__ __         __            ___           
  / // /__ _____/ /__  ___ _  / _ \___ ___ __
 / _  / _ `/ __/  '_/ / _ `/ / // / _ `/ // /
/_//_/\_,_/\__/_/\_\  \_,_/ /____/\_,_/\_, / 
retro edition                         /___/ 
Now optimized for embedded devices!!
About Successes Retrocomputing guide Email Hackaday

Whole house battery backup used for lower power bills

posted Nov 17th 2011 2:24pm by
filed under: home hacks

[Photonicinduction] has an impressive battery backup installation that powers his whole house. Unlike a standalone emergency generator which would require you to hook up all of the device you want to run, this setup sits in between the power meter and the breaker box, ready to step in when needed.

But get this, he’s not just using it as a backup system. It kicks in during the day to run everything including two freezers, a refrigerator, his lights, television, and computers. That’s because the price per kilowatt-hour is quite a bit higher during the day than at night. So after 10:30pm the system patches his house back into the grid and charges the batteries for use the next day.

What you see here is just a portion of his system. The control board is not pictured but is very impressive, including a network of relays which are used as a fail-safe system so that there are no conflicts between mains and the battery system. Check out his 15-minute walk through of the system after the break.

[Thanks Patrick]

Reverse engineering Apple’s recharging scheme

posted Aug 3rd 2010 9:52am by
filed under: iphone hacks, ipod hacks

[Ladyada] has been hard at work reverse engineering the charging method used by Apple products. This saga takes us through the years as new devices were released and subsequently broke Minty Boost’s charging capabilities. It seems the data lines were gradually adopted as a means for iPhones and iPods to identify the charger that had been connected. By adding voltage dividers to the D+ and D- lines you can instruct the handheld to pull 1 Amp (with data voltages of 2.8v and 2.0v) for wall chargers or 0.5 Amps (2.0v on both data lines) for portable chargers. In the video above [Ladyada] removes the surface mount resistors from a commercial charger in order to measure the voltage divider and discover the secret.

Hackaday Design Challenge – yes, a contest!

posted Nov 15th 2006 8:00am by
filed under: contests


So, you guys want to show off your skills? We’re giving you the chance. [If you don't like it, blame Limor - she came up with the original idea]

The Challenge:
Design our next give-away: a business card sized PC Board. We’re not telling you what to make the circuit do, just make it something handy for hacking. Me, I think a PIC programmer/proto board would be handy.

The board must have:

Through hole components are a good idea (Of course, if you can do it with SMD cheaper, and keep it easy to build… Surprise us) Maybe we could surface mount the CPU before we give them away, or we might put together parts kits, but it depends on the winning design(s).

You can put whatever circuit you like on it. PIC
programmer, JTAG interface, flux capacitor… but it has to work!

We want to have a board house make these up for us, so we’ll need the design in a format we can work with. We suggest EAGLE. It’s free and runs on just about everything. (But it limits you to two layers – which should be plenty)

The Prizes:

The Deadline: December 25th. Plenty of time to get your design cranked out. Everyone needs a winter break, but We’ll try to have a winner chosen within a week or two of the deadline.

Dungeon crawler game for IM-ME (and Linux)

posted Nov 11th 2010 11:00am by
filed under: linux hacks, Microcontrollers

[Joby Taffey] takes the prize for the first completed homebrew game for the IM-ME. Over the last few weeks we’ve seen [Travis Goodspeed] working with sprite graphics, and [Emmanuel Roussel] developing game music for the pink pager. But [Joby] didn’t really use either of those.

[Travis'] sprites were using a framebuffer that fills up a lot of valuable RAM. [Joby] decided to draw the room screens (all of them have been stitched together for the image above) as a one-time background image to keep the memory free. From there, the screen is updated in 8×8 blocks based on cursor movement. He also decided not to add music as he feels the high-pitched piezo is not capable making sound without driving everyone crazy.

Source code is available and for those of you who don’t own this pretty handheld, the game can also be compiled in Linux.

Easter Egg Challenge

posted Oct 12th 2009 12:00pm by
filed under: contests, hardware

Beer

Often, hardware designers include nonfunctional additions into designs to make them feel more personal. Commonly known as easter eggs, these additions can often go unnoticed by the public for years. While taking apart an Atari San Francisco Rush: The Rock sound board, reader [Jason] noticed a hidden message on the PCB (see above). Other more recent hardware easter eggs include the inside of the Zune HD, which has the inscription “For our Princess” to commemorate a development team member who passed away, or the Amiga 1000 which features the signatures of the design team on the inside if the case (Pictures after the break).

What we want from you: We want to see the best HARDWARE easter eggs you have found or seen. Leave us a comment with a video, picture, or article that explains what you found, and possibly the background story behind it. Anyone can google easter eggs, and we all know about the easter eggs all over DVDs, video games, etc, but we prefer the kind you find when you are busy voiding your hardwares warranty.

Edit: good catch, that was the Amiga 1000 not an Atari 1000. Thanks to all the commentors.

A1000signatures

Atari 1000 case [via OldComputers]

bqwYvX5cRjGaUrPO.large

Zune HD internals [via iFixit]


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