All posts by CH

Power Management and More with the Solar Pi Platter

solarpi

With a powerful processor, communication capabilities via WiFi, Bluetooth, or even longer range signals like cell modems, the Raspberry Pi is extremely well suited to remote environmental monitoring. For example, check out the video below from a remote water trough monitoring station described here, set up in 2015 with a Raspberry Pi to monitor a watering trough in Australia.

Though traveling to remote sites might provide a relaxing break for farmers while in transit, getting there can represent a large chunk of time that could be better used. Additionally, being able to catch water issues earlier is certainly better for animals, who otherwise might have to do without until the next visit.

One thing that makes a setup like this complicated, however, is reliably getting power to the ‘Pi. The Solar Pi Platter, pictured set up in the first image on this post, takes care of a lot of non-standard power details, allowing a Raspberry Pi to be powered via a Lithium-ion battery, charging said battery from solar panels or standard USB chargers, and importantly, a real-time clock to allow it to turn off to save energy as needed. Additionally, it features accommodations for analog inputs and PWM outputs, giving the ability for more versatile remote monitoring and control.

Or, as creator Dan Julio puts it, “[It’s] a versatile power board that can run Linux for $5 (and, now $10) more.” Check it out via the link above, or on Hackaday.io for even more info on the project.

The post Power Management and More with the Solar Pi Platter appeared first on Tindie Blog.

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This Arcade Cabinet is Clearly the Smallest

TinyArcade

If you’re like me and many others that grew up in the 1980s, you’ve wanted your own arcade cabinet since nearly the first time you saw one. Sure, you could make the argument that modern consoles are much better than anything in that era, or that sitting on your couch is superior to standing up while pumping quarters into a Street Fighter II game, but there’s just something awesome about these systems that goes beyond pure functionality.

If you do decide to actually take the plunge and obtain a cabinet, there are lots of options out there, from building one from scratch out of MDF and electrical components, to refurbishing a used arcade machine, to simply buying a kit or ready-made device. If you’d like some inspiration, here are several awesome and unique builds on Make, including one that cleverly integrates a refrigerator.

There is, however, one problem with all of these machines: they take up a huge amount of space. They are also quite opaque, which isn’t a problem for most, but prevents you from seeing what’s going on inside. For those people, may I present the Tiny Arcade Clear DIY Kit. These little devices can easily fit between your thumb and index finger, and are made out of clear acrylic. It’s loaded with several classic arcade-style games, and you can add more games or even video via a micro SD card (that you’ll need to supply).

I got to see these at the World Maker Faire in New York last year, and to be honest, pictures don’t really do their diminutive size justice. It’s great to see something I’ve gotten to play with pop up on Tindie!

The post This Arcade Cabinet is Clearly the Smallest appeared first on Tindie Blog.

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USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease

USBhelper

It’s time to charge your phone or other device on a USB receptacle you don’t own, so you would rather not expose the data lines as well. DIY options vary from cutting and disconnecting the appropriate cable (I’d suggest heat shrink) to literally taping over the data contacts. Though the tape method might not be the most durable, it’s quite clever, and would work well in a pinch.

For this particular use there are commercially available USB data blocker options at market. But this is the first time I’ve seen one that has the ability to selectively switch all four of the USB lines.

USBhelper1

The USB-Helper can switch off the data, power, and ground pins individually. For hardware developers this can come in quite handy for testing as you go. Want to share data and common ground but not the power rail? No problem. Need to test what happens if there’s a break in just one of the data lines? This dongle is for you. It’s available assembled, and even has an optional 3D-printed case.

For help with other USB hacking/modifications, Tindie has quite a few USB breakout boards, which I outline here. I’ve also gone over some of the more “Exotic” breakouts in a separate post if you need something even more interesting.

The post USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease appeared first on Tindie Blog.

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USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease

USBhelper

It’s time to charge your phone or other device on a USB receptacle you don’t own, so you would rather not expose the data lines as well. DIY options vary from cutting and disconnecting the appropriate cable (I’d suggest heat shrink) to literally taping over the data contacts. Though the tape method might not be the most durable, it’s quite clever, and would work well in a pinch.

