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Computer Case Upgrade?

Can I put the guts of a dell dimension 2400 in a thermaltake wing rs? PLEASE HELP ME OUT! THANKZ!

Question by sci4me    |  last reply


Laptop Display Upgrade to Touch?

I wish to upgrade my Laptop Display from Non Touch to Touch. I did a bit of research on the internet, but am unable to find a proper answer. Is it possible? I would love to migrate from half HD non touch display to full HD touch display (even IPS). But here in India, I'm unable to find it in this config for 15.6" size (atleast, not cheaply). I have found one display which has a few things common with my old display. Both have TFT with LED Backlight, same size, aspect ratio, resolution and no of pins. Old Display: 15.6 inch TFT with LED Backlight (Non touch) (16:9). Resolution: 1366 x 768. 40 Pins. Part Number: B156XW04V5 Datasheet: https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXino/A20/A20-LCD15.6/resources/B156XW04V5.pdf Cost: ₹5000 ($75 approx) Proposed New Display: 15.6 inch TFT with LED Backlight (Touch) (16:9). Resolution: 1366 x 768. 40 Pins. Part Number: B156XTT01 Datasheet: http://www.datasheetspdf.com/datasheet/download.php?id=923648 Cost: ₹12500 ($180 approx) Would I need to change LVDS cable as well? Existing LVDS Cable: Part Number: P5LJ0 Datasheet: http://www.s-manuals.com/pdf/motherboard/compal/compal_la-7221p_r1.0_schematics.pdf Here are the answers to some questions you might have: 1. Laptop is Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG. 2. My Laptop did not have any variant with 1080p display or touch display. 3. The old display is slightly cracked. Hence I need to change it anyway. 4. The top flap, display mounting brackets and bezel are damaged too. And the laptop is 5 years old and am unable to get the replacement parts. Hence I am planning on building a new housing for the new display, in any case. (Suggestions in this regard are also welcome) So a bit of variation in physical dimensions is not a problem. 5. Motherboard is Intel i5 2410M with Intel 3000 graphics processor. Graphics Card is Nvidia 540M. (I couldn't find supported resolutions on official websites, but according to 3rd Party websites, both should support 1080p) 6. I have some experience with Electronic Disassembly and Assembly. 7. I can do soldering, but I'm not very good at it. Hence, would like to avoid it, if possible.

Question by dcthelord    |  last reply


Laptop "plug" upgrade/replacement question.?

I have an Asus K53SV Laptop and the power jack is busted, like the internal connections are loose.  I'm looking to upgrade it to a panel-mount one that's screwed into the case instead mounted to the mother-board. How do I find out which kind to order online?  It's not like I can go to the barrel-jack store with my laptop brick and see which one fits.  Is there a standard sizing scheme or something?  I couldn't find one. Also, is there a MagSafe like system for this?  I'd love to have it come apart if someone trips over the cord (again... that's why it's broken now... >.<)

Question by jongscx  


How should I upgrade my PC? Answered

I'd rather a PC than a stupid xbox or ps3 because really PC's are 20x faster 20x better graphics free to play and mostly you can customize it!  Motherboard: P4P800-E ASUS RAM: 2x512mb (1,024mb) DDR400 184 pin 3.41GHz (I know I will get about 4gb later) CPU: Intel Pentium 4, 3.40GHz, 3408MHz Video Card: nVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 ("might" get a new one but I mostly model. not gaming) I don't care about the sound card I use my iPod for music :D So thats my setup in a custom case and what I mainly do is create 3d games in unity 3d and I will definitely get more ram (about 4gb) and really dont need a good graphics card for it but I want to start to use my pc instead of my xbox so maybe sell that and my games and all and buy a graphics card with that cash and I'll be set. so I "think" about 4gb of RAM and a new Graphics card would be perfect but you know I'm 14 know a bunch but not all so could you give me some tips. Oh and I'm running Windows XP Professional. But for now do you think having more RAM would be good for programs such as 3ds max, Maya, Blender, and Unity? currently its sluggish at times and crashes if I have to much.

Question by jaymanx    |  last reply


(HP Mini 110 to HP Pavilion DV4) Upgrading small screen to lager one? Answered

Okay, so I have a HP Mini 110 (10.1 inch screen). Is there any way I can steal the larger screen from my broken HP Pavilion DV4 and use it on my Mini? I know that the screen would be obscenely large that is why I would build a whole new case for it. Basically, my question is would the Mini be able to power and support a larger screen?

Question by willybalta    |  last reply


Will a hard drive with multiple partitions work in an external case?

As the title says, will a SATA hard drive formatted in NTFS with multiple partitions work in an external hard drive case? I'm upgrading to a new hard drive, and I'm thinking of putting the old one in an external case so I can get my data back quickly. however, compaq has gave it a recovery partition, so i can reset it to factory specifications. will this stop the USB hard drive case from recognizing it? Also, it's formatted as a NTFS file system, will this mess it up also? I don't think so, as FAT32 only goes to 127 GB and you can buy bigger external hard drives, but I'm not an expert so I can't tell for sure. Thanks in advance, -BD

Topic by DJBD    |  last reply


How to upgrade an old PC to a simple media PC? Answered

I have a very old desktop about 7 years old and its in a very bad condition and can be barely used. It was a home computer before this and  now not many people use it anymore. So I would like to convert it to a media PC to attach it to my TV. I just want a simple media PC that I can watch streams and watch downloaded movies in good quality(Full HD) and just simple PC uses. So I was thinking of upgrading my old PC to a media PC by changing some parts like the graphic cards and all. Bare in mind this is my first time attempting to build a computer so im not very knowledgeable on it. However, I do know the basics of each components in the PC. These are the specs of my old pc ;- -AMD Athlon(tm) 64x3 Dual Core Processor 4200 + 2.2GHz -3.00 GB RAM -NVIDIA GeForce 7300LE -250GB HDD harddisk -32-bit Operating System When I opened up the PC it was in a bad condition and full of dust. When I took out the heat sink, the CPU was stuck to it so I think I damaged the pins of the CPU when I took it out.( But I wanted to change that anyway) By the looks of it there is barely anything I can salvage other than the case. I have attach some photos to show you the condition of it.  I would like to ask some help on some links or advice on is it possible to salvage anything(motherboard maybe) and what components should I be looking at for the uses I want it to carry out. I know a lot of people will suggest to just buy a brand new pre-builld desktop but I really want to try to build this for the experience so I can build a better PC next time in the future.  Thank you very much, Every answer is much appreciated.

