Understanding A Bit About Noise Can Help You Go A Long Way

There are many ways in which one’s youth can be misspent, most of which people wish they’d done when they get older and look back on their own relatively boring formative years. I misspent my youth pulling TV sets out of dumpsters and fixing them or using their parts in my projects. I recognise with hindsight that there might have been a few things I could have done with more street cred, but for me, it was broken TVs. Continue reading “Understanding A Bit About Noise Can Help You Go A Long Way”

Neat And Tidy USB-C Conversions For Legacy Devices

USB-C has been on the market for a good few years now, and it’s finally starting to take over. Many new laptops only come with the newer port, making it difficult to use legacy USB-A devices. [Matt] doesn’t like mucking about with dongles and hubs, so set about converting some older hardware to the new standard. (Video, embedded below.)

[Matt] first set about hacking a Logitech wireless mouse dongle, peeling apart the original USB A connector to gain access to the PCB inside. A USB C breakout board is then sourced, and the relevant pins in the USB-C connector are soldered to the original USB-A connector pads. Unfortunately, the breakout board is configured as a host device, unsuitable for peripherals. Replacing a pull-up resistor with a pull-down on the VCONN and CC1 pins rectifies this. With the mod done, the mouse enumerates and is fully functional over USB-C. A little Sugru is then used to wrap everything up neatly.

[Matt] then progresses through several other similar mods to other hardware, sharing useful tips on how to make things as neat and useful as possible. It’s a tidy hack that could make your user experience with a new laptop much less painful. USB-C mods are becoming more common, and we’ve seen plenty done to soldering irons thanks to the Power Delivery spec.
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Open Source Raman Spectrometer Is Cheaper, But Not Cheap

Raman spectrography uses the Raman scattering of photons from a laser or other coherent light beam to measure the vibrational state of molecules. In chemistry, this is useful for identifying molecules and studying chemical bonds. Don’t have a Raman spectroscope? Cheer up! Open Raman will give you the means to build one.

The “starter edition” replaces the initial breadboard version which used Lego construction, although the plans for that are still on the site, as well. [Luc] is planning a performance edition, soon, that will have better performance and, presumably, a greater cost.

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