this wall that I have no idea that is there. Now, let’s talk about some practical things with wireless cameras. I want to start with the antennas. Because antennas are important.
Bryan: Why are they round?
Fr. Robert: Well, yes. Let’s talk about this. These are circular polarized antennas. When you have a linear antennae you are basically sending out signals 360°. And 90° polarization. So, for example, if I have two linear antennas like this they are receiving perfectly. Turn this antenna like that, and now because of the way they are polarized the signals are only intersecting at one point. That is not great. And I imagine when you’ve got a quad copter your little circular antenna on the top, as you are yanking and banking you are always going to be going in and out of the right plane of polarization. That is not good. What you get with circular polarization is rather than radiating out at 90°, you are going to get a signal that kind of corkscrews away from the Santana. And you are going to intersect at many, many more points and you are going to get much stronger reception.
Bryan: So these antennas are specifically designed for things that are moving around.
Fr. Robert: Let me show you what they actually look like on the inside. Those are encased in plastic. But if you didn’t encase them they look like this. They look like these little Cloverleaf. This is what they look like. Out of focus. Now, this is actually important because there is left hand polarization and there is right-handed polarization. Depending on how and in which direction you been these little cloverleaf. The reason why that is important is because I could operate multiple FPV systems, multiple wireless camera systems right next to each other on the same frequency if I reverse the polarization. So, one is spinning one way and the other is spending the other way and I can actually put them right next to each other.
Bryan: They don't interfere with each other?
Fr. Robert: Very small interference. But most of the time you will be able to burn through that. The important part is that I can have multiple frequencies, multiple antennas and have a front load of systems operating at the same time, which means I can have an FPV race.
Bryan: That is our goal. We are going to do in FPV race.
Fr. Robert: We want to be friendly to other FPV systems so that we have the ability to do things like group FPV flights.
Bryan: That would be kind of cheap if you started and your signal started interfering with someone else’s while you are trying to race.
Fr. Robert: That is one of the things when I go to fly FPV, you actually have a flight line. And anyone that is going to fly in that heat will be on that flight line. You all test your FPV systems and you make sure they are not stepping on each other. And you also are polite. So for example, if I am going to racing with a bunch of other racers I am not going to use my super illegal 1 W transmitter. Because it is going to be super noisy and it is going to blot out the spectrum. There are no rules but there is politeness. Antennas are important so consider the antenna that you are going to use. If this was just going to be a spy cam and it was going to be stationary, then I could use a linear antenna. And I could get great reception. So, what are you doing?
Bryan: Floor cam.
Fr. Robert: Very nice. Another thing about the actual ratio, the higher the ratio of the less likely it is to interfere with someone else. So, in my FPV kit I keep a bunch of antennas because if I am at a meet I can swap antennas. Remember they are a pair so you have the same antenna on each end. To jump away from interference or just bad signal. What you don’t want to do is you don’t want to create the perfect FPV system and never intend to change anything. Because, I guarantee you that some point, especially if you are flying with others…
Bryan: You need to calibrate it.
Fr. Robert: Right.
Bryan: That makes sense. You were saying this was running at 500?
Fr. Robert: This was running 5 GHz and it uses two things. It uses a frequency range within the 5 GHz and it also uses channels with the most frequencies. So theoretically this particular system, if I max it out, I think it can do 32 different systems even if they are all using the same antenna. And actually, Wide Eye has a very good point. There are FCC rules and it is not the strength of the transmitter. It is what calls the EIRP. It is the amount of power that you actually radiate. Which is actually a combination of the transmitter plus the antenna. But, again you don’t want to just blast out a bunch of random RF into the sky because it will mess everybody up.
Bryan: Now that we know how these work, I’m guessing you would strap this whole system to your quad right? Do you hook into the quad copter battery?
Fr. Robert: I do sometimes. I prefer not to. It doesn’t draw that much power, but I don’t like drawing from my main battery.
Bryan: So this will last probably for the flight of 10 minutes?
Fr. Robert: That will last way more. I could run that for hours on that one battery.
Bryan: Because worst-case scenario you were flying your FPV and then all of a sudden…
Fr. Robert: That is the thing. Remember the draw on the battery is constant. It is always going to be drawing the same amount.