Question by KhayhenS    |  last reply


Upgrading my PC and need advice? AMD FX -8150 or INTEL i7 3820? Answered

Hi all, im in the planning stages of a PC upgrade for my new "5 Year PC" my current system: intel Q6600 Asus Commando Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 7970 3gb (will be reused in new system) Hytec 950w PSU (will be reused in new system) 2 x 2GB DDR2 Ram 1TB, 2TB, 320gb & 500gb Sata HDDs (will be reused in new system) system 1 AMD: (approx price. AUD$700) AMD fx -8150 Asus Crosshair V Formula z G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-1866C10Q-32GXL (4x8GB) 32GB DDR3 system 2 INTEL: (approx price. AUD$1000) Intel Core i7 3820 ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Motherboard G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-1866C10Q-32GXL (4x8GB) 32GB DDR3 Case: Lanboy Air which system would last me the "Long term" with minimal upgrades. the system would be on 24/7. i use it mostly for gaming (WoW, AC, Diablo, Mass effect 3) but will be doing some photo/video editing in the future. i WON'T be overclocking. TL:DR AMD FX -8150 or INTEL i7 3820? Windows Score 5.9 Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz 7.1 Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB 7.1 Graphics AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series 7.9 Gaming graphics 4863 MB Total available graphics memory 7.9 Primary hard disk 451GB Free (932GB Total) 5.9

Question by furby    |  last reply


My "new" computer

This is my "new" computer. Its a Dell Dimension 2400 loaded with windows xp with service pack 3. I havent done much to it yet, and since i cant really overclock it... im just doing memory, graphics, sound, and looks. The rest of the upgrades i do will be software, programs, wallpapers, music, videos, screensavers, etc...  I hope you like. NOTE: I AM a noob. that is y it kinda sux. but... im kinda young. lol. PLEASE COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Topic by sci4me    |  last reply


What tool does one use to unscrew the button screws on the back of a desktop computer case?

An answer would be really helpful to me, as I'm looking to upgrade my computer's video card sometime in the future, but can't get inside the certain part of the back of the computer case, as I don't have the right tool to unscrew button screws.

Question    |  last reply


Tutorial downloaded PDF has no images

I just upgraded my account so i would be able to download PDF versions of the instructables i like and want to try. I just downloaded my first instructable ( https://www.instructables.com/id/Monster-Monkey-Fist-with-Pool-Ball/?ALLSTEPS ) and found that the images are not included in the downloaded version. Is this correct? If this is the case the instructables would become very hard to follow indeed and defeats the point of me having upgrading my account. C an someone tell me if this is correct and the pictures as displayed on each instructables page are not actually included on their PDF downloads? If this is the case how do i go about getting my money back as this was not made clear and i feel it is somewhat misleading.

Topic by TK Trooper    |  last reply


Where is a good place to get a gaming computer? Answered

I've been thinking that I need a little upgrade from the desktop computer that I have, by computer standards, its pretty old. All I really want is a gaming computer. I don't need any fancy cases or things of that sort, can anyone recommend a website and/or product?

Question by Fizzxwizz    |  last reply


$200-$250 computer build. all all the parts compatible, any issues you see?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- here are the parts for my first build. please tell me if you see a problem with the selection CASE: ------Cooler Master RC-343-KKN1 MOBO:------ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 (any better value out there)? CPU: --------Pentium G620 (lga-1155) (can you best it within  $60?) (stock) GPU:---------n/a, on-board Intel HD 2000 RAM:--------Team Elite 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333MHz OS: ----------Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bit. HHD: --------the old HDD i have in my old computer, a 250gb 5400RPM drive. OPTICAL: -my current DVD drive in my old computer. PSU: --------will 350W be enough power for this? i think so. [total cost]: <$250 including the parts i don't think i need. (optical, case, PSU, CPU, heatsink) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IF YOU SEE EVERYTHING IS GOOD AND COMPATIBLE AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS, YOU GET BEST ANSWER. other questions: 1) what advantages can i get out of a good housing/case? can i get more USB ports? or are the aftermarket cases just for looks and good airflow? 2) my current hard drive is loud (no clunking, but clearly audible clicking (30 decibles maybe?) and some faint brown noise under load). it is an older heavily used HHD, how much life does it have left? i don't know of any software to test it. i use Ubuntu as my only OS so a program to test it has to be for Linux (preferably .deb package) i have more info and qustions at: https://www.instructables.com/answers/ultra-budget-computer-system-with-good-upgrade-opt/ if you could also answer those, i would highly appreciate it.

Question by -max-  


Buying a new macbook next week, shall i get the Macbook 13" or the Macbook Pro 13"? Answered

Hello guys! So i'm buying a new macbook coming next week (next week just in case apple wants to upgrade the core to an i5, in the pro, or add an anti-glare or hi-res upgrade...they've upgraded before mid-cycle, and i dont mind waiting till monday :) ). just so you know my background: i'll be entering the physics carreer later this year at the university.  I'm torn between buying a white macbook, or a macbook pro 13". Money is not a problem, but the most i can get is the macbook pro with a 500GB hdd, 2,4GHz, 4GB RAM. Should i get the cheaper or the pro? i mean, seeing how they're so much alike, same core 2 duo, same graphics card, is shelling out the extra cash worth it? Thanks for your help :)

Question by drkztan    |  last reply


What is the best graphics card available for this computer that won't bottleneck the CPU? Answered

Specifications: 2GB DDR2 (up to 4GB max). Intel Pentium 4 CPU with HyperthreadingT @ 2.8GHz overclocked to 3.4GHz stable. Runs Fedora linux. 1 PCI express x16 slot (shouldn't be a problem, PCI express x16 2.0 is backwards compatible). ASUS P5KPL-CM motherboard. I could install a Pentium D 3.0GHz for $25 and I can always upgrade the PSU to accommodate a more powerful graphics card. I need the most powerful graphics card I can get for the computer that won't bottleneck it. Below are some pictures of the computer (they are the parts from my parents' old computer that I recently upgraded; the computer runs great, I just don't have a case for it yet)

Question by epicnoobpwn    |  last reply


Post what features, functions or changes you would like to see when using Instructables.com

