HOW-TO: ATX Benchtop Power Supply

November 25th, 2008 by Blake Cormier

You Will Need:

  • An old ATX computer power supply
  • Some binding posts
  • A switch
  • Standard modder tools

Prepping the PSU

Open the power supply’s case and remove the fan. Locate the wires that are needed. For a standard power supply, these will be Yellow: +12v Red: +5v Black: Ground Blue: -12v White: -5v Orange: +3.3v Green: Short to Ground using an SPST Switch for Power-on. Brown or Lighter Gauge orange: 3.3v Remote sensing. Check for an extra wire connected to Pin 11 on the P1 connector. If you have one, this wire needs to be connected to the 3.3v rail. Clip all the other wires at the circuit board level.

Prepping the Case

Get some binding posts. These can be had from RadioShack or any other electronics supplier. Drill some holes for these on the front of the case, above where the fan used to be. Also drill a hole for a switch. Mount your binding posts and switch. Check for shorts between each binding post and the case with an ohmmeter.


Solder a wire from each voltage you want to use to a binding post. Solder the green wire to the switch along with a ground wire.

Packing up

Stuff all the wires in the case. Run the fan wires out of the hole where the wires used to be and attach it to the top of the case. Make sure it blows air downwards onto the PSU.

You’re Finished!

That’s it! Just plug it in, flip the master switch (if you have one), and hit the power switch. You have a new benchtop power supply!

DIY 12AU7 Tube Preamp

November 25th, 2008 by Blake Cormier

Alan from DIY Audio Projects built this neat little tube preamp around the 12AU7 or 12AX7 tube. It was built using mostly parts on hand, and can be built using back-to-back 12v transformers to get the high-voltage supply. Total cost was around $30.

via DIYAP Hi-Fi Blog

Hall Effect Levitating Magnet

November 24th, 2008 by Blake Cormier

This levitating magnet uses Hall effect sensors and a microcontroller to adjust the strength of the electromagnetic field. This happens so quickly that the magnet seems to just hover there.

Google translated project page

via Hacked Gadgets

Sealand’s HavenCo is down

November 24th, 2008 by Blake Cormier

HavenCo, the webhost based on the Micronation of Sealand, appears to be down. There has been no news from Sealand’s blog, and the homepage is unreachable.

HavenCo was supposed to be a place to host content that would be illegal in other countries, since Sealand is claimed as a sovereign nation and not party to any intellectual property treaties. Sealand’s sovereignty has never been tested in court, however, and exists within the territorial waters of Great Britain. The Pirate Bay failed to purchase Sealand for £65 million in 2007.

via Slashdot

Simple AVR PWM Motor Control

November 24th, 2008 by Blake Cormier

This is a simple PWM DC motor controller using a MOSFET H-bridge and an AVR ATmega8 microcontroller. The motor was taken from an old cassette player. Looks like a good way to build a simple controller for your next project.

via Make

MAKE Presents: The LED

November 23rd, 2008 by Blake Cormier

MAKE presents: The LED from make magazine on Vimeo.

Interesting mini-documentary on the history and workings of the LED.

MAKE Presents: The LED


November 23rd, 2008 by Daniel Quillen

Are you tired of having your attempts to bring back the 80s thwarted by your ever-diminishing bank account and inability to locate authentic instruments? Breakcore musician and European geek Droon has bypassed both of these issues by gigging with a home-made QWERTY keytar, which actually proves to be an effective tool for managing loop-based software like Ableton Live. Check him out on MySpace, if that’s your kind of thing.

Of course, it could just be the MIG helmet.

via engadget

Applause Machine

November 23rd, 2008 by Blake Cormier
The Applause Machine

The Applause Machine

The Applause Machine was created by British artist Martin Smith. It produces applause at the touch of a button, “for when your ideas are great, but no one else agrees.” Available in five designer colors.

This would also be interesting to hook up to a hit counter for your website.

via Gizmodo

QuickPwn for iPhone Firmware 2.2 Released

November 22nd, 2008 by Blake Cormier

The iPhone Dev Team has jailbroken the iPhone 2.2 software upgrade and released QuickPwn, less than 24 hours from when it was released. This upgrade adds the ability to download podcasts over WiFi and 3G/EDGE, as well as some changes to app store browsing. The Google Maps app has also been upgraded, but not for iPod Touch users. Also, still no jailbreak for the second-gen iPod touch.

QuickPwn for iPhone Firmware 2.2

via Gizmodo

DIY Fog Screen

November 22nd, 2008 by Blake Cormier

Fog Screen 1.0 from finkbuilt on Vimeo.

Steve over at Finkbuilt created a fog projection screen, similar to the one on the Pirates of the Carribbean ride at Disney World. It projects video onto a screen of water vapor, giving the effect of floating video. Commercial units like this can cost thousands of dollars.

via Hacked Gadgets