Bryan: Whereas on the quad it depends on how much throttle you are giving it.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. And I don’t want to punch out so that would mean I would go full throttle on my quad copter and then it would put the voltage down below what that needs and then suddenly my FPV cuts out. A lot of people won’t do that because it adds weight. Adding another battery adds weight. Even a battery is small is that can take away from performance. But if I am just enjoying myself…
Bryan: If you have something like the 450 you should have more than enough battery to take care of it. Ok, cool.
Fr. Robert: There we go. What we are going to do right now, is we are going to step away from this. We are going to be doing so much more. We just wanted to introduce you to this. We are going to put it in the notes, places where you can buy gear. Don’t buy any gear yet. It is expensive.
Bryan: You whetted my appetite.
Fr. Robert: We want to show you different types of FPV setups. We want to show you something from Fat Shark, something from Father Sky, some Immersion rigs because they all operate a little bit differently. They are not all completely compatible with one another. So before you go off and buy $800 worth of FPV gear, relax. See what the finer points are of setting up a wireless system.
Bryan: All right. I will cool my jets.
Fr. Robert: There you go. Speaking of cooling your jets. Something that your jets could use is fixing. Now we here at Know How, one of the things we do is tear things apart. It is part of our job and it is what we do best. It is what we enjoy.
Bryan: We break and we upgrade.
Fr. Robert: But you have to have the right tools in order to do that. Which is why we swear by iFixit toolkit. iFixit isn’t just a vendor of toolkits, although the toolkit is great. In fact to this particular one we had been using for the better part of 18 months.
Bryan: This toolkit has helped me take apart my Game Boy, the last project I did. I have taken a part in Xbox, phones, laptops, and just about everything.
Fr. Robert: And the reason why it is great is because it really includes everything. This is the bit toolset which includes everything you need to disassemble anything. The security bits, and the try-wing bits, the specialty bits for things like McDonald’s toys.
Bryan: And I replaced batteries on McDonald’s toys for people.
Fr. Robert: And it really is the perfect complement to any project that you might be doing. Because, it is not just tool bits. It is not just driver bits. It is also things like an antistatic strap so that you don’t destroy the electronics you are trying to work on. That little bendy, reach-y thing so that you can get around corners. Tweezers. But my personal favorite are these spongers. So, this is the proper way to open something like a tight laptop case. Don’t be sticking a knife or a flathead screwdriver into it.
Bryan: I needed one of those plastic spongers when I did Shannon’s Nexus five. I didn’t want to scratch up the screen.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. So, you have the right tools for the right job. That is exactly what iFixit is all about. It is not just tools, they also give you repair guides for pretty much everything that you might need. They’ve got a full proof instructions to fix your iPhone screen, your red ring of death on your Xbox, swap the battery in your galaxy X5. They’ve got those repair kits on tap so that you are not just left guessing what you should do next. Aside from this kit, it is backed by a lifetime warranty and it is only $64.95. Which means you are going to get a kit which is going to stay with you, or with the one you love if you are going to give it as a gift. Hobbyists and home DIYers and fixers alike, use this ProTech toolkit for everything from quad copters to computers, door knobs, eyeglasses, cabinet doors, sink fixtures and more. And best of all, with those iFixit toolkits you can fix it and iFixit can help. Now, with iFixit you can become the DIY maker that you have always known you could be. Visit for more than 10,000 free step-by-step guides. I fix that also sells every part in tool that you will need. Enter the code know-how at checkout and you will save $10 off any purchase of $50 or more. Folks, we want to help you. And iFixit wants to help you too. Visit and use the code Know How to save $10 at checkout. We thank iFixit for their support of Know How. Bryan this is the part that you should’ve been doing.
Bryan: I wasn’t sure if it was now or later.
Fr. Robert: We’ve got Alex just riding us here.
Bryan: Next time, Alex. Just bring a saddle out here on the set.
Fr. Robert: Now folks, what we wanted to do for this next segment is to show you some of the projects that the two of us have been working on. To give you a better idea of what goes on in the Know How. Because we show up every week with little geeky things that we have been doing. Game boys, quad copters and computers. But, I would say there are probably at least half the stuff that we start doing doesn’t make it to the show. Either because it doesn’t work, or we just decide this is just not something our audience is going to like.
