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Project: Commodore 64 Music - SynthCart and more...

Be prepared for the ultimate sound of SID! The CyntCart is an expansion cartridge for the C64, plugged into it, enables the access to the world of oldschool computer music... Just ordered one and it's on the way now. Besides a few modd's have to be done also as well to the homecomputer. Full Story will follow soon...

Project: Gateway2000 P5-90 Futuramod

This is just a project in mind, i'll start when i got some spare time and bucks left in future... The Gateway was one of my office PCs in the late 90's, stored for a long time in the closet, now it will see the sunlight again :) It is a Pentium PC with SCSI and a lot of space in it. The performance is very very poor compared to nowadays standard, but the case looks imo somewhat "moddable". My plan is to make a high-end gamers PC of it, those i have to put a good Motherboard & Co. in it! Let's be interrested what happens...


Hack: Li-Ion Battery for Wireless Mouse

Once Again there is a good reason not to throw your damaged Li-Ion Battery Packs away. Either it is from your Laptop or your Camcorder or Digital Camera - the Cells could still work!!!

I was sick to change and recharge the Batteries of my Wireless Mouse every half day and had to find a solution for it.

Since the AAA sized Ni-Mh Batteries had not much capacity, i grabbed into my Hobby-Box and took a damaged Digital Camera Battery Pack out.

I opened it and checked the Cells - still good, only charging circuit problem!

After a look, the Cell been slightly thicker than AAA size so i had to enlarge the mouse's  battery compartment. First i was unsure, because the use of two non-rechargable batteries would give a voltage of 3 and Li-Ion cells have 3,7 Volts. Nevertheless i gave it a try before i took my Dremel and it worked fine without caming any smoke out :)

The Battery Contacts had to be changed also, but that was the easiest part of all..

Modified with the recycled Cell it can be used now for nearly 4 (!) days and i still have another one waiting full loaded for swap. Another plus compared to conventional rechargable batteries is the short recharging time of it.

WARNING: We have to know that Li-Ion Battery Packs have a loading circuit integrated. The Cells can only be charged with a special Li-Ion Charger who include this circuit - DON'T try to charge them with a conventional Ni-MH or even Ni-Cd Charger!!!

Recycled Laptop Battery Pack!

As we all know we produce nowadays a lot of waste, we have to recycle goods as much as possible, even if it seems insignificant, we have to do our best to save our environment.

Why throw broken Laptop Battery Packs away??? Mostly it's only the electronics inside that don't work anymore, the Cells could still be healthy and used in another way like following:

This Torch with a powerful CREE-LED device uses Li-Ion Batteries as well as 3 pieces of normal non-rechargable or rechargable whatever AAA-sized Batteries in an additional adapter. A Li-Ion charger was included when i bought it so i can load the Cells left over from my damaged Laptop Battery-Pack too.
The blue Li-Ion Cell came with it but it is longer than the Battery-Adapter who holds the AAA rechargables, so there was also a Distance-Ring included when the blue Cell would be used. It is not necessary for the recycled Cells.

 IMPORTANT: We have to know Li-Ion Battery Packs got a loading circuit integrated. The Cells can only be charged with a Li-Ion Charger who include this circuit - DON'T try to charge them with a Ni-MH or even Ni-Cd Charger!!!

DIY: VAIO Fat Battery-Pack!

What you gonna do if you have an old Laptop with 1200MHz Pentium III M Processor and just invested a few bucks for a hard to find RAM upgrade to 640MB and even a couple of months ago your Harddisc failed and you spend a few more for another one with 160GB and then suddenly the Battery sucks??? Not to mention the time you have invested for getting it up again!!! Well it's a hard decision either you buy a new Battery Pack, or leave it non-portable with the Power Supply...

Non of it!
Take Three Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries with 6V and 4,5Ah and build a better one by yourself.

As the pictures document, first was to open the Laptop to get access to the Power Connector.

Soldering some wires to "+" and "-" and take them out was the next step.

Then a modification was essential of the original upper Battery Case to fit in the 3 new ones :)

After that they had to be connected together in series and wired up with the plus and minus wires.

I used also a micro-switch for interrupting connection, if it is used for a long time with the Power Supply then they would be overcharged.

Some Tape was used to patch them to the Battery Case Part so it snatches with it to the Battery Compartment of the Laptop.

The Laptop has a slope now but it is a nice side-effect because typing is much more comfortable yet.
The Power Supply delivers 19.5 Volts, the Batteries have only 18 Volt in total - but it works and i can use it for a longer time then i would be able with the original Battery!

I checked the broken Battery Pack and found out there was a defect with the board, the cells are still working and been removed to use in this post.


Hack: Fried Potatoes Kitchen-PC

This is a Hannspree LCD-TV, well it's not original anymore because the display with its full electronics used in an other hack-project, i'll introduce that when it's completely finished...

Anyway what happened to this Fried Potato TV? It was too precious to throw the left funny case away so i decided to use it in a theme oriented way, the idea for the Kitchen-PC was born!

You might recognize the blue screen, this was a first try to hack an old Monochrome Laptop with 286 CPU into it - just to use it at my friends restaurant for displaying menu and prices, but it failed.

Now another modd is going on. An old 80486 CPU Laptop's parts are taking place and the project is nearly finished. It is planned to use Windows 3.11 as Operating System (enough for our demand). I am looking now for a "Hamburger Mouse" to add... The Keyboard is only connected when necessary to save space on the desktop. An SD-Card reader instead of the Floppy Disc Drive is planned to add too, since there is very restricted space in the case, so for now i have to place the Floppy outside.

Why an old Laptop you ask now? Very simple, since we want to use it in the kitchen for cooking receipts and some other usefull functions like watch or eggcounter, it's enough power and need no fan (quiet and energy saving). On the other hand i know i saved our environment a bit, keeping clean by recycling. Might Hannspree get this idea and set a new production of this case with a Touchscreen PC :) - Announced as a Kitchen PC they will take off!!!


Earphones - Make Them Better

During a vacancy i forgot my Walkman's headphones at home and needed urgently some crappy, cheap earphones and so i popped into a China-Shop...

After a short test in hurry (with only one piece in the ear - shoot me now!) i bought some fake SONY Earphones. Later on the coach i plugged them into my walkman and recognized the volume was not equal on both sides. Now you can imagine my face :) After a look into the sound holes i saw differencies between both. So i opened the suspect one immediately and saw the speaker been loose and turned sidewards - fixed and put together again i tried to enjoy my music on the ride, but the sound was more than sickening :(

Yes i did know they were very cheap and "must be" crappy but surprisingly they weren't that bad in finishing. Couple of days later at home i did check them again and the same happened - speaker loose. It must be glued but suddenly i remembered what i studied long time ago - the bad and tinny sound that came out must be distorted by resonance! My idea was to "fill" something into the housing to clear off the resonance, but what? An incidence look to my boy gave me the hint - PLAYDOUGH! Don't laugh now :)

After practice on both earphones they have an astonishing performance yet, especially the basses come very dry and no "tin-sound" anymore...