Best Articles

  • Mini Altair 8800 PC
  • Why Star Trek Into Darkness Sucked
  • Vintage Mainframe Hard Disk Clock
  • The Black Knight Development Platform
  • Web Data on an LED Display
  • An Oscilloscope from the Trash
  • Cooking the Perfect Steak
  • Triple-Sensor Mailbox Alert
  • Punch Card Printing Plate Pencil Holder
  • Finding the Cheapest PCB Manufacturer

Triple-Sensor Mailbox Alert

IncomingMailI built a triple-sensor mailbox alert to tell me when there is mail in my mailbox for me.

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Punch Card Printing Plate Pencil Holder

Punch Card Printing Plate Pencil Holder

40 years ago, everyone hated “IBM cards”. I remember folding, spindling, and mutilating them out of spite. Now, they’re an object of nostalgia. When I got my hands on one of the actual printing plates that was used to print the cards, I had to treat it with the respect and dignity it deserved. So I made it into a pencil holder. And I have some extras so I’m selling them.

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My Brother’s Math Calendar

mathcover

My brother, a longtime math enthusiast (I’ve even seen him calculate logarithms in his head) has created an interesting math calendar for 2015 and is selling it on Amazon.

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MultiSIM BLUE Review

 

msb-whyI was excited when I saw that Mouser was coming out with an apparently unlimited PCB CAD program. I’m not excited anymore. Check out my review at my other site, PCBShopper.

A UI Parable: The Smartphone Phaser

Phaser on a smartphoneLast night, I had a dream that I had the latest Starfleet-issue phaser – and it was integrated with my smartphone. The result was truly a nightmare.

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Finding the Cheapest PCB Manufacturer

PCBShopper

I’ve built a website, PCBShopper.com, that lets you quickly and easily compare prices from several different printed circuit board manufacturers.

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Hacking a Heating Pad

HeatingPadBreadboardS

My wife and I have a heating pad on our bed. In the winter, we turn it on an hour before we go to bed. When we get into bed, we leave it on until we warm up. But if we fall asleep before we turn it down, we’ll wake up a couple of hours later, overheated. Clearly, we need a technological solution.

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Heathkit Hack #3: Improving the ET-3300 Breadboard

I use a Heathkit ET-3300 powered breadboard for my prototyping. But setting it up has always been a chore in itself. I need to run wires from the power supplies to the power buses, which is messy (though admittedly not nearly as messy as the rest of the circuit will be) and often add voltage regulators, since the Heathkit’s power supplies of +12V, -12V and +5V are more appropriate to the 1970s than the 2010s. So I made a power distribution board that addresses these problems.

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Heathkit Hack #2: Hacking a Heathkit Clock

One of my most precious possessions is a Heathkit clock I assembled as a kid. But it has some shortcomings: it loses the time and alarm setting if the power is interrupted, and adjusting it for Daylight Saving Time is a pain. So I decided to retrofit it with a GPS receiver to get the correct time.

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Vintage Mainframe Hard Disk Clock

Clock with HubMany people are turning old hard disks into clocks. They disassemble old disk drives and put a clock mechanism behind the mirrored disc platter. They’re using 3½” disks, so they end up with itty bitty little clocks. I wanted something big enough to hang on the wall and retro enough to satisfy my nostalgia for the computers of my youth.

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