Pre-spun hard drives

This device is lovingly called the SPINmaster. [Linux-works] built it to spin up multiple hard drives before the motherboard starts up. It detects the power-up from the PSU and uses a relay to hold the motherboard in reset, indicated by the red LED. Each of four relays then spins up a hard drive and illuminates the green LED when ready. Once all green lights come on the reset relay shuts off and the bios starts up. This type of staggered startup takes a lot of the load off of an under-powered PSU. He’s posted firmware and there’s a schematic available too. We took a look at his video but there’s not much to see as it’s just the inside of the machine while it boots up.

Pipe heating with an ATMega8

[Viktor] wanted a system to keep his pipes from freezing.  The common method of using heat tape works pretty well, but can be wasteful. Many people just turn it on for the entire winter. [Viktor] wanted to automate the heat tape’s power so that it only activated during times that the pipes could actually freeze. To do this, he rigged an ATMega8 to a temp probe and is using it to control an ATX power supply. Pretty slick [Viktor].

[via HackedGadgets]

Repurposing a click wheel

We think the click wheel is the biggest contributor to the success of the original iPods. The devices were a brick with a monochrome screen but the user interface was slick and easy to use. [Jason] decided he wanted to add a click wheel to his own project. After using a logic analyzer he discovered that it doesn’t implement a common protocol such as I2C, perhaps a deliberate move by Apple to keep the controller under wraps? He managed to get past this hurdle, as seen in the video after the break, by bit-banging the data in from the click wheel and then reverse engineering the protocol.

It’s connected to an AVR ATtiny88 with feedback shown on a character LCD screen. We’re glad that [Jason] tipped us off about this, but he doesn’t have any code available yet. We love to dive into the source so the sooner he gets it up the better! We’ve got an old 3rd generation with a bad board that is begging to have the wheel ripped out of it, not to mention the dirt-cheap replacements available on ebay. [Read more...]

Arduino to Nintendo DS interface

[Hounjini] was poking around at the Game Boy Advanced bus of his Nintendo DS lite and figured out how to use it to connect an Arduino to the DS. For testing he’s soldered an IDC plug to the cartridge cover pin interface but this only requires four connections. The Arduino can both send and receive data from the DS lite as shown in the example videos after the break. The data access is made possible by making the Arduino look like a controller that the DS is happy to talk to.

[Read more...]

Antique Jukebox Audio Streamer

Reader [Jimmy] sent us some info about his recently completed antique radio to audio streamer conversion. The electronics from the original radio were too far gone to repair, but he took the time to pull apart modern components to provide a polished looking finished project without losing the antique feel. We like it, but we are just suckers for that old time look. Check out his blog for more photos.

Ask a winner updates day 5: Answers

Not too long ago we asked our readers what they would like to hear about from the PUSH N900 winners and their hacks. We got some silly questions, and some serious, we asked both and now the PUSH teams have answered.

The day has passed, the party is gone, and all that’s left is the final interview. The Light Hack Crew gave us a somewhat shorter response then what we were used to, but it turned out to be just as sweet.

[Read more...]

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