The recent upgrades to this website caused some confusion as well frustration for those who though long requested features would be included.It seems that neither our code monkeys, nor those suggestiong changes and improvements are aware of the many requests and suggestions we made over the years.So let's help them out by posting what we think is bad, needs improvement or simply what we need to properly make use of this great website.Maybe within the next 3 to 10 years some might get implemented ;)I go first, shall I?1. DesignThe recent changes seemed to be solely target on people with little skills and using tablets / mobile phones.As common practise in standard forums all over the web the user should have the option to change a different layout based on the device he uses.Preferably with an automatic detection that can be overruled in the settings on the YOU pages.Someone on a small tablet will certainly welcome huge fonts and massive buttons.Maybe even the many "hidden" functions that only appear when scrolling or doing other weird things.But if you are like me and use a proper PC on a 4K screen this layout is not really usable at all.Nothing fits, nothing can be made to fit - all is fixed and pre-defined.If you really try to improve the user experience than don't block those out who started all this and still use a PC for most of their online needs!Adding different layouts is not really a hard thing unless you insist on custom made software to run all this here - than it takes efford to show you care about basic desing features!2. Forums and questionsUp until recently we had different sections for our forum topics.By far not enough but at least for most things there was a right place.Now it all one big mix of everything and still no proper sorting is possible.Topics/Questions that are a few days old wander down the list to be never seen again unless you love to scroll or follow only your Email notifications.Worst of all we now can't even see who made the last reply.The sorting inside is much better but still we lack custom sorting options or at least highlighting post/replies made after the last check of the topic.Not userfriendly at all, just much more complicated to find what you need - unless of course it was only done to get more topics and questions without caring what happens to them.3. EmbeddingAdding Links to other website is mostly fine but when it comes to pictures or videos I feel reverted back into the 90's.Everything must be done the way the developers here think is best.You want to explain something in detail with a lot of pics within your text to make it easy to follow and understand?Good luck as it will only work if you are fluent in basic HTML.A different font to really highlight something or even colored text? No way....Prefer to host your images offsite at a proper hoster?Again hope you know your HTML and that your hoster offers direct image links that are permanent...Time has moved on and user might not like to be treated as child and being constraint in the worst possible way.If someone want an image within the text then let him do so by drag and drop, better even to allow the text to flow around the image - really nice to explain an image with text on the side instead of at the top or bottom ;)The library is quite nice - if you like obscured filenames and no chance of sorting images by Instructables/topics/questions.Just the easiest way for the programming: by date with autogenerated filenames - back to the future ROFL4. EditingMade a spelling mistake in a reply or topic/question? Bad luck...Need to add some vital info to something you just posted? Why would you want to do that?Want to simply paste something you wrote up in Notepadd++ or some other editor? Great, if you like it all messed up...Even expecting to have editing options while writing is downgraded to less than what you Email client would allow for a funny bday greeting....Again: We are no longer in the 90's!You want users to be active and enjoy this website than give than what they started asking for many years ago!5. SortingAs mentioned before we need proper sorting options for replies, questions, topics...What is the point of having an active topic that runs down to page 4 or 5 of the list?Where is the most basic info in this list? Like who did last action, when did it happen?Why is it still impossible to quickly see the last replies/postings?With sometimes over 30 postings and even more replies it is next to impossible to find the stuff.If sorting options are above paygrade then at least iclude highlighting everything done after the last visit of this topic/question.And while at it, please give us back the forum sections and add some more ;)6. FeedbackAs said too many times: The developers/code monkeys need to find a way to communicated with each other and the users here!Can't even count how many times I heard things like: "We are working on it", "I will forward this to the developers", "We might include this in a future upgrade"....Seriously: What is the point of having (had) a bugs and feedback section if everyone now claims this all totally new and that nothing was ignored?Again to me it looks like "Let's do some majoy changes as my kid struggles to use this website on the tablet, while at it let's also hide some features and functions without announcing any changes we make!"It is confusing to say the least and I fail to understand why this website should be only optimised for people who can barely use a mobile device.Some of the users here might actually want to be able to have modern features that do beyong big buttons and oversized text.7. Featuring and contestsWhen I started here a featured Instructable was something that was standing out from the rest.Only in a few cases external links or certain providers of parts where present.Now even totally incomplete and impossible to follow Ibles find a way to get featured.Same for stuff that was done (better) at least 20 times before.Some spelling mistakes might be fine but if I struggle to understand what the user was writing I wonder how whoever featured it figured it all out.It often seems all that counts is a catchy header and some nice pics on the first two or three steps is enough :(But lately far too many "Instructables" are popping that not only get featured almost instantly but also only exist to advertise for a product or service - usually even indicated by the "username" behind it and the "homepage" linking to shop...Desperate much for money and not even honest enough to clearly indicate the advertisements or to push them into an advertising section?Similar story for contests :(Every now and then I get an invitaton to help judging a contest.Considering I only get to see the runners for the finals I often wonder how they got there.Some entries that (at least in my opinion) really stand out are not even in the list, instead I get some crappy ones with little efford for the workmanship or presentation - just a catching title and some nice pics.And when going for counters I see another problem:Some of the entries get featured and of course attract much more attention this way.I think it would be only fair to leave all contest entries untouched until a contest is over.It is hard enough to understand how the selection of winners made it into my ballot but copies, bad stuff and so on should not make it.And the fair go with featuring would mean the hits for an entry are not faked by being featured - feature it when the contest is over1 ;)And no, I don't try to insult or offend anyone here, just being honest and direct.Angry? Sure.Disappointed? Of course.Why? Because it could have been all soooo much better if someone would have cared to listen....

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


2 computer builds: one budget computer system, and mid range gaming system. is everything compatible with each other?

I want to build a $200-$250 ultra budget computer system as my first build, to get the ropes, then after i get it working, and all, then move on and build another, much more powerful  $700-$750 gaming / video editing PC. however, i need help with making sure everything works together, as well as suggestions and tips please. i highly appreciate if you answer in detail everything i asked, that answer will get best answer from me. a will add details as i learn more about what i am really getting into. i bolded all my unanswered questions. (i decided on just making to separate builds,  originally i planed to make i cheap computer, with a good mobo, then expand on it. however i just decided it is better to make two separate builds.) 1) what advantages can i get out of a good housing/case? i prefer to use just the case i have right now, the old one from my old HP pavilion a1747c. it has several card readers and a few usb ports on the front, headphone jack, mic jack, some jack labeled 1394, 2 expansion bays (one of which with a DVD drive in it) 2) i plan on using a motherboard with a chipset that allows for: overclocking the CPU, RAM, and separate video card; as well as support for intel HD graphics; and of coarse uses the LGA-1155 socket. for less than $130.  ) is in any good? can someone list a few good afordable boards that will do what i listed above? her are a few i have in mind. is ASRock a good company? ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX Intel Mobo <-- i am leaning towards this one. ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77                                      3) for simple stuff like wifi, bluetooth, etc; do i need to buy those separably (for the motherboard)? do they use PCI slots? if not, can i use the old WiFi adapter from my old computer? id rather not use external but if i have to, i will. so i assume if i want front facing USB 3.0 slots i need a new case, right? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4) here are the parts for my first build. please tell me if you see a problem with the selection    CASE: ------Cooler Master RC-343-KKN1  MOBO:------ ASRock H61M-DGS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX (any better value out there)?  CPU: --------Pentium G620 (lga-1155) (can you best it within  $60?) (stock)  RAM:--------Team Elite 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333MHz  OS: ----------Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bit.  HHD: --------the old HDD i have in my old computer, a 250gb 5400RPM drive.  OPTICAL: -my current DVD drive in my old computer.  PSU: --------will a 350W be enough power for this? i think so.  [total cost]: >$250 including the parts i don't think i need. (optical, case, PSU, CPU, heatsink) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5) my next build:   PSU: ------Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W  MOBO:----ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX Intel Mobo (is it a good for the price)  CPU: ------Intel i5 3570K  RAM: ------Patriot Intel Extreme Master, 8GB, Cas Latency 9, 1600MHz  then overclocked?  HHD: ------Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKX 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache  OPTICAL: whatever i find cheapest. is a blue ray drive worth it? do PC game need it?  GPU: ------Radeon HD 7870: or any cheaper card with similar performance

