Since I often find myself on the road with my battery drained out and because I intend to use my Eee Pc together with a GPS module as a navigation system I thought it would be a good idea to make myself a car charger. The charger would have to output 9,5 V 2.5A, and it would have to be able to maintain the output voltage constant over variations of the input voltage. Of-course there are lots of voltage regulators these days that would fit my circuit, but I chose to use the LM2576 because such a charger has already been build and tested here (also featured on Youritronics here).
Here is the schematic of the charger:
After ordering the needed parts I noticed that the inductor is slightly bigger than I expected it to be, so fitting the board into a small box became a bit of a problem. But I managed to designed the board so that it fits into the chosen box. I also fitted a medium sized TO-220 radiator so the circuit would dissipate the heat even in continuous use of the charger. The pcb was made using the photo etching technique and I tried spraying it with a mix of colophonium and alcohol that would act as a soldermask. The result is not pretty but I hope it will protect my board from corrosion.
After the soldermask dried it was only a matter of minutes until I assembled and tested it. The charger works great, the output voltage remains constant over continuous variations of the input voltage. Now all I have to do is close the box, solder a cigar lighter connector and pack it into my arm rest compartment.
We’re talking about everything, every device that you can think off hass been integrated into the Eee PC by these guys. All the info is nicely presented with pictures, so anyone with some electronic skills should be able to make hi’s Asus Eee PC trully custom. These are some of the devices that were integrated into the Eee PC:
- USB hub
- GPS with antenna
- Card reader
- Flash drive
- Power switch
- FM transmitter
- System memory
- Touch screen
- Temperature sensor
Eee PC Internal Upgrades: [Link]
Read my Asus Eee PC Review
If you hadn’t guessed from the headline, and as rumored just an hour ago, there’s 9-inches of LCD on this thing. Actually, 8.9, but who’s counting? We found out that and a few other little tidbits about this Eee PC “New Generation” at the ASUS booth just now, but for the most part the 9-inch Eee PC is quite similar to its 7-inch forebearer. Anything past that ASUS is saving for tomorrow’s press event when this laptop will become officially official, but whatever they end up calling it (Eee PC 900 is rumored), it’s certainly for real. The battery impact of the new display is said to be “negligible,” with 2.5 to 3 hours of battery quoted. ASUS wouldn’t let us turn it on since it’s all so very secret at the moment, but they did confirm some release details. The 9-inch Eee will hit in the “middle” of 2008, with that €399 pricetag for the 12GB version, but other capacities available (we saw an 8GB on display). No word yet on US pricing, but we’re trying to pry it out of them.
New Asus Eee PC with 9 inch display: [Via]
The pre-installed OS is pretty good for most things, but I find it is a bit limiting for real work. Xandros comes with KDE 3.4.2, so installing any newer KDE based apps is tricky, since that will force the upgrade of the kdelibs and could break stuff.
The other reason why the default OS is not appealing to me is that there is a 2.3GB read only partition for the OS files and pre-installed programs. So you only have 1.4GB for your user files on the built-in drive. That wouldn’t really be such a big problem if you could free up some space, however even if you uninstall apps you don’t use, you can’t actually use any of that freed space because no data gets removed from the system partition. And if you install new apps it uses space on your user partition.
So that’s a no go. I installed plain debian on my EeePC and it works really nicely. All the apps I need (Firefox, Openoffice, Kopete, Konversation, KDevelop, , plus a full Qt/C++ development enviroment fits into 1.5GB so I have more functionality in much less space and much more flexibility. Got an extra 4GB SD card so I might put Windows on that (although windows is a bitch to install on removable storage).
Overall the EeePC is really awesome.. Even though it has a small screen, I find I’m using my main laptop less and less at home. There’s a huge benefit to having something you can easily carry around with one hand, has no moving parts, and can use in any place, and boots up super fast.