Bryan: Usually by the time we bring something to the show, we have worked on it two or three times. So we take it apart and put it back together several times.
Fr. Robert: We have to do that because if we don't do that, we can’t really tell you how works.
Bryan: The first time is to figure out how works, the second time is to make sure it still works and the third time is to document and edit everything.
Fr. Robert: Because, especially when we do those pre-recorded videos that actually takes a lot of time. It is the best way to show you the steps. So here are a few things that I have been working on. This is so jank. It is falling apart as I’m holding it. We have been playing with gimbals for a while. This is a gamble that you would buy for something like a quad copter. This is actually really inexpensive. That is not supposed to be happening. Okay. Let’s try to power up sequence again. This is why, we have to do it several times. Again, and again, and again. It’s going to work this time. Oh, I know why. Because the sensor fell off. That sensor is supposed to be bolted on, I guess my super special sticky tape didn’t work so well.
Bryan: I can see why you didn’t bring this project before.
Fr. Robert: This is attempt number one. It is using the super cheap gimbal which actually works really well. But, I've customized the firmware but what I am also doing is adding this little servo mechanism here so that I can change the angle on the camera. This part is the only part that actually works really well. I have already tested it but I need to put a bit more weight on the base and I’m probably going to put his stand on either side so I can just put this on the ground. But it is super smooth. You can get those shots just off the ground where you are running and when you look at the video it just looks like butter. And then what I decided was a big problem with GoPro cameras is you can actually see what it is filming. You just kind of hope to get the shot.
Bryan: From years of experience you just kind of have an idea of what it is pointing at.
Fr. Robert: So I have added this. This is a CT five monitor that I have from Marshall. It is great because it is professional quality. This looks really good and it is perfectly color balanced. And this will be connected through this PVC to the go Pro camera. So that I can actually see on top and adjusted for any angle I want. While the go Pro is actually filming. Now, in the second mockup there are a couple things I want to do. I do want to add those legs, I want to put all the wiring internally and I want to add a battery compartment so that it is not just strapped onto the bottom here. This will actually be integrated into the PVC itself so that it is literally a thumbwheel. And I am also thinking about adding an attachment so that I can change the orientation. I can either have the camera at the top or at the bottom you just flip it.
Bryan: Depending on how you want to do your motion.
Fr. Robert: I am probably going to get rid of this arm is because this arm really screws up the back.
Bryan: I noticed earlier it didn’t seem very stable.
Fr. Robert: Not great. The other thing that I have noticed about this is I made it really top heavy with this monitor. So I am going to have to figure out a different balancing. Either add weight to the bottom were just reduce weight from the top.
Bryan: So, with all these components but together how much do you think this has cost you? Minus the go Pro.
Fr. Robert: Minus the go Pro, with this monitor this is a $150 setup. It is not bad at all.
Bryan: There are stabilization sticks on Amazon that I wanted to look at. It looks like it is going at an angle.
Fr. Robert: I designed it for that.
Bryan: They are like $300, the nice ones.
Fr. Robert: If I took the monitor away, including the gimble this is about $50. Not bad. That is my firmware. So, this is attempt number one, I am going to have to refine it in attempt number two. I am probably going to have four or five different prototypes before I finally bring it on the show. Because, this is a bit more involved. And you don’t want someone to assemble something and then be $150 into it and say this is junk.
Bryan: It seems like you have harvested some components that we have used on previous projects.
Fr. Robert: And that is one of the things that you want in your maker workshop. You want enough parts so that you can put things together after you are done. Let’s go ahead and put that aside. That is only one of the projects that we have going on. One of the other things that I wanted to show you with this. This one is going to be cool. Let’s put this on the floor. We’ve got so much junk on this table right now.
Bryan: It’s all slight someone was supposed to clear it during the break.
Fr. Robert: I know. I don’t know who that could’ve been though. So one of the things that we have been lamenting is when we do shots with this the props get in the way right?
Bryan: Yeah. The edges of the camera.
Fr. Robert: So, the alternative was to put it at the bottom like a gamble. Were you could get buttery smooth shots. But the problem is these landing legs don’t go down far enough so you have to add landing legs and then you have the same problem.
Bryan: I’ve seen some of the landing legs that you had and it is not an elegant solution.