Question by -max-    |  last reply


solar install question

Ok so I see a few solar setups online. now I have been researching for a while on this and no one can give me the answers so here i go on here. So i want an UPGRADE-ABLE solar setup. right now I have 2 150ah 12v batteries. I have multiple 50 amp charge controllers. so when I buy the solar panels I can plug in and get batteries going no problem.... My issue is the mains voltage side of things. I want to have something like a fuse box, this will have my main breaker and then the independent safety switches. the issue is to do this I need to make sure all my power is on 1 line. so if I buy a few small inverters I will not be able to piggyback them as they tend to go bang. so what type of inverter can I get that will be able to go in parrallel to allow me to get more amps if needed? I am hoping there is one that is infinitely upgradeable just in case. TLDR what type of off-grid inverter allows parrallel connection to other inverters??

Topic by plucas1    |  last reply


Is this an ok PC?

Hi I have a budget of under £300 and want to spend it on upgrading my PC. I need:1. GPU2. CPU3. Case + PSU4. MoBo5. RAMSo far I found this:http://www.lambda-tek.com/computing/pcdesigner.pl?cart=%0AGRAPHICSCARD%091566566%091%0ACPU%09B101000%091%0AMOTHERBOARD%09B164738%091%0AMEMORY%091490932%091%0ACASE%09B94230%091%0ANow I'm not looking for a PC that will run Crysis on highest detail but just some average games like Burnout ParadiseSo could someone advise me if this is good enough or would I need something better and if so could someone tell me what.Thanks,Kacper

Question by kacper00100    |  last reply


Computer psu problem?

I have been building a computer. As my last computer died (probably my last question I asked) I thought I would build one. I required a tower PC with a gigabyte mother board with a Pentium 4 CPU. I thought I would also upgrade my OS to Mac OS X with patches to run on an Intel processor. This has worked perfectly! Until I changed the case.. I Bought a power mac G5 case from eBay, and started work on it. I made all the necessary mounts for the mother board and placed the psu at the bottom. I have been running it with only the hard drive, no DVD drives. it has been also running flawlessly until I made a bracket for the psu. My PC turns on but only lasts until the starting up of OS X and what looks like the psu cuts out. I have removed the bracket now but still no change. I then switched it on with out the hard drive and again it cut out whilst confirm no Hard drive was installed. I don't know why it keeps cutting out? All comments welcome Oscar Thompson

Question by oscarthompson    |  last reply


Video card questions Answered

I've recently gotten a free PC (a HP Evo D510) which I intend to do some moderate networked gaming on.  My plan was to buy a cheap AGP or PCI graphics card, but I'm unsure what to go with (ATI/nVidia, AGP/PCI). I've only had experience with PCI-E cards so far. From what I've read, AGP is faster than PCI.  I assume this is correct?  Looking at NewEgg, it would seem that AGP ATI cards are ludicrously better than AGP nVidia cards.  Is this the case?  The computer to be upgraded has 2 Gib of RAM and a 2.4 Ghz P4.  I'm anticipating the porcessor to be a bottleneck, along with slow bus speeds.  I suppose my main question here is what GPU should I roll with?  I'd like to spend less that $75, but that's flexible to a certain extent.  Anyways, thanks in advance.

Question by RelaxedSoup    |  last reply


Can anyone help me design a simple stereo electret mic circuit that has a female 3.5mm jack?

I'm new to electronics but in love with it and I have looked around, my cat tends to chew wires, so I wanted to make it easy to replace just the wire in case it happens again. I want to make a mic circuit without the use of IC's but I do have a 555 timer on hand if absolutely necessary. It doesn't have to be stereo because I am new to the hobby and can work with just the single mic at first and learn to upgrade it later. Any help in this would be great because I can't find a simple circuit to accomplish my needs here. I need a mic for my computer and I decided I'd learn more by building one than I would by purchasing one.

Question by tgreathouse    |  last reply


Firefox has issues with Instructables? Answered

Hi there, I am on a MacBook, running system 10.6.8, using Firefox v 29.0.1. When I go to various instructables (I checked out the "nettles" one and the "corroded battery terminals" cleaning one,, I cannot download the PDF. It asks me to sign in, and then asks me to sign in again, not acknowledging my having done so. When I went to the "Forums" page, the upper right hand of the site DID indicate that I was signed in. I found using Safari I could download the files I want, but I prefer to use Firefox. This has been the case for a while now, even through a few Firefox upgrades. I am assuming that others are not having the problem? Sorry to be writing to you via this means, but couldn't figure out how to do so on the "bugs" page, and it looks like no one has written on those pages for 2 years. Thanks for your help on this. Catherine

Question by Cat00x    |  last reply


Monitor powered by ATX

I searched for hours with varying keywords and can't find too much information...  12v to pin 1 and GND to pin 2 but what do I do about the neutral? I read a xbox 360 laptop mod but it involves the 5v too, and connects it to the power brick. I'm trying to do something different. Trying to make a lunchbox out of a macpro 1.1 case. 1 wire to plug into an outlet is better than needing two. Before I get into this project im trying to understand what I need to buy and feel kinda silly asking such a question which should be extremely simple but I want to be safe and dont want to fry anything. For those that are actually interested in what I'm doing, I kept staring at the case thinking "what can I make with this, and the items I have laying around?" I thought I'd 1-up the basic hackintosh build and go against the grain of using the case how it's intended. I flipped it so the side with the I/O ports were sitting flat, measured the inside which gave me 7" of workable space with 0.4" wiggle room which made perfect for an mini ITX to be laying flat down instead of against the wall. I thought I could take my dremel and cut out an area for a LCD monitor. I have enough DVD drives laying around as well that I could make a "push tray to eject keyboard" sort of slide out keyboard upgrading the rails, using an ultra thin keyboard with a track pad and top it off with sound activated lights and my 1.5 TB HD that's almost full of music. I realize I can do this with a laptop and pocket usb speaker/light effects, but it wouldn't be as cool and I wouldn't get to reuse these items I have sitting around.

