Tag Archives: Electronics

Teardown of T-Com VB / Buyee BT Motorcycle Bluetooth

I picked up this relatively inexpensive Bluetooth device on Amazon recently, and while it functions very well, I was finding that the over-ear speakers let in too much air noise when on the freeway. So, I’m planning on replacing the speakers with some in-ear buds, or maybe just a female 1/8″ audio jack, so I can switch headphones when I would like. As in any hack / mod, it’s best to start by doing your research. I could tear the current headset apart, but I wanted to see what I could learn first without ruining anything. Because I wasn’t able to find any photos of the internals of this device, so I have taken the photos myself, in hope that they help someone else. Read more »

Recovering Arduino Pro Micro Atmega32u4

I was doing something with foolish in avrdude, ending in me killing the bootloader on my Arduino Pro Micro . The Arduino Pro Micro bootloader creates a USB connection which the user can upload code, however by overwriting the bootloader, the chip no longer enumerates as a USB device and can no longer accept new sketches. Fortunately, I hadn’t messed up the fuse bits, so I can still upload using ISP. There wasn’t much documentation on doing this for a Pro Micro, so I had to look up the data sheets for the chip and trace the Eagle PCB schematics. Fortunately, all of the ISP connections are accessible via the pin headers. I used my USBasp, but any ISP programmer including another Arduino running Arduino ISP should work. Read more »

Grbl CNC USB to TB6560 Interface using Arduino

I’ve had a CNC mill for a few years now, and while many homemade CNC mills use EasyDriver or Pololu, mine came with a sturdy, generic TB6560 controller board. For those unfamiliar, boards like this are interfaced using an old fashioned LPT parallel port, which was initially an annoyance, but quickly became impractical and a hassle, having to use an old PC with VNC installed. The board has plenty of power to push the steppers around, far more than any of the smaller / cheaper solutions had to offer I think, so I wanted to try and teach this board a few new tricks, and let me interface with it using a more modern interface. Read more »

Hacking USB into an Alfa AP121 router

While checking out all the awesome things you can do with a Fon Wifi Pineapple, I thought it would be fun to grab a newer router, capable of running Pineapple Mark-IV. I found what I thought was a great deal on eBay, and upon closer inspection, I had bought an Alfa AP121, which lacks the USB it’s sister model the AP121U / Hornet-UB has. I could have resold it, but my solution was to reverse engineer it, and try to add the USB myself. Read more »

Adding a free Aux in to a 2007 Prius

Much to my dismay, the stock radio in my 2007 Prius did not include an AUX in port for hooking up an iPod. Searching around, it turns out that the 51824 in my car does have a CD changer port, and does have the AUX pins, however they don’t function. I even bought an adapter on eBay to use the CD changer port with an external source, and the stereo didn’t even take any notice of the adapter. I sent it back, and instead opted to replace the whole radio with a 51824, which does support these features. Read more »

iPod Video failed capacitor

My brother recently got an iPod Video off eBay which refuses to keep a charge for longer than 30 minutes. I suspected it was an old battery, and thought it could be fixed by swapping in another one. Once I got the case open, I discovered a burn mark on the back on the hard drive foam, pointing out that there was a blown out component on the main board. Lovely. Read more »

Cracking the lock box

A few days ago we were driving through Ukiah, and wanted to check out the local pawn shop. They had a digital lock box which was missing it’s keys and had an unknown code. I shook it and, it didn’t seem to have anything heavy inside, but it did sound like there were keys inside. I haggled with the salesman and bought it for $12 plus tax. Read more »

Simple MIDI in cable

How to make a SUPER simple MIDI cable to send data to your joystick / MIDI port.

I had a M-Audio USB uno, which worked great on my ghetto keyboard, but on my newer setup, it would constantly dump garbage notes. Rather than go spend yet another wad of hard earned money, I realized that I probably had most of the parts at my house already.

Read all about my build here:


LPT LED mood lighting

Ok, so like most days, I have the few websites I check daily. Hackaday.com had a link to a great little project a while back called “LED pimp bed” written by bkpeters(at)uiuc.edu. He had a really great idea, take primary colors red blue and green, and have them on fader controls, attach to bed. Tada: Pimp bed.

The whole thing is just wonderfully simple, but like many other geeks out there, I know that anything is better with computer control. It took me a few hours over a few days to work out the details, but I was really happy with what I came up with.

Read more »

Putting a 3.5 inch hard drive in a Laptop

I have had a bunch of times when you need to use a hard drive designed for a Laptop in a desktop system, say for formatting, or copying massive amounts of files. Laptop drives are by spec. 2.5inch wide, while desktop drives are 3.5 inch wide. This isn’t a problem for the average user because we have these nice 3.5 to 2.5inch adapters, however what if you wanted to put a full scale drive into a laptop? You’re screwed. Of course, in most cases you couldn’t even fit the full drive into the laptop just due to it’s actual size, not just the different adapter.

Read more about my build here: