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This paper describes a laboratory project consisting of a PC power supply modification into an intelligent car-battery conditioner with both wireless and wired networking capabilities. Adding a microcontroller to an average PC power supply transforms it into a flexible, intelligent device that can be configured and that is suitable to keep car batteries always ready to use. Using a high-performance microcontroller provides the product with wireless communication capabilities so it becomes a new network device that can be accessed through the Internet. This project allows students to improve their knowledge in several fields: power electronics, battery charging and conditioning, advanced microcontrollers, embedded Linux, and wireless communications.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2011