Your source for daily hacks

Published on: September 19, 2013 / Comments: None

Solar Swing-Set Install

Benjamin has created a series of videos showing how he converted a swing-set to serve a dual purpose. He beefed up the structure with some 3/4″ conduit which he flattened the ends on and used it for cross bracing. A couple of solar panels we mounted to the roof and the wires were safely routed through conduit to a remote location when he uses the energy to charge his electric motorcycle.

The charging rate varies significantly proportional to the amount of sun. He was seeing 2 Amps on a cloudy day  and has witnessed up to 7 Amps. Check out the videos  after the break.

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Published on: July 25, 2013 / Comments: None

Pretty much every possible option to power your network cameras

The guys over at SuperHouse have really done their research. In the video, they explore just about every option you have for powering your network cameras. From the obvious, to the not-so-obvious. I’ve seen hacks before, and done myself, which is simply use the unused pair of wires to basically ‘extend’ your power adapter on a high amperage bus, then split again back at the camera. But what I haven’t tried is using a real POE injector, then using a small 5v switching regulator at the base. The beauty of doing it this way, is you avoid the dropout you are going to occur by simply running 5v on the other pair especially over long distances. In the video most of the time is spent doing this option, which is really neat because basically they take a really cheap foscam ip camera and essentially turn it into a more POE camera.

Another really green idea would be to cut the wires completely, and I do mean all of them. Use a solar cell, and a battery and power your WIFI camera from that. You would obviously need to be in a place where you could get ample sunshine during the day to charge the battery for nighttime use, but the concept is solid.

Published on: July 24, 2013 / Comments: None

Get your Raspberry Pi to use less juice!

Dave Akerman wants to shoot his Raspberry Pi into the sky on a balloon.  In order to do that the Pi has to run on battery power.  Dave dives deep into the core of the Raspberry Pi’s power configuration and decides that unless you are running a USB device that needs 5v, you can power the Pi on as little as 3.3 volts.  Now I can appreciate any article that starts out with a disclaimer about voiding your warranty!  Dave strips off the on-board linear regulator and goes through the option of wiring up your own LDO (possibly more efficient) or using a switching regulator.