Sunday, February 3, 2008

DIY Playstation Portable Usb Charger

Materials Needed

Wire stripper, electrical tape, madcatz psp car charger, and usb cable...optional items...solder gun/solder, and a pair of sharp scissors.

Important Update: The data wires need to be grounded in order for the PSP to charge! Instructions follow.

mad catz car charger for the PSP usb printer cable wire cutters, electrical tape, box cutters

1) Grab all your materials. If using a solder iron/gun plug it in now.

2) Remove the outer shielding of the usb cable. Pull out the tin foil shielding, and reveal the wires.
A naked usb cable! 3) The wires are: red = +5 volts, black = earth (ground), and the two remaining are data cables. The white wire has disappeared because of the paper towel background...=)
Time to strip...! 4) Strip the black (earth/ground), green and white wires (data). Twist them together to form a easy to handle wire.

5) Strip the red (power +5V) wire. Twist it together.
Snip, snip... 6) Grab the car charger. Open it up to reveal two sets of wires, one in white shielding and the other surrounding the white sheilding. Usually when wiring is in this configuration...the inner wire is power while the one surrounding it is a earth wire. Using my voltmeter, I verify this.
Twisty? 7) Strip both wires, and then twist the stranded wire together.
Twisted... 8) Take both usb and charger cables. Join the power to power cable, and the earth to earth cable. Twist them around each other, if you are using solder, join both cables now instead of twisting them together.
Bound in tape! 9) Wrap both wires individually in electrical tape.
Mummy, I'm done! 10) Wrap the whole joint together in electrical tape.

11) Success! I don't have a PSP, but I have tested this with a five volt works! I'd get photos up of my buddy's PSP in motion with this charger soon...!

msn on the psp

finally someone worked out a nifty little system for the MSN for use on PSP.
And it looks good too. MSN isn't as popular as AIM or anything else, but it's great for talking with people who arent in america or just dont use aim. so this is obviously another step in psp advancing technology. there is literally maybe a little more than 2 or 3 graphics and the rest is nice and text based�.very cleanly I might add. so if you have wipeout pure, give it a try and let us know how it works out.

just point your browser to: and you're all set thanks to [kramer11]

PSP downgrader for v3.03 released

While I was on vacation, [Fanjita] and [Ditlew] released a downgrader for PSPs running v3.03 firmware. To get it to work, you'll need an unpatched copy of the GTA:Liberty City Stories UMD. The hack should get you down to v1.5. It's supposed to work on all current PSP hardware. Thanks to [wraggster], [Steve DiRaddo]. [Sean] submitted the same info [via noobz], but they don't appear to have credited the authors. (Unless of course, the authors are part of noobz.)

PSP PS2 controller

[F00 f00] over at acidmods put together this PS2 -> PSP controller. Using some similar techniques to [Ben Heck], he tapped all the control lines on his PSP and broke them out to what appear to be mini-usb connectors. Looking like a matrix subject, his PSP attaches to a dash board suction cup mount. Via pspnews thanks to [wraggster]

Pandora's battery (unbrick your PSP)

[krazywhiteguy310] let me know about the announcement of Pandora's battery. It'll cost you a Sony PSP battery to pull off the hack, but once you're done, you can use it to jump start your bricked PSP to load up a memory imaged designed to unbrick the PSP. (I haven't tested it, so I'm taking this on faith) Excellent news if you've bricked your PSP.

Virtualcogs open portable gaming platform

[David] thought you guys might like this - and I agree. It's an open gaming platform built around a PSP LCD. It's got all the basics, and it's expandable. They'd like to put together an order for a run of boards, so let em know if you want one. If you're lazy, here's the specs:
  • MX21 ARM9 266MHz processor with 64MB SDRAM and 16 MB of FLASH
  • TFT LCD from the PSP (our thanks to Nathan at Sparkfun for helping us out with that)
  • stereo audio CODEC
  • stereo speakers
  • headphone jack
  • microphone
  • couple of joysticks
  • loads of buttons
  • battery pack
  • SD/MMC slot
  • expandable (can add GPS, bluetooth, accelerometers and gyros, etc...)
Most of the hardware is pretty decent, but the battery pack could use some help. Maybe a good surplus li-ion cell phone battery.

high power TVBGone

[Ladyada]'s been busy lately. [bladdo] wrote in to tell me that she put together an extra powerful kit version of the TVBgone. This one's supposed to be good for over 100 feet. If you really, really want to get your ass kicked during the super bowl, this baby in a sports bar should do the trick. There's an optional programming header, so you could program it to turn every TV onto the SciFi channel.

