1 (edited by Materdaddy 2012-06-04 22:22:19)

Topic: Other Hobbies?

Just curious what types of hobbies the other people on this forum have.

A few of my hobbies even somewhat intersect with my Chumby addiction.  More on that below!

* Jeep/Off Highway Vehicle use
* Ham Radio
* Electronics - specifically synchronizing my Christmas lights to music!
* Beer (tasting, brewing)

Ideas I've had that tie into my hobbies are as follows:

I am an avid Jeep owner and OHV enthusiast and would love to have cameras in a few locations for multiple reasons.  First, self spotting on difficult runs.  I'd love to have a display in the Jeep that I can see tire placement.

Another one for Jeeping: I record video on a lot of runs and would love to be able to control my GoPro cameras.  I recently bought some break-out boards for that, but am not that great at SMD soldering...  Those pins are small!

I'm a ham radio operator and I recently purchased a ~$20 DVB tuner that can be used as a software defined radio.  I think it would be fun to have the chumby be the interface for that.

Brewing - There's already a few projects out there to do temperature control, data logging, etc. for fermentation and I think the chumby devices are a perfect platform for another.  (UberFridge, Brewtroller, KegBot, etc.)  Specifically the Infocast 3.5" since it has some easily accessible GPIOs for temp sensors/relays.  Or put something like the MCP23017 (i2c to gpio) on the i2c bus.

Home Automation - I designed a sprinkler controller that uses a custom protocol over RS485 so my sprinklers are run by cron.  I have long wanted to write a quick little UI for a chumby to be the control point of that, and in the future other home automation devices.  The sprinkler controller was just the first thing I actually worked on at the time.  I'm still mulling over ideas for other things.

Christmas Lights - I synchronize my lights to music.  Last year was my first year and I've learned a lot about electronics.  I'm an avid linux user and m$ hater, so the fact that all of the good sequencing software is windows only was a big hurdle for me.  I used an old laptop last year because I didn't have enough time to finish a project I started which was to read files created from sequencing software that ran in windows and play it back on a chumby.  The proof-of-concept code I had for that project is here: https://github.com/Materdaddy/BahChumbug and a demo video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD-Y0s2PzDk

To get started with all of these projects, last week I got Qt compiled and was running through some of the test/demo apps and saw the post about somebody else getting Qt going.  I wish they would join this forum and contribute to all of our efforts!  My plan was to make a quick/dirty UI for controlling pianobar for when Chumby's servers die, my garage C1 can still play pandora when I'm working on stuff out there.

Linux Guy - Occasional Chumby Hacker

Re: Other Hobbies?

Seems to be lots of these "getting to know you" posts lately smile

Electronics is my main job but it started as a hobby, as a kid I'd constantly tear apart my toys and scavenge motors and lights out of them.

Photography is my biggest hobby, I've been doing it for almost 10 years now. Started with a zero bells and whistles HP 2MP point and shoot and now I have multiple dSLRs (5DMKII, t2i, IR converted 10D) and studio lights, speedlights, wireless triggers etc. Feel free to check out my work at jphphotography.ca I just redesigned my site last night so let me know what you think about the site and/or my photos smile

Its funny you mention HAM. My main job in electronics deals heavily with RF communications so last November on a whim I decided I'd challenge the test and passed my advanced qualifications. I picked up a Wouxun UVD1P(I think thats right) but have yet to actually go on air with it smile At some point I'd really like to look into the packet radio stuff.

I've always got some type of project going and like learning new things. Two years ago I quit smoking (started again unfortunately) and needed something to keep busy, I had figured out how to make some chainmail hacky sacks and then kept going and learned other patterns. I don't wear necklaces or bracelets so everything I was making was either going to my then girlfriend or other female friends. That ties in with another hobby which is coming up with Celtic knotwork designs, I'll zone out while watching TV and sketch, the complexity of the patterns and the rules for always going over and under just somehow puts me into a zen state lol. Some of those designs can be found on my photography site above and some I've turned into T-Shirt designs I sell on my Redbubble storefront

Another main hobby is music though in recent years its dropped off. I play guitar, some keyboard, and like to make my own beats.

I've also played around with woodcarving, turning wooden pens, painting etc. Basically I hate being bored.

The Chumby stuff has been fun, I only just found out about these devices when all of the sites like Engadget etc were reporting on its demise. At work a lot of the products we make (and I repair) use embedded linux and I was lost whenever I really had to do anything in them. I wound up buying a hackable NAS from dealextreme.com which allowed for a custom firmware to be installed, using this I was able to set it up as a torrent downloader and media server for all my tv shows and movies. Later I discovered the Pogoplug and put Debian on one, now it serves as my torrent downloader and media server but is much more stable. That stuff got me interested more in embedded systems and now I found the Chumbies smile I'm no linux guru by any means but now at work half the time I'm showing others how to do stuff so its been win win!

