[Josh] posed an interesting challenge. Create a boost converter that can light a blue LED using a nearly dead battery and one part. Well, we were skeptical until we saw he wasn’t counting an ATtiny processor as a part. You can see a video of the challenge, below.
The challenge has already been solved, so if you view the link, you might want to avoid the comments until you’ve had time to think about your own solution. We’ll confess, the first one we thought of was probably not workable for reasons [Josh] explains. The final answer neatly fits the criteria of a hack.
While the solution is tricky (and, no, we won’t give it away), we can say that it isn’t a “cheat.” There’s no other power source hidden somewhere or anything like that. The end result is legitimate and satisfying and takes advantage of a documented chip peculiarity.
In the end, the real read is in the comments, but give yourself some time to think about it, first. If you want an example with more than one extra part, we’ve seen plenty of those. If you want a refresher on how it all works, you might enjoy this post.