Old Photos Of Ratby Village, Leicestershire

Another project I started recently was the purchasing of old postcards and photographs of Ratby, Leicestershire in the UK. My original aim was to frame them and have them on display in my house, however some of the post card and photos were in poor condition or damaged, so with trusty Photoshop I set about restoring them. Each restoration is fairly time consuming I will add more as I complete them.

This is dated on the rear of the postcard 1960 (hand written) however I assume this picture to be of a much earlier date. The picture depicts the junction of Desford Lane, Main Street and Station Road. The picture was taken looking down Main Street towards Station Road, with the road to Desford Lane on the right of the picture.

Junction of Desford Lane, Main Street and Station Road, Ratby, Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Original – Click image to view at high resolution.

Junction of Desford Lane, Main Street and Station Road, Ratby, Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Cleaned – Click image to view at high resolution.

Junction of Desford Lane, Main Street and Station Road, Ratby, Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Finished – Click image to view at high resolution.

Minnie’s Friends Charity New Website Launched

Having been recently introduced by the Vicar to a gentleman from her congregation who was looking to have a holding page produced for his charity Minnie’s Friends in Loughborough which was about to be relaunched. I jumped at the chance to help, always happy to support worthy local charities by giving my time and skills freely, so I produced them a quick and simple holding page. Please visit by clicking the website thumbnail below.

Minnie's Friends Website

Aerial Photos of Bury Camp, Hillfort, Ratby, Leicestershire

Unbeknownst to me Bury Camp the oldest known human settlement in Ratby, is a probable Iron Age encampment dating back approximately 3000 years, the site was also adapted by the Roman army for use as a temporary fort in around 50 AD. As this interesting historical location is only a stones throw away from my front door my interest was piqued, armed with this knowledge my companion and guide for the morning was Mr Alan Sims, after a coffee and with all the equipment loaded it was time for our little adventure, sadly our first aerial escapade was cut short suffice to say it involved a low battery and an emergency landing! After we recovered the downed quadcopter it was back to base to view the limited footage, upon investigation and making matters worse we found no footage had been recorded for the short first flight.

Take two, batteries charged and the camera double checked, it was now time for the money shots. Thankfully after an uneventful 15 minutes flight time and reaching heights in excess of 170 meters our mission was a success, below are the photographic fruits of our labour, we hope they are of interest.

The photos were taken using a GoPro Hero 3+ mounted on a Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal all attached to a quadrocopter. Clicking the picture allows you to view the full sized aerial photograph, depending on your web browser you should then be able to zoom in.

How To Root Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 Wi-Fi (SM-T320)

Having just purchased a new Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 running Android 4.4 KitKat, first task of ownership for me is rooting. I need root so I can remove Samsung’s bloatware and install with full access permissions my Titanium Backup goodness.

Firstly confirm you have the correct model TabPRO 8.4 if you are following my root guide, I have tested this root method on the SM-T320 Wi-Fi version, check and confirm your device model number by going to Settings > General > About device on your tablet.

Next we need the following driver software installed on your PC, grab each by downloading just click on the links. Install the USB drivers package for Samsung Phones and Tablets first.

1.  Samsung Tablet and Phone USB Drivers (14.7 MB)
2. CF-Auto-Root-mondrianwifi-mondrianwifixx-smt320.zip (19.1 MB)

Next extract Chainfire’s Auto Root package, navigate into the extracted folder and you will see Odin3-v3.07.exe, right click on this executable and run as administrator, make sure you have disconnected your TabPRO 8.4 from the computer.

Next turn off your TabPRO 8.4 and reboot into Download Mode. Booting into Download Mode is simple, just press and hold down the Volume Down + Power buttons simultaneously. Once you see a warning screen displayed on the TabPro 8.4, release all the buttons. Now press Volume Up to confirm you wish to enter Download mode.

Now connect the TabPRO 8.4 to your computer, after a few seconds Odin will detect the TabPro providing you have installed the USB drivers, you should see ‘Added !!’ in the Odin message box. Next click the PDA button in the Odin interface and load the CF-Auto-Root-mondrianwifi-mondrianwifixx-smt320.tar.md5 file from inside the folder you extracted earlier.

DO NOT change any of the other settings in Odin. Your Odin should look like the below image. The only difference will be the COM port number.

Rooting Sammy TabPRO 8.4

Now you are ready to root the TabPRO 8.4, just click the Start button at the bottom. This will now flash the root package to the TabPRO. The tablet will reboot and if all went well Odin should display PASS! as below.Rooting Samsung SM-T320

You can now confirm you have rooted the TabPRO 8.4 by just checking you have the SuperSU package installed in the App draw. Enjoy all the root goodness!

My now rooted the TabPRO is a great upgrade over my Samsung Note 8.0, having found I do not really miss the S-pen, the screen quality on the TabPRO 8.4 is mind blowing and so far probably the best in it’s class. Luckily I get to contrast and compare with pretty much all available tablets and smartphones in my day job so I am happy with my choice!

Aerial Photos of Ratby, Leicestershire

These photographs were taken on a calm afternoon in January 2014 over Ratby, Leicestershire, UK, using a GoPro Hero 3+ mounted on a Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal all attached to a quadrocopter, the maximum altitude I reached for this flight was about 100 meters. The images are around 10 megapixels so still retain a high level of detail. Clicking the image allows you to view the full sized photo, depending on your web browser you should then be able to zoom in.

MakerBot 3D Printed Yoda

Due to a recent fan failure on my MakerBot Replicators main board, my 3d printer had been consigned to the ‘needs to be repaired room’, this magical room has a collection of accumulated computers, vintage games consoles and other gadgets all in need of repairs or refurbishment.