Fr. Robert: It is not. So, what if we had a way where you could have landing legs that extended down to here to keep the gimbal off the ground. But then once you got into the flight they would just tuck away.
Bryan: Is it the new DJI that kind of lifts up?
Fr. Robert: So I picked up these for five dollars apiece. At my local surplus store. Let me just show you what is going to do. What we have here is a failure to communicate. What we've got are these for and these will go on the four corners of the quad. And I’ve got a simple servo trigger here. When I go all the way over to the other side… so what you do is, you have a metal landing rod that is attached to each of these and once you get in the air you retract it and…
Bryan: They fold in under here.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. so you would have the landing gear out from here and then as soon as you get airborne you would retract it and they would tuck in. And the camera would no longer be able to see them.
Bryan: Could you do this remotely? I mean you would have to right?
Fr. Robert: This is triggered by the receiver. So this is just a receiver cable. The cool thing about these is that you are not going to have a problem with the landing gear partially retracting. This only has two settings. There is all the way on one side and all the way on the other side. Anything in the middle won’t trigger it. So, it is actually super positive. They retract really quickly so you can make yourself a nice set up and just make it clean.
Bryan: They don't feel that heavy either.
Fr. Robert: Don’t put these on the 250. You definitely want a 450 for this because this will add 20 g. By the time you have added the metal landing gear it is going to be a little bit weighty.
Bryan: But this is going to be on a camera system. So you are going to be going with something that is already kind of weighty, you are going to be using a bigger battery.
Fr. Robert: And to get the landing gear out of the shot that is just priceless.
Bryan: Yeah, because there is nothing you can do about that. It is not like you can edit them out.
Fr. Robert: So that is another project that I’m working on. This hasn’t even gone to the first mockup stage. What I have done is I have actually printed up some 3-D printed housings for this to attach to these arms. Because right now I am basically just using zip ties. It’s not very elegant. But you don't want one landing gear to collapse because then there is no way to land.
Bryan: With your valuable camera on the very bottom.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. If you have a $400 go Pro or a $500 go Pro strapped to a gamble on the bottom of your quad copter you don’t want your quad copter landing on it. And something else that I’m actually trying to do is I am trying to tie these and to a more advanced flight controller. So that if it starts to run low on battery it actually deploys the landing gear. So then if it has to crash at least it is not going to crash with all the really expensive stuff. I know. I am always thinking worst-case scenario.
Bryan: That is smart. I can't stop thinking about…
Fr. Robert: By the way, these are PWM controlled. So you could trigger this from a Raspberry Pi or from an Arduino.
Bryan: What other projects could we play with? Maybe a door for the Know Hole?
Fr. Robert: Something else that I have been playing with is this. This is something that is going to be used on FPV system. Not for a quad copter but for the lunchbox FPV. So, all this is, is to servos I have been tied together by a little thing that I 3-D printed.
Bryan: So for people who don’t remember the lunchbox was our little monster truck remote control car that we did. How long ago?
Fr. Robert: That was a awhile. That was last year. One of the early episodes with the two of us. So, what this allows us to do is this is going to be tied to the RC system of the lunchbox and now little camera that we had for the wireless system is actually going to attach to the top here and I will have control via other channels to where it is panned and tilted to.
Bryan: Oh, that is neat.
Fr. Robert: Because this is going to solve that problem we had with those wireless cameras which is lose a lot of your peripheral vision. So with this, I am actually going to have a head tracking unit on my goggles so if I look to the left it is going to turn to the left, if I look to the right it is going to turn to the right.
Bryan: That is awesome. So this will sit on the very top shelf?
Fr. Robert: This sits on the top shelf of the lunchbox.
Bryan: You could put it on the inside of the lunchbox. And then you would be like looking out the mirrors.
Fr. Robert: Than I would have Greg decorate the inside. The stereo, the cupholder. So that is something else we are going to be working on. We have the gimble, we’ve got the landing gear, we’ve got that little FPV system. The last thing I want to show off is actually this. We are going to be doing a bunch of projects that are going to be dealing with Synology NAS’s. I don’t want to endorse just one company for one product but Synology does really really well. And so, what we have been doing is showing people how specifically to set up the best filesystems that they possibly can. This is more practical stuff. We get a lot of questions about building a file server, which is great. But I’ve got Free NAS boxes that I have turned off because these are more efficient and they are actually faster.
