Electrical hacking (was Re: [Techtalk] [OT] charging USB device without a PC)

Telsa Gwynne hobbit at aloss.ukuu.org.uk
Sun Apr 13 10:57:15 EST 2003

On Sun, Apr 13, 2003 at 09:54:21AM +0100 or thereabouts, Conor Daly wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 12, 2003 at 11:15:30PM -0400 or so it is rumoured hereabouts, 
> Brenda Bell thought:
> > Quoting Conor Daly <conor.daly at oceanfree.net>:
> > 
> > > OK, did that.  USB socket off an old mobo, power socket off an old 
> > > receiver.  It's now hooked up to the charger with the charging light on.
> > 
> > I'm impressed.  But then again, I'm a electrical wimp (would have probably
> > bought a powered USB hub :)
> It's not that hard.  It _is_ important to know what you _can_ safely[0] or
> usefully[1] mess with and what you _just don't touch_.  

I'm impressed too. I think the only thing I ever dared touch was
a printer which Alan was convinced was dead. It was junk anyway
as a result, so I took it apart and cleaned it.

And good gods, it started working. I was proud. Of course, the
advantage of a printer is that there's no things storing up some
massive charge inside them.

> Of course, the other thing to remember is the cost efficiency.  
> How much is your time worth?  

In the case of my printer, I did it because it was that or tidying
up (or something :)). And the time was worth less than the confidence 
boost of discovering that I had just fixed something.

It went down with "first card I put into my computer", "first
computer I built from bits", "first install I did on my own"
and, um, "first time I cleaned a mouse" (don't laugh: we have 
to start somewhere, and I didn't grow up knowing about these

> [0] Without killing yourself or your family.

Yeah, knowing when to say "perhaps I won't do that, then" helps!


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