Freitag, 29. November 2013


Some fooling around with an old lens.
I used a Vivitar 70 - 210mm f3.5 with three macro adapters and a M42-m43 adapter to use with my E-M1. Minimum fokus is inside of the lens barrel with this combination, the coin touched the front lens as I made this pic.

The lens produces some CA which Lightroom thankfully removed.

Mittwoch, 27. November 2013


The sunset, mirrored in hundreds of uniform windows set in brutal concrete.
I love the geometry paired with the colours.

Bigger here.

Samstag, 23. November 2013

Power mHack G5

Somewhen 2008 I've bought a cleaned out Power Mac G5 case from a nice austrian guy. I had vague plans to make it into a PC case but hadn't really looked for info how other people did that. Turned out that it wasn't really easy to turn such a case into a normal PC case, at least if you still want to use the normal ports on the mainboard or want your front panel to work. So I neglected the to project and the case turned into a small table beside the couch.

5 years later, I stumbled upon the site of Laser Hive from the UK and found their amazing collection of modding kits. I sensed the possibility to get more out of the case then a table and ordered a 'G5 full ATX kit with 120 fan, lower PCI-e slots and power connector hole (b)' and some parts for a bit over 100€.

Yes, that is a serial port. =)
After the kit arrived I managed to get everything up and running in less then 24h. Most work was done on one Saturday.  Sorry, no pics from the work, I always forget to take some. But it wasn't difficult anyway, planning the cuts on the back and cutting them with a cheap Dremel clone was the longest part.

Some specialities I want to mention:

I used the HDD trays as is, with all cables as stock. The power lines I've soldered together and connected to the PSU as one, for the SATA cables I've bought two 30cm extension cables for 2€ each.

I felt I need a reset switch and glued on in at the bottom of the case. All but invisible, but easy to reach.

The PSU rests on a thick slab of soft rubber and blows out of the front. It's fixed on the sides by cork. Not perfect but really quiet. Just never forget not to turn the thing upside down.
Um, yeah, I'm looking for a better solution.

I soldered the front panel connector myself. Easy job with all this help. I skipped Firewire. The cables (which are a bit short) are fixed by bended metal stripes which are screwed on some original system board mounts. And I mounted the speaker with some double sided tape.

The case still got all the original G5 fans, but the are really loud, even with a temp control circuit. The 12cm back fan is a Noctura NF-S12A and is really silent. I've installed a new HDD fan in place of the original one (Some Arctic cooling fan I had lying around).

And the DVD burner tray needed it's front removed to fit through the gap.

Looks great under the desk and performs well as a Hackintosh (well, it did that already...)

For completeness, the hardware:

  • Intel i5-2600
  • Gigabyte z68x-ud3h-b3
  • Gigabyte Geforce GTX 660
  • 8GB Ram
  • 128GB SSD, 2x 500GB HDD (Mirror)
  • Optiarc DVD AD-7260S
  • 660W Chieftec PSU

Sonntag, 3. November 2013


A very old piece of mine. Dissatisfied with the way a cheap bonsai grew (being dead, after me being away for two weeks), I poured pure alcohol over the thing and lit it up.

Watching the flames I started building new twigs out of paper and, after it had cooled down, pinned them to the dead trunk.  The sign reads 'Renaturalisierung' - renaturalization in german.

It spend the last 10 years on top of a kitchen cupboard thats why it looks to dusty. I tried to clean it, but it crumbles at the touch.

<update: better pic>

Freitag, 1. November 2013

Electrified living room table

We were lacking a living room table for some time now and stumbled upon a sale of 'Vika Veine' tables in our local IKEA. It's designed to be a small folding desk and does that job quite nicely. It even has a hole for running cables inside.

We didn't like the legs IKEA offered for it and bought heavy 40cm black ones at a hardware store. They are kinda cool as they come in different length but all have the same screw-on base. So we can just change the legs and use it as an extension for our kitchen table.

Anyway, I wanted to store all my game controllers and remotes inside. I really wanted to charge them in it as well. I could use the useful hole in the bottom of the plate to run a extension inside whenever I need it, but that would be awkward and boring. So I did what everyone would do - ripping an old vacuum cleaner apart!

