Projects, notes, etc by Will O’Brien


Category: hardware

Motherboard bios updating for fun and profit

26 October, 2012 (10:09) | hardware | 1,110 comments

My Gigabyte ga-z68x-ud3h-b3 was due for some updating. It was trivial to use QFlash to update to the latest Award Bios, but it took a little extra work to get it up to the new UEFI bios. Here’s how I did it. Follow the bootable dos usb tutorial here. Download the appropriate bios updater and [...]

CNC machine/robotic cable management

11 September, 2012 (08:35) | hardware | 887 comments

Since I’ve been building my mecha-shapeoko, I’ve been looking into parts that make the build really clean. If you recall the Happy Monkey snowboard CNC machine, it had some really nice cable management that kept the cabling clear of the machine during operation. With my machine going large scale, I wanted to get some. My [...]

Cheap Wifi Thermostat with a JSON API

9 April, 2012 (08:08) | hardware, iPhone, networking, Toys | 10 comments

I updated my thermostat to one of these. It’s made by Homewerks (Home depot sells a filtrete branded version.) It’s not as cool as the NEST, but it’ll do the job of controlling a furnace/AC. The interesting part of this device is that the wifi interface can be cloud managed, making it possible to control [...]

Amazing engineering – ebikes gone wild

10 February, 2012 (08:21) | Electric Vehicle, hardware, Motorcycle | 4 comments

Recently I started working on an electric bicycle. Financially they’re quite viable and the performance you can get out of today’s batteries is finally worth the effort! In my research, I ran across a build log by a interesting fellow named greyborg. He makes custom bikes (in Croatia I believe) and has done some steller [...]

SMS remote start usability update

17 December, 2011 (14:51) | hardware, SMSresponder | 3 comments

Ok, so it’s been a week since I installed the SMS interface. I took the car out to Winter Park for a week of sliding down the mountain and gave the system a real world test. (Tried it from my hotel room while the car was outside) and it worked! I just gave it another [...]

SMSresponder interface schematic

17 December, 2011 (14:42) | hardware, SMSresponder | 9 comments

I whipped up a clean schematic for my current version of the SMS responder. I left out the iphone dock connector because I used a breakout board – and really, it’s easier that way, you can cable over to the iphone. Click to view the entire schematic – my blog trims the images (I don’t [...]

SMS Remote Start – working prototype

11 December, 2011 (19:01) | hardware, iPhone, News, SMSresponder | 4,398 comments

A quick update on the SMS remote start using my old iPhone… It works! I can now start my Subaru outback via SMS command from wherever I am. I used an older Arduino simply because I wanted a quick and dirty 3.3v source for the iphone to arduino serial interface. The perfboard has a tip120 [...]

Cheap connectivity for your gsm project.

20 November, 2011 (10:14) | hardware | 1 comment

I tried to get a telemetry sim via the diydrones guys, but they were out! I opted for my old friend, the pay as you go t-mobile setup. I just picked up a $20 phone at walmart, then activated the sim with the iphones imei. You don’t have to do that. You can activate the [...]