October 30, 2016

Astrophotography Manual Barn Door Tracker


After seeing some beautiful photos of the milky way, I wanted to step up my astrophotography game a little bit. In astrophotography, you are limited to shutter speed = 500 / (focal length) before your stars get blurry from the earth's rotation. To get better photos of the night sky, you can use what is called a tracker which allows you to take much longer exposures.

They are also quite expensive, and not particularly complicated. So I decided to try making one myself. The goal was to make it simple, and cheap. In the end, the total was less than $50, and the results have been quite successful.

It was so simple to build in fact, you probably don't even need a guide once you understand the key concepts. So I'll start with the basics of how and why it works, followed by a breakdown of how I built it.

Here is the final product:

and some results:

2.5 minute Milky Way exposure

October 29, 2016

Vice City: Python Automated Sports Betting

Automated Sports Betting

Everyone knows gambling is a great way to make money (/s). I myself formed this conclusion after hearing bookies will sometimes pay out before an event even happens, which planted a betting strategy in my mind that required a bot. This very successfully and slowly lost me my $50 investment, but I had a lot of fun making it, so I thought I would share the project.

If you use this guide, please don't be stupid. Basically nobody comes out on top in the sports betting world. It's not going to be you! So maybe have some fun testing out theories, or let a robot lose money on your favourite sports team, but be prepared to lose any money you deposit in your Pinnacle account.

This is my first tutorial, so if you use this project I'd love to hear how it goes. If you manage to make a lot of money, a donation to Wikipedia would be appreciated.

Now let's get down to the coding. Taking a look at the official API documentation  at this point would be wise as well. All the source code referenced can be found at my github here, along with any future bug fixes. An intro to python can be found here.

In my bot, there are three essential stages.

1. Gather information. (Balance, Odds)
2. Check Criteria. (Find desirable bets)
3. Place bet.