The automatic cable reel I found in its guts is perfect for putting in a corner in the table. It's the kind that has a pushable brake to prevent reeling the cable in (as opposed to the kind where you pull a little bit to loosen it). I fastened a short lanyard on it and modified a 3-outlet adapter to work as a small power strip. Sadly I messed up and put it to close to the hydraulics. Oh well...

The table has enough space for all my controllers and other related stuff. I can charge everything inside and when done, just pull on the lanyard and reel the power cord back inside and out of the way. Very cool result for 50€ in parts and an old vacuum. =)

2x PS3, 3x X360,  2x OUYA, 2x Wii

 More pics here.

Samstag, 26. Oktober 2013


I want to celebrate the season with this picture. I really love autumn with the wind, the colors and the pumpkins.

Bigger here.

Mittwoch, 23. Oktober 2013

Sailing on a blood red sea

Something with color, at long last. =)
Bigger here.

Lots of photo ops these last days and I've uploaded a ton of photos to Flickr today. Have a look around if you like.

Mittwoch, 25. September 2013

Parallel lines

Bigger here.

Some strings with dramatic lighting. I took this in Werk1, a coworking space in Munich.
They are using string like this to divide the space but keep it open at the same time.

I used my small Ricoh GRD3. Still love this thing!

Sonntag, 22. September 2013

BMW z4 in time

I've spend my weekend on the IAA 2013 in Frankfurt. And my ND 3.0 grey filter went with me. =)

More pics from the IAA here.

Sonntag, 15. September 2013

Donnerstag, 29. August 2013

Flying Carp

Nina and Peter proudly present: Our (first?) electric longboard!

Nina (my sister) made the deck (complete with carp), I was responsible for the electronics.
I wanted to build such a board for years, and as Nina suddenly said the same we started the project immediately. As she knows her way around wood and knows how to draw her part was clear.

First big hurdle for me was the motor mount. Most projects I've found solved this with lots of welding or buying a cheap board from china as a starting point. I didn't really like what I've found until I stumbled upon what Richard from Alien Drive Systems just started selling: A really nice CNC manufactured kit which uses stock trucks and wheels without modifications. And even in Europe, oh joy of joys!

Next: Motor and controller. Playing around with multicopters for years I was quite familiar with the awesomeness that are brushless motors. Very powerful, very light. Deviating from Richards recommendations, I bought motor, ESC (controller), remote and battery from the great chinese RC online shop Hobbyking. After calculating a bit I bought the Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 6364-190kv motor, which should be good for a theoretical top speed of 33 km/h with six LiPo cells.
Good enough (After driving this thing flat out I still think that).

As ESC I chose a Turnigy TrackStar 150A which is powerful enough to drive the half kilo of motor and has electric brakes. Battery is a self assembled pack of 6x 5800Ah Lithium-Polymer cells. The motor could cope with ten, but the ESC does not. I planed to build the remote myself but bought a cheap 2.4GHz remote Turnigy HK-210 as temporary solution.

The battery pack is a flat italien tupperware (for prosciutto I think) on foam rubber which gives just enough space for the battery, access panel, esc and receiver.

First real test happend at a BBQ and the board was really great. Seemingly endless battery power, enough speed to frighten you easily, enough power to climb hills, very controllable, just awesome! Up until the remote just died while driving and a friend of mine needed to jump off at full speed. He lost enough skin to put his hands out of commission for a week but was ok otherwise. A drop of blood is still visible on the grip tape.

Hobbyking refunded my money for the remote and I started to build my own remote based on two Arduinos. I started with RFM12 wireless modules but switched to RF24 after a while. The first thing I've implemented was a failsave.

Urban transport
I'm still at it, the base functionality (throttle...) already works. I want to put a display on the remote to see battery status and be change the top speed and throttle response. You can watch my efforts on github. More documentation over there as well but be warned, the code is still a mess.

The shell is a a car remote, stipped down to the handle. I really want to use my 3D printer to print one myself, another sub project from this one.

