Electronics:



I don't plan on a lot of electronics, but there will be a few useful things worth writing about.

I found a bunch of these video conferencing camera's in a dumpster near work a couple of months ago.  I'm planning on having two in the little windows where the rear "School Bus" sign was.  One will be pointed straight our the back and the other will be pointed down.  I'll have to build some sort of relay to switch the video signals between the two cameras.  I might put on in the engine compartment too!
Backup Camera
Here's where the camera will go.
View out back
Here's the image, I used regular CATV wire (75 ohm RG-59) and the image quality is excellent.  The TV is dual voltage and I'll make a shelf for it up front.
View out back on TV

Convert an ATX PC Power Supply to a 12 Volt Power Source:


ATX PSU

I have several 12 volt devices, most notably a computer with a 12 volt PSU, that I want to be able to use on 110 volts.  Since all PC power supplies will deliver a useful amount of current at 12 volts (and since I have a dozen or so in the junk box) I converted one to supply 12 volts to a cigarette lighter socket.

Here's what you need to do:
  • Find a place to mount the lighter socket and a 10 ohm 10 watt resistor (I used (2) 5 ohm resistors in series)
  • Cut all the extra wires close to the circuit board, tape the ends of the one you can't cut close.  Leave one red, one yellow, three blacks and the green. NOTE: If you have a brown wire make sure it is connected to one of the orange wires, this is the 3.3 volt sense and the PSU won't work if it's not connected.
  • Connect the green wire to a black wire - this is "power on" - you can alternatively put a switch here.
  • Connect the resistor between the red (+5v)  and a black wire.  The PSU needs a load on the +5 volt rail in order to operate correctly.  This resistor will get hot so mount it in the air flow.
  • Connect the yellow and black wires to the lighter socket.
That's all there is to it!  Here's a completed unit.

ATX PSU 12 Volt Converter


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