Arduino based Switchmode Voltage Regulator

In order to minimize component count, stocked items in my junk box, and to improve efficiency as well as have software control of the power supply, I wanted to do away with inefficient, standalone linear regulators and instead use spare PWM pins on the microcontroller to generate voltages instead.

This library creates a simple feedback loop, where you specify the target voltage, and the microcontroller alters the PWM duty cycle to create the requested voltages.

Foscam FI8903W Netwave Outdoor Weatherproof IP Camera & ZoneMinder

I picked up one of these IP cameras manufactured by Foscam on Ebay relatively cheaply. The unit itself is a Foscam FI8903W, but this is not written anywhere on the camera, box or manual - I gleaned it from one of the promotional images the Ebay vendor was using.

Viewsonic VX2835wm on an nVidia card under Windows 7 with a DVI to HDMI cable

After upgrading my desktop to Windows 7, my second head (a Viewsonic VX2835wm) was showing a horribly overscanned image (blurred text, edges cropped). After fiddling with the monitor settings and setting the aspect ratio to 1:1, I then ended up with letterboxed image, with missing information around the edges (eg, the Windows start menu was off screen).

According to nVidia, this should already be accounted for in their drivers (from the release notes for 191.07):

Mounting Vista Backup Images in Windows 7


I finally got around to upgrading my desktop to Windows 7. After backing up my Vista desktop to a network share, I reinstalled. Upon reinstalling, I went to mount the VHD created (The Lazy Admin has an easy procedure documented), but I kept getting a cryptic error dialog "The version does not support this version of the file format.".

DVI Scaling for ATI Radeon under Windows 7 x64


I just upgraded my parent's media centre machine to Windows 7, however, the image through the DVI/HDMI cable was underscanned (text was blurry, and the image had black borders around it).

Normally, in the Radeon Catalyst drivers, you would go to the Desktop & Displays, then right click the display at the bottom of the screen (not the big one in the middle!) and select "Configure".

Unfortunately, in the latest Catalyst 9.9 drivers, which you select "Configure", it takes you back to the home page of the control centre. Downgrading to Catalyst 9.8 resolved this problem.

Time Running Slow for a FreeBSD x64 Guest under VirtualBox


As part of my efforts to reduce our power consumption, I have decomissioned my diskless VM host and move the virtual machines onto my fileserver. This involved migrating the machines from VMWare (on Linux) to Virtualbox (on Solaris).

One of my VMs is a FreeBSD x64 system, and while it came across fine, the time on this machine ran 3-4 times slower than normal (other x86 FreeBSD machines were fine).

To correct this, I added the following line to /boot/loader.conf:


Hacking the Efergy Wireless Power Meter

I just bought an Efergy wireless power meter on Ebay. It consists of a hall effect current meter clamp that clips around the mains line to your house, an RF transmitter module, and a receiver module with an LCD display that shows various bits of information that it gathers. The same meter was also sold at Aldi recently under the brand "Trade Power".