Topic by bvarious    |  last reply


Makers, but not as we know them....

Japanese technology companies are renowned for their innovations. But, really, what completely new products have come out of Japan in the last decade? It seems that Japan has lost its creativity, and slipped into serial innovation, producing upgraded versions of established sellers (sounds like Apple?). There are Makerspaces, but not as we know them. Tokyo is home to a Makerspace stuffed with a 1bn yen ($8.5m; £5.5m) worth of equipment, but it's behind serious security and costs $250/month to be a member. It's more of a tech start-up incubator than the Makerspaces we know in the US & UK. I know Japanese makers exist, they had their own Makerfaire, but the stuff they make is subtly different.  It's "finished".  Every hobby 3d printer, drone or CNC machine I have seen has had exposed workings, loose wires, visible guts that you can see doing stuff.  Duct tape is a styling must.   Japanese projects have hidden internals, sleek, professional-looking enclosures and casings.  Even one-off projects look like they came from a warehouse with another ten thousand stored in crates. I'm not saying this is a bad thing.  It's just a different aesthetic (me, I like seeing stuff do stuff, rather than a polished case flash an LED to tell me it has finished silently doing hidden stuff), but where does it happen? Do all Japanese Makers have professional-quality workshops hidden under their bed? Does anybody know?  Do we have any Japanese makers here to tell me I'm wrong?

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply


I want to erase data from a Mac but not the programs.

I have an old iMac (2004) with not too much personal stuff on it that I am worried about, but I am giving it to a friend, and I don't want to erase the music in iTunes or the applications like Photoshop and Word that can't be upgraded any longer.  When I Google how to erase a computer, the instructions for a Mac are sooooo easy - but all the directions talk about wiping out your "files". Are "files" programs that I can no longer load on to that Mac (because I no longer have the original disks, product serial numbers etc.)? If that is the case is there another way to make my information on that old computer (that I was using up until 3 months ago) safe? I just don't want to loose the software applications that it has, but I would like to loose their content, ie, a journal I kept on Word, art stuff on Photoshop, old emails I saved, love letters, naked photos (just kidding) - the usual stuff. I am not so worried about my friend but more about the next person down the road who might end up with this computer.

Topic by Ninzerbean    |  last reply


is what i have decided for my computer build everything compatible? Answered

I decided to buy the core parts my custom cheap computer, that i plan to upgrade with better parts. but if i want to save money in the long run and not have to buy totally new parts for a building a decent computer. will these parts i choose will work together? the top parts are the bare essentials for my build, excluding the parts i already have in my old tower computer (case, 300W PSU, monitor, and keyboard, mouse, WiFi adapter {maybe read bellow}) MOBO:---ASRockZ77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX Intel Mobo----------------------$140 CPU: -----Pentium G620 (lga-1155)-------------------------------------------------------------------$64 RAM:-----G.SKILL Ripjaws X-Series 8GB DDR3 RAM Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL---$40 i plan to get these parts after i get the initial build working. if i am unhappy with the above specs i will upgrade. my parents want me to build a cheap $250 computer first to see if i am up to the challenge.  so i want everything i listed to work well together. so far i have worked out everything except the power supply cables (if it will power everything listed and crossfire/SLI for future improvement.) PSU:------OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply---$50 after rebates CPU:------Intel i5 3570K-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$220 GPU:------either a gtx 660, or a Radeon 7870.-----------------------------------------------------$230.00 ish CASE:----Cooler Master Computer RC 430 KWN1/dp/B003O8J11E---------------------------$46 HDD:------unsure. whetever i get my hands on in the future. it will be 7200 RPM or better, maybe a cheap ssd as for the GPU any recommendations? i want something within $250 and will play games on high settings with no problem, and dual monitor setup. i think this GTX 660 it seems to be slightly better than the radeon 7870, and cheaper. i might go with this. is it a good idea to get a CPU that has the 'K' at the end, i know this means it is overclockable bacause it is unlocked. but it it worth it to pay the extra 20 for a faster stock clock speed, and HD 4000 graphics? compared to the i5 3550? p.s. i will delete parts of my question(s) that have successfully been answered by you and the community.  thank you everyone who helped me out with this. i have to give credit to:  mpilchfamily, Willard2.0,  and bwrussell have been very helpful. i cant wait until i start building!

Question by -max-    |  last reply


weird PC power problem? Answered

Hi, I'm experiencing a weird problem with my PC. recently (about 2 months ago) i have upgraded my video card to a Sapphire 7970 and about 2 weeks ago installed a second monitor to my system (dual D2342P , added one first, bought new desk, added second one). in the past 2 weeks i have had no problems at all. in the past 2 DAYS my PC has randomly shutdown abut 6 times (most recent 1hr before this was posted). the first few were relatively close together, about 2 - 4 hr apart. the most recent ones have been almost exactly 12 hrs apart. (~11 am - ~11pm) . yesterday (Monday) i replaced all 7 case fans and cleaned the filters. (they needed doing. running for almost 6 years) currently have disconnected second monitor connected by D-Sub and CPU temp has dropped by 12C (72C - 60C) if needed i will post the AIDA summary. Motherboard: ASUS Commando CPU: Intel Q6600 Ram: 4x 2GB sticks (2x Micron, 2x Generic) OS: Windows 7 Ultimate (genuine) At time of posting CPU temp  is 69C

Question by furby    |  last reply


I am downgrading my laptop, (Acer Extensa 4420), back to XP from Vista. Please help with detailed steps!

I am downgrading my laptop, (Acer Extensa 4420), from Vista to XP (Windows XP Essentials 2 Professional)I wanted to know what exactly I need to do. I have a back up of my drivers, both on CD and Flash drive just in case, and I have been reading this guide on how to do so.https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-UPGRADE-from-Vista-to-Windows-XP-on-an-Acer/But before I do anything, I want to know if I have everything in order, because this is my personal/school laptop and only means for internet. The main part I am worried about is looking in my device manager for what AHCI Disc controller I have. I'm worried that I will not have reconfigured the BIOS right on the XP installation and that I might mess up my computer entirely. Please help me with some good instructions on just what I should do! Thanks!

Question by 6fallen6shadow6    |  last reply


Can I Turn My Old Macbook Into a DIY Mac Pro Tower?

