Use your favorite laptop keyboard with the Techlabz Keybox (Sponsored)

Techlabz Keybox

The Techlabz Keybox allows you to re-use your favorite laptop keyboard over USB or Bluetooth. The solution support laptop keyboard from Dell, Asus, Apple, HP, Chromebook, and most other brands on the market. This is how it works. After disassembly of your laptop, or purchasing a replacement laptop keyboard, you can place your keyboard into the provided case, connect it with the provided FFC cable, and use it as a standalone USB or Bluetooth keyboard. Alternatively, you could also place it on top of your laptop palm rest and use it in lieu of the keyboard there. Techlabz Keybox features: Host interfaces USB Type-C port Bluetooth 4.1 LE + EDR Sensor – Ambient Light Detector Battery – 250 mAh/~1Wh battery The Techlabz Keybox also comes with a USB-A to USB-C adapter, a Keyboard Interface Adapter (KIA), an FFC Cable to connect to Keybox from the KIA, a  keyboard case, some […]

Nokia 1680 phone gets new PCB with MIPS SoC, runs mainline Linux

Notkia Nokia 168x MIPS Linux

Reimu NotMoe has designed the “Notkia” PCB based on Ingenic X1000E MIPS processor with 64MB built-in RAM and following the exact same dimensions as the PCB found in Nokia 168x phones (1680, 1681, 1682), and allowing the phone to run mainline Linux. The board also comes with 32MB NOR flash, a 4GB SLC NAND flash, and supports LoRa, 2.4 GHz WiFi, Bluetooth, and GNSS connectivity, but no cellular modem. Combining Nokia 168x phone with Notkia PCBA creates a phone with the following specifications: SoC – Ingenic X1000E single-core XBurst MIPS processor @ 1.0 GHz (2200+ CoreMark) with 64MB RAM Storage – 32MB NOR flash + 4GB SLC NAND flash Display – 2.0-inch 240×320 IPS LCD, 3/4 visible (Replaces the original 128×160 TFT screen in the phone) Camera – 5MP camera with auto focus (only available in the Nokia 1680 case) Audio – Yamaha MA-3 (YMU762) music synthesizer and regular I2S […]

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 […]