Ben V. Brown

Electronics & Embedded Engineering

WiiU USB Port Power Mod

As is relatively well known, both the Wii and Wii U have extremely limited power output on their USB ports. Nintendo appears to have limited these to exactly the 0.5A of USB 2.0. As the Disk drive in my Wii U has started to become intermittent at reading disks I went through rapidly backing these up to an external hard drive to prevent the device from effectively becoming a brick. However; using any external drives requires either a Y power splitter cable or externally powered drives....

June 17, 2023 · 3 min · Ben V. Brown

K8S Home Cluster

Kubenetes, in the home, for fun The current cluster nodes Pine64 graciously sent me a set of the SoQuartz boards + carrier boards that are being used for this cluster (But I was not paid; they didn’t know what I would use them for). Additionally, some of the time used in first setting up the cluster was done as part of my employment at Propeller Aero. My home lab setup has evolved a lot over the past ~10 years....

January 12, 2023 · 16 min · Ben V. Brown

Setting up the PineDIO LoRaWAN Gateway

The PineDIO unit. Modified to have external WiFi antenna for range. Setting up the PineDIO LoRaWAN gateway with TTN The PineDIO is a LoRaWAN gateway solution from Pine64. Announced on May 6th, these units have been slowly sent out to lucky early developers. It consists of a Pine64 A64-LTS SBC + an adapter hat to hold a RAK2287 module. The RAK2287 is a low-cost concentrator module that provides all of the LoRa goodness required for this unit to work....

July 28, 2021 · 16 min · Ben V. Brown

Driving WS2812 LED's with STM32 DMA+Timer

The WS2812 aka the Neopixel is a very well know LED, it combines a fully self-contained PWM driver ic with RGB led’s in a cheap and (relatively) painless to work with package. The downside to these is their not-very-fun protocol that requires effort to ensure you drive it at the correct timing. Other fantastic people have already done a deep dive into this protocol. The TL;DR is that the protocol works out to encode the bit as 0 or 1 based on the pulse length, with minimum off times between bits....

July 1, 2021 · 12 min · Ben V. Brown

Fixing stupid JMS578 HDD Enclosure issues

The stupid state of JMicron drive interface IC’s If you have ever tried to use a USB3.0 hard drive enclosure based on a JMicron chipset with TrueNAS (formerly FreeNAS); you may have come across multipath errors or serial numbers that make no sense. Or simply SMART and TRIM not functioning. Additionally, you may have run into the stupid way these units power down the drives after 10 minutes of inactivity forcefully....

January 10, 2021 · 5 min · Ben V. Brown