[David Schneider] had trouble seeing his bike computer in the sunlight and wanted a navigation solution that would be both readable and not require a smart phone. In good hacker fashion, [David] married a Raspberry Pi and a Kindle Touch (the kind with the E-ink display). The Kindle provides a large and easy-to-read display.
[David] was worried about violating the DCMA by modifying the Kindle. Turns out, he didn’t have to. He simply used the book reader’s Web browser and set the Pi up as a wireless access point. One clever wrinkle: Apparently, the Kindle tries to phone home to Amazon when it connects to a wireless network. If it can’t find Amazon, it assumes there’s no valid network and treats the network as invalid. To solve this issue, [David] causes the Pi to spoof the Kindle into thinking it gets a valid response from Amazon.
The other work around was to change how the Python application on the Pi updates the screen. [David] found that without that optimization, the constant redrawing on the E-ink display was annoying. The Pi-related hardware includes a GPS, some reed switches, and a WiFi dongle.
Continue reading “Easy to Read Bicycle Computer”
People implementing the Scrum Methodology for project management often record all their tasks on a big whiteboard. However, it’s useful to have up-to-date graphs to ensure projects are on track. [Sprite_TM] augmented the whiteboard by building an Wi-Fi connected E-Ink Display.
Interfacing with E-Ink displays isn’t easy. A variety of voltages are needed, and the connectors used are tiny. We’ve seen some nice solutions, such as the RePaper
display. [Sprite_TM] chose the ED060SC4 display which is available from eBay and has been throughly reverse engineered
. A custom breakout board was built up to connect to the tiny FPC pins and generate the required voltages using the LT1945
The next step was adding on Wi-Fi. The ESP12 module was an obvious solution. This module provides Wi-Fi connectivity and a processor capable of controlling the display. The display is powered by a tablet battery, which makes it totally wireless and operates for about 200 days.
A simple laser cut enclosure holds all the bits together, and contains magnets that stick the screen to the whiteboard. On the software side, images are streamed to the ESP12’s processor and loaded directly to the screen, since the ESP12 doesn’t have enough RAM to store an entire screen worth of data. All the firmware can had by cloning a Git repository.
The people at iFixit have shown that they’re still on top of their game by tearing down the new Kindle 2 eBook reader. The main processor is a 532MHz ARM-11 from Freescale. Interestly, there isn’t any significant circuitry behind the large keyboard; it seems its existence is just to hide the battery.
Related: previous teardowns on Hack a Day
If you’ve never heard about electronic paper, crawl out from under that rock and read up on the Sony Reader and the Amazon Kindle. E-paper is a flexible display made of color-changing beads that mimic ink-on-paper for easy daylight reading. The revolutionary thing about e-paper is that after it’s set, it stays that way without additional power.
This sounds great in theory, but Esquire’s cover is the first time everybody can afford to hack an e-paper display. We took the cover into the Hack a Day lab to document, test, and hack. In the end, we recycled it into something useful that anyone can build. We’ve got all the details on how the display works and what it takes to use it in your own projects. Read about our e-paper clock hack below. Continue reading “How-to: Make an e-paper clock from Esquire magazine”
In celebration of there 75th year, Esquire magazine’s October issue will feature an e-paper cover. The display will be about 3mm thick flexible paper with four shades of gray and some animated text and images. The backside will also have a display featuring a Ford ad for the new Flex. The Ford ad is essentially subsidizing this whole production. The cover isn’t finalized yet, but Boing Boing Gadgets was able to get a few more details about it from deputy editor [Peter Griffin]. The battery isn’t anything exotic and they fully expect people to break the device open and do what they want with it. It will unfortunately still require you building your own controller, but at least you get two revolutionary displays to play with for the cost of a magazine. If you’re wondering what Esquire is, they apparently showed George Clooney 2 Girls 1 Cup. So they’ve got that to celebrate too.