Wednesday, December 21, 2016

DIY 450D external power supply

I had a third party battery dead, so why not convert it into an external power supply?

First of all, open the case carefully.

And then you see there are two Lithium cells inside, lift them up:

Take them out with the circuit board.  This is supposed to be the protection circuit, we're going to keep them both as the interface to the camera, and also to serve as the protection circuit of the external battery.  I will use two unprotected 18650.

Put the battery case inside, insert it into the camera, mark where you should drill a hole for the external battery.

Now, you're ready  to do the soldering work.

Solder the case, mark the polarity.

I put some hot melt glue for insulation and for fixing the cable in place... you may want to fill more just to glue up the cover.


I think it is good for astrophotography.  You don't want to remove the camera just  to replace the battery, one could do it externally without touching the camera body.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Replacing the hard drive of Dell Inspiron 2020

It uses a 3.5" desktop HDD, the original one was a Seagate 512G.  I'm going to replace it with a Seagate 1T.

The original plan was the following:

1. Clone the original hard drive
2. Disassembly the Inspiron
3. Replace the hard drive

But then the cloning process was not very successful.  The way I did was to connect the new hard drive with a USB to SATA cable, and then clone from the internal hard driver.  However, I soon realize that the sector size was different, and none of the software that I tried could do the clone.  I believe even a "dd" won't work.  I found that internal drive had 512 bytes sector size, while USB connect drive had 4K sector size and that is the source of the problem.

Finally, I backup the original drive and then install the new hard drive, followed by restore from the backup image.  It works flawlessly, Windows 8 does not complain about the change of hardware.  I've created a new partition with the added space and it works fine, too.