Embedded devices

Squirrelcage blower keeps small form factor PCs cool

by on Aug.14, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's

Squirrel cage fan cooling. Not chuck squirrels through fans at nuclear reactors.

As long as there has been electronics, there has been the problem of how to keep them cool.  Unfortunately, the problem gets more complex the smaller that computers get and what works for one PC might not work for others.  This is clearly the obstacle to overcome when trying to cool down a settop box.  Read more to find out how I was able to pull it off very well for a little over $10 in parts and still maintain all my hair.

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Seagate Dockstar: Add an accessible serial port

by on Jul.21, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's

Ok, so not long after I published the article on  the hardware teardown of the Seagate Dockstar, I couldn’t help myself  so I started working on things to do with this device.  I did a lot of research in regards to the capabilities of the Dockstar, including being able to push a customized Linux OS on the device.  Once I saw the article at Hackaday that covers exactly how to replace the OS, I knew I had to do it for myself.  There are two ways to perform this upgrade however in order to capture syslog output and to be able to get to the bootloader, a serial port is required.  Just about all of the sites will describe the pins needed to make the connection, however none of them detail how to do it very clearly and none of them address the issue of aesthetics.  Read on for my method of adding a serial port to the Dockstar without affecting the look of the device.

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Hardware Porn: Seagate Dockstar teardown

by on Jul.14, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware Pr0n, Linux

Seagate LogoI was given a very interesting product by a friend of mine that happened to catch a good deal on woot.com a few days ago.  Apparently Seagate has made a network fileserver device for their Freeagent Go line of portable USB drives called the Freeagent DockStar. (I can only think that this is a play on Battlestar Galactica’s Baystar – a cylon “aircraft-carrier” of sorts.)  When I went to look for pictures online of the hardware, I was dismayed to find nothing about the inside of the little thing.  So here they are in all their exposed glory, the innards of the Seagate Dockstar.

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Parts: Parallax RFID scanner now $10!

by on Jun.14, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, Microcontrollers

Image courtesy of Parallax.com

Hello Everyone!   If you’ve been in a Radio Shack sometime in the last year or so, you’ll know that Radio Shack and Parallax have teamed up to bring some variety to the parts drawers.  This once $50 serial RFID reader kit is now $10 at Radio shack although it only comes with two tags.  Read more for additional details about the Serial RFID reader now on sale! (continue reading…)

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Android:Sprint officially releases Android 2.1 for Samsung Moment!

by on May.15, 2010, under Embedded devices, Linux, Product Reviews, Software

While writing up the review for the Samsung Moment versus the Palm Pre, I happened to find out that Sprint has now released Android 2.1 (Eclair) for the Moment.  Guess now I have to start over again, but the up side is that this is a very significant update from Samsung’s initial release, Android 1.5.

You can download the update from Sprint at http://shop.sprint.com/en/software_downloads/pda_smartphone/samsung_moment.shtml

Please note: According to the instructions available at the link above, you will need to use a Windows PC to apply the update to your phone.  I will be posting a mirror shortly and it will show up in the “Download Files” page at the top of this page.

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Site News: I have a new toy!

by on Apr.01, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, Linux, Product Reviews, Site News

Well my life has been busy as all get out and I do have a new post in the works however I’m taking a quick break because I have a new toy that makes for a far better story.

I have recently gotten my hands on a new Samsung Moment on the Sprint network. Within the next few days, I will post all the gory details from this Android n00b and will be offering a comparison against the other smartphone I have, the Palm Pre.

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Basic Stamp: A quick guide on using a legacy joystick

by on Feb.03, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Microcontrollers

Joystick + Basic Stamp BOE-BOT = World Domination

In this post, we’ll be going over the basics of using an old regular PC-gameport joystick with Parallax’s Basic Stamp powered Boe-Bot.  This howto will have all the information you need to get started including code, schematics and a parts list.  We will be covering how the joystick is wired and how to go about interfacing it with the Boe-Bot for an easy to use and easy to expand analog control method for your Boe-Bot.  Next step, world domination! (continue reading…)

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Add an SD card slot to a WRT54G v2

by on Sep.09, 2009, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Linux

routerIn this post, we’ll cover step-by-step how to add a SD cardslot to your Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT and how to configure it in the DD-WRT UI.    Granted, this has been done a lot already, however there is a significant lack of information on how to do it on the older V2’s.  Read more for the complete step-by-step guide. (continue reading…)

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Parts: Parallax VGA/Dual PS/2 breadboard adapter

by on Aug.31, 2009, under Embedded devices, Hardware, Product Reviews

parallax_logoSeeded by a submission made by me, Parallax announced very recently that they have released a new product, a VGA /Dual PS/2 breadboard adapter.   Today, I got my hands on the new adapter and I couldn’t be happier.  Read on for more details and my first impression regarding this new product which I’m sure will generate a lot of new application ideas for their Propeller microcontroller platform. (continue reading…)

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