Thursday, May 26, 2011

Multimeter Fuse Hack

     Yesterday, while working on my Linksys LED Matrix, I blew the 500mA fuse protecting my cheap Cen-Tech multimeter. Unfortunately, I did not have another 5x20mm fuse in that rating, but I did have a few 6x30mm 500mA 250V fuses. Luckily, I had just bought some inline 6x30mm fuse holders for another project I'm working on and hacked my multimeter into a working state in no time.
Just enough room behind the LCD to fit the fuse holder

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Linksys LED Matrix (Intro)

     I have finally began working on my first electronics project this Summer. It all started from a broken Linksys 5 port switch that I got many months ago. After removing the front sticker, I discovered that there was many more holes in the front of the case then the holes that were being used in the working switch. I knew that it would be a perfect case for a LED matrix, so I starting scouring the internet on how to control one (I think this idea is the reason I finally caved in and bought an Arduino). Unfortunately, the holes on the switch are only 3 LEDs high, so I couldn't use it for displaying text like I originally planned. The idea that I came up with was to use the case for a "logarithmic bar graph display." I had a AN6884 chip and perfboard that I purchased from my favorite electronic component store and I never used. I also had a bag full of 3mm green LEDs that I got from eBay for this project.

Simple test circuit from AN6884 datasheet application circuit

Flower Garden & Border

     My girlfriend has a small garden area behind her house that used to have plants, but it hasn't been touched in years and was overgrown and needed some TLC. We went ahead and bought some plants, flowers, and ground cover to fill the area in. After removing the old plants and wooden border and tilling the soil a little, we started placing the plants in the way that we thought would look the best.

After spending a couple nights working, we have the following to show for it :

Garden Soaker Hose Tip

     The last picture of my first gardening post showed the soaker hose haphazardly placed in the boxes. To have the ability to mow around the boxes, the hoses would need to be disconnected, so placing the hoses nicely would be ideal. We decided that we would semi-permanently place the hoses in the garden boxes with wire... Until I came up with the following idea:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Micro SD Card Keychain Dissasembly

Figured I'd share a tip for anyone that has one of these keychain card readers :

DVD Rack

     My most recent project came about after a trip to Ikea. I've always read about people hackking their purchases from Ikea, but I've never been there. When I saw these wall mountable DVD/CD racks for $5 each, I went ahead and bought two (see pictures at the bottom) At the time, I had no intentions of modifying them, but  I realized I had no convenient place to mount them. They are designed to hold the cases against the wall, so I knew I had to do something to get them working.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


     It's funny how my first completed project this Summer has nothing at all to do with electronics.


     I figure I would introduce myself as this is my first blog post. I started this blog a few months ago during my 4th semester at Penn state studying electrical engineering and planned on only doing electronics related posts. I got so busy with school that I had no time to work on other projects, so I, of course, didn't blog. Now it's my summer vacation and I have decided I'm going to blog about every project I accomplish - electronics related or not. Due to my lack of time, but not lack of ideas, I should have a busy summer ahead of me. Stay tuned by subscribing to my RSS feed!