Preface/Background: I am fairly new to DIY tech projects. I have built two HTPCs, but I doubt that really counts. It does, however, give me a basic idea of how all of the components go together. I'm not terribly savvy when it comes to specs of computer components. I have an '08 Macbook that has just been gathering dust since I upgraded ~1 year ago. Recently, my side job as a freelancer (graphic design & video) has been picking up. My new machine is pretty powerful, but the time it takes to get my laptop setup with all of my peripherals is starting to get old. There are also times when I crave some extra speed & I often have to stop working in the middle of a project to clear up disk space or set up an external drive. I remembered seeing a project where Mosburn converted his macbook into a Mac Mini on Gizmodo a few years ago, which got me excited. It was written in 2008, and may be a little dated. I'm looking to do a similar project, but I'm not really looking for size/design. I'm looking for POWER! The Macbook in question is version 4,1. As I said, looks aren't a big issue for me (nor size). I now have an extra room in my house and it is going to be set up as an office. Everything still works on the laptop, although the battery no longer holds a charge. I initially planned to sell it, but with the dead battery and some cosmetic damage, I could only get about $200 for it. I think this project would be more valuable to me than that. Project Goals: -Use as much of my existing laptop as possible (the whole buffalo) -Use a case that allows upgrades (more memory, more drives) -Increase memory (current: 4 | desired:16+) -Increase disk space (current: 80gb | desired: 2tb+) -At least 1 Solid State I know the Mac OS is pretty picky when it comes to components, so the initial question is: Will the system accept my desired spec upgrades? I know that I have to use compatible brands, I just want to make sure there isn't some sort of "maximum" hard coded. Will I be able to use both Solid State and Disk drives? I would like to get a smaller Solid State as a primary, and a couple of large disk drives for storage and scratching. I may get a dock so I can quickly switch drives that are strictly storage, but for now I just want a couple TBs inside. Also, would you suggest using the existing power cable? Or would it be benificial to swap in a new power supply? I'm not sure how intensive that might be, but I'm guessing a few more drives will require it. I think it is safe to assume that I will need to use some advanced DIY techniques, as far as my experience goes. As I stated before, I've built a few PCs before, but these were all fairly simple. Connecting components to the motherboard were as easy as plugging them in. I've done a (very) small amount of soldering before on other DIYs, but they were all done on fairly big parts and precision was not an issue. If soldering might be needed, I will need some help with this as well. I am hoping there are some guides out there to help me understand what goes where on my particular motherboard. I'm also a little worried that I may have to do some cutting (as done in the project linked above). Hopefully the fact that I don't need a small case, I won't have to deal with that. I plan on buying a high res screen to use with this machine, but I'm not sure what I plan to do with the existing LCD yet. I'm not sure how much I might be able to sell it for, or how much it might cost to buy a stand to mount it with. It is a pretty nice screen, but it's long before the time of the Retina display, so it may not be worth messing with. If anyone has any suggestions for what approach to take, or a link to an existing guide, please share them below. Another fear I have is that the variations in MacBook models may make finding an applicable and useful guide more difficult. Another note: Cost isn't really an issue. I hope to first accomplish this project using mostly the materials at hand - worrying about upgrading my specs later. If this is possible, the only expenses should be a new case, a few cables, and possibly a new power supply. I'd like to preemptively thank anyone who might offer help. I've been wanting to make a move to tech DIY for years and this project seems to be a great starting point. I hope this leads to many more and that I can soon be a helpful contributor here as well.

Question by MrCarder    |  last reply


My computer keeps crashing, help please? Answered

I have a Pentium 4 3ghz, 1.75GB Ram running Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002, Service Pack 2. It crashes all the time (at least once a day, often more) and I get the following screen, with an illegible (error?) message (see image). At which point I have to reboot. Upon rebooting it would either start up and work perfectly fine or say "hard disk error" press control alt delete. When this happens I turn it off and leave it for 10 min or so and turn on the computer again and it will work fine.I at first thought I was demanding too much of it by trying to multitask, such as running several programs and listening to music, but this doesn't seem to be the case, I've notice it rebooting while it is idle and I'm in another room. Or I would start it up and it would crash within 5 minute, without me using it yet.I've tried the following, (which haven't worked):Upgraded the ram, when the problem started I only had 1GB now I have 2GB (although Window's tells me I only have 1.75GB)Installed the program RAMbooster in hopes of freeing up more memory.Disk cleanupFull virus scan, using F-secure which I get with my ISP, and regularly updates.Any help or suggestions would be appreciated, this is a really frustrating problem. (Please don't tell me I need to buy a new computer, I can't afford it right now.)

Question by ChrysN    |  last reply


I want to glue mountain bike tire to a longboard wheel Answered

Hi there,In about a month I will receive my new electric longboard and I want to do a little upgrade which I saw on the internet, but I have some concerns about the glue they suggested since none did long term testing on it.So here is the idea:1. Get some MTB tire and cut it into strips with length same as circumference of the longboard wheel.2. Sand and clean with alcohol both surfaces3. Apply glue on both surfaces, push them together and keep it under medium pressure for at least 24 -48 hours til the glue cures.I saw 2 people who did this, one of them used some strong adhesive double sided tape, and the other some dollar store super glue (which is bad idea, after curing it becomes brittle, not really suitable for wheel), both of them wrote, that it held pretty well, but they did not ride it like this in long term.I got a good tip from someone to use E6000 glue, E6000 is strong, vibration proof, elastic, waterproof,... but it's more designed for wood and metal surface, which is not my case, since the longboard wheel is PU and the MTB tire is some kind of rubber.Things to keep in mind:1. Glue must withstand high pressure (105kg person standing on board where the weight is distributed to 4 wheels when standing still, now count with road cracks, turning,... where the pressure from the weight will skyrocket for few milliseconds) 2. Glue must withstand higher and lower temperatures and wet conditions, let's say the sun shines on the road whole day while ambient temperature is 35 degrees celsius, wheels will heat up, or in winter where the temperature of the road will be 5 or more degrees of celsius, Or if I ride through a puddle, same thing.3. Glue must absorb shocks, so it cannot be brittle when cured.What I came up on the internet there are 2 choices:1. E6000 (I have it at home, but currently I have no materials to test it)2. Permabond 731 (which I did not find in any online store in our country)Please suggest me at least 2 best possible glues.Before & After images in attachmentThank you