Remember, I want to hear about your hacks! Use the tips line to send 'em in.

SDI mod your DVD player

I'm not usually into products, but I like this one. Remember this diy SDI DVD video out mod which lets you send high quality digital video over coax? Thanks to Pixel Magic, you can mod a variety of DVD players to add SDI thanks to the kit they're offering. At a glance, bt.656 and bt.601 appear pretty similar, but the eval kit from the original only claims to be compatible with bt.601 while the Pixel Magic version is for bt.656.

ipod photo stereoscope

this hack instantly reminded me of looking at stereo images at grandma's house when i was a kid, and though it's been all over the net today, i know how absolutely everyone here loves ipod hacks so much� several of you sent this in to me today, so i just couldn't help posting.

regardless of your portable music player preferences, you have to admit this is a fun and nifty hack. take a peek at the article and check out how the author uses the svideo output to make a 3d projector display. if you don't have two ipod photos, go grab a friend and do something similar with your camera phones. make sure to show your grandfolks -- they'll get a kick out of it.

Simple iPhone headphone mod

Apparently the iPhone jack isn't quite standard - it's a bit recessed to the point that third parties are offering adapters for it. [John] offers this simple method for modding Etymotic's fine ER6i headphones. (If only I could find mine. I haven't seen them for 8 months.) I suggest using a utility knife over a pocket knife. It's simple, easy, and will probably work on most headphones.

Upgrade your in-ear headphones

I'm a fan of my Etymotic er6i (which have mysteriously vanished...) headphones, so this simple hack caught my eye. [James C] sent in this simple method of upgrading the more affordable apple in ear headphones. The idea is simple, use a small hole punch to cut out the center of some cheap foam earplugs. Then replace the soft surrounds on the headphones with them. I'm guessing that this trick would work for quite a few in ear headphones that I've seen lately.

Cellular data controlled robot

[Jatinderjit] sent along the latest in LEGO robotics. The cell phone controlled robot. It's based on a LEGO Excavator kit with a few spare parts via ebay. The controller is a Nokia phone running a small webserver. A PIC 24F microcontroller runs the show as it receives commands via the phones IR interface. The phone uploads images from the on-board camera as fast as it can update it. Think of it as a poor mans mars earth rover.

FYI, This puppy made engadget while I was working it over, so the site might get a bit overloaded in the near future.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Forced air laptop cooling

We've seen some exotic laptop cooling solutions before. This one caught my eye for one reason - I've got an e1705 myself. (Complete with chipping media button paint). It's not the most stylish, but [WhiskeySix] combined some PVC pipe and an adjustable high flow fan to give his dell a major airflow upgrade. I'd like to see one built that mates to the exhaust ports on the rear. Sure, it's not pretty, but he was able to increase his frame rate by 50%. Thanks to [Wimpinator] for the tip.

Dual nic laptop mod

[Robert] opened up his old alienware laptop and installed an Intel Pro 100 mini-pci ethernet card. Then He replaced the modem port with the second ethernet jack. The hardware side is pretty simple, but getting the port soldered to a new custom cable and fitted to the case was the hard part.

Wiimote on your XBox 360

[UberNoober147] and [Carey] both sent in this round about hack. The Wiimote is interfaced with a PC. The PC outputs to a micro-controller circuit that outputs PlayStation 2 control signals. That's connected to a XFPS - a PS2 to XBox 360 controller converter. It's definitely round about, but it works.

Wiimote IR finger tracking

Just in case you needed another way to pretend that you're in Minority Report, [Johnny Lee] sent in this video showing how to track your hands using the Wiimote's IR camera,an infrared LED array and a bit of reflective tape to improve the gain.

Read every bit on a DVD

If you are curious about reading all the bits on a DVD, [tmbinc] has devised a hardware hack that uses a Pioneer DVD drive with leads soldered onto it and a Cypress FX2 microcontroller board to grab the flow of bits and push them over USB2.0. My favorite part of this tutorial is when you slow the spinning DVD down very slightly with your finger with a scope hooked up over what you believe to be the raw data stream from the disk. If the data rate slows when you physically slow down the disk, you probably are grabbing data from the correct pin. [tmbinc] even put together a software tool to process the resulting raw DVD data.

Voice controlled game controller

[] sent in this voice controlled video game project. The idea is simple and honorable: make gaming accessible to the physically limited. [Cyberpyrot] used a voice recognition kit and interfaced it with a bog standard XBox 360 controller. Looks like a fairly easy project if you're familiar with the pointy end of a soldering iron.