Sunday, 19 February 2012

Guitar amp modding

Sometimes that buy off Kijiji wasn't all that it was cracked up to be, and you wind up with a $40 footrest.  Sometimes, though, you will not take this laying down, and will do your damnedest to polish a turd.  This is one of those times.  Enter, the Nova:

 Fig 1: A piece of junk funk?

This thing boasted an acceptable clean channel, but the "Overdrive" on it sounded something like Inuit throat singing being piped through a colostomy bag.  This thing sucked out loud, even for $40.... that's saying something.
So, instead of shelling out for a distortion pedal, or even being sensible enough to throw out this shabby thing, I decided to take the geekiest route possible and modify it into something acceptable.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Junk Monitor Repair...?

As an active packrat and avid DIY-guy, I often take it upon myself to fix busted junk that I come across.  This usually treats me pretty well.  Today, as I stumbled across this beauty, I couldnt resist:

Fig 1: Magic pornography box needs repair

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Various workshops online

Follow this link to access materials for various workshops I have done with UMIEEE.  I hereby decree them published under the CC BY-NC-SA license

Stuff you will find:
  • MSP430 tutorial materials
  • C language programming tutorial
  • a shoddy linux primer

Monday, 6 February 2012

Light Bottle

I found myself restless and extremely hungover one day.  Not to be one to sit in bed and rest, I decided inhaling solder fumes for a few hours might make me forget about the sins against my liver.

I decided to start by building a string of parallel LEDs.  Figured it would probably lead somewhere interesting...


For my Digital Systems Implementation class, I was tasked with making a MOSFET out of something that is not a MOSFET.

I was scratching my head over what to make this thing out of while grocery shopping, and came across some small watermelons.  The delicious result:

It operates as such:
  • Watermelon N-channel
  • Kiwi P-Channel Wells
  • Pineapple insulation layer
  • Canteloupe Gate/metal connections
MOSFRUITs let you control a large amount of deliciousness with a small amount of effort.

Biznass Boombox

In preparation for the Decentralized Dance Party, I decided to make a business-themed boombox most righteous and true.  Find below the buildlog...

First, I set out with the plan to construct this out of the following:
  • A solid briefcase (not soft-leather)
  • A battery-powered boombox
  • Speakers of some variety
  • Some sort of stylish speaker cover
Finding a briefcase for cheap was not an easy process... but I eventually haggled one out of a local flea market regular for $30.  Kind of steep, but not horrible.  The boombox was a donation of a former roommate, and the speakers were picked up at a local thrift shop

Here we see a dry fit of the speakers on the briefcase, as well as a collander to make a slick speaker-cover.

Apartment finding script

Need to find an apartment?  Turnover times got ya down? Throw this bash script on a cron job and never miss a posting again!

Requires: *nix, mailx, cron, an apartment agency that lists their vacancies online.

Click "Read more" for the code listing

Webcam mouse interaction in X11

After taking a class in Computer Vision not so long ago, I often find myself straining to think of a cool project that takes advantage of what I have learned.  Finally, after a solid week of banging my head against other schoolwork, I decided I should take a break and code up something fun.  In other news, I have no idea what fun is.

My initial goal was to take input from a webcam, track the users finger, and use it to move the mouse cursor.  Pretty ambitious!   Although the finger is still a long ways off, I have it tracking red rings.  Code available here.