However after chatting with my brother in law and realising he had never seen the 3d printer in action, also having spotted a few prints on Thingiverse I wanted to try, a repair session was in order, with a free evening looming dismantling of the MakerBot Replicator began, secretly hoping one of my many spare computer fans would be a perfect replacement.

Having soon discovered the MakerBot Replicator used 24 volt fans, with plenty of 12 volt fans on hand in my spares box but no 24 volt 40mm fans, a quick online search revealed some high quality PAPST fans as possible replacements, after looking over the specification sheet these indeed were a suitable replacement, for those interested the replacement fan is the PAPST TYPE 414F 24V DC 33mA 0.8W.

Once the new fan arrived it was promptly fitted, the MakerBot firmware was updated to the latest version and printing began. My favourite test is this Yoda bust, I have printed the bust in PLA and ABS plastics without any chin or ear supports in a wide range of sizes. The Yoda busts below were all printed in white ABS 1.75mm filament, the largest Yoda taking about 15 hours, to the smallest taking about 2 hours to print!

3D Printed Yoda in White ABS Plastic

The new PAPST 414F fan is much quieter than the stock MakerBot fan, and I have experienced no issues at all in over 40 hours of printing with the new fan, the bearing on one of my extruder’s fans is also now beginning to fail, so this will be eventually be replaced with a PAPST 414F.

Below is one of my older YouTube videos, showing a time lapse of my MakerBot printing Yoda in PLA plastic. The time lapse was shot with an iPad 2, I have since learned my lesson and purchased a GoPro Hero 3+ for much better quality videos!

LEGO Star Wars R2-D2 Ultimate Collector’s Series 10225 Stop Motion Build

One of my many interests is building and collecting Lego usually Star Wars themed. I have not posted an update here in a while so decided to link to one of my old YouTube videos, this is a stop motion build of the R2-D2 Ultimate Collector’s Series. R2-D2 was built with the help of my wife Jo, she built the head section of R2-D2 all on her lonesome one Friday evening when I was laid up in bed feeling unwell, we wanted to complete the build as R2-D2 had been hogging the dining room table for a couple of weeks during construction.

The stop motion was produced on an iPad 3, with hindsight I wish for the amount of time invested to produce this video we had used a better camera for capturing the build, you live and learn…Apple iPad cameras are very poor in low or electric light!

Flashing / Updating Firmware Chuwi V88 HOWTO

Updating and flashing a new firmware on the Chuwi V88 Pad mini is a straight forward process, I will document the steps involved. Firstly you will need to download the updated firmware see the links below, as the flashing tools were by default Chinese language I have enabled the English language settings by default. I have provided just the firmware package, with the update.img, The Rock Chip Batch Tools v1.7 are a seperate download. Remember to download the correct firmware for your V88, the variants are Chuwi V88’s with Bluetooth and without.

Chuwi V88 Pad mini Firmwares & Flash Tools:

Chuwi V88 All Models With Bluetooth :

Latest Android 4.2.2 Version Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-06-20
Change Log:
1. Improved stability.
2. Tablet sleep/wake issues fixed.

Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-06-03
Change Log:
1. Initial Android 4.2.2 Release

Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-05-25
Change Log:
1. Solve camera stops running bug.
2. Optimized for lower power usage.
3. HDMI Push optimized connection.
4. Optimizing wakeup, fix touch function not detecting input.

Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-05-09
Change Log:
1. Increased stability.

Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-04-26
Initial release.

Chuwi V88 All Models Without Bluetooth :

Download V88 No Bluetooth Firmware Build Date 2013-04-25
Initial release.

Rockchip Flash Tool v1.7:
RKBatchTool and USB Drivers : Download RKBatchTool v1.7

1. Unrar the update.img firmware archive, they are .rar and will need to be extracted then you must download and install the Rockchip USB drivers on your PC, these are in the Drivers folder in the RKBatchTool archive, make sure you install the correct version for your operating system and the corresponding 32 or 64 bit version specific to your operating system, this is important.

2. Power on your Chuwi V88 Pad mini, I suggest you have at least 50% battery. Now enter Settings, then under the DEVICE section select the Storage option then press the Settings icon (three square dots) located in the top right corner of the screen. The press the USB computer connection option, make sure you have checked the Mass Storage Device option.

3. Now connect the Chuwi V88 to your PC with the micro USB to USB lead. Now navigate on your PC to the folder labled BatchTool, and double click and run RKBatchTool.

4. Rockchip Batch Tool 1.7 will load, you should see a pink indicator box under the Connected Devices section, this shows your V88 has been detected.

5. You will now need to select the firmware (update.img) you wish to flash, click the location button its  at the opposite end of the FW Path: line, now navigate to the update.img file and select. The Rockchip Batch Tool will then load the file and display the files details in the info boxes.

6. Now press the button at the bottom of the Rockchip Batch Tool marked Switch this will enable firmware flashing mode. The Chuwi V88 will now have a black screen, however the Connected Devices indicator box will change from pink to green.

7. Now press the Restore button, the Connected Devices indicator box will now flash yellow as the V88 is formatted, the new firmware will then be uploaded.

8. Once this flashing process has finished the V88 will reboot into the Andriod recovery system, this will format the /data /cache and the /mnt/sdcard/ then the V88 will then reboot.

9. The first time boot is very sloooooow, just be patient.

10. Once booted the Chuwi V88 will be in the default Chinese language, you will need to change your language unless you are Chinese. Press the settings icon on the V88 main screen, now in the left hand column scroll down to the A… symbol in a square box, press it. The very first option in the right hand side menu is languages, press this it will now list all the language options, scroll down to your choice and select. Enjoy the upgraded V88.

Rockchip Batch Tool

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