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Sniffing the SMBus

There's plenty of ways to add a temperature display to a desktop computer. But capturing temperature readings from the system management bus (SMBus) isn't among the widely used techniques. As the SMBus is very similar to I2C in its nature, technically it shouldn't be too complicated to monitor (and decode) the data exchange on the board. Unfortunately, there's a bunch of challenges included here, as the hardware I2C on many microcontroller boards will only capture traffic directed to a single slave address. Here's my workaround, showing how to use a Teensy 2.0 to capture the data.

#Hardware #Software

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Peeking inside a cheap Lightning adapter

What to expect when you receive an adapter that breaks out Apple's Lightning plug into a replicated charging port and a 3.5mm audio output? The answer is: Not much audio-wise. Here's a glimpse to the inside of this thing (spoiler alert: there's not much to see).


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The SMD Challenge

A good while ago I stumbled across the 'SMD challenge': A PCB kit to test your SMD soldering skills all the way down from 1206 to 0201 parts. It took me a good while to source the parts (why does barely anyone stock LEDs in SMD 0201 form factor?), but now the time had finally come to assemble it.


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Characterizing the SMD diode marked B88

A good while ago I had ordered a bunch of PMEG3050EP SMD Schottky diodes. When the parts eventually arrived from China, however, they weren't marked 'A7' on the case but 'B88'. The part still looked like a diode, but I couldn't find any data sheet or specs. So I decided to run a few measurements.


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Ersa i-CON PICO: Getting rid of Error 8

I purchased an Ersa i-CON PICO soldering station just three months ago. Now it sporadically started to show the 'Err 8' screen. After each restart, everything was back to normal, though. Here's how I solved it (at least for now) by cleaning all relevant contacts.


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One-time temporary directories under Linux

Every so often I'm in need of a temporary directory. May it be to clone some git repo in order to copy a bunch of files, or to compile some modified source code without impacting my main build. Here's a little bash script I frequently use to create such a directory and wipe it after its (one-time) use.