iminixie Arduino Clock (imitation nixie)

This is a joint project I did with my wife. We got to talking one day and thought it would be neat to make our own nixie clock. Nixie tubes look awesome, but we didn’t want to spend a buttload of money to buy all the tubes and circuitry required to run them. Instead we decided on making something that had the look of a nixie clock but with cheaper parts, most of which I had on hand already. My job was to get the code and electronics working while she did all the decorating. I’ll be talking only about the electronics and software. Check out her post about the rest of the build.

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Posted by mozzwald on Mon, 20 Jul 2015     |     1 comment
tags: arduino, clock

3G Cellular Zipit Z2

I’ve had this crazy idea for a while to build my own cellphone. While Android phones are ok and have most of the applications I need, I think it would be neat to have a more pure Linux/GNU based distro running on a cellphone. It would be more of a proof-of-concept slash “just because I can” type of device than a real phone. I figured I could get this working on the Zipit. Back in April while looking around for cellular modules I found that Huawei brand USB dongles are common and supported in Linux. Some of them even support voice calls. I found a dongle on Ali Express for a measly $11USD with free shipping and promptly ordered it.

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Posted by mozzwald on Wed, 8 Jul 2015     |     0 comments
tags:

Troubleshooting & Reviving Single Cell Batteries

There’s a lot of hubbub on the internet about charging Lipo batteries and how dangerous it can be. It can be, but if you take some precautions it’s perfectly safe. Charging Lipos safely typically requires specialty IC’s to ensure they don’t explode. All devices with Lipos (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc) have these charging chips built in to protect the device and the consumer from an oops. The batteries themselves also contain a protection IC. The IC’s are great but can be over protective. I often get phones and tablets for repair with “bad” batteries that just need a little coercion into working again.

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Posted by mozzwald on Wed, 6 May 2015     |     0 comments
tags: lipo, battery, power, iphone

Tinkering With Janky Solar Power

About three years ago I picked up the Harbor Freight 45 Watt Solar Panel Kit with good intentions. The kit was on sale (I think ~$130) and I figured, “why not? This could be a great backup power system.” Unfortunately, it’s not great and it’s no good as backup power for much of anything most folks would use it for. It does, however, provide some electricity and I figure I should use it. After the purchase I fiddled around with it, then put it away until this spring. I decided to give it another go and challenge myself. My goal was to not plug my cell phone into a wall charger for as long as I could.

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Posted by mozzwald on Fri, 17 Apr 2015     |     1 comment
tags: solar

Zippity Beeps and some other bits

A few years ago I looked around for a way to have the Zipit play console beeps and found some ways but could never get them working. The other day someone in #zipit reminded me about those beeps so I looked again and found the Fancy Beeper Daemon.

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Posted by mozzwald on Thu, 26 Mar 2015     |     0 comments
tags: zipit, openwrt

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