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retro edition                         /___/ 
Now optimized for embedded devices!!
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Prototyping an advanced inductive charger

posted May 21st 2012 1:01pm by
filed under: misc hacks

This is an advanced inductive charging system into which [David McIntosh] has put a lot of hard work. It uses the same coil-based concepts that we’ve seen in other DIY systems, but the game changer is a communications function that just isn’t found in home brew versions of the hardware. It lets the receiver (device being charged) give feedback to the transmitter by rolling another signal into the EM field being generated.

Do why would you need feedback? Well, if the two coils are not positioned well, the power produced on the receiving end can vary greatly. For instance, you may have the wrong voltage because the coils are not balanced. Or there may not be enough current to properly start charging. The feedback system is designed to let the sending unit change frequency to try to account for physical orientation, or to shut itself off if the charge is just not possible. This is done in expensive commercial devices, and that’s what [David] used as his model.

Coded safety for diy laser

posted Jul 2nd 2010 10:00am by
filed under: laser hacks

Finally we see a hack that is focuses on safety when it comes to high-power laser hacks. A safety switch has been added to the butt of the flashlight body which houses the laser diode. When the safety is flipped on an LED blinks to prompt the user for a security code. If you enter the correct code on a momentary push switch, electrical access to the laser is enabled. There are also a couple of nice features such as continuous on and auto shutoff.

This would be hard to implement if you’re working on a watertight package but we like the fact that an unsuspecting house guest won’t go blind if searching for a flashlight during a storm. One last thing, the code entry system is PIC based which reminds us of [Alan Parekh's] one-button system.

LED serial debugging for cell phone hacking

posted Jun 28th 2008 8:11am by
filed under: cellphones hacks, classic hacks

[Barry] needed some way to get serial output to help debug his efforts to port Linux to the HTC TytnII (Windows mobile Pocket PC phone). He wrote some code to send serial output via one of the LEDs on the phone and rigged up an AVR to pic up the output and provide a USB interface to the computer. It runs at about 200bps – perfect for the quick debug session.

Preparing for the zombie apocalypse

posted Oct 31st 2011 10:30am by
filed under: weapons hacks

Every reasonable person prepares for the future. Whether it’s matching your employer’s 401k contributions, making sure you have bread and milk before a snow storm, or saving for your kid’s college fund, planning for the future gives you a comfortable life. [Gord] has exceptional foresight; he build an awesome Louisville Decapitron for the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

It’s an urban legend that a bullet to the brain will stop a zombie. Instantaneous trepanation is devastating in the living, but we’re talking about the undead here. A melee weapon is what you’re after, and you’ve got to cut off the head. [Gord] based his project around a Louisville Slugger. The blade is a 20 inch long piece of plasma cut mild steel. It’s just a prototype to get the balance figured out; the final version will be done in carbon steel.

The tang of the blade fits into two notches in the bat. The blade is secured with two custom fabricated spacers that are perpendicular to the blade. We’re not quite sure of the nomenclature of the resulting weapon (it’s some type of battle axe, we’re sure), but we couldn’t think of a better way to decapitate the undead.

DSO nano oscilloscope reviewed

posted Oct 19th 2009 11:09am by
filed under: reviews


We’ve been eyeing Seeed Studio’s DSO nano digital storage oscilloscope with a mix of intrigue and skepticism. A pocket-sized $89 storage ’scope? This is a joke, right? Hack a Day reader [Blair Thomson] has written a thorough review based on his experience with one of the beta test units, and it might be a winner after all.

[Blair] feels the unit compares favorably to buying a similarly-priced secondhand analog oscilloscope. The DSO nano wins major points for ease of use, a good range of functionality, and of course the whole portability thing (the enclosure is a repurposed portable media player). Can’t say we’re entirely convinced though. As a single-trace ’scope with 1 MHz bandwidth, the DSO nano may be extremely limiting for anything but basic hobbyist use…which, to be fair, is exactly how they’re marketing it. We can see a place for this the same way there’s a place for $10 multimeters — an inexpensive, toss-in-the-toolbag second ’scope to quickly test for vital signs, something that might complement but not replace a good bench unit.

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