Bryan: And how much is the cost compared?
Fr. Robert: Not much. This box is like $200. This is a two bay, ultrafast, 2 Gb Ethernet ports, I use this as a backup. It is a super-fast NAS that I use for video editing.
Bryan: What kind of hard drive to you have in it?
Fr. Robert: This one I believe I have three TB Reds.
Bryan: So in that last episode when we recommended the Reds because they don't make a lot of heat and they last a long time.
Fr. Robert: And I actually had this running in raid zero because I have a second one. I actually have two of these and this one runs as a backup. I have been using one drive for backup inside of the raid and so I just have two raids that act as a backup. But, one of the big things about this is that it does security station for free. People have been asking about connecting network cameras to their network and then reporting the feed. Well this will let you do it out of the box. It is not an add-on. And actually there was a little device I saw at Interom, the DS414 Slim which they are going to be sending to us and we will be taking a look at him just a little bit. In fact, Alex why don’t you go ahead and show them what I saw at Interom.
Fr. Robert: I’m Father Robert Ballecer, the Digital Jesuit here at Interom 2015 in Las Vegas. I am standing with Franklin who is going to explain why your next NAS maybe Slim. Thank you very much for talking to me. Now you released a product back in 2014 and it completely passed my email box, I didn’t hear about it but I love it. Tell me about the 414 Slim.
Franklin: So let’s take a look at the new DS414 Slim. As you can see right here the DS 414 slam is a four bay, 2 1/2 inch solution. It uses four, 2 1/2 inch bays and you can use mechanicals or SSD’s. We currently support up to 2 TB on this guy. It is a Synology NAS that does the same great functionality. Retails under $400 and yes it is a four bay solution. The fan only turns on when it needs to so if you use a pure SSD environment it is very quiet. It is silent.
Fr. Robert: I have been toting around two and four Bay NAS’s when I really need to. When I am doing an off-site project. But the idea that I can carry something in my backpack and Synolgy NAS’s are already pretty light that something this small, this slam with that much capacity and that much redundancy that makes it just really nice. How have these been selling?
Franklin: These have been selling very good. We have a lot of customers who are interested in these and some of them are in home environments and some and businesses. Even remote offices. Sometimes you get a project site, you go to one site and set it up and get your network programmed into your project. Done. Close the site and move to the next. Bring it back up, get everything going, close it and move on. We have a lot of customers that use the war one for slam for that specific application because if you deploy pure SSD’s it is read it. That is the key thing. It is rugged and you don’t have to worry about dropping it or shaking it. These are probably damaged mechanical drives from doing this. But with pure SSD environment you don’t have to worry about mechanical problems.
Fr. Robert: We are definitely going to want to get a 414Slim on Before You Buy, but here is the funny part. That is not even my favorite bit about this first look. Because inside of every Synology NAS, is an operating system that is feature packed. I want to talk about one of those features and that is the surveillance station. It is with every single Synology NAS that you ship today. What does it do?
Franklin: So, Synology surveillance station basically turns your Synology NAS into a network video recorder. I am going to take a little demonstration right here. This is what you normally see whereas with Synology DSM, but I have already installed the Synology surveillance station app so I am going to tap right here and I am going to load surveillance station and is already loaded right here. Jump into surveillance station and turn on my live view. I've got a camera right here and this is the live view from that camera, it is getting loaded. I can do tap around, so basically with Synology surveillance station it turns everything into a network video recorder, but this on your network and you have a network video recorder. So you can record. We are compatible with over 3000 different ID cameras from over 80 different brands. We have PTZ support, we have it where you can record high definition cameras, standard, up to 30 frames per second. We got it all. And also we have notification built-in. So if you turn on motion recording you can get an alert that someone has stripped a certain area of your door perimeter and you can get the alert on your phone. We also have a time view management so you can view multiple streams concurrently and you can track what has happened. How about we also have it where if I am wearing a hat and I am walking around in the frame ring a hat you can set up a surveillance station where it starts searching all the video where is the guy with the hat. You can figure out how many times I have been in your building. It is great for the home, great for businesses and if you want network video recording, we got it.
Fr. Robert: I was wrong. This is not just for Before You Buy, we are also going to have to show this on Know How because I know there has been a lot of people asking about DDR’s and this kind of capability. Well, maybe you could just get it when you get your next NAS. Franklin, thank you so much for talking to us. If they want to find out more about Synology where do they go?
