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:
http://interface.centraltreasure.com/computer-hardware-article-diy-comport-test.html

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
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=598

FTDI Basic Breakout - 5V: $13.95
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9115

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz: $18.95
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9218

Wire Strippers 30AWG: $4.95
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8696

SparkFun Pint Glass - $9.95
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8405

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.