As for the QT stuff, was it Doug Brown you were talking about? I just came across his blog the other day because he had detailed instructions on compiling your own chumby toolchain and adding QT. Through the comments section I was getting some help with trying to cross compile MPD for the chumby.

Anywho I'm rambling, later.

3 (edited by bobsz 2012-06-05 23:10:08)

Re: Other Hobbies?

I have a couple of pretty normal hobbies that don't need much explanation, and a couple of unusual ones. The normal ones are gardening and photography. I grew up in the suburbs, but my father always had great gardens. There were even traces from the farmers who'd been there before the houses: Fruit trees, and a whole fence full of "wild" concord grapes. Wherever I've lived I've had some kind of garden, from a little city window box to big gardens of "heirloom" vegetables and flowers. Photography didn't hit me until High School, and I got to be a serious amateur in the film days. I always liked "snapshot" pictures, and tried some antique cameras for a while. I slacked off pictures briefly, but came back to it when things went digital. For a few early years Kodak made something called PhotoCDs. You'd take film pictures, and they'd make high-res digitized copies on CDs. It was the best of both worlds, film and digital. Unfortunately, Kodak just dropped the format after about 5 years. Yeah, another beautiful thing people just didn't "get," like the Chumby.

A simple "hobby" that I've always loved is radio. Never a participant like a ham, just a listener. I was amazed as a kid what distant stations I got on my "transistor" radio at night. Then I got into listening to shortwave from around the world. I had this huge radio with enough tubes to heat a small house. Internet radio is more than I could ever hope for, so that's a real favorite thing now, and that's why I bought my first Chumby. I also dabble in astronomy, meteorology and other "spacey" things.

Something that's not really a "hobby" is appreciating the area I've lived in for the past 20 years, after "escaping" Manhattan. The town is East Atlantic Beach, on a barrier island off the coast of Long Island. Yeah I know California owns the concept of "the beach," but it's different here. I can walk one block south to the Atlantic Ocean, one block north to the Bay. Until recently, every block was full of amateur fishermen, so people were always handing you some fresh catch. Few houses have yards, so the kids grow up on the beach. Anyway, there's a genuine nautical feel to it, everybody very much in touch with the surroundings. Every neighbor knows the wind direction and can guess the speed, and watch the clouds for the weather. (We're only a few feet above sea level. It's kind of like living on a boat.) The architecture's amazing. Much of the residential area near me has wood-frame summer cottages that got winterized and became year-round. Then there's another area with mansions from the '20s in Long Beach, the next town. They have red-tile roofs and red brick streets. I'm on an old middle-class block with "tract houses" from 1930s, but every house has some kind of unique hand-made decorations or eaves. The history's fading, turning suburban and "trendy" now. People really value their cramped spaces, and there are lots of flowers and tomatoes growing in pots and planters. And parts of the shore have lots of wild roses.

Between the people, the houses, the flowers, and the ocean, there's always a beautiful picture to be taken. So, all of my hobbies can kind of blend together here. Of course, I must have 1,000 pictures of sunsets on the ocean in the winter, and over the Bay in the summer. I was talking to a neighbor who has at least as many sunset pictures about why we keep taking them, when so many look the same. We came to a "zen moment" and realized that no two sunsets are the same, just as no two snowflakes are the same. Thank goodness I don't have to pay for film any more.

http://mysite.verizon.net/sub18baaq/sit … season.jpg

Re: Other Hobbies?

I have too many hobbies. I am restoring a plymouth convertible, I play drums, build robots (learning arduino....), restore antiques,  tinker with gadgets/electronics, and I had a rapidly growing model rocketry club until the local redneck police shut us down for no reason.
I started with chumby stuff after the laptop I had built into my kitchen that was a housewide music server had a hard drive fatality, and I needed a replacement. So I bought a sony dash. But the support kept dwindling, and woot had a chumby 8 on sale, so now I have that too.
And like masterdaddy above I also have a Jeep and experiment with home automation.
Somewhere in there I occasionally sleep.

5 (edited by infocastme 2012-06-11 10:57:42)

Re: Other Hobbies?

I love to play with anything mechanical/electronic. I like to fix broken items both mechanical and electronic/electrical. Play around with RC planes. Working on plans to build a home brew CNC/Reprap (3D Printer). Ride motorcycles. Modify items to do things they were not meant to do. Learn new programming skills and languages. What is known as Paper Craft. You can make your own or print out what someone else has made. It is basically paper models of just about anything. Home automation too!

Re: Other Hobbies?

Too many.

Just a few:
Riding my Harley
SCUBA diving
Riding ATVs and Jet Skis
Fishing (salt water)
Finding unusual locations for me and my girlfriend to "enjoy"
Target practice (at range)
Hacking all manner of hardware
Sampling high end bourbon

Tar, feathers, congress. Some assembly required.