For this particular use there are commercially available USB data blocker options at market. But this is the first time I’ve seen one that has the ability to selectively switch all four of the USB lines.

USBhelper1

The USB-Helper can switch off the data, power, and ground pins individually. For hardware developers this can come in quite handy for testing as you go. Want to share data and common ground but not the power rail? No problem. Need to test what happens if there’s a break in just one of the data lines? This dongle is for you. It’s available assembled, and even has an optional 3D-printed case.

For help with other USB hacking/modifications, Tindie has quite a few USB breakout boards, which I outline here. I’ve also gone over some of the more “Exotic” breakouts in a separate post if you need something even more interesting.

The post USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease appeared first on Tindie Blog.

via Tindie

USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease

USBhelper

It’s time to charge your phone or other device on a USB receptacle you don’t own, so you would rather not expose the data lines as well. DIY options vary from cutting and disconnecting the appropriate cable (I’d suggest heat shrink) to literally taping over the data contacts. Though the tape method might not be the most durable, it’s quite clever, and would work well in a pinch.

For this particular use there are commercially available USB data blocker options at market. But this is the first time I’ve seen one that has the ability to selectively switch all four of the USB lines.

USBhelper1

The USB-Helper can switch off the data, power, and ground pins individually. For hardware developers this can come in quite handy for testing as you go. Want to share data and common ground but not the power rail? No problem. Need to test what happens if there’s a break in just one of the data lines? This dongle is for you. It’s available assembled, and even has an optional 3D-printed case.

For help with other USB hacking/modifications, Tindie has quite a few USB breakout boards, which I outline here. I’ve also gone over some of the more “Exotic” breakouts in a separate post if you need something even more interesting.

The post USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease appeared first on Tindie Blog.

via Tindie

USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease

USBhelper

It’s time to charge your phone or other device on a USB receptacle you don’t own, so you would rather not expose the data lines as well. DIY options vary from cutting and disconnecting the appropriate cable (I’d suggest heat shrink) to literally taping over the data contacts. Though the tape method might not be the most durable, it’s quite clever, and would work well in a pinch.

For this particular use there are commercially available USB data blocker options at market. But this is the first time I’ve seen one that has the ability to selectively switch all four of the USB lines.

USBhelper1

The USB-Helper can switch off the data, power, and ground pins individually. For hardware developers this can come in quite handy for testing as you go. Want to share data and common ground but not the power rail? No problem. Need to test what happens if there’s a break in just one of the data lines? This dongle is for you. It’s available assembled, and even has an optional 3D-printed case.

For help with other USB hacking/modifications, Tindie has quite a few USB breakout boards, which I outline here. I’ve also gone over some of the more “Exotic” breakouts in a separate post if you need something even more interesting.

The post USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease appeared first on Tindie Blog.

via Tindie

USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease

USBhelper

It’s time to charge your phone or other device on a USB receptacle you don’t own, so you would rather not expose the data lines as well. DIY options vary from cutting and disconnecting the appropriate cable (I’d suggest heat shrink) to literally taping over the data contacts. Though the tape method might not be the most durable, it’s quite clever, and would work well in a pinch.

For this particular use there are commercially available USB data blocker options at market. But this is the first time I’ve seen one that has the ability to selectively switch all four of the USB lines.

USBhelper1

The USB-Helper can switch off the data, power, and ground pins individually. For hardware developers this can come in quite handy for testing as you go. Want to share data and common ground but not the power rail? No problem. Need to test what happens if there’s a break in just one of the data lines? This dongle is for you. It’s available assembled, and even has an optional 3D-printed case.

For help with other USB hacking/modifications, Tindie has quite a few USB breakout boards, which I outline here. I’ve also gone over some of the more “Exotic” breakouts in a separate post if you need something even more interesting.

The post USB-Helper Switches Power and Data Lines with Ease appeared first on Tindie Blog.

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