Friday, June 20, 2008

Shaky, but working again

I got the card running again with the volume serial number 'AA52-6922'. I guess that's how the Eye-Fi manager actually finds the card, rather than looking for the EyeFi/r* files like my software has been. Anybody know offhand how to find this stuff in Linux?

I also got a request to make my manager software work on OSX. I'd love to do that, but I don't have a Mac. If anyone wants to give me ssh access to one or something, I'd be happy to give it a shot. Shouldn't be more than an hour or two of work, as long as there are development tools around that I can use.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Even the Eye-Fi Manager Can't Find the Card

I think all of my formatting and messing with the card made it unrecognizable from the Eye-Fi Manager's point of view:

06/14/2008 13:28:35 000000B4 INFO Scanning initial drives...
06/14/2008 13:28:35 000000B4 INFO Not Eye-Fi Volume serial number
06/14/2008 13:28:35 000000B4 INFO Not Eye-Fi Volume serial number
06/14/2008 13:28:35 000000B4 INFO Drive scan is complete...

Could someone who has the card running in windows do a 'dir' of the Eye-Fi card for me? I think I wiped out its serial number and need to recreate it.
c:\> dir e:
Volume in drive E...
Volume Serial Number is XXXX-XXXX
Could you send me the X's?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Busted Card?

Well, I think I've finally worn out my Eye-Fi card. It is throwing all kinds of I/O errors and getting corrupted filesystems pretty regularly. It won't even read in the camera sometimes. This was happening even before I carved the hunk out of it, yesterday. Oh, well... maybe I'll try one of the new ones when they come out. I think I've abused this one enough. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Working CHDK Code

Well, it didn't take long, but I have CHDK running accessing the Eye-Fi Card. For now, I just had it dump the firmware version string, but the sky's the limit! I should have it scanning and adding networks in no time.

As a commenter noted, CHDK requires that the lock switch be flipped before it can be run off an SD card. The Eye-Fi has no such switch. So, I took a chunk out of mine with an X-Acto Knife. Here are some pictures. I've also taken to sticking clumps of electrical tape over my new hole if I need to stick the card back in a non-Canon camera.

I also stuck some foil into the Eye-Fi reader to fake the lock tab because, with that chunk out, all the readers think the card is read-only. I could have done that with any reader, but my "official" Eye-Fi one was already taken apart. I wonder if I can override that in software. Anybody know offhand?

It took hacking my Eye-Fi Config program up quite a bit to keep it from using some of the facilities like abort() that are not available in CHDK. But, most of the code essentially stayed the same, and I integrated it pretty well. Now I just need to get some menus coded up to navigate the various options.

Now that I have bits of aluminum foil, electrical tape, razor blades ant toothpicks (for digging bits of tape out of SD card slots) I really feel like MacGyver.


Anybody out there ever use CHDK? It is an open replacement firmware for Canon cameras. I'm getting a Canon SD870IS, and there is evidently a port to that model. I think I'll have to port my Eye-Fi Config software over to it and see if I can get it to work. That should allow me to add access points out in the field.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Status File

I think I just figured out how the Eye-Fi and the D60 talk to each other. There's a one byte file on the card, next to the RSPM, RSPC... files called simply 'status'. You need to create it, but once it is there, the card will fill things into it.

When no pictures are pending for upload, it has a 0 in it. I've also seen it at 4 and 5. My guess is that 4 means "trying to upload" and 5 means "failed to upload, not trying any more". I'll have to explore more to be sure.

The D60 can read this file and keep the card powered up as long as the card is trying to upload. As soon as the upload finished, a 0 appears in the file, and the D60 knows to power it down.

Monday, June 2, 2008

More on Power Consumption

I attempted to splice my ammeter directly between my D50's battery and the camera with some electrical tape and aluminum foil (seriously). It worked, but the ammeter dropped ~0.6v out of 7.4v that the battery puts out, and that was enough to keep the camera from being able to take pictures, but it could operate in standby.

In any case, the camera itself draws about as much current as the EyeFi card does. I think the real power sucking this. The camera (either off or in "standby") with the "Meter-Off" takes a very small amount of power. Powered on, it takes probably 40 or 50 times more. Following those EyeFi directions means that you put your camera into this higher power consumption mode for 30 minutes if you take one picture instead of 16 seconds like it might have before.

So, my guess is that the power consumption comes more from the camera itself than from the EyeFi card. But, the only reason to put your camera in that mode is for the card in the first place. Anyway, I bet this is exactly why EyeFi and Nikon are working together on the D60 and EyeFi card integration.