Franklin: So for any of our customers who are interested and want to know more about Synology products please check out the website and you can click on surveillance station and you will see everything I have talked about right here. If you are interested in the DS 414 slim just kick on the product link.
Fr. Robert: I was absolutely exhausted after that interview. It was the beginning of the conference and he was…
Bryan: Super excited?
Fr. Robert: You know how you get carb load before a bicycle race? I think he had done that with coffee. That was the third take and I kept saying dude, you've got to slow down.
Bryan: He was just really excited.
Fr. Robert: Really excited. I did want to let him on later for Enterprise Tech and he was so much slower. I do like those Synology’s and they are sending us the 414. I do want to show people what you can do with it. All of Synology’s NAS’s, a couple people in the chat room had it dead on, they can be a little bit pricey. You can get cheaper NAS’s but the quality of the bill, the operating system and what they include in the box. It blows everyone else away.
Bryan: But what you are saying during the break is that it is pocket-size. Very big pocket-size. But that is something you could pick up and take with you.
Fr. Robert: And it is dead silent. It is so quiet. And actually, we are going to be loading them up with these. We’ve got these savages from Kingston. Not only is it going to be superfast, but it is going to basically be indestructible. It is not like a hard drive where you put enough shop to it it is going to disintegrate. These are not.
Bryan: Or if you drop it or something. You don’t have to worry about it.
Fr. Robert: So, we have that to look forward to as well. Now we are going to be jumping into a little bit of feedback. I know the episode is running a little bit long. Isn’t it strange how we always seem to pack a bit too much?
Bryan: It is just because we have so much knowledge that we are trying to get out.
Fr. Robert: But before we do that, let’s go ahead and take a moment to thank the second sponsor of this episode of Know How. And it is Braintree. now if you don’t know what Braintree is, you are going to know soon enough because it is the easiest way to add payments to your website. Now, Bryan. I’m a much older person than you.
Bryan: Not that much older.
Fr. Robert: Yeah. Like 20 years older.
Bryan: But you don’t act that much older is what I was going to say.
Fr. Robert: Okay, I’m immature but age wise I am. I come from a time before people figured out how to make money on the inter-web thing. And actually when we started adding payments, when we started adding ways to give donations or maybe to pay for services and products it was all sort of well, you make your own solution and hopefully it doesn’t get compromised.
Bryan: Sort of a patchwork system?
Fr. Robert: Yeah, the very first e-commerce system I ever created it took me like three months just to come up with it. It had never been done before.
Bryan: I’m sure at the time you just wanted to focus on the stuff that you liked.
Fr. Robert: I would work a little on the e-commerce system and then go back to doing something that was fun. Because it is a nightmare. The way my original system worked was you could accept payment securely but there actually had to be someone to verify each transaction on to the financial network. It was not good. Well there is an easy way to do it, Bryan.
Bryan: And that is Braintree. And it sounds like it is pretty simple to implement.
Fr. Robert: Ten lines of code. That is it. 10 lines of code and you can add the Braintree API to pretty much anything. If you want to put it into an app, put it onto a website, accept donations, except payments for services, Braintree has got it all.
Bryan: And it will do different currency exchange rates.
Fr. Robert: Absolutely. You could use credit cards you could use Vitmo, you could use BitCoin, pretty much any way to pay Braintree is going to let you do it.
Bryan: Cool. Kevin Rose was on screensaver last week and he was saying one of the last things he was doing at Google ventures was trying to get Braintree but they couldn’t.
Bryan: Now I just need to make an app. So I can use it.
Fr. Robert: Jeff Needles has an app. All right we are going to do a little bit of feedback because we do value your support and we want to make sure we answer some of your questions. What have we got for the first one Bryan?
