Shove a Hub into That Keyboard

As masters of technology, our desks are often cluttered with odds and ends. We have cables spewing out of every nook, and our computer ports full. The last thing we really want is more stuff getting in the way or buried under piles of technical documentation when adding something like a USB hub. That is where [Michael] comes in, shoving a small USB hub into his Logitech keyboard.

The keyboard is already USB, and the hub has 3 forward facing ports and a fourth single port in the rear. Taking the 2 devices apart he used the already there USB cord from the keyboard replacing the input cord of the hub. Then he removed the rear port and directly wired his keyboard onto the hub.

From there, its just a matter of figuring out where he wanted the hub, and cutting out the plastic. He used a knife, and had fond memories of some minor cuts, which leads us to recommend being (more) careful. A little application of fire to blade goes a long way.

Once the keyboard is back together he has a convenient 3 port hub on the back of his keyboard that looks factory and saves clutter.

Make a simple O-scope with a FTDI board and a couple of ADC’s

[RandomTask] has posted a nice tutorial on how to use a FTDI serial to usb converter, and a couple analog to digital converters to make a simple software oscilloscope. Using a “Universal Serial to USB converter” and one of many FTDI break out boards, he first reprograms the chip using FTDI’s programming software to put the device into a FIFO (first in first out) mode.

From there a pair of ADC0820 8 bit digital to analog converters are wired up, and input is fed to a couple 555’s for testing. It should be noted that there is no input protection, so things like voltages above 5 volts, or negative voltages are a big no-no with this setup. It still could be very handy while working with micro controllers or other digital circuits.

Data is then sent to the computer and displayed using a VB.net program, which has some basic features like scale and triggering, but also contains a couple bonuses like Calc Freq and Calc V delta calculation.

Many people have these little serial to usb converters, and might be in need of a simple scope. If you’re one of them, then you can cobble this together pretty darn quickly, and cheaply.