Thursday, July 5, 2012

Harmonies

I've been using my trusty Logitech Harmony 880 ever since I've got it of ebay almost 3 years ago (to replace my Harmony 628)

Recently it started acting up and refusing to accept key presses for the volume up and arrow up.
Apparently, its a known issue that only gets worse over time.

So, I've began looking for a replacement at an acceptable price, and about the same features as the 880 (I didn't want to get another 880, due to the same issue).







A couple of weeks ago, I came across an eBay bid for a broken Harmony 650. Now, I usually skip the broken listings. but this was 15$ (with 9$ shipping) and the only thing that was broken was the Micro USB connector (same as all the latest smartphones).

It arrived today, and I immediately set about to fix it.



Here it is before I've started working:

(note the hole with the missing micro usb connector).


Initially I tried to use a mini usb connector, but it was too big and did not fit within the remote.
luckily I had an old bluetooth ear piece lying around which I could use to source for the missing female micro usb connector.

The problem, is that the connector is very small, and it is quite hard to unsolder it.
So, instead of fighting it with my weller, I decided to use the "use more power" approach and stuck the entire bluetooth earpiece board in the oven (yes, an actual oven). I've set it to 220C and waited for about 10 minutes.
10 minutes later, all components (including the micro usb) just fell of the board, and I've continued to solder the connector to the remote.

Its not easy, and you will need another helping hand, but after about an hour of fine soldering, I was done.
A quick test connecting to my PC and updating the remote (migrating the config from the old 880) it booted up and was completely responsive.
I took it over to the living room (still without the case) and it was working (woohoo!!!!).

Here it is finished:







A new Harmony 650 is about 80$, I now have one for 24$, how cool is that?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

And now for something a bit different

Recently, a way to run unsigned code on the XBOX360 has been discovered. The hack involves having your XBOX360 hack itself (you heard right), and flashing a modified 8955 kernel which gets you the following benefits:
  • An ability to run unsigned code.
  • Convert XBOX Live! demos to Full.
  • Run games from anywhere (even a USB drive).
  • Use any SATA 2.5' drive you want.
(Maybe this will also lead to an XBOX360 XBMC, who knows)

There are a few caveats though:
  • Your XBOX must be with a dashboard version pre-89XX (ie: 7344)
  • You need to open your case (duh!)
  • You  need to have some good soldering skills.

In any case, and since I have a launch model box (XENON) that was banned around 2 years ago. I've decided to go for it.

I followed a great guide on www.xbox-scene.com forums, the guy there had a pretty nifty idea of doing everything in way that it will be later possible to re-do without re-opening your case again.

Before you begin, you'll need the following tools:

  • A 35W-60W Fine Tipped Soldering Iron.
  • Soldering Flux.
  • Female <-> Female RJ45 Connector
  • Some colored wires
  • A pretty good cutter
  • DB25 Connector and housing
  • An RJ45 cable
  • Hot glue gun
  • 2x 1N4148 Diodes
  • 5x 100ohm resistors

Here's how to do it:

  • You need to enable the JTAG hack (http://www.free60.org/JTAG_Hack).
    It should look something like this (Remember: this is for my XENON board, if you have a different one, the connections are not the same):




Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

USplash Themes on Google Code

Hi All,

Long time with no updates...
Anyway, you can now get the source for my usplash themes directly from my Google Code site @ http://code.google.com/p/usplash-theme-xbmc/ .

P.S. I have corrected a long standing issue with all of the themes regarding the display of boot text (for example during an fsck task).

Enjoy,

Monday, July 20, 2009

USplash Previews

I have added all of my USplashes here so you can preview them before installation.







Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pulsating Logo

Hi,

I have finally fixed the issue with the pulsating logo (that's part of the LiveXBMC), that prevented the text box (used for FSCK mainly) from appearing.

I'll submit that into the Track in a few hours.

Enjoy.

Pulsating Logo

Hi,

I have finally fixed the issue with the pulsating logo (that's part of the LiveXBMC), that prevented the text box (used for FSCK mainly) from appearing.

I'll submit that into the Track in a few hours.

Enjoy.