Octo4a app installs OctoPrint server on Android smartphones

Octoprint Android

Octoprint is a popular open-source 3D printer controller software that runs on Raspberry Pi boards, Orange Pi Lite SBC, Amlogic TV boxes, and other devices. But considering many people may already an older, perfectly working smartphones at home, FeelFree (Filip) decided to create the Octo4a project that install an Octoprint server on Android smartphones. It makes perfect sense since many smartphones come with a USB OTG interface that can connect to the 3D printer for control, while the touchscreen display is used for the user interface, and the camera to monitor your prints. SSH could be used to access the phone Octoprint server and change the settings manually. You can access the source code and APK files on Github. You’ll need to enable third-party apps in the settings before installing the app in order to install Octoprint on the phone. The only required permission is storage, except if you’d like […]

Samsung Galaxy Upcycling at Home program aims to repurpose older phones into IoT devices

Samsung Galaxy Upcycling light sensor

Electronics waste, also as known as e-waste, has been a problem talked about for years, and in 2015 we asked the question “What do you do with your old devices and boards?” as many devices just end up collecting dust or stored in a drawer. Some better ways include giving or selling them to others, or repurpose them. For instance, a cheap Arm HDMI dongle can make a torrent downloader, an old phone can be transformed into a surveillance camera, an ATX power supply could be converted into a bench power supply, etc… But repurposing devices require some technical skills which many of the smart CNX Software readers have, but it’s unrealistic to expect the typical consumer to be able to hack their old devices into new ones using some tutorials found on the Internet. Samsung Galaxy Upcycling Program aims to make recycling upcycling easier for owners of Galaxy smartphones, […]

Teracube 2e is a user-serviceable, sustainable phone with a 4-year “premium care warranty”

Teracube 2E sustainbable phone

Most smartphones have limited software support, but in my experience with Xiaomi smartphones part of Android One, the hardware tends to fail even earlier than the 18 to 24-month support window for such phones. It’s also close to impossible to repair those by yourself. So it would be nice to have a phone with a longer warranty, software support, and that the user can service himself. If it was made of recycled materials, it would be a bonus too. That’s exactly what Teracube 2e phone provides with recycled materials, a fully biodegradable case, and a 4-year “premium care warranty” for hardware repairs, and since it runs Android 10 stock, you’d get 3-years of Android and security updates. Teracube 2 phone is also meant to be affordable going for $99 and up on Indiegogo with the following specifications: SoC – Mediatek Helio A25 octa-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.8GHz with IMG PowerVR […]

LivingPackets THE BOX Reusable Packaging Comes with an E-ink Display, Removes the Need for Filling Materials

LivingPackets THE BOX

E-commerce and online shopping have flourished over the years whether you shop on Amazon and from sites in China. But that also means lots of carton board packages are being used and often thrown away after use, although personally I like to reuse them if I need to send packages myself. So it would be good if there was a way to reduce carton board package waste, and that’s exactly what LivingPackets is attempting to do with “THE BOX” which features an E-Ink display to display the recipient address and other information, and is meant to be re-used up to 1000 times. Here are some of the key features of THE BOX: E-Ink Display – Replaces the usual printed address label. It can be updated easily and does not consume power when not updated. Button to allow easy returns Integrated Holding Mechanism –  Patented a holding system to replace bubble […]

eWelink Camera App Recycles Your Old Smartphone into a Remote Camera

Old devices often end up in drawers or shelves collecting dust, but as we’ve seen before there are better ways to recycle your unused gadgets, from giving it to friends or family to selling them on eBay, or re-purposing them for specific purpose. For example, we’ve previously covered Haven open source app that transforms smartphones into smart security cameras or baby monitors. eWelink, the default app used with Sonoff wireless switches, smart plugs and light-bulbs, now happens to support a similar feature. So if you’re using the stock firmware on your Sonoff device and control them with the Sonoff app, you don’t need an extra app to use your old smartphone(s) as IP camera(s). It looked easy enough to setup, so I gave it a try. First you need to download & install eWelink Camera app, only available as an apk at this time, in your old phone. Once the […]

Spare TV Box Board Sold for MXQ-4Q / MXQPro DIY Repairs

Spare TV Box board

Once somebody asked me if spare TV box boards were available for purchase since his TV box died after a few months, and he wanted to repair it himself without having to purchase another complete TV box. Usually, such boards are not sold, except maybe on Alibaba, where you may or may not have to purchase in quantities. So I basically told him it would be hard to find, and buying a new or second hand TV box would be a better option. But I was recently made aware that at least one seller was offering spare TV box boards for MXQ-4Q and MXQPro on Aliexpress for $20.61 shipped in order to let people repair their boxes themselves. If your goal is to repair a TV box, I can only think of two reasons for buying a spare TV box board: saving money and/or reducing electronics waste. MXQ-4Q and MXQPro […]

Haven Open Source App Transforms Your Old Android Smartphone into a Smart Security Camera

About two years ago, I wrote a post asking what to do with old devices instead of throwing them away. My own proposals included giving them away, reselling them on eBay, recycling them for other purpose like servers or download clients, or scavenging some parts. Other people also comments what they did with theirs, for example setting up a Linux cluster with old TV boxes. Another way to recycling an old (Android) smartphone – albeit you could always buy an inexpensive one – is to install and run Haven, an open source app that transforms your phone into some sort of smart security camera, but instead of only using the camera from the phone, the app also logs audio events using its microphone (array), as well as data reported by sensors. One of you first reaction might be: “cool! somebody may an app that would allow hackers or government to […]

Convert an old ATX Power Supply into a Bench Power Supply with (or without) 3D Printed Parts

You may own one or more old computer towers with an ATX power supply that just gather dust, but since the ATX connector provides +12V, -12V, 5V, 3.3V and GND signal it could be converted into an bench power supply. People have been doing this for a while, but elliotboney’s solution looks neater than most with a 3D printed part that’s attached on top of the power supply. Once you have printed the part, which may need to be adapted to to your power supply, you just need a few banana jacks, and a power switch before connecting with the cables: I basically kept 3 wires of each voltage, a 3 black wires for each ground. So 3 yellow for 12V, 3 Red for 5V and 3 Orange for 3V. Any extra wires I cut as close to the board as possible and put a little piece of heat shrink […]