Bryan: So our first feedback question is, “So I'm thinking about a new project making a plex server. I'm thinking that considering that I have the budget, I would get a bunch of SSD drives for the media storage since the would not be a lot of writes to the drives (maybe using a WD black drive for the temp drive). Since 1tb ssd drives are available, but expensive, and I can put a ton of them in my old Victrola cabinet, it would be a good long term solution to media storage since I won't be writing very often. Chances are a lot of sectors would only be written to once, maybe twice. What are your thoughts? Looking for second opinions…”
Fr. Robert: Chris I love the project. You are going to get a lot of hate from people who think you shouldn’t tear apart that cabinet. It is kind of a classic. But I’m betting it is not working anymore and it doesn’t look like it is in great shape. So you are actually refinishing it. I understand what you are saying. Some people on the thread have already said this is stupid why would you use SSD for media. I know exactly why. They are fast and no power. What he wants to do is create a big chunk of storage. He says cost is no obstacle.
Bryan: The man has a Victrola, obviously cost is not an issue.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. So he can put a bunch of these in that cabinet, not generate a bunch of heat and here is the best part. Remember what wears down SSD’s.
Bryan: It is the read and writing.
Fr. Robert: Just the writing. Because reading does nothing. What wears down the SSD’s are the writes. It is a media server which means you’re just loading up a bunch of DVDs or whatever else.
Bryan: And that information is just staying there. And then you are just reading it.
Fr. Robert: It writes once and then it just stays. So as long as you are not over writing files and deleting stuff you don’t have to worry about wearing down the SSD’s. In fact, you don’t even have to go with something like the Savage. I would use this for high performance application.
Bryan: I want to try to have a gaming.
Fr. Robert: Actually we are doing a project with these. I should have mentioned this and future projects. We are redoing the desktop, the power desktop. Remember that benchmarks that we did?
Bryan: Wasn’t the conclusion SSD?
Fr. Robert: It was always SSD. But we are now doing one where people have asked specifically, not benchmarks show was something like Adobe Premiere. What is the best way to make a video editing machine. So we are going to be showing what a high-performance SSD’s, video cards, CPU’s and memory can do for that. I actually don’t know how this is going to turn out. But, back to this thing. You can go with low end SSD’s, not the super budget ones. Not the fastest on the market because it is still going to be faster than your network interface. And, I would say yes do this. This sounds like a fun project and when you finish it make sure to send us pictures. Because I would love to see what kind of Frankenstein’s monster you create.
Bryan: I would definitely like to check that out too. So we move onto the next feedback? This one comes from Eric Ellsinger. “Gone buy a new soldering iron before my first real quad build and saw that they sell a 25W and a 40W version, I'm guessing the 25W will be enough? Or should I get the 40W?” Hmmmm, that’s a tough question.
Fr. Robert: Okay, so here’s the thing. Here is a 40 W and here’s a 25 W. They are exactly the same price and these are both kind of junk.
Bryan: Most of the soldering irons that we have been using our junk.
Fr. Robert: I have one really good soldering iron and I don’t use it that often because I don’t want people to think that you need to go and buy an $800 soldering station to do the projects that we do. You have seen the close-ups of my tips. They are garbage tips. Here is the thing about 25 W versus 40 W. 25 will work for most all applications, especially the ones that we do. Simple soldering. But what 40 what does is it gives you the ability to advance a tiny bit. Let me explain this. For example, when I am soldering connectors I need to transfer enough heat into that connector in order to melt the solder but not melt the surrounding plastic. It is not great to use a 25 W because a 25 W is going to need too much contact with that metal before it heats it to the point where it will melt solder. So, what you want in that case is you want really quick heating, which means a 40 W or above, but when you are using higher power irons it also means you are transferring a lot more heat. So you do have to be quick.
Bryan: So I guess that comes with practice?
Fr. Robert: It comes with practice. And what I say is, these are so cheap. This one was five dollars and this one was maybe $10. These are so cheap why not pick up both, start with the 25 W and figure out when you need to start going up to more and if you feel like you've got a little bit of extra money, why not buy one of the 80 W Welder station that actually has the variable temperatures.
Bryan: And then you can dial it in.
Fr. Robert: Right. But it is practice. Practice, practice, practice. You are going to find that most cases 25 works just fine. When you start working with fine components where you have to be really worried about spreading too much heat, you probably are going to want something with a little higher wattage. But you need the practice so that you can do it really quickly because you can’t just stick it on the component and wait because you will destroy stuff.
Bryan: Okay, cool. Soldering is a fine art that I am still trying to get the hang up. But I love doing it.
Fr. Robert: I am bad at soldering but I love it.