Question by ekubica    |  last reply


Smoke detector and ozone generators / air purifiers

I recently made a quite disturbing discover and thought I share it here so other are aware of it. We all love to protect ourself in case of a fire and the first and most vital of the information chain is a working smoke detector. In my house I had the old type installed, based on a radioactive isotope that detect smoke through ionisation. The newer types working optical or using combined optical and isonisation detection should perform better - but does not really matter for this "warning". If you do have pets, smoke in the house or just do a lot of cooking you might also use one of these fancy air purifiers that use Ozone to clean the air in your room. I only have a tiny unit for a fish tank that I also use to remove smells from my work clothes or purify some water for the plants. My discovery started with a simple cooking exercise involving a lot of onions, garlic and a big wok. To avoid filling the house for days with the smells I had the ozone generator running as well. At some stage I noticed that the whole kitchen was covered in the fumes from the cooking, nicely visible from the hallway - like fog. To my surprise the smoke detector did not the usual alarm but performed fine with the test button. So I blew some cigarette smoke directly at it - still no reaction. Next day I started to investigate and was prepared to buy a new detector but whatever I used, smoke, steam or just killing a burning candle underneath cause the alarm to go off. Then it hit me: The ozone! A quick test with the hose of the ozone generator next to the smoke detector and no matter what I blew in it the device staed silent. Ozone is ionized oxygen, the detector uses the ionized particels from the radioactive material to detect smoke. Smoke or very fine dust / steam will bind the ionized particles forcing the electronics to sound an alarm because the sensor no longer detects the ionized particles. With enough ozone entering the detector there will be always enough ionization to prevent the alarm. Conclusion: If you do use ozone in your house upgrade your smoke detector to a model that uses optical AND ionisation detection! Otherwise there is a good chance that the device is unable to detect a fire. Of course chance are slim that you would use the ozone while sleeping and a fire starts, but if it does....

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Wii - Play Backup Games without modchip -- System Menu V 4.0 ?

Please note: I am beginner at this. Ok, here is what I have done: 1. I have upgraded my System Menu to version 4.0 using the update option from the Wii2. Following this instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/S9RV0FWFN4H8OED/ I have installed cIOS36 Rev7. This means that I have also installed Homebrew Channel (using Bannerbomb exploit ). 3. Following the same instructable I have got to the point where I got the Error ret-2011 which a lot of other people (with System Menu 4.0) got: " tried to install the 04-BackupLauncher0.3g+_249-NeoRame.rar like instructed below.I get a installing ticket...ERROR! (ret = -2011)"4. After that everything went down the drain. I have tried to follow this instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/SQHX9S3FUNOXOKE/ with both versions (offline and online), but I kept getting the -2011 error. 5. I have tried to follow other tutorials out there but I did not get any further because of different errors. Now I do not know what version of cIOS or other files I have installed on my Wii.I have tried to update again my System Menu 4.0 in case I have messed up anything but my Wii says that I already have the latest version installed. So my questions are: 1. How do I know what version of the Files I have and whether I have messed up my System Menu ? And how do I get back to the original System Menu 4.0 of the files? 2. Since the aim of this entire thing is to play backup games, how do I fix this and how do I get my Wii to play the backup games, from backup DVDs (I've seen that it might be possible to play them from USB devices, I am not interested in that right now). Also, I do not want to install any other homebrew applications (like DVD players or video players).3. If in the process I have to downgrade my System Menu, what are the exact steps to do that? Thank you very much for your help and I hope someone will be able to help me make things work !If you think you can help but you need more information, please comment on my question and I will provide as much information as I can

Question by liljohnnydoe    |  last reply


Mac VS PC?

I'm posting this to share my experience and opinion of Mac's VS PC's. I welcome you to read and share your story. For many years I was a PC. I believed whole-heartedly that I needed Windows, and I needed Microsoft. Then I bought my last laptop. It wasn't cheap. I used it everyday for work and therefore it was important that it ran efficiently. Like many of you, I suffered from "blue screens" and on occasion a "crash". There were viruses and trojans and attacks from all places, you'd think I was engaged in war! Then the proverbial "last straw" occurred. I needed to upgrade into some new software, and I received a simple message that I needed to also upgrade the Windows Service Pack. Hmmm.... Seemed easy enough. (Been there. Done that.) So, off I went to download the SP (from a reputable source) and then "Success!"... I got a message that said "Successfully installed. Windows must restart to complete process". Hmmm... Ok... I pressed through the process to restart my machine and there it began.... The long and never ending cycle had started! My laptop shut down, started to boot and then upon seeing the (dare I say it?) Vista Start Up Screen, my laptop promptly repeated itself and began to reboot... o_0 ??? This went on for sometime... *anger growing*... NOTHING I did would stop this, or should I say NOTHING would START my laptop. It was forever entangled into a mysterious vortex of computer "Neverland". I was NOT impressed. I had to borrow another computer to do some research and found very little at the time to explain this conundrum. Then I tried Microsoft. I used their "so-called" online customer service department and was put in touch with someone who was younger than my oldest pair of shoes. He also couldn't speak English very well, so without being incredibly rude I requested another agent. Upon conversing with agent #2, I knew I was in trouble... (Was Agent #2 related to Agent #1???) ... o_0 ??? *shakes head* I will give credit to Agent #2. He was nice. He tried his hardest to suggest everything under the sun, but alas, we both concluded it was hopeless. The final bluescreen error number confirmed the toe tag on my machine. So I was left with having to reinstall the entire system and lose EVERYTHING on my laptop. *fuming mad now* Then it occurred to me that "Windon'ts" (as I affectionately call them now), opted not to provide me with necessary disks to reinstall their OS during my purchase. It seems that the cost of a CD has become so expensive for Microsoft that they are forced to leave it up to the consumer to fend for themselves. Clearly, they are suffering financially, No? When I rationalized this logic with Agent #2, he suggested that I purchase Windows 7 as it had just come out and was much better than Vista (No kidding.... *rolls eyes*). But why? Why prey-tell should I have to purchase anything? My laptop was only 14 months old (conveniently out of warranty) and may as well have been a pre-historic dinosaur as far as Agent #2 was concerned. So where did me and Agent #2 leave off? He suggested I "borrow" an installation disk from someone and reinstall windows vista and start over... *tics forming now...* He assured me that my "service call to Microsoft" would remain as "unsolved". (Oh btw, at this point we were regulars on the telephone). So my ONE LAST QUESTION to him was: "What assurance do I have, after reinstalling Vista and then the SP I need, that this problem won't just start again?" - His reply was, "Well, it shouldn't"... Straw officially broken. Now we come to my life with my new MacBook. Clearly much more expensive than a Windon'ts PC, but wait... Is it? Let's review. There are more "open-source apps" available to a Mac (meaning you get them for free), and in most cases I find they are the same if not better than the paid for MS version. The critical applications that I use everyday for work, installed fine and without issue. I also received "DISKS" from Apple. Apparently they can afford to give customers what they pay for.... Upon opening the box, I was running my new laptop within 5 minutes. Easy Peasy... The time alone that I save from all that aggravation is money in the bank. Do I miss anything? Yes, actually I do (or maybe I don't). What I miss out on are bluescreens, viruses, trojans, attacks, intrusions, crashes and all the other fun stuff I got to know and expect with a PC. So why tell all of you about this now? Well yesterday I noticed that the bottom of my MacBook had a slight bulge in the case. *Heart skipped a beat*. Then after some mild panic, with visions of my last ordeal swirling in my head, I went online in search of why, and found the answer within 5 minutes. Apparently this was something Apple became aware of and had a simple solution. Fill out a contact information form along with my serial number and I got a confirmation message. Not only would I receive an ENTIRELY NEW bottom to my MacBook, I would receive a full set of screws AND a screwdriver!!! All FREE OF CHARGE. NO SHIPPING FEES. COST ME NOTHING!!! *shocked* Now I was beaming. *ear to ear grin* I felt validated for my departure from PC. Then in some kind of absurd customer service universe, I received a knock at the door. My replacement parts had arrived!!! - Less than 24 hours later... *mouth gaping and eyes wide* So I thank you for reading this. I encourage you to share your opinions. If you don't know who I am. I am canucksgirl. I'm a Mac. Not a PC.

