The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 by Popular Mechanics

These books are a wonderful read, cover to cover you will find contraptions and ideas for solving all sorts of problems of every day life.
Many of them may have been practical years ago but are now jaw dropingly weird, but they will still make you knock away the cobwebs in your brain and appreciate the cleverness of these books.
Volume one is available from Project Gutenberg as a free download (its over 500 pages long!) as it’s now out of print but volume three you can buy from Lindsay’s Technical Books (a goldmine of almost forgotten information can be found there!). It would be worth looking for volume one on eBay just because having a nicely bound book is a heck of a lot better than a stack of papers held together with binder clips.

The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 by Popular Mechanics
The Boy Mechanic: Volume 3 from Lindsay Books

Wrt54g – Unlock the Secrets!

SD card on a WRT54G

I recently bought a Linksys WRT54G wifi router and I am so darned happy to discover that it can be flashed and modded!
Here are a few of the cooler ones I’ve found:

A Wikipedia entry with links for firmware upgrades and what the different hardware revisions are. The new firmware loads are cool, lets you use RADIUS and loads of other stuff.

This one is sweet, how to add an SD card reader to a WRT54G

This project is for people who would like to add a little storage to their Linksys WRT54G router besides the builtin 4MB flash ram. What we will do is connect an SD card reader to some of the GPIO pins of the CPU found inside the Linksys and with the help of a little driver we can use as a block device from Linux. This means that if you compile your kernel for the Linksys with e.g. support for MSDOS partitions and VFAT you will be able to mount, read, write, partition and so on your normal SD cards. The speed obtainable for reading and writing seems to be about 200 KB/s.

Some more information on the GPIO ports.

And if all that wasn’t enough, you can even make a robot out of it

[inspired by HackerMonkey]



Just what all kids want under the Christmas tree, there very own little homicidal alien cyborgs.
Someone needs to add a little computer to these and let them rove around in a maze somewhere (thats a hint for all PAReX members out there)

Due September 2005.

Challenge your friends to a Dalek battle! Who will exterminate who? You control the Daleks and duel with your opponent.

2 X 4 inch Daleks with controllers. Infrared movement control. flashing hit indicator head lights. Poseable arm and gun. 2 X IR Receivers on each Dalek (front and top of head). 1 X IR Emitter in each Dalek (Eyestalk). Featuring authentic sound and effects.
Pack comes with Doctor and Rose figure.

[ via Red Ferret]
Dr Who Battle Daleks Two Pack


Homemade GPS

This is pure DIY goodness.

This is a short description on how I spent some hours this summer building a simple GPS device. For some time now I have been wondering about the possibility to build such a device from mostly scavenged and old parts, the most important being (of course) a GPS receiver module, and an LCD display. And indeed it was possible. ,)

Loads of great things here, he used a slavaged LCD from a cell phone as a display, a NEMA GPA module from eBay, and even burned his own boards using a UV party light.

[via hackaday ]

Rocket Cam On the Cheap!

rocket rocketcam
Here is an interview with Matt Campbell, why should you read it? Well he took a model rocket and adapted it’s nose cone to house a hacked CVS video camera. The videos of the launch are pretty impressive. The recovery phase of the launch wa a little rough, if there was a way to stabalize the nose cone during decent the video was be heaps better. It’s also of some not that the camera will do odd things to the image is it’s slewed too fast. Go take a look at the video to see that I mean.
The CVS Video camera is going to be showing up in so many projects that it’s bound to win some sort of DIY hackability award (hint hint MAKE, you should have one of these).
I know if I had a few (and yes, I’d want at least three of them) I’d put a zoom lens on one, and turn the other two into a stereoptic video system with variable ocular distance. That would be so flipping cool… Then there would be the ‘lets-make-you-sick’ three inches off the road camera for my car, an underwater housing for those times at the beach, and not to mention a pretty cool payload for an R/C car.