Get Back Your Replaceable Batteries, Thanks To The EU

The world’s tech companies must harbour a hearty dislike for the European Union because when the many cogs of its bureaucracies turn, they find themselves with little choice but to follow or risk losing access to a huge and affluent market. There are a few areas of technology that don’t have some concessions to EU rules in their manufacturing process, and if a common charging connector or right to repair weren’t enough, they’re back for another clash with the mobile phone industry. If you hanker for the days of replaceable mobile phone batteries, you’re in luck because an EU Parliament vote has approved a set of rules covering batteries among which will be a requirement for replaceable cells in portable appliances.

We expect that the phone manufacturers will drag their feet just as some of them have over charger ports, but the greater ease of maintenance, as well as extra longevity for phones, can only be a good thing. There are a few other measures in the package, and one of them caught our eye, the introduction of a battery passport for larger industrial and EV batteries. There’s little more information in the press release, but we hope that it doesn’t inhibit their exploitation by people in our community when introduced.

We look forward to seeing more replaceable battery models appear in due course, meanwhile, you can read some of our coverage of the EU’s right-to-repair measures.

Header: Andy Melton, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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Hackaday Links: February 5, 2023

Well, this week’s Links article is likely to prove a bit on the spicy side, thanks in no small part to the Chinese balloon that spent the better part of the week meandering across the United States. Putting aside the politics of the whole thing — which we’ll admit is hard to do, given the state of the world today — there are some interesting technical aspects to this story, which the popular press has predictably ignored. Like the size of this thing — it’s enormous. This is not even remotely on the same scale as the hundreds of radiosonde-carrying balloons sent aloft every day, at least if the back-of-the-envelope math thoughtfully sent to us by [Dr_T] holds up. If the “the size of three buses” description given in most media reports is accurate, that means a diameter of about 40 meters, for a volume of 33,500 cubic meters. If it’s filled with helium — a pretty safe bet — that makes its lifting capacity something like three metric tons. So maybe it was a good idea to wait until it was off the Carolinas to shoot it down.

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Make A Vintage-Looking Clock In A Flash

Now that everyone has a phone with a camera, we would bet that fewer people than ever are in the market for a nice vintage flash unit such as the one [lonesoulsurfer] chose for this cool clock build. But here’s something that never goes out of style — a clock that doubles as a conversation piece.

At the heart of this build is a dirt cheap clock unit meant for cars. It also displays the ambient temperature and has a voltage testing mode(!), which could come in handy someday. Although [lonesoulsurfer] didn’t connect a pair of probes, he did cut a wee hole for the temperature sensor to stick out of. He also cut off the SMD buttons and wired new momentaries to the outside of the case.

Although we really like the look of the textured plastic lens over the 7-segments, our favorite part might be the stand and the way [lonesoulsurfer] implemented it. He made a threaded rod by pounding a hex nut into the end of a piece of aluminium tubing, and then dropped a bolt through the bottom of the flash body before closing it up, so it screws on like a camera to a tripod. Take a second and check out the build video after the break.

We love a good clock so much that we just had a contest to find the coolest ways to tell time. In case you missed it, here are the best of the best.

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Possibly The Most Up-Cycled, Hacked E-Bike You’ll See All Week

When it comes to bringing an idea to life it’s best to have both a sense of purpose, and an eagerness to apply whatever is on hand in order to get results. YouTube’s favorite Ukrainians [KREOSAN] are chock full of both in their journey to create this incredible DIY e-bike¬†using an angle grinder with a friction interface to the rear wheel, and a horrifying battery pack made of cells salvaged from what the subtitles describe as “defective smartphone charging cases”.

Battery pack made from cells salvaged out of defective equipment. Sometimes, you use what you have on hand.

What’s great to see is the methodical approach taken to creating the bike. [KREOSAN] began with an experiment consisting of putting a shaft on the angle grinder and seeing whether a friction interface between that shaft and the tire could be used to move the rear wheel effectively. After tweaking the size of the shaft, a metal clamp was fashioned to attach the grinder to the bike. The first test run simply involved a long extension cord. From there, they go on to solve small problems encountered along the way and end up with a simple clutch system and speed control.

The end result appears to work very well, but the best part is the pure joy (and sometimes concern) evident in the face of the test driver as he reaches high speeds on a homemade bike with a camera taped to his chest. Video is embedded below.

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