I like the not-pistol shaped design from the boosted-board controller, but it's a bit small to include all the functionality I want.

Messy and productive
Anyway, the board is really fun and a great way to get about in the city. It weighs under 6.5 kg and can easily be carried on the subway or bus. Battery runtime is about 2h at city speeds. I only wish the brakes would be better. Mechanical brakes would be awesome (I know thats the way to do it, but that needs more body control that I have) but at least they they stop me ending like that poor guy.

Parts list

Remote Arduino based self made
ESCTurnigy TrackStar 150A
MotorTurnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 6364-190kv
Battery6x 5800Ah LiPo 25C
Motor mountAlien Drive Single
TrucksHoley trucks
WheelsABEC 11 - 83mm
BearingsBILTIN Bearings - ABEC7
Deck birch wood selfmade 40'
Grip tape clear Black Diamond
Battery box Rosti Mepal Modula tupperware

All in all around 600€.

Dienstag, 27. August 2013

Real personality

A dog.
Just a dog.
A very patient dog.

  Made with Olympus OM-4Ti w. Kodak T-Max400 / OM 50mm, f1.8. 

Mittwoch, 21. August 2013

Will 'art' for cash

I don't like works of art that were made for the sole purpose of making money. I think true art always comes from the top end of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and never the bottom. Self preservation (aka making money) can be a later side effect but should never be the initial driver to create.

This point of view can be easily disputed as it disregards a lot of pieces that are getting displayed in fancy national or private art galleries as merely high quality handicraft. But I am an idealist in such things and doesn't let reality get in the way of my opinions. Needless to say I had quite some angry discussions with friends ("So you say Michelangelos 'The Last Judgment' in the Sistine Chapel is not art? omgwtf?!!"). 

Thinking about this again as I was looking at a few Banksy stencils I hadn't seen before, I had the idea to this: A piece of Art, created for the sole purpose of creating money. Literally!

Mounted on a rosewood panel, inside the baroque gold-plated frame (thanks Bele!) is a small computer and four specialised computing units producing Bitcoins, the most known and used cryptocurrency. The small display shows the current rate of calculation and the exchange rate of Bitcoins to Euros. I took special care to mount the hardware and wires in a pleasing, clean way and removed all casings to show of the technology. 

The hardware is able to calculate ~1.3GH/s. At the current exchange rate that amounts to around one Euro a day (simplified, bitcoins are complex business). Not quite in the same range as Jeff Koons but at least I don't need to fuss around to find a buyer. 

My feelings for the piece are therefore split (as intended). I have all the pure joy of creativity, of bringing an idea to life and expressing an emotion. The other feeling is greed, being akin to the corrupt artist, thinking about the wealth it will bring me. 

As a project it was awesome: Idea to finished product in less than a week. That's how I like it. =)


I used ASICminers for the rig and they are really something. The system has the same hashing performance as a PC with four high end GPUs, but at under 300€ project cost and under 10W of power it beats the traditional rig hands down on cost. And noise (none). And size.

The ASICminers radiate quite a bit of heat, thats why the red heatsinks are still in place.

The Raspberry only coordinates the data flow to the miners and (idles most of the time) uses most of its power to run bitcoind to help the bitcoin network and verify transactions for everyone.
Every 60 second it updates the display with current hash values and highest/lowers trade values from the biggest Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox.

- Raspberry Pi Model B
- 4x ASICminer Block Eruptor 
- CSL wireless usb stick
- class 10 sd-card
- powered usb hub (LogiLink)
- 16x2 hd44780 display 
- button
- 5V, 3A power supply 

- Raspbian Linux
- cgminer 3.1.1
- bitcoind (to help the network)
- python script to handle the display and shutdown button, mostly taken and adapted from here

<update - 09/08/2013>
I modified the python script to switch the lower line between the Bitcoin exchange rates and the current balance of the target Bitcoin wallet every 60 seconds. I will publish the modified script on Github, I just need to clean it up a bit...

<update - 09/11/2013>
The cheap power supply melted in the wall socket. It was specified for 3A but could not handle that full time. Well, I've got my refund from Amazon and bought a Phihong PSA15A-050P which is build like a tank. The display has now a lot more contrast, too...

