Hardware, Electronics, Technical Stuff
This is a showcase of various technical things I've done. The most ‘famous’ are probably my electric guitars, but there is other stuff like electronics, speaker cabinets and casemods. Many of these pages don't just describe what I did, but also how I did it, and tips for trying it yourself are included.
Additionally, there are some reviews of (mostly Chinese) gadget-like things I bought. As you'll see, I usually don't just use these things but also see if I can hack them to fix some of their flaws. I might add more reviews of specific hardware if it either impresses me, or makes me want to spit my bile.
Music and Audio
- Hand-Made Electric Guitars
Between 1995 and 1998, I built two electric guitars. This page doesn't only describe the process but contains a lot of advice if you want to build, repair or ‘mod’ your own guitar.
- Speaker Cabinets
This explains how I evolved from a cardboard speaker in a cardboard shoebox to hi-fi speakers and experimental things like a well-performing small boombox with built-in miniature subwoofer, and the following miniature surround system:
- A Subwoofer That Fits in a Backpack
This describes how I managed to cram a miniature subwoofer, a 5.1 decoder and a stereo amplifier into an enclosure the size of a small shoebox, for a truly portable surround system.
- Creating PCBs with the toner transfer method
Instructions for making your own Printed Circuit Boards with a laser printer instead of a photoresist layer.
- Variable Input Voltage LED driver bike light
I have been interested in LED-based illumination as soon as LEDs started becoming powerful enough to serve as a practical light source. After a few iterations, I constructed an efficient 1W switching power supply LED driver that fits inside the enclosure of my bicycle's headlight, powered by the bicycle's dynamo.
- Hacking Chinese (Watch) Phones
This page explains how to hack the firmware of MT6225 and MT6253-based phones. Mind that this is very technical, do not expect to be able to customise your phone through a few easy modifications.
- “Black Box” Case Mod
This is a report on how I created a custom PC case from scratch.
- Installing an Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5 on a GeForce 6600GT AGP
Kind of a ‘sequel’ on the above. A report with pictures on how I made the impossible possible, so maybe an interesting read if you want to try a similar hack.
- Silly Hacks
A collection of small ‘hacks’, often more for fun than practical use. E.g. creating a mutant ‘optical USB Apple ADB II mouse’ and a miniature PS/2 keyboard, and overclocking a G3 iBook.
Until now, all these products are cheap to reasonably priced Chinese gadgets — I am a sucker for those things. Next to the actual reviews, most of these articles also contain a short section on how the product can be hacked to circumvent some of its flaws.
- Yo-Blu Wireless Bluetooth Loudspeaker Review
A small Bluetooth loudspeaker that I found good enough to warrant writing a short review for it.
- Chinese Abardeen F80 Watch Phone Review + Custom ROM
Six years after my first watch phone (see Nova N800 review below), I finally found another detachable watch phone, obviously inspired by the former Motorola Motoactv. The obligatory hacks are limited to software, more specifically I constructed a custom Android ROM, and the end result is pretty damn good.
- Chinese ZGPAX S5 Watch Phone Review
Finally, an Android-based watch phone. As usual, the review pits the pros against the contras, and discusses hacks and tweaks.
- Chinese IKWear IK8 Watch Phone Review
A review of basically the same hardware as the ZGPAX S5, but then in a better designed end-product. Between these two watch phones, this is obviously the one to get.
- Chinese MQ668 GSM Watch Phone Review
A review of another watch phone, which nicely illustrates what I discussed in my more general watch phone article.
- BTplug Vortex86DX-based Mini-computer Review
A tiny headless x86-compatible computer that uses about 3 Watts of power.
- Chinese ‘S9110’ aka ‘Fashion’ GSM Watch Phone Review
A review of a newer watch phone to replace my Nova N800, obviously inspired by Samsung's S9110 model.
- HD Audio Rush 5.1 Decoder Review
A review of a small standalone surround audio decoder.
- Nova N800 GSM Watch Phone Review
A review of the “ultimate gadget”: a cell phone that can be worn on your wrist like a watch.
- 3GP DVR Spy Pen Review
Another gadget that would make movie spies jealous: a ballpoint pen that can record video and take pictures.
- ‘Dr. Hank’ SP-M600 Speakers Review
Almost a gadget due to their size, these are probably the smallest PC speakers made out of actual wood you can buy. Unfortunately that doesn't mean they're also the best you can buy…