Bryan: Once you put everything together…
Fr. Robert: I like that high that I get when I am breathing it.
Bryan: You know what? I was like how bad can it really be? It’s pretty awful. So final feedback. I’m getting dizzy from spending. This comes from Eddie Hughes. Just sit still We’ve got video for this. “Anyone know why my 450 class yaws so much? It is constantly turning clockwise and is hard to control. I have no yaw control on my transmitter. I am using the APM 2.6 flight controller but everything else except the landing skids are stock from the know how list. I have re-calibrated my accelerometer, compass, and esc's a bunch of times as well as auto-trimmed and auto-tuned but nothing seems to work. I tried different flight modes, (loiter, althold, acro, sport, drift, etc...) but nothing allows me to regain my yaw control on my transmitter. In the video I had RTL engaged and this was the result. Any help is appreciated!”
Fr. Robert: First of all, Eddie I feel your pain. He actually gave us permission to use this. I don’t want to make fun of him. This actually does happen. The first time I put the 450 up I was having the exact same problem.
Bryan: I'm glad he sent us the video. Because I would probably just tell him to lay off the stick.
Fr. Robert: Most of the time when you have yawing, it is going to be trim. So you just have to go and change it. This was incredible yaw. It didn't seem like he was fool over on the stick and it didn’t stop. So obviously there was something else wrong. What I actually asked him to do was to do me a favor and take a picture of your quad and post it so that I could look at it. This is what he sent me. It looks like a standard quad but what I noticed almost immediately is that if you look at the rotation of the propellers, and remember this is upside down so the bottom right hand corner is number one in the bottom left is number two, the top left is number three and top right is number. Remember number one and number three should be rotating in the same direction number two and number four should be rotating in the same direction. And that is not the case. In this case he actually flipped the top two. Number one is actually spinning counterclockwise and number two is spinning clockwise.
Bryan: That is not a bad fix then. It’s not like he has to replace hardware.
Fr. Robert: All he had to do was swap the leads on the motors. And then flip the propellers. But it was amazing and so this is why wanted to bring this up. What was amazing is that the thing was actually flying at all.
Bryan: So you should be impressed with yourself, Eddie.
Fr. Robert: He had the two clockwise on this site and the two counterclockwise on that side. How is that even going up?
Bryan: Based in our reality of physics, we are not sure how this works.
Fr. Robert: He said he had flipped it and he is flying great now. That is what we want. Especially when you run into trouble, post, post, post.
Bryan: Video helps to and pictures also. Cool.
Fr. Robert: That is all the time we have for this episode of Know How, in fact we have gone way over. Next week we do need to do the in-depth segment on this FPV. We are going to show you exactly how this FPV system works, How to install one and how to assemble the kit. And, I believe we are also going to be doing a little something something on a network question.
Bryan: Alex was suggesting that we have these on our heads for the next show and then we just do the whole show like this. Are you cool with that? He’ll do the switching.
Fr. Robert: Anyway, we know this was a lot of material. Make sure to go to our show page that you can find where, Bryan?
Bryan: That is at twit.tv/kh. All our previous episodes are there too. Definitely check out the detailed show notes because Padre will have all his links and you do the price out so everything is listed.
Fr. Robert: I do the price out, but please do not buy the FPV stuff yet. I know people want to jump out there and buy it that you don’t want to buy the wrong gear. Find where your comfort zone is going to be, we are going to show you that over the next couple of episodes and then buy the right stuff.
Bryan: Cool. And that is not the only place you can find us online.
Fr. Robert: You can find us on our Google plus page. Go to Google plus and look for the Know How group. We’ve got over 8500 members. Seriously, aside from maybe the All About Android community we’ve got the most active group in twit.
Bryan: It is super active. And we get videos. We get crash videos.
Fr. Robert: Folks, I do like your feedback and please keep writing. I am a grumpy pants sometimes but I really do like hearing from you and we pool a lot of our segments straight from that group. So please go in, ask questions, post pictures of your projects and we will get as much as we can on the show.
Bryan: Absolutely. And there is also twitter.
Fr. Robert: You can find me on twitter @PadreSJ.
Bryan: And I’m @cranky_hippo.
Fr. Robert: And our TD is @anelf3. until next time, I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: And now that it is raining…
Bryan: Go, get some water! Go do it!