Video Preview: New IOIO prototype

We got our hands on this prototype of the new IOIO design. It’s a breakout board that makes adding hardware to an Android device pretty easy.  [Ytai Ben-Tsvi] sent it our way, and took a bit of time to explain some of the differences between this board and the original version. You can see our video preview embedded after the break.

The size and form factor of the board remain the same, but the choice and layout of parts has changed. Most obviously, the USB-A connector is gone, replaced by a USB mini-B micro-B connector. This makes it possible to use the board as a USB-on-the-go device, or as a USB host device with the help of an adapter that will ship with the board. The JST connector is for external power. The previous revision included a footprint for it but it was never populated. There has also been an upgrade to the voltage regulation circuit, using a newer part as the switch-mode regulator.

There was a last-minute bug discovered in the layout. [Ytai] wants iron-clad 5V to ground short protection and is re-spinning the board to ensure he achieves that goal. He can’t say for sure, but as we mentioned in our previous post about the prototype, a price cut is planned. It could cut the current price of $50 down to just $30, but that won’t be decided until all of the choices have been made for the first production run.

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Nook touch becomes a desktop computer

It looks like [Renate] has been pounding out hack after hack on her Nook touch. It stands on its own now thanks to a tripod bracket hack which is the most recent work she’s done. But there are bunch of other modifications, all of which are linked after the break.

We believe that this is meant for displaying lyrics as she sings and plays along. To that end there’s a foot pedal attachment that lets her control the device. It connects to the Nook via a USB hub that allows her to interface multiple devices at once. This in itself is also a hack, as host mode isn’t an out-of-the-box feature for the device. In order to avoid having to disconnect everything in order to top off the battery, she also manged to get the thing to charge from the USB hub. In fact, with all this in one package she’s basically got herself a desktop computer.

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Self-Powered USB Host mode on the HP Touchpad

touchpad-usb-host-power

[ften] was having plenty of fun running Android on his HP Touchpad, but he soon discovered that the tablet’s micro USB port didn’t provide enough juice to his peripherals when running in host mode. He started digging around and found the perfect means of providing the extra power while maintaining the device’s stock appearance.

He pried the tablet apart and installed a small DC step up converter in an empty space located behind the Touchpad’s dummy SIM slot. After wiring the converter to the battery terminals, he installed a micro USB adapter in the empty slot, which fit perfectly after a bit of sanding.

He hacked together a USB Y-cable to pull power from his new USB jack, while retaining the existing data connection through the original USB interface. You can see the results of his work in the video below, and while [ften] hasn’t said how much his mod affects the Touchpad’s battery life, he has confirmed that it will still shut down gracefully once you inevitably sap the battery dry.

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