The Owad Laboratory

LoRa Repeater Solar Enclosure Experiments

I've been thinking about plans for some LoRa repeaters and printed two mock-ups today. This one is a low-profile solar-powered design, intended to sit on a rooftop:

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How to open an LG Ultrafine 5K display

I couldn't find much on getting into these displays, which made me leery, but it went a lot better than I expected. You want a whole bunch of cheap black nylon spudgers. (I started with the iSesame that's laying off to the side, but it wasn't as useful here.) Lay the screen down on its face, and keep sticking them in and prying until the tabs pop loose:

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ORICO 9558RU3 RAID workaround for auto sleep

The 9558RU3 is an inexpensive 5-bay RAID from ORICO. It has a "feature" that puts the RAID to sleep after 10 minutes of no user activity, even if the array is rebuilding. This is configured in the RAID's firmware, with no way to disable, but sleep can be prevented by touching a file every five minutes.

On macOS, you can configure this by adding the following to cron:

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How to summon Prometheus, god of fire, using Mycroft and a Raspberry Pi

According to myth, the titan Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to humanity. But for whom, specifically, did he steal it?

Read more, for instructions.

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Märklin 29730 building block train

As the Lego Group continues to simplify its trains, I've become curious about alternatives. I purchased this Märklin when it was released last year and have been meaning to write about it:

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Configurig Let's Encrypt with DNS-01 challenge on Debian 10 Buster

While setting this up, I ran into a lot of issues with DNS service APIs not matching what was available in the buster repository and in other scripts that I tried. These are my notes on how to set up Let's Encrypt with a DNS-01 challenge, but the most important part is just knowing what works.

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Teargas in the walled garden: iOS is a threat to democracy

Apple's iOS App Store has been a tremendous success, generating over $100 billion in revenue since its inception. This is thanks in part to Apple's walled garden approach, which requires that all iOS software must be purchased through Apple's App Store. This approach has kept iOS relatively free of the malware that has plagued Android phones. Apple's screening of apps has resulted in a higher quality collection of software. It's a beautiful walled garden, in exchange for which, we give up control over what software we
can run.

More below the break.

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3d Printer Switch with Octoprint & SmartThings

My MakerGear M2 doesn't have a power switch, and it isn't convenient to turn off its power strip, so I connected it to an Iris Smart Plug with a little power switch on it. That solved the problem, and also let me turn the printer on and off with Alfred, but tempted me to intergrate with Octoprint. Octoprint has a plugin, System Command Editor, that lets you execute shell commands from Octoprint's Power menu. That makes the Octoprint part easy - now it's just a matter of controlling a SmartThings device from Linux.

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