May 23rd, 2009

RFID Keyless Entry

RFID Keyless Entry

Keyless entry has been used for quite some time in automotive industry by most car manufacturers even though such a system may not be in their standard package. The owner receives a card or a small device, much like a remote control, and just by approaching the car, no buttons pushed, the car senses the master and opens its doors.

In this project is presented a method to build your own keyless entry system. Your RFID will be a Nike footpod which will send the secret code to its iPod receiver. This receiver communicates with an Arduino Pro Mini  through an iPod Serial Board. The Arduino listens for the right code from the RFID and gives lock/unlock commands.

You can give these commands to your car’s fob or adapt it to the internal wiring of the door’s lock/unlock mechanism. This can be pretty tricky for there are several systems used for door locking. In some European cars like Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda the command for lock/unlock is given on a single wire. For example if on this wire the computer sees a firm ground then it will unlock if it sees a resistance to ground then it will lock or the other way around. In these case you will need to use diodes or relays.

Asian cars usually have two wires, one for lock one for unlock. You will need negative or ground to control these wires. Things complicate however with the more expensive cars as they use vacuum systems or sophisticated computers inside the door. Usually these cars when equipped with a factory keyless entry system have a sensor behind the door handle that must be triggered in order for the doors to unlock, even if the car senses its owner nearby.

Powering our keyless system requires that you find a permanent 12V supply in your car. Look at fuse box, under the driver’s kick panel behind the steering wheel for thick wires and use a multimeter to measure the voltage. Do not trust thin wires as their 12V can disappear after car’s computer falls asleep. Usually that happens between 15 to 30 minutes after locking the car. Be careful with this because serious damage can be caused.

Other difficulty you can experience, as the project’s author did, is the car’s door locking settings. If you unlock the door but do not open it the car might lock it again after a short period of time. You can change these settings from the car’s computer with a diagnosis tool.

RFID Keyless Entry: [Link]

DIY Solar Charger for iPhone

Here is a multifunctional charger that you can use with your iPhone or iPod or many other devices. The main feature is solar charging using a 4.5V/100mA solar cell but it can also accept voltage input varying from 3.7V to 7V from a wall wart for example. Having a 3.7V 2000mAh Lithium Polymer battery inside it can also be used as a power reserve in your travels.

To build this you will need a Minty Boost Kit which is a USB charger and to this USB port you will connect the device who’s internal battery is depleted. You will also need a charger for the LiPo battery. The Minty Boost will be connected to this LiPo charger along with the solar cell.

Depending on the solar cell you will be using, you might need to put a diode between the cell and the charger to prevent the draining of the LiPo battery when the light is low. All it needs now is a case. All parts used are very compact, the solar cell is 3.7″x2.4″. Using a bigger one however will decrease the charging time.

It can’t take more than one hour to build it and considering the usability of this charger i wish you all good luck with your build.

DIY Solar charger for iPod/iPhone: [Link][Via]

July 24th, 2008

3.5″ Hard-Drive iPod


The idea of the project was raised after the author messed with it’s 40 gb iPod and broken it’s internal hard drive. So he decided to open up the iPod and see what he could do with it. Altough the project it’s a success because the author managed to get it runing on the new external hard-drive, i wouldn’t call it that much of a success because the sollution it’s not very practical, and as you can see from the picture it looks kind of messy.

3.5″ Hard-Drive iPod: [Link]

you can also read about other gadgets on ZipGadgets

 Easter Eggs iPod headphones holder

I never thought you could use a plastic Easter egg as a headphone holder for an iPod, i must say the idea is really original. I know that by the time you get to this word you’re already thinking that this is a boring idea. Boring or not, its still useful, instead of wrapping your headphones around the iPod and damaging them in time, its better to keep them inside an easter egg, and keep them safe.

Easter Eggs iPod headphones holder: [Link]

March 20th, 2008

DIY iPod Nano Doc

DIY iPod Nano Doc

Docking cradles are more convenient if you connect your ipod frequently, but apple charges way too much for them. The ipod nano is especially easy to make a cradle for because it comes with a plastic insert to make it fit larger docks. With this, a cable, and some Plexiglas you can make a dock.

DIY iPod Nano Doc: [Link]

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