Thursday, May 27, 2010

Xbox 360 Extra Fans

I wanted to cool my Xbox 360, but went the DIY route instead of wasting some $20 on fans and plastic, especially since I already had everything I needed. Pretty basic, hooked some fans up to a switch and a 12v wall power supply.

I made some small hooks from pipe cleaners after burning the cotton from them.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Xbox 360 Controller hack details

You'll need a voltmeter, soldering iron, and a wire stripping tool
  1. USB Cord - I salvaged mine from an old web cam
  2. 3.0V - 3.3V Voltage Regulator - I'm told the controller may accept 5v+, but I'm unable to confirm.
  3. Thin wire - I used 28 AWG
  4. Heat shrink tubing of various sizes
  5. Electrical tape
  6. 2 dead AA batteries - the inspiration for this hack
The negative(black*) and positive(red*) are soldered to the corresponding leads on the regulator, a ground wire for the controller, and the voltage output. Test the cable and make sure you are getting a good voltage. Cover everything up with heat shrink tubing and leave a few inches of wire for the negative and positive connections.

*Could be different, test with voltmeter.


Trim the end of your wires and wrap a bit into the battery springs. Positive is on the left and negative on the right.


Next, take your AA's. Using a sparing amount of electrical tape, cover the negative side of one battery, and positive on the other. Insert the batteries in the pack so that the taped ends are showing. Insert the battery pack and make sure the wires stay on the terminals. A small piece of tape on the back of the pack will help keep the wires out of the way.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Xbox 360 Controller hack cont.

Full details here:
Original Post:

The mess of tape was a bit of an eye sore so I went ahead and cleaned things up. To start, I got rid of some excess wire and covered the regulator and splices up with white heat-shrink tubing to make it look nice. I decided to use the original back, so I made dummy batteries by putting tape over 2 AA's, which hold the - and + leads in place. A single piece of tape on the back keeps the wires out of the way. New setup should be much more durable.

I should point out that I am using a voltage regulator that is three-tenths of a volt over what two AA cells produce, which seems to be within the threshold of the controller's components. Also know that the controller is still communicating wirelessly, it is simply using USB as a power supply.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

XBOX 360 Controller hack


I've been burning through AA batteries playing Forza 3 so I used what I had and threw together this controller hack.

I haven't prettied it up yet but it works great. Circuitry is overly simple. A 3.3V voltage regulator is connected to a USB cable's 5v supply and ground, VOut and GND are wrapped around the battery coils. Everything is then secured with heat shrinking and electrical tape.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2D Project

I've been busy working on my long term project of making a 2D side-scrolling game. So much in fact that I haven't progressed on any of my other projects, such as my RGB Light bar, which has hung up on the wall since I got it all working.

Up until now, I'd been referring to my game simply as "2D Framework". An inside joke led me to choose the backronym 'Seismic', in jest of a friends project(it doesn't actually stand for anything yet). Originally, I had planned to implement the level editor in-engine, but I finally decided to look towards the open source community for something to modify. I found a pretty basic map editor and got it using my file format after an awkward introduction to C#. I'm aiming to reach Milestone #2 in my project by March 7, 2010, which will include: Player/sprite animation, proper player movement(gravity, tile blocking etc), at least one enemy being spawned, and a level with an end point. I'm just sort of taking what I can get for sprites and textures at the moment. Here's the most recent progress shot:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ghetto Serial Loopback

DO NOT TRY THIS. You can mess up your computer trying this. Like it won't work anymore mess up. If you know what you are doing, you should know the precautions to take and as such, I am just going to say DON'T DO IT for the rest of you.

A while back, I needed to test a serial port out at a remote site. Lacking the tools, I improvised a quick solution. I used a paper clip and an ink tube from a pen. I just came across this picture so I'm posting it now. Please note, it is recommended you use a small resistor between the pins.
Basically, I chopped two snippets off the end of the ink tube and used them to couple the pins with the paperclip.

I was curious what other people had tried, here was another interesting solution I came across in my search where a small key ring is used:

Also, light bar hardware is about done minus some cleanup work. Pictures to come when my EyeFi card stops acting up...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

SparkFun Free Day - My picks

Think I've pretty much figured out what I'll try to order tomorrow during SparkFun Electronics's Free Day. Judging by the amount of lag I received on the site both the day of the announcement and at this very moment, I expect the sale will not last. How long? Well I have anti-luck, so I'm not even submitting my guess. But for the record, my guess is 9:03 AM.

Here's what I'm going to try and nab.

USB miniB Cable - 6 Foot: $3.95

FTDI Basic Breakout - 5V: $13.95

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz: $18.95

Wire Strippers 30AWG: $4.95

SparkFun Pint Glass - $9.95

Total: $51.75

Minus the Wire Strippers and Pint glass, all parts will go to my RGB Light Bar project. I'll be a bit too preoccupied to update as I just built a new PC and picked up a copy of Left 4 Dead 2, so the LightBar hardware should be completed and wall mounted by the next post.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Light bar

Above is a shot of my lightbar resting ontop of my monitor. This shot is without the LED lenses.
Going to try and nab an Arduino Pro mini during SparkFun Electronics's free sale this week. Hardware's been done for a while minus the pro mini, and I won't be able to put her up on the wall until then. It does not look like the IR receiver is going to be making it into this project, at least until I find more time.