Useful links

Sonntag, 18. August 2013

Above, the stage

Finally, an update!

We met to take some pictures again, and I really like this one. I took it lying on my back on a stage build inside one of the courtyards in the Residenz in Munich.

Bigger resolution here.

And more to come, I have two cool projects ready to show. =)

Dienstag, 2. Juli 2013

Sodium-vapor yellow

Very yellow lighting by sodium-vapor street lamps. Bigger size here.
A hip shot that came out very well. =)

Samstag, 29. Juni 2013

Largo do Carmo

A pic I made a few years ago in Lisbon, Portugal. It's the back window of a church that was part of the Carmo Convent that lies in ruins in the Chiado district.

More info here.

Sonntag, 9. Juni 2013

The look

I was away the last two weeks (made tons of pictures, you'll see...). Amongst other things, I was on a wedding of friends where I made this shot late in the evening.

Thanks for allowing me to publish it you two!  =)

Samstag, 25. Mai 2013

Carbon fibre bottle opener

I found this kickstarter project, showed it to my college and bragged about being able to produce something like this for quarter the price.
He didn't believe me. I went to eBay to get some material.

Three days later I opened his beer with this. Handmade out of 1,5mm carbon fibre.
The plate I got was big enough to produce two more, I ended with around 4€ per piece.

Opening bottles with it feels strange, but works fine. The material is so strong I can't break it with my hands.

Donnerstag, 23. Mai 2013


A fairly ancient photo made 5 years ago.
I love the impression, exactly like my cats watching a laser pointer. =)

Sonntag, 19. Mai 2013

Blocking board

It was my darlings birthday yesterday and being big into knitting she wanted a blocking board.

Its no shame not to know what that is:
When you knit something it tends to be quite crumpled and deformed when you're done, as all the little knots are slightly different. This effect is even more pronounced with delicate stuff like lace. What you need to do is wash the completed knitted piece and pin it into the form it should end up with until its dry.

She did this on our living room rug before which led to daylong tiptoeing around damp clothes and wet feet. No fun.

But this is a problem already solved. A blocking board is something you can pin into, that's water resistent and stable enough to lean against a wall so its out of the way. Having a checkered pattern helps the blockee (blockesse?) as she is pinning the piece against the board. Lastly it must be big enough to hold even elaborate projects and should fold for easy storage.

To the right you see all the materials used:
- 4x 60 by 60cm 'puzzle mats' made out of foam
- 2x 120 by 60cm strong plywood
- a big roll of cerecloth ('Wachstuch' in german)
- 120cm of piano hinge
- screws
- staples and plastic tape

I build it in my parents flat to keep it secret (my dad was a great help, thanks again! =) )

The steps were as follows:

- cut the cloth in the correct shape
- drill holes into the boards and attach the hinge to test if everything fits
- Trim the foam a bit to match the boards
- remove hinge again
- attach the cloth at the side of the hinge by stapling it to the board
- screw the hinge on the board
- with foam on the board, starting with the opposite site, staple the cloth down completely
- try to keep the pattern aligned all times and watch out not to create folds
- cut the overhanging material and glue the masking tape over the staples
- Staple a new piece of cloth to the hinge-side of the second board, watch for alignment!
- attach the hinge to the second board (the boards are now connected)
- again, staple everything down and mask with tape
- you're done! =D

And: It works great! (You'll find her knit project here)

The alignment between the boards was difficult and its not quite perfect, but usable.
If you like, more pics.

Samstag, 11. Mai 2013

Donnerstag, 2. Mai 2013

Eisbach surfer

Wow, I'm gaining a lot of respect for the small new Ricoh of mine.
Up above is a picture from a surfer on the Eisbach wave, Munichs premier river surfing location.

More pics

Mittwoch, 1. Mai 2013

Line of defiance

This is one of the pictures I made with my new Ricoh GRD 3. I bought this to be my always-with-me cam. It's amazing how it handles. It really is one of the best user interfaces in a small camera. 

Here is a long review I read before buying it. 
And here are some more pictures made with it. =)