ao2's blog


Teclast X98 Air 3G: unbricking a Bay Trail tablet

While I was trying to boot a vanilla linux kernel on the Teclast X98 Air 3G I messed up a bit with the UEFI firmware settings: the battery was not recognized anymore, the tablet was rebooting right after showing the UEFI firmware boot screen, and USB-host was not working either; so no keyboard for accessing the firmware menu to restore the default settings, and no ADB for running flashrom or the Intel FPT to reflash the firmware with.

Teclast X98 Air 3G, internals
Teclast X98 Air 3G, mainboard
ISP with a logic level converter, top
ISP with a logic level converter, angle


Teclast X98 Air 3G: cheap Intel Bay Trail tablet, getting acquainted

I got a Teclast X98 Air 3G tablet from Aliexpress, it costed 168 € ( with free shipping) and has a high-definition screen and it's an Intel Bay Trail device; so Android, x86 architecture, 2GiB of RAM and 32 GiB of storage on EMMC.

boot logo 1
boot logo 2
Attached files: 


Prototyping a vocoder with GStreamer

A vocoder is basically a tool to turn any sound into something which can “speak”, some examples can be seen in this Collin's Lab episode about MIDI, or in this classic from the Kraftwerk (the vocoder effect starts at 1:06):

Whether you are planning to ask for a ransom, or joining the Daft Punk, or taking a time travel to the '70s: a vocoder is always handy.


KITT showing an Applesoft BASIC program

I was watching a Knight Rider episode (namely from Season 3, Episode 1: Knight of the Drones) and I spotted some source code of a program listed by KITT.


PS3 BD Remote Controller under raspbmc (or XBMC)

Here are some notes about how to use the PS3 BD Remote Controller with raspbmc (raspbmc is an XBMC distribution optimized for the Raspberry Pi).


JMP-rope, the theory and the software

The mathematical model behind the JMP-rope, as for any rotating POV system, is the polar coordinate system.


JMP-rope, the hardware

The hardware of the first JMP-rope prototype is very simple:

JMP-rope internals overview
JMP-rope handle detail
JMP-rope LED strip tied to the rope
JMP-rope programming socket
JMP-rope lit up


JMP-rope, the programmable jump rope

Mix sport, technology and art and you get the perfect project.

I really enjoy art even though I am not much of an artist myself, I am definitely a technologist (more of a researcher of technology than a user TBH), and I've become a sports person too in the latest years, in particular I discovered how jumping rope can be a fun way to do cardio, way funnier than playing hamster on the treadmill; and each time I was jumping rope I started thinking about a tech project involving a jump rope.

JMP-rope logo
JMP-rope ao2 logo
JMP-rope Debian logo
JMP-rope Firefox logo
JMP-rope Adafruit logo
JMP-rope Openhardware logo
JMP-rope Opensource logo
JMP-rope S.S.C.Napoli logo


DIY wire-wrapping tool

Wire-wrapping is a very handy way to connect wires to PCB pins, especially in two scenarios:

  1. As an alternative to soldering, in order to be able to easily recycle the components.
  2. As an alternative to female jumper wires, in order to save some vertical space (sometimes jumper wire connectors are just too long).
metallic pen cartridge
hole in the cartridge
wire wrapping tool
wire setup
wrapping the wire
wire wrapped
wire wrapped on a trinket


Jump rope hacking with zip ties

If you have a jump rope with ball bearing handles you can use zip ties to hack them into one of those fancy “speed ropes”.

And yes, I am kind of into jumping rope these days.

jump rope original
jump rope internals
jump rope zip tie
jump rope hack proof of concept
jump rope hacked