Projects

HTC Sensation Inductive Charging – Another Lunchtime Hack

by on Sep.06, 2012, under Electronics, Projects

Ever since the Palm Pre came out I’ve been in love with it’s inductive charging upgrade. Similarly to the Powermats, the charging base acts as a device stand with it’s integrated magnets in addition to charging your device without having to plug and unplug your device every time you need to use it. Once on the charger it outputs 5.50v. It’s a bit higher than other USB chargers I’ve used.

touchstone charger with back

Inductive charging back with base

“Induction chargers typically use an induction coil to create an alternating electromagnetic field from within a charging base station, and a second induction coil in the portable device takes power from the electromagnetic field and converts it back into electrical current to charge the battery. The two induction coils in proximity combine to form an electrical transformer.” -Wikipedia

 

After peeling off part of the backing you can see the coil and it’s output circuitry. You can also see the four magnets it uses to attach itself to the charging base. They do a good job of holding my heavy phone and case to the base.

 

After finally getting in the Touchstone base and replacement back I decided to get this working over some lunch. I was a bit uncertain at the time that the magnets would be able to hold my phone while it’s in it’s case. I also wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t experience any signal loss issues or suffer from any overheating while charging. I found the quickest way to make this work was to take the male end of a microUSB plug and wire it directly into the contacts off the inductive back. After taking apart the microUSB plug from a spare dead cable, you can use a 200 ohm resistor to short the D+ and D- pins on the plug. This allows the device to charge at a higher current, which will in turn charge a bit faster. After soldering it up I used some colored silicone to insulate the back of the plug.

Roughed in and adjusted the case to improve clearance

 

It works!

 

In order to clean this up and make it a bit more permanent and presentable, I have get away from using the charge port and get it through the housing. Unfortunately, the back housing of my phone has a nice metal frame right where I want to mount it. There are also a few antennas I need to avoid. The induction coil is going to have to stay on the back of the case, and somehow get passed thorough the metal housing into the board. I drilled through the back of the case near the sim card holder.

It took a bit of poking and prodding but I was able to find 2 test points that when the motherboard was plugged into a USB charger had +5v showing between the points and the ground plane. No magic smoke was released!

 

After a bit of soldering I was able to route the positive lead out of the phone housing and is now staged for the next step- going through the housing and into the case. The metal frame of the sim card holder is attached to the ground, so I can use that to complete the circuit. On a normal USB type charge port the ground pin attaches to the ground plane which is usually where all the shields are anchored into so I feel safe doing the same.

 

For the next stage of the project I’ll have to use some contacts or pogo plugs embedded within some silicone to go from the inside of the phone to the contact points on the induction charger. Ben had the good idea of using some thin copper PCB protoboard to act as thin traces.

To be continued!

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RaspberryPi Raffle – Proceeds going towards our Laser Cutter Fund!

by on Jul.30, 2012, under Events, Fundraising

Our very own Cliff has graciously donated a RaspberryPi for us to raffle off. We’ll be selling raffle tickets for $2 per ticket with no limit. All proceeds of the raffle will be put towards our Laser Cutter Fund which we are getting near our target goal. We’ll be drawing the winner of the Raffle at the LAN Party on August 25th. You do not have to be present to win. Please see Joe to purchase tickets any time between now and August 25th.

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New Space Updates – Laying Carpet July 28th

by on Jul.17, 2012, under Events, omgwhathaveidone

Some of you may know, and others may be unaware until now, Ben has graciously bought us brand new carpet for the common room at the space.  Via the help of the friendly Nashville guys we were able to secure it, and with Claudio’s assistance getting it home.

Now comes the hard part.  In attempts of further prepping the space for a LAN party around August 25, various other obligations of the board members, and general time frame, we hope to try and install the carpet in the space on July 28th.  That will be 1 week from this coming Saturday.  So this is a call out to everyone for any and all help we can get on the 28th to get that carpet installed.  We will need people to help move and shift around the stuff in the common room.  Especially when it comes to the benches, we will need a few extra hands to move those.  If we can get enough people together, we’ll be able to easily shift the furniture around, lay down the carpet, and then shift the furniture back.  The hopes and goal for the day will be to get everything carpeted so that we can have it ready for our house warming event.  If you think you can help, please make plans to be there and if you don’t mind speak up on this thread, or send me a direct message, so we’ve got an idea of how many will be helping.  After we’ve had an opportunity to discuss things a little further, look for more details to be announced here on time and any other plans.

Ben and Dan got another piece of pegboard mounted, a few more things shifted around, and a little more organized.  Between all the efforts Dru put forth this weekend, what Ben and Joe were able to accomplish on the recycling run, and what we did tonight, we should have the space in a much better situation in short order.  Be looking for more details and plans in another email shortly.

The big thing that we have coming up is going to be a wish list of items that we need.  Mostly little things from what I know, and I’m sure that others can contribute to the list.  What I would like to hit people up for ideas on is how we should go about handling such a wish list?  There will be various little things that we can all come up with needing at the space, and I’d like to have a setup that would facilitate people being able to pick and choose to get things.  What do you guys think would work best for this?  Also what items can you think of to add to such a list? Let us know on the mailing list.

Thanks in advance for everyone’s help.

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MidsouthMakers Ready to move in!

by on Jun.22, 2012, under Business, Events, News, omgwhathaveidone

With our first move in day scheduled for June 23rd, here’s some updated pictures of our progress at the new space.

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Update on the new space progress

by on Jun.19, 2012, under Business, News, omgwhathaveidone

Dan Vacuuming Drywall

Just to give everyone an update, Ben, Claudio, Dan, and Joe have been up at the new space working nearly everyday since we’ve signed the lease. We have taken down all the walls we needed to take down. We’ve fixed the drop ceiling in the community room. We’ve prepped the walls of the community room to be primed and painted. We need to put up a couple of walls and we’ll be ready to start moving stuff in.

We’re still waiting on the AC to be fixed (Hasn’t worked since we’ve been there) and we’re waiting on a guy to come fix the broken glass in the front door.

We are going to be up working on the new space every night this week. If any members would like to come give us a hand we would greatly appreciate it. Let us know when you plan on coming out, we don’t want to get too many people in the space and not be able to get any work done.

Hoping to get our Comcast connection moved over (as well as our servers/camera setup) sometime Friday. We’re just waiting on Comcast to schedule a time/date.

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Why is there no fill tool for real life? — Chris Patton