Saturday, December 28, 2013

Raspberry Pi Visual Ping Indicator / Roommate Tracker

A frequent problem in my apartment is the lack of a consistent sleep schedule among my roommates. It's hard to tell when someone is asleep in their room, and when someone is gone and their door is closed. One of my roommates made a joke that I should build a device to track who is actually present in the apartment. So I did.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

PCB Design Process

My Raspberry Pi Temperature Monitor Project was pretty cool, and I was getting some neat data from it, but I wanted to take it to the next level. This included using modern temperature sensors and building a printed circuit board (PCB) to replace the breadboard in the old project. In this post I will discuss my PCB design process.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Monitoring Temperatures Using a Raspberry Pi and a MCP3208 ADC with Thermistors

After my Raspbery Pi Internet LED Control project, I wanted to try reading sensors from my room on to the internet. The only sensors I had around were thermistors, a type of resistor that changes resistance based on the temperature. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shower Radio Repair

While browsing a thrift store in Boulder, I found a great deal on a shower radio. I picked it up, figuring any problems with it could be fixed. The model is SR-25.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Raspberry Pi Internet LED Control

Recently I obtained a Raspberry Pi. This exciting development board offers many features that quickly made it the center of a large community of makers. It runs embedded Linux and can be used for a wide variety of projects. To me, the most exciting feature is the web connectivity of the Pi. The built-in Ethernet port allows for projects that are controlled or control the internet. I decided to make a webserver running from the Pi to control a LED.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hacking Audio Out Into a PS3

With my found and fixed PS3 still lacking a working disc drive, it wasn't getting much use. However, a few weeks ago DUST 514 was released, a free-to-play game that requires no disc drive! DUST also has keyboard and mouse support, which I use. Sitting in front of the TV with a keyboard and mouse is not the best ergonomic experience though. 

I connected my PS3 to my PC monitor through an HDMI to DVI cable, but there was no audio. The PS3 has analog audio out, but I lacked the cable. This seemed like something I could solve, so I opened up the PS3 once again. 

Analog connector on the PS3

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fixing a Found PlayStation 3: Part Two

In Part One, I fixed a found PS3 using a hairdryer and some luck. This fix only worked for about two weeks (as expected), good for getting files from a PS3, bad for using it. I had to do something serious to create a fix that would last longer.

The typical methods for long-term repair are heat gunoven, or infrared rework station. After asking around my university to see if we had a rework station and looking at the cons to the heat gun method, I decided to go with the oven.

First, I had to tear the PS3 down, further than I did before. The PS3 is designed incredibly well (except for the part where it breaks) so this was no problem.

Mainboard and heatsink of the PS3

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

US-sized scale model solar system

Scale Model Solar Systems are pretty cool. Currently the largest one is in Sweden with a bigger one under construction in England.
What if there was a model that spanned the United States?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fixing a Found PlayStation 3

A few days ago I found out that my roommate had never seen either of the Tron movies. This needed to be fixed as soon as possible, so I went to the Kraemer Family Library at UCCS to pick up both of the movies on DVD. Imagine my shock when they only have the movies on Blu-ray, a format that  I could not play.

Disappointed, I left the library to catch the bus home. On my way out I walked past an electronics recycling bin, and something caught my eye. It looked almost exactly like a PS3, sticking out of a beer box. Of course, I picked it up and brought it home with me.

The PS3 parts. Please ignore the messy table.