How to make a PCB, part 1: making the schematic for Particle Photon RFM69 board

Particle Photon RFM69HCW schematic

Many of the projects I plan to cover in the future include designing and building custom PCBs. This is the first post in a series where I’ll be covering how to make a simple PCB, this post in particular covers the process of creating the schematic for the PCB. After this series is complete I’ll begin covering projects like my weather station, and a custom DDS function generator.

PCB design requirements

For this series I will be covering the process of making a PCB that connects a Particle Photon to an Adafruit RFM6HCW9 900MHz radio module.This is a very simple board which will give you a good introduction to PCB design. I will be using this same board as the indoor weather data receiver for my weather station project. [Read More]

SCPH-7501 PlayStation 1 MM3 modchip installation (PU-22 NTSC board)

SCPH-7501 PS1

In April I wrote a post on how to install a MM3 modchip into a PM-41 NTSC PSone console. This is a similar post, but covering anSCPH-7501 PlayStation 1 MM3 modchip installation. An MM3 modchip allows the PlayStation to boot directly to game backups burned to CDs.

MM3 modchips also allow you to run games from other regions. You can buy an MM3 chip for not a whole lot of money, they’re around $4-10. Cost primarily depending on how long you want to wait for your chip. Buying a chip from China is cheaper, but takes longer to arrive. I purchased my chip from a US seller on eBay preprogrammed and prewired for $8 shipped. [Read More]

DIY variable bench power supply with DPS5005 and LRS-150-48

Bench power supply front

I have used several power sources for my projects over the years. Things like wall warts, USB ports, ATX power supplies, and a laptop power supply plugged into a buck converter. These power sources are functional, but not ideal. This post covers the creation of a better bench power supply using a DPS5005 front end, and a LRS-150-48 power supply back end.

My bench power supply requirements

Here’s a list of things I was looking for in a power supply. I wanted something that was very flexible, so that it could be used for a wide variety of circuits. [Read More]

CECH-2001A PS3 slim custom firmware installation with Teensy

Teensy wired to PS3

In March I wrote a post about installing custom firmware onto a CECHA01 PS3 fat, and a CECH-2101A PS3 slim. This post goes into more detail on the same custom firmware installation process with a CECH-2001A PS3 slim console.

What is custom firmware, what is it used for, and what are the installation requirements

This section is a brief overview of the custom firmware background information I wrote about in my last PS3 custom firmware post. Custom firmware allows the PS3 to run homebrew software. With custom firmware a PS3 can do many things, including:

  • Create and run game backups.
  • Run emulators for other consoles.
  • Monitor temperatures, and control fan speeds.

Custom firmware installation requires a system that is running firmware 3.55 or earlier. This is because the encryption system on version 3.55 was cracked, allowing custom firmware updates to be seen as official software updates on consoles. Sony patched this issue in the next firmware release, and nothing released since has been hacked. [Read More]

August update 2017

In February I wrote this blog’s first post, where I talked about my plans for upcoming posts. Today I’ll be starting a series of monthly posts similar to my first post, where I talk about my plans for the month. This is my August update for 2017.

July post summary

Last month I wrote four posts covering modding three video game consoles. Topics include console fan upgrades to reduce noise, an HDMI video output mod, and a guide covering how to RGH an Xbox 360 S for only $10.

  1. SCPH-39001 PS2 fan upgrade
    • The PS2 fat is a fairly noisy console, especially when a hard drive is installed. To make things more quiet I upgraded the stock fan inside the console to a much quieter Noctua computer fan.
  2. Original Xbox 80mm fan upgrade
    • This post is similar to the PS2 fan upgrade, but for the original Xbox. Just like the PS2, the Xbox isn’t very quiet. I was able to fit a larger, and quieter, 80mm computer fan into the original Xbox.
  3. Adding an HDMI port to the PS2 fat
    • This post is similar to a post I made in March where I added an HDMI port to my original Xbox. The Xbox post has actually been the most popular post I have written this year. I was able to do the same sort of mod to my PS2 fat using pretty much the same parts.
  4. Cheap Xbox 360 S Trinity RGH using an LPT port and X360Ace
    • This post covers the process of doing an RGH mod on an Xbox 360 S. My goal was to do the mod as cheaply as possible, it ended up costing about $10. If you already have an LPT connector, and some resistors, it might only cost you $7.

August post plans

This month I’m planning to write another four posts, not including this one. I plan to start covering some topics other than video game consoles. In particular I have been spending a lot of time over the past few weeks working on my outdoor weather station, which could result in some blog posts. Here’s a short list of some possible posts: [Read More]