Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My 3D IC-730 Station

I have had so much fun creating Cross-Eye 3D (CE3D) Images from the Mars Curiosity photos (see previous posts), that I thought I would try it with my own camera.

Here is a CE3D image of my IC-730 Stations:
Cross-Eye 3D Image of
My IC-730 Station 
Click the image to view in a larger format.

To create the CE3D image I took two photos of the same scene, from a slightly different camera position (displaced about the width of my eyes). The camera was atop a tripod with the three legs almost vertical but yet stable. The right two of the legs were inline with the photo's subject. For the second shot, the third (left) leg was moved sideways a few inches on the floor. The tripod provided a simple yet effective stable platform for both shots.

Yes, this third leg tripod technique does introduce a little miss-alignment, but it is quick and easy. I may investigate a simple sliding-mount adapter for the tripod.

Then I used ImageMagick to combine the two images into a CE3D image:

convert Right.jpg Left.jpg  -splice 10x0 +append -chop 10x0 -resize 1200  CE3D.jpg

This was fun and interesting, I may try this technique for some future electronic projects.

Here is an interesting Cross-Eye 3D Video that may help explain the viewing technique.


Here is one of my Prop Projects, which has a lot of depth and therefore may make for an interesting CE3D image.
CE3D Prop Project
Interesting; If you see the time on the CE3D Image as "10:31:19" then you are probably - Right Eyed, but it you see time as "10:30:59", then - Left Eyed. The difference is course, is the time laps between two photos and you Dominate Eyes perception.

If you have trouble using the Cross-Eye Viewing Method for seeing the CE3D images, try this:
  • Click on the above image to obtain a large image.
  • While viewing at a distance of about 24 inches from the display.
  • Stick your two index fingers straight up, within an inch of your eyes, one finger in front of each eye. 
  • While closing you left eye, adjust the location of your right finger to block out just the right image, but still see the left image. Hold that location. 
  • While closing your right eye, adjust the location of your left finger to block out just the left image, but still see the right image. 
  • Now with out moving your fingers, open both eyes and gaze between your fingers at the 3D image, adjust your eyes to focus.

For some reason, this is less stressful on the eyes, even though it is exactly the same thing as un-aided Cross-Eye viewing.

Return to this page, I may soon have a few more CE3D photos to share.


Monday, August 27, 2012

CW JPL Written in Mars Dust

From my perspective (setting on Earth) the most interesting photos take by the Mars Rover Curiosity, so far are the Navigation Camera Photos. These photos are taken by the two Masthead Nav Cameras. The resulting high resolution images can be merge into one 3D Cross-Eye Viewable image. Some of other cameras on Curiosity are monocular, and therefore their photos are not nearly as interesting.

Here are some fake color Cross-Eye Images taken on Sol-21. Click on the image for full size, then try the Cross-Eye 3D Viewing method.

Some of the First Tracks
"JPL" Written as CW-Code In the Sands of Mars
If you look close, you can almost decode the mound of dust as "JPL", which are the CW characters written by holes in the Wheel Treads. The Wheel Treads CW-Code prints were initially in sync. As expected, that didn't last long (up until the first turn as shown by the track circle on the left :-).

I created the Cross-Eye 3D Images via the ImageMagick command:

convert  NRA*.JPG  NLA*.JPG   -splice 10x0 +append -chop 10x0 -resize 1200 -fill '#630' -tint 150 3D.jpg

Here is the destination:
Destination: Mount Sharp
It is fascinating that these images came from Mars; from that distance and at such low power (now that is really QRP! :-).


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mt Pilchuck Radio Trip

On Thursday, Bob - AD7BP, Tess and I went to the mountains to play with Radios. We drove up to my favorite place on Mt Pilchuck (at 2500') and set up our stations. The road was a bad as usual with large chuck holes and rocks, which helps keep traffic out of the area.

For Radios, Bob had his FT-817 and I had mine.
Station Setup
We set up the Shade or Rain shelter as the weather was uncertain, We then put up my 36' vertical. Bob strung up a long wire into the top of a small tree. He was ready and on the air within a few minutes.
Bob on PSK
The bands were quiet, but Bob snagged a nice PSK QSO and several other. I was not so lucky, but one local 6m contact. I did try my hand at SSB and CW on several bands.
Calling CQ
Bob's Longwire
As shown, Bob's long wire went from the tree top down to tuner on the table, and a short counterpoise laid out on the ground.
The Loop
Bob also tried his Loop, but I do not think he had much luck.

Two Rangers stopped by while patrolling the area. We had a nice chat, and they through Tess's Ball for her, which is always a real treat for her.
Tess - Waiting to play Ball
It was a good trip, I am ready to go again.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mars 3D via ImageMagick - Cont'd

For fun, here is another Homebrew Mars Cross Eye Photo created with the following ImageMagick command on linux (see previous post). Original photos taken on Sol2 via the Navigation Cameras.

convert  NR*.JPG NL*.JPG -splice 10x0 +append -chop 10x0 -fill 'rgb(255,150,0)' -tint 150 CrossEye3dFakeColorFull.jpg

Sol0002 - Cross Eye 3D Fake Color
I think you can see two blast craters created by two of the four decent rockets. Assuming that they are blast craters, it would be interesting to know the direction the Sky Crane left the area, the blast pattern might suggest to the left or to the right.

