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26 Feb 2015


by BinksBrew @ instructables.com:

For a long time I’ve had old back up cell phones taking up space in my desk drawer. I was curious if I could put any of these old phones to some use. I can’t just throw them away so I decided to try and re-purpose one of them as a portable charger for my current smart phone.

Portable Charger for your Smartphone - [Link]

20 Feb 2015


by elektor.com:

You don’t need to travel far in the Dutch countryside before you come across a traditional windmill. Now a consortium of Rotterdam-based companies are planning to build a massive wind-powered generator structure in Rotterdam harbor that will generate energy without using rotating blades. The innovative ‘Windwheel’ will work on the EWICON (Electrostatic WInd energy CONverter) principle developed at TU Delft and Wageningen University backed by a government economy/ecology innovation program.

The striking design has no moving parts but will use wind power to move charged particles (water droplets in this case) against the direction of an electric field. Charge will be transferred to a plate and then fed into the grid. Plans for the proposed generator structure are ambitious and indicate that it will contain a 160-room hotel built on seven floors, 72 residential apartments, a restaurant and other visitor attractions including an outer glass and steel ring structure containing viewing gondolas.

A Bladeless Wind-Powered Generator - [Link]

4 Feb 2015


by DIY Hacks and How Tos @ instructables.com:

A “Joule Thief” is a simple voltage booster circuit. It can increase the voltage of power source by changing the constant low voltage signal into a series of rapid pulses at a higher voltage. You most commonly see this kind of circuit used to power LEDs with a “dead” battery. But there are many more potential applications for this kind of circuit.

In this project, I am going to show you how you can use a Joule Thief to charge batteries with low voltage power sources. Because the Joule Thief is able to boost the voltage of a signal, you are able to charge a battery with a power source whose output voltage is actually lower than the battery itself.

This lets you take advantage of low voltage power sources such as thermoelectric generators, small turbines and individual solar cells.

Joule Thief Low Voltage Battery Charger - [Link]

3 Feb 2015


The LTC®3305 balances up to 4 lead acid batteries connected in series. All voltage monitoring, gate drive, and fault detection circuitry is integrated. The LTC3305 is designed for stand-alone operation and does not require any external control circuitry.

The LTC3305 employs an auxiliary battery or an alternative storage cell to transfer charge to or from each individual battery in the stack. A mode pin provides two operating modes, timer mode and continuous mode. In timer mode, once the balancing operation is completed, the LTC3305 goes into a low power state for a programmed time and then periodically rebalances the batteries. In continuous mode, the balancing operation continues even after the batteries are balanced to their programmed termination voltage.

LTC3305 – Lead Acid Battery Balancer - [Link]

26 Jan 2015

by SparkFun Electronics @ youtube.com:

In today’s episode of “According to Pete,” SparkFun Director of Engineering Pete Dokter is taking a look at homelighting solutions and the SparkFun FemtoBuck LED Driver

SparkFun According to Pete #40: LED Home Lighting and the FemtoBuck Driver - [Link]

10 Jan 2015

TheSignalPathBlog @ youtube.com:

In this episode Shahriar attempts a repair of an Agilent E3642A DC Power Supply which is completely non-responsive. After presenting a teardown of the power supply, the GPIB interface is used to verify the functionality of the power supply. The problem is traced to the main display unit which communicated with the main power supply via a serial interface.

After disassembly of the display, it is revealed that the entire unit has suffered a catastrophic failure due to the VFD display drive IC. All components must be individually removed and replaced. Unfortunately the main processor is a Mask ROM IC version (80C51) and cannot be sourced. Can you help Shahriar find a replacement part?

Teardown, Repair and Analysis of an Agilent E3642A DC Power Supply - [Link]

8 Jan 2015


by kalshagar.wikispaces.com:

I bought recently on yahoo auctions a set of 4 gameboys (1 brick, 2 colors and 1 pocket 1st gen) because I had a plan to hack them and I needed some guinea pigs. I have already 2 at home but … well, it was a total of 1,500 JPY (10 euro w/ delivery) so. Got them yesterday morning, quick check: all working modulo the inevitable sticky buttons or gunk that went everywhere after 15 years. Dismantle, wash (water & soap), remove glue (ugly pokemon stickers) and marker (acetone), dry, reassemble. Working fine, nice looking and that vomiting man-sweat smell is gone (previous owner must have had very sweaty hands).

Gameboy battery upgrade - [Link]

24 Dec 2014


Jason over at Rip It Apart did a teardown of a Kentli PH5 1.5 V Li-Ion AA battery:

The PCB that holds the 1.5 volt regulator is inside the end cap, with the rest made up of the Li-ion cell itself. Curiously enough, the cell inside is labeled “PE13430 14F16 2.66wh” which is interesting in more than one way. First of all, the rated energy content of the cell is less than what’s on the outside label (2.66 watt-hours versus 2.8), and the cell inside is actually a Li-ion polymer (sometimes called a “Li-Po” cell) type; I was expecting a standard cylindrical cell inside. Unfortunately, my Google-fu was unable to pull up any data on the cell. I might attempt to do a chemistry identification cycle on the cell and see if TI’s battery database can bring something up.


Teardown of Kentli PH5 1.5 V Li-Ion AA battery - [Link]

23 Dec 2014


by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:

For rapidly growing markets such as wearables or the Internet of Things (IoT), energy harvesting can significantly enhance battery life—or even enable battery-free designs. At the same time, however, engineers designing wearables and IoT devices face significant constraints in total design size and footprint. To meet growing demands for miniaturized systems, designers can turn to an array of highly integrated energy-harvesting ICs and wireless MCUs from silicon vendors including Atmel, CSR, Freescale Semiconductor, Linear Technology, Maxim Integrated, NXP Semiconductor, Silicon Laboratories, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments, among others.

Energy harvesting offers tremendous benefits for applications able to take advantage of ambient-energy sources. Designers have employed energy-harvesting techniques to power applications ranging from motor and engine monitors to railway trackside electronics. Typically, these applications are based on wireless-sensor designs built to transmit sampled data about the environment or events of interest to a controller, aggregator, or other host (Figure 1).

Specialized ICs Squeeze Large Capabilities into Tiny Energy-Harvesting Solutions - [Link]

17 Dec 2014

by Afrotechmods @ youtube.com

A beginner’s guide to different battery chemistries and how to choose the right battery for your project.

How to choose a battery: A battery chemistry tutorial - [Link]





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