Shooting Slow Motion Videos using Raspberry Pi Camera

There was a time when I said “Even with the best of camera hardware, we are still slave to its features. Thanks to the raspberry pi camera, we will make a camera do whatever our heart desires.” This quote has been proven more true by the Team at Broadcom who released new camera modes for Raspberry Pi camera. One of the new modes is the ability to shoot videos at 90 fps albeit at a lower resolution. Just look around you, even with the best of hardware on Flagship smartphones and most of the high end DSLRs, there is no option to capture 90fps. Even Peter Jackson was able to shoot The Hobbit at just 60 fps HFR (although that was Full HD or maybe even higher). The point here is that now we have the capability to shoot videos in High frame rates but it is of no use as our eyes cannot perceive the differences with the higher frame rates. The way we can utilise the higher frame rates is for slowing it down for cool slow motion effects. The reason I thought of writing this article is because I thought achieving slow motion using Raspberry Pi would be difficult as it would involve capturing the video at 90 fps in H264 format, converting it to MP4 at the same fps and then slowing it down to run at 30fps. After trying it myself, I found out that it can be done pretty easily.

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Power Saving Tips for Raspberry Pi

Since the time I got my Raspberry Pi camera, I have been so impressed with its versatility that I have done almost all experiments that can be done with it. The thing which impressed me the most was making time lapse videos. As I made more and more Time Lapse videos, I was limited by the time I could do it as I was powering the Pi via battery banks as the setup was at remote locations. This caused me to research more ways by which I could maximize the time a Pi is ON on limited battery capacity. The first thing I did was take a battery which had a solar panel on it so that it could charge in sunlight at the same time as deliver power to the Pi. This did increase the Pi run time but it was still not enough. Following are the tips I can give for increasing the run time of the Pi based on my journey. Also, the various run times under various situations are documented in this post.

Raspberry Pi on Battery Uptime Compilation Continue reading

Troubleshooting NTP

Those who have read my article on Non Technical tips on CCIE Troubleshooting and who are following my Technical tips on CCIE Troubleshooting would be wondering why I have chosen to write an article on NTP after writing a post on Troubleshooting MPLS VPN. NTP is trivial as compared to MPLS VPN, so why not the new post on BGP or OSPF? The message I want to send home is that no topic is simple in CCIE. I thought NTP is easy and did not practice it and during Lab, this simple topic caused me to go blank because without practice, there is no strategy and without strategy you don’t know what to do. In this article we will see few scenarios with regards to troubleshooting NTP in a Cisco network. Continue reading

Troubleshooting MPLS VPN

As I had promised in my post “Non-Technical Tips for CCIE Lab Troubleshooting”, I am back with a series on troubleshooting different networking technologies centering around CCIE Lab. In this post I will be talking about MPLS VPN. For an average person working in Computer Networks, MPLS seems to be a topic which seems to be most scary. Even if their project involves just an MPLS circuit between 2 locations, the word “MPLS” still scares them although there is not much difference between it and a layer 2 circuit. I have received International calls from many of my friends and colleagues who were overwhelmed by MPLS. This could stem from lack of knowledge on MPLS or the way many people teach MPLS. I have seen many guys teaching MPLS by jumping straight to configuration. This teaching method even overwhelmed me, so I tore apart MPLS VPN to understand it better and if you see the concept first and then individual protocols, it might not seem that difficult. In this post, I will not explain MPLS VPN but help develop a strategy to troubleshoot MPLS VPN. It is expected that you know MPLS beforehand to make sense of it or at least have partial knowledge. As I had mentioned in my previous blog about the disadvantages of “Show Run”, so I would be concentrating on using debugs and show commands rather than show run for troubleshooting. Continue reading

Raspberry Pi on Battery Uptime Compilation

One of the main reasons why the Raspberry Pi is so popular these days is because of the size. The Raspberry Pi is so powerful in its size that desktops were required to do those tasks some 10 years back. The small size gives portability to the Pi and that is what drives us to find new applications for it. The major factor in hindering the portability of the Pi is the power supply. Since the Pi is driven by a 5V supply which is obtained from USB chargers connected to mains, the Pi cannot be truly mobile. In order to take it mobile, people are using it with Power banks and batteries. There are few people on the Internet who have posted the current drawn by the Pi under different circumstances and which could be helpful but it doesn’t give an estimate of how much a Pi will run on a particular batteries with a particular project. In this post I will try to compile the run time of Raspberry Pi  running under different circumstances using Power Banks. Although I am an Electronics engineer but I don’t work on Electronics, so I will not concentrate on current drawn but rather run time in hours. Continue reading

Tracing Cables with CDP

Information Technology has become such an important part of our lives that not even a single facet of our life has been left untouched by it. The field is so vast and deep that it is not possible for one person to know everything. Every Specialty requires a specialist and some times a single person is expected to know more than one specialties. There are programmers, networkers, database admins, network and information security officers, voice admins, etc who look into managing their respective domain. There is a segment which is oft ignored and assigned to people who are reluctant on taking the responsibility or to unskilled staff. This segment is cable management. Continue reading

MPLS VPN Torn apart

MPLS is one of the topic where there is too much entry barrier as far as information is concerned. You have to deal with new protocols, different label types, MP BGP, VRFs, etc. on top of the fact that we don’t get exposure to it in our day to day networking (except if you work for an ISP). When I was taught MPLS the first time, it was very difficult for me to visualize (I rely heavily on visualization to understand a topic) the flow as labels had been flying all over the place and pushed and popped and what not. So this is my attempt to explain MPLS VPN by tearing open the packets and showing you what takes place across the network. I will try my best to make it as graphical as possible. Continue reading

Why Traceroute drops packet at Last Hop?

In our work environment we are always surrounded by people who are either smarter than us or act smarter than us. If we are surrounded by people who are smarter than us, the advantage of working with such people is that you will learn a lot from them, this obviously if they are the good ones who happily share knowledge. If they are unwilling to share knowledge, their presence or absence doesn’t make a difference. If we are surrounded by people who just act smart rather than are smart, we must be very careful as the knowledge which they would be sharing might not always be right as they just want to show that they know while they know not. This can be very bad because at the learning stage if you learn all the wrong things, your foundation will be built on wrong information. The best thing anyone who does not know certain thing can do is just say that he doesn’t know so that we can search for the right reason. The best thing about knowledge is that it is no ones property. Whoever desires to acquire knowledge can easily do it. Continue reading

Build your own Cisco Terminal Server with Raspberry Pi

I have been working in Computer networking for more than 8 years now and the biggest fear I still harbor is losing access to a router by misconfiguration. During my first stint with Service Provider networks, losing access to a router or switch would mean running to the Data Centre and taking console to a router and revert the changes and this because we didn’t have console servers in our Data Centre. Our Data centre was just across the NOC so it would take less than a minute to reach the equipments. During my second stint, the Data centre was the largest in India and going to the Data Centre would take minimum of 15 minutes from the NOC. Although we had a management network connecting all networked equipments, this did not help when a router or switch was malfunctioning and the only option left was taking console. My third stint with Service Provider network had no option of running to the router as many of the PoPs were international. Few of the larger PoPs had Terminal Servers but not all had this. A question would run through anyones mind as to why someone would not provision a console server on a remote site? The primary reason is the cost. The second reason is that it does not make business sense to have a console server for a couple of routers. Continue reading