Monday 1 October 2012

Kinect 3D outdoor: hacking the hardware

Some weeks ago I finally found the time to modify our Kinect in order to test it outdoor. 
My main problem was the power supply, while in an archaeological excavation it can be difficoult to find an access to electricity. The solution was obviously an external battery, but I did not know the right voltage and amperage. Finally I found this interesting post, in Ken Mankof blog, with all the necessary informations to hack Kinect for the fieldwork.
I tried to summarize all the operations I did in the image below:

The modified Kinect
As you can see, Kinect's main cable ends with an USB (for data transfer) and with an electric plug (for power supply). I cut the cable before the elctric plug and I added a connectors pair, positioning the male one on the Kinect side and the female one on the electric plug side. Then I prepared another cable with a female connector at one end and two different female blade connectors (faston) on the other end (one for the positive and one for the negative exit). The two female blade connectors are compatible with the two terminals (red/positive and black/negative) of a lead battery (12 V, 7.2 Ah).  In this way it is possible to switch Kinect form the electric net to the battery, simply plugging and unplugging the right cables.
After the hardware modification I was able to test Kinect outdoor. I will write soon a post with the results.

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