Browsed by
Category: My Projects

My Projects

SparkFun FT232RL Breakout Board

SparkFun FT232RL Breakout Board

This little guy will be making his appearance in some future electronics projects 


From SparkFun Electronics, this little guy is a USB to UART converter, I’ll see what kind of fun I can have with it.

SparkFun Electronics says:

[This is a…] basic breakout board for FTDI’s popular USB to UART IC. Now with
internal oscillator and EEPROM, the FT232RL is an impressive IC!

VCCIO is now tied to 3.3V through a solder jumper. You have the
option of clearing this jumper and tying the VCCIO pin to 5V or any
other IO voltage you need.


  • Implements full v2.0 USB protocol
  • Needs no external crystal
  • Internal EEPROM for device ID and Product Description strings
  • Royalty-Free Driver support for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX
RGB Leds

RGB Leds

I recently got my packet of 50 RGB LEDs, and free 50 current-limiting resistors to go along with it, direct from China. :-D

It was called “50x 5mm RGB LED Slow Colour Change Free Resistors“, and the seller is “amigoofchina“. You can see his eBay Store here.

In the picture, I have a close-up of one of the LEDs, and a row of them in the process of changing colors. They don’t keep time very well, they just dance to their own drum.

Check out the video of a bunch of them in action, and a great explaination at Dan’s Data: The Embarassingly Easy Case Mod.


CueCat-Readable Barcodes

CueCat-Readable Barcodes

Barcode symbologies that the CueCat reads:

Barcode symbologies that the CueCat does not read:

  • RSS
  • Code 93
  • PharmaCode
  • Codabar
  • Any 2D Barcodes
  • Barcodes with varying height (POSTNET, etc)


  • EAN-2, EAN-5
  • Code 39
  • Any others?

For more information on barcodes, check out:

MSNTV2 Close-up

MSNTV2 Close-up

MSNTV2 with IDE, Serial header and Power.

Here’s a better shot of the MSNTV2. Note: I added an old heatsink  to the Northbridge, as it tends to run warm.


CueCat Hacking

CueCat Hacking

I bought 3 nice, new, and almost shiny CueCats in a package deal from eBay. :-D

As far as a tutorial for hacking CueCats, here goes.

Disclaimer: This hack is for the 2-screw, PS-2 CueCats. Don’t try this if your CueCat has 4 screws, or if it is USB. (Google is your friend). This tutorial is provided with no guarantee of accuracy or completeness, and I am not responsible for any damages this may cause.

  1. Open up the CueCat by removing the 2 screws on the bottom and gently removing the top. [CueCat Opened Up]
  2. Remove the cable gently [CueCat, Cable Removed]
  3. Remove the two pins as directed in this picture by applying heat from a soldering iron and bending the pins upwards.
  4. Check your work to make sure there is no left-over solder or any pins touching one-another.
  5. Reassemble the CueCat.

For more information, look on Google or read “Hardware Hacking: Having Fun While Voiding Your Warranty“. :thumbsup:

MSNTV2 Hardware & Architecture

MSNTV2 Hardware & Architecture

Here’s what phpSysInfo has to say:

Processors  	1
Model 	Mobile Intel(R) Celeron(TM) CPU 733MHz
CPU Speed 	731.08 Mhz
Cache Size 	256.00 KB
System Bogomips 	1445.88
PCI Devices 	
-	Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB PRO/100 VE
-	Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82830 830 Chipset Host Bridge
-	IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801DB
-	ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL
-	Modem: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM
-	Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM
-	PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge
-	SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM
-	(3x) USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM
-	USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBM
-	VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82830 CGC [Chipset Graphics Controller]
IDE Devices 	
-	hda: SanDisk SDCFB-64 (Capacity: 61.25 MB)
-	hdc: WDC WD1600JB-00GVC0 (Capacity: 149.05 GB)
SCSI Devices 	none
USB Devices 	none

Here’s the dump of /proc/cpuinfo:

$ cat cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 11
model name      : Mobile Intel(R) Celeron(TM) CPU          733MHz
stepping        : 4
cpu MHz         : 731.087
cache size      : 256 KB
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 2
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 mmx fxsr sse
bogomips        : 1445.88

An explaination of what the flags are is available here: IntelĀ® 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer’s Manuals in Volume 2: Instruction Set Reference, specifically pages




of Volume 2A: Instruction Set Reference

Here is the output of lspci on an MSNTV2:

$ lspci -tvv
-[00]-+-00.0  Intel Corporation 82830 830 Chipset Host Bridge
      +-02.0  Intel Corporation 82830 CGC [Chipset Graphics Controller]
      +-1d.0  Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #1
      +-1d.1  Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #2
      +-1d.2  Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #3
      +-1d.7  Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-M) USB2 EHCI Controller
      +-1e.0-[01]----08.0  Intel Corporation 82801DB PRO/100 VE (CNR) Ethernet Controller
      +-1f.0  Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL (ICH4/ICH4-L) LPC Interface Bridge
      +-1f.1  Intel Corporation 82801DB (ICH4) IDE Controller
      +-1f.3  Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) SMBus Controller
      +-1f.5  Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller
      \-1f.6  Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Modem Controller

Here’s the dump of /proc/ioports:

$ cat /proc/ioports
0000-001f : dma1
0020-0021 : pic1
0040-0043 : timer0
0050-0053 : timer1
0060-006f : keyboard
0070-0077 : rtc
0080-008f : dma page reg
00a0-00a1 : pic2
00c0-00df : dma2
00f0-00ff : fpu
0170-0177 : ide1
01f0-01f7 : ide0
02f8-02ff : serial
0376-0376 : ide1
03c0-03df : ega
03f6-03f6 : ide0
03f8-03ff : serial
0500-053f : 0000:00:1f.0
0cf8-0cff : PCI conf1
1000-107f : 0000:00:1f.0
8000-801f : 0000:00:1d.0
8020-803f : 0000:00:1d.1
8040-805f : 0000:00:1d.2
9000-903f : 0000:01:08.0
  9000-903f : e100
a020-a02f : 0000:00:1f.1
a040-a05f : 0000:00:1f.3
a100-a1ff : 0000:00:1f.5
a200-a23f : 0000:00:1f.5
a300-a3ff : 0000:00:1f.6
a400-a47f : 0000:00:1f.6

Here’s the dump of /proc/interrupts:

$ cat /proc/interrupts
  0:   32149675          XT-PIC  timer
  2:          0          XT-PIC  cascade
  4:        169          XT-PIC  serial
  5:    6825495          XT-PIC  eth0
  8:          2          XT-PIC  rtc
 14:         87          XT-PIC  ide0
 15:   14329233          XT-PIC  ide1
NMI:          0
LOC:          0
ERR:          0
MIS:          0


Probing for `SMSC 47M15x/192 Super IO Fan Sensors'
Success... found at address 0x0800

It looks like the fan controller is an SMSC 47M1, meaning you can control and monitor fan speed using programs such as lm-sensors. Here is the doc file for the SMSC 47M1.