Monday, August 27, 2012

Google Chrome Remote Webcam Viewer

     Chances are you don't have the equipment necessary to set up a security system just lying around, right? Well, you may be wrong. With only two computers - one with a webcam - and the Google Chrome browser installed on both, you have a rudimentary security system.

     First, we'll set up the computer that will be connected to the webcam. Chances are this will be a laptop - because it seems that most - if not all - laptops these days have a built-in webcam. You should also be able to use a desktop or laptop with a USB webcam too, which might be ideal for placement purposes. On this computer, install Google Chrome version 21 or above (version 21 includes support for a new API that allows the browser to access the webcam - don't worry, there's lot of warnings when you turn it on so you won't have someone spying on you without your knowledge). Once Chrome is installed, go to the Chrome Remote Desktop BETA's Chrome Web Store link and install it (Note: This app requires at least Windows Vista or newer to work - for "security" reasons). Once it is installed, launch it and follow the simple steps to get it configured.

     Now we will install Google Chrome on the viewer computer. The version does not specifically matter - as long as it can run the Remote Desktop app. Install the same Chrome Remote Desktop BETA app on this computer and configure it as well. When you check out the app on the viewer computer, it will list your other computers along the bottom. Click on the cam computer you want to connect to and you will be prompted to enter the pin you set up when you configured the app. Open the HTML5 Webcam Toy link on the cam computer and allow the site to connect to the webcam. You can now remotely view the webcam's video from another computer exclusively using Google Chrome - a program that doesn't require administrative rights to install. Have fun with it!

DISCLAIMER: Don't use this process to spy on things you shouldn't be looking at. I'm only posting this as a neat novelty use of technology. I will not be held responsible for any possible trouble you get yourself into using this technique.
View on the viewer computer

The cam computer is set up behind me

Friday, August 17, 2012

Filament Spool Stand

     When I first saw Cubic Print's Filament Spool, I knew it was something that I needed to make. You can only print with air-spooled filament for a couple prints before it gets tangled and you go crazy (I would know). It's a fantastic print, but it certainly needs to be attached to something to be used to it's full potential. I had originally planned on mounting it vertically like I've seen the majority of spool holders do, but then I decided I could slim down the design by making the spool sit horizontal, just like I used to have my filament sitting. My final design files ended up under Filament Spool Stand by Dillon1337 on Thingiverse. With 10 printed parts and less than $10 in parts, I had a very useful filament spool stand. Read on for the full scoop.

My usual 3D printing workspace

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My 3D Prints Summary #1

     Every once and a while I want to make a quick blog post highlighting some of the things that I've printed using my Printrbot LC 3D printer. These posts will be used to show off the prints that wouldn't be part of a larger project and are mostly just standalone pieces. This is the first of these posts. Check after the break for a more detailed breakdown.

Most of the good stuff I've printed so far

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Printrbot Calibration Prints

     It's one thing to get a 3D printer set up to produce nice-looking prints, but it's another if those prints don't come out the size that you want them to. This quick post will help anyone get the axes on their 3D printer working just as they should. To make the most out of this post, you're going to need a pair of calipers.

Various calibration prints

Monday, August 13, 2012

Automatic Garden Waterer: Part 2

     This Automatic Garden Waterer project has kept me busy all summer long. Last time I posted about it, I had (mistakenly) thought it was finished, but issues with the solenoid valve caused me to take another path with it and create a new controller. I can confidently say that the new controller, not only functions a lot better, but looks much nicer while doing it. This is my first project using an Arduino, 16x2 character LCD, and 3D printing along with my other skills to create a cohesive product. Below is a video overview of the completed project, and below the break is all the work that occured to make it happen.