One Step Forward, n Steps Back

Posted 2011.01.05 12.14 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Grumpy grumbles. After all my thermostat progress, I was getting more and more stuff squeezed into the final enclosure when there was a stumble, a trip-up, and then a complete collapse.

First I got a part in backwards.Then I hooked up some wires wrong. Then the magic smoke escaped from a component. Finally the whole thing achieved electronic death, or at least an electronic vegetative comatose state.

So I had to rip it all apart and move everything back to the breadboard & workbench, to start over.


It all went down Sunday night I think. Then I got all frustrated, then that got me feeling down, and I could almost feel like I was teetering on the edge of the depression, like it was just waiting for the opportunity to get me when I let my guard down.

Dealing with frustration is ‘easy’ (well easy to say, sometimes hard to do). You just put it down and walk away. Stop working on it, put it away and leave it for an hour, a day, whatever it takes.

Now I’ve got things mostly re-assembled on the breadboard, except the ethernet module which I don’t know yet if it still works… the magic smoke came out of a supporting component and I haven’t had a chance to replace that.

So, not quite back to the drawing board, but back to the workbench, anyways. Grumbles.


  1. Dana Meister says:

    Hi Stephanie:

    I wanted to thank you for your wonderful site. It’s just the best and I can’t thank you for all the help that you’ve given all of us on the Internet through it.

    I have a question. I just bought an Apple Emate 300 and I was hoping to try that battery tray install that you bravely accomplished, but I’m stuck a little bit and it involves the the wiring that’s attached to the original battery pack.

    1.) The little white bandage-like pieces that come at the top and the bottom of the battery pack. It’s looks like from your photos that they are to be completely discarded. I hope that’s right. They weren’t needed?

    2.) The little metal connector that sits on the white bandage-like piece at the bottom of the original battery pack (this metal piece connects the two columns of batteries at the bottom of the emate’s original battery pack). Is that discarded too?

    Anyway, thank you so very, very much Stephanie and keep up the good work!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Hi Dana, thanks for the comments!

    Wow, eMate hacking… that was a very long time ago, and I hate to admit it but my memory is filling up with holes. In other words, I don’t remember specifically what the original eMate battery pack looked like or how it was assembled. But here’s what I do know:

    It was 4 cells, stacked lengthwise 2×2. The batteries would have been spot-welded together with little metal tabs. The original batteries and those connectors would all have been discarded, once those batteries no longer held a charge.

    The one thing that was kept and was important, was the temperature sensor. Looking at the photos I took at the time, I can see the 4-pin connector had the positive and negative lines plus two white lines for the sensor. It looks like I stuffed the sensor under or inside the battery tray. It’s not critical where you put that sensor, but it should be touching at least one of the batteries.

    I have a vague memory that one of the bandage like things you’re talking about may have been some sort of ‘fuse’-like thing, but there wouldn’t have been a convenient way to incorporate it into the tray, so I’d have tossed it out.

    Good luck, & thanks again for visiting!

  3. Dana Meister says:

    Thank you for all the nice help Stephanie. You’re just the Best! Anyway, I’ll make sure to try it out and let you know what happened. It’ll be a couple of weeks though as I need an Emate power supply to test everything, but when it arrives, I’ll be back to my project. Thanks again.

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