Monday, November 23, 2009

[warez] fun with plasma ball

Still remember my USB plasma ball toy?

I have decided to play around with it using a fluorescent light tube. But what worries me was the power rating of the usb plasma ball. It is running on 5V, 110mA from the USB. I am not sure whether it will work on a 2' 10W fluorescent light tube. Anyway, i got a 8W 6" fluorescent light tube for the repair man I bump into this repair man when i was conducting my lab session. He is kind enough to loan me for a while. thx man~

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

[warez] poor man's projector

Poor Man's Projector for Entertainment.

 I was toying with the idea of owning a projector at my pad. So that I can watch movie, play games, do word processing, write code on the BIG screen. It's year end nearing the corner and this is the time where all the "crazy" sales begin. But The projector's price still as "crazy". Ranging from s$1k and above for a XVGA ones with acceptable lifetime of the bulb. I should save my year end bonus for paying the education loan i have taken and pay for more important stuffs (buying a LV neverfull is never important! duh...), instead of splurging on warez.

  I am not going through the details about LCD technology, but here is where you can read more about it. I love wikipedia!

By reading up on how LCD monitors are constructed. I could have remove item2 on the picture and replaced the back light with a light source from the OHP and "tahdah" my projector! There go my frenzy search for spoilt LCD and OHP. DO NOT THROW away your old warez, breath new life into them. Alternatively, you can donate it to me! hahaha. I would like to thank monir, pauline and chin hee for sourcing the written off items or faulty items such as the LCD, OHP and tools. Items are really old and chuck in a dark corner, until i salvage them. Proceed with care. Observe are safety requirements and bleed the voltage store in the LCD monitor before proceed by disconnecting from the mains and let it sit for some time, I do not have a professional bleeding circuit on hand nor i am making one. Too hazardous.... 

What I have used.
1. 1x Phillips Brilliant 105p 15" LCD monitor (FREE)
2. 1x OHP (FREE)
3. 2 wednesday afternoon (PRICELESS).

This is the LCD monir gets me. After removing the base stand from the LCD (requires some yanking and potential risk to crack the plastic housing), Unscrew the nut that holds the back panel to the LCD. Look out for the latch that hooks the lcd monitor housing in place. Usually, they come in a pair.

carefully lift the front panel cover after unlatching all the sides.

Remove the plastic front panel carefully, without damaging the hooks and latches.The black glass material in the picture above is the LCD. Handle with care.

This is the connector for the IO panel which the power button resides. Remove with care. It will be used again in the later part.
The push button and LED to the right is the power button and power led.

Carefully lift the black glass material that is hold in the metal frame. Here i used 2 screw driver as the lever to lift it up.


This is the reverse view of the panel lifted out. Inside the metal housing which sports the vga out, dvi out and the power socket is the controller board for the LCD. Basically power driver circuit for the back light and graphic display driver circuit for the LCD. The yellow ribbon cable is the ones we disconnected in the previous step.

Unscrew the screw that holds the metal housing together. In this picture it circuits mentioned above. On the right is our power driver circuit to the back light. on the left is the graphics driver circuit. Note the orange coloured ribbon cable. Remove with care, because we are using it. I use my smallest flat head screw driver to slowly pry it off.

clearer picture. I removed the metal plate below, thinking of putting it in my plastic hobby kit box (for insulation). But the cables are simply too short to handle. To save time and hassle, i just use back the plate. More about insulation later.

This is how the ribbon cable looks like after it is disconnected. Gently peel of the metallic sheet, the black foam separator. They are self adhesive on the LCD.

To remove the metal frame at the perimeter of the LCD from the panel is a little bit tricky. Because the metal pieces are bent towards the grove. So, just bent it the other direction as in the picture above.

This is how it looks like after the metallic sheet is lifted out. The white colored plastic frame have to be removed from the LCD. The PCB is green in colour. Do not scratch, break or remove any connections from the PCB. These are the data lines to light up each pixel of the LCD.

The screw in the above picture is the main hindrance for me to complete this project within the same wednesday afternoon. It is so small, such that all my screw driver bits will not fit. Luckily, pauline ,manage to source one from me. To the right is the connector to the LCD panel from the graphics driver circuit. To the left are the data lines connector. DO NOT REMOVE the plastic cover, those are the ribbon cable.

DO NOT remove the plastic cover that holds the ribbon cable. Unlatch the black latch to the white groove.

Behold, the LCD panel at all it's glory and the back light at the background.

we are using the lcd panel in black.

The OHP that chin hee get hold for me. It was dusty and littered with lizard poo. Got to clean it before use.

The next step is to snap the ribbon cable from LCD panel to the graphics driver circuit. Secure it somewhere to the OHP. I used 1 cable tie to secure it and laced some plastic sheet to provide some insulation. Assembly was a breeze. Please do not do it without supervision or safety precautions. 

Now, the viola moment. Or i have another paper weight on my desk?

Look ma, there is picture in the well~

The projection is not as fantastic. It have a yellow tinge on display. I guess the OHP is really aged. Time to change to a xenon lamp!

The end

Monday, November 9, 2009

[warez] USB plasma ball

After 3 weeks of agonizing wait, my usb plasma ball finally arrived~ yeaaayyyyyy!! 1 more coooool display in my office. I am another step closer to make my office into more disco-ish.

The best part of it, powered by USB, 5V and 110mA. Yet to try to power it with some dry cells. None to be found in my drawers. Arghhzzz

was discussing with yushan this morning, whether i can use his robo complete with the wheel to make a generator to power it. stay tuned

If you wonder what is plasma is all about, please read..