The following are my observations, and therefore obviously not authoritative.

What is not obvious in the original photos, and which can only be seen in the 3D view, is a slight depressions (running left and right) beyond the large lumps (about 1/4 down from the top). Also, there appears to be a old yet small crater near the same lumps, and nearer than the depression. In the distance, the ground appears to be much less level, Curiosity's Sky Crane picked a good level landing spot !

A 3D view provides so much more insight !!

Because of the distance between cameras (much more than the normal width between your eyes), very close items is in the foreground are hard to view. When (if) the camera is aimed a little higher (at the horizon), there would not be the very near foreground distractions.

This Cross Eye 3D viewing technique is not for everyone, some people complain that it gives them headaches. I have now trained my eyes to automatically adjust as necessary, and can quickly enjoy the images. It helps if you tilt your head so that the horizon (as it appears in the above image) is horizontal (as it should be).

The Landing Site
Note: All of the raw photos can be obtained from the NASA site:

Annotated Image Gallery at:


Here is a later interesting Image, only in the 3D view is it obvious that the large foreground rock is stacked on top of another.
Stacked Rocks - Lower Right
Or try this (click for larger image):


Monday, August 6, 2012

Mars 3D via ImageMagick

With a little ImageMagick it is easy to create a "Cross Eye 3D" image for viewing. Mars Images have names like:

Note: The second Letter denotes which camera (L or R) took the photo.

The raw file can be downloaded at:

To create you own 3D images:
  • Download the Largest Left and Right images for a scene from the NASA web site.
  • Execute the following ImageMagick command (of course, substitute the real Right and Left file names). 
convert  R.jpg L.jpg  -splice 10x0 +append -chop 10x0   3d.jpg 
  • Display the resulting image, adjust the display size to fit your screen.
  • Use the "Cross Eyed 3D" viewing technique.
First Mars Curiosity Photo
Homebrew Cross Eyed 3D Image Viewing
The white space between the Right and Left images, helps your mind to concentrate on only the center phantom 3D image produced with this technique.

Note: Some people have difficulty with this 3D viewing technique. But it is as easy as looking at the tip of your finger at about six inches from your noise, while gazing beyond, at the displayed image on the screen. When it works, you will see third image, in focus, between the two originals on the screen. It may take a while to train you mind to accept the 3D image.

Note: Unlike triditional 3D Stereoscope images "Cross Eye 3D" images must be arranged; Right image on the Left, and Left image on the Right, so that each eye when crossed, will see the correct image.

Note: Normal two color 3D images could probably be created with ImageMagick, but I need to learn a few more Magick Tricks to provide details.

It is Fun, Easy, Quick, and you may notice something in the new Mars Images before anyone else does !!

Try it with the thumbnail image provided on this page, place your finger tip about 1/2 the distance to the screen (your focal point) and slightly under the center of the combined screen image. And/or, click on the image and try it on a larger image.


Maybe something like this will work with normal colored 3D glasses, unfortunately I do NOT have a pair to try.

convert R.jpg L.jpg -fill blue -tint 200 -fill red -tint 200 -combine   3DColor.jpg

Color 3D??
Or, try this:

convert R.jpg L.jpg -adaptive-sharpen 10 -fill green -tint 200 -fill red -tint 200 -combine   3DColorGn.jpg

Try This


Here is what is hidden inside of the NASA Very Dark Rear Camera Image:

Rear Camera
Rear Camera

I think the top of the wheel joint can be seen at mid-right of the image.


Friday, August 3, 2012

My QSL to Land on Mars

The following is my QSL that will be landing on Mars aboard Curiosity, and it will remain there forever (which is a very-very long time :-)

I applied for the "Certificate of Participation" on Apr 25, 2011. I have been waiting for this day longer then those that ordered a KX3 :-)

Actually, only my Name and Call (along with 1,246,444 other names) will be carried to Mars inscribed on a microchip carried on the back deck plate of the Rover.

Mission photos and some narrative is provided by The Atlantic.

So, if all goes well on Aug 5, 2012;  look up, . . . and know there will be a QSL waiting for you on Mars !!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

I am Impressed !!

I am Impressed with the new DipTrace 2.2.9 Beta !!

I have been working in my Shop the last few days, installing a Vacuum System to remove Saw Dust and help with general clean up. While taking a short break, I sat down at the computer to read some e-mail.

I just received an automatic e-mail from the DipTrace Development Crew, that  stated DipTrace 2.2.9 Beta was available for download.

Because I use DipTrace for most of my Homebrew or Manufactured PCB's, I was anxious to try the new version. My short break turned into several hours - I was trying all of the new Features and Fixes to problems (that bothered me until now).

I am impressed, the DipTrace Development Team has fixed many of my concerns.

The Beta Fixes make PCB's very easy now; To move a trace - click on it and move, to move a VIA - clink anywhere on it and move. New users will find PCB edits very-very easy and obvious.

My DipTrace Survival Guide has becoming much less relevant, I have updated the Guide with the details that I have learned so far, more to come.

Thanks for the Beta, Guys.