Topic by canucksgirl    |  last reply


Nightvision, Bouncy Balls, DIY Whiteboard...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. Jan. 17, 2008 Welcome back! Check out the entries in the Lion Brand Yarn Slideshow Challenge. There are some fantastic projects and designs on display! Enter your own projects, click the button to vote for your favorites, and chat with the authors in the comment section! There's nothing like good feedback to inspire even more great projects. Check out the list here! Which of our 14 great finalists should win the $15K VersaLaser? Let us know! Check out these cool instructables! How to UPGRADE from Vista to Windows XP on a Acer laptop Did your new laptop come with Vista? Is it not as fast as you'd hoped? Here's how to switch back to XP. posted by CharredPC on Jan 9, 2007 "Hide-in-plain-sight" Cat Litterbox Build a cat litterbox that can be placed anywhere in your home. With a clever cage design, the litter doesn't spread out onto your carpet.posted by Kiribub on Jan 14, 2008 Venezia Napkin Rings Knit your own wire and bead napkin rings for Christmas or any other occasion. Each set uses 30 gauge wire and about 95 beads on each. posted by evey5268 on Jan 11, 2008 Knife Making Without Tools Make a hunting knife from a butter knife by rubbing it on wet pavement and wrapping the handle with cord. It looks and feels good in the hand. posted by TimAnderson on Jan 11, 2008 Super Nightvision Headset Hack! Make a Super Bright Nightvision Headset that lets you walk around in total darkness AND record what you see! posted by Kipkay on Jan 16, 2008 Voting Booth Rate your favorites! Vote on the finalist pages! The DIY Fisheye Lens — Using Nothin' But a Pair of Old Glasses and Some Tape (Photojojo)Instructables has teamed up with Photojojo bring you some really cool photograph tutorials, like this one for a slick DIY fisheye lens. Homemade Whiteboard Do whiteboard prices seem way too high? Make your own to get the dimensions you want and save a lot of cash. posted by ausable on Jan 8, 2008 Furoshiki: Have Bed Sheet Will TravelFuroshiki is a Japanese method of tying a piece of cloth into a wrapping or in this case a kickin' bag. posted by keng on Jan 13, 2008 Make a Super Bouncy Ball Learn how to make a great little toy using a chemical reaction and easy-to-get chemicals. Great science-fun for kids! posted by pudi.dk on Jan 9, 2008 Bluetooth PSP/PS2 Headset Mod Use a Bluetooth device for PSP games and the upcoming Skype addition. Also works for chatting while playing PS2 games on the PS3. posted by N3M3515 on Jan 15, 2008 Airbrush Make a portable lung-powered airbrush with a bit of tubing and scrap materials to apply that finishing touch to your latest masterpiece. posted by msolek on Jan 10, 2008   Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric

Topic by fungus amungus  


Old JVC Boom Box (Antique?)

Hey guys, upon my travels the other day, I stumbled upon an electornics bin or two and one of them happened to have a few "ghetto blasters" or boom boxes as other people would call em. I should really get some better pictures, but these will have to do. I brought it home expecting it NOT to work at all, as usual. It DOES work but in a somewhat limited way. I brought it home upon the conclusion that it felt rather solidly build for such a small system and it looked the nicest out of all of them. The "Problems" sort of speak: * Well for one, the left channel doesn't work, but BOTH the speakers DO work. They both have battery compartments (6 C cells each speaker in series = 9v-ish?) and they both have "extension" cables so you can unhook the speakers and place them elsewhere, the wires are 4 strand ribbon cables and the power is also transported down these wires. I find it rather retarded, because at full length, these wires are a foot long at best?! I managed to get around this debacle for now and plugged the extension wire of the left speaker, into the plug for the right speaker, powering both speakers off one channel. This works half decent, but it doesn't go as loud as one speaker would go, and it gets distorted easier at high volumes. * The tape deck doesn't work. I hit the play button and it DOES indeed make a whirring sound, so my guess is that it needs a new rubber belt for the motor, and I have no idea where to get something that small. Did I mention that apparently the tape deck, actually comes OUT of the stereo, and theres a compartment for a set of AA batteries, thus turning it into a shiny silver 80's walkman. I'm ultimately dumfounded.. * The switches on the top of the unit, primarily the two buttons that change the "fuction" or input of the boom box, are crapping out really bad, like if I set it to radio, I have to raise one switch, and push one down, but it sometimes doesn't work, or it crackles really bad, or isn't as LOUD as it should be, but if I jiggle the switches enough, I can usually coax it into working. It's annoying at best. They are really impossible to get at and they're long pushbutton switches with a long plastic rod that pushes the switch on the board. I really doubt I can get these switches open and adjust/clean them. Should I maybe get the dremel out and but some little toggle switches? * It's missing the little faceplate for the radio selector? Oh well I can still manually tune in a radio station without knowing the number, primarily 94.5 the bull here, it's pretty hard not to miss it blaring some rock or heavy metal. I like this little unit and I wanna fix it up/tweak the crap out of it. If I could get subwoofers small enough, I would upgrade the speakers, reinforce the inside of the speaker casings with epoxy, and maybe dremel some bass ports (would that be a good idea? From what I can tell, it's a totally sealed unit, but it would probably benefit from some "bass ports"). Also, would it be beneficial to "reflow" the amp board? Like theres a board with a transformer and what appears to be a stereo transistor, but like a wide one for two channels, instead of two independant transistors for each channel. So I can only imagine if one side of the chip is working, the other side should too. Would it be a waste of time to reflow all the solder joints or no?

Topic by Punkguyta    |  last reply


Tempered glass screen protectors - understand and beware!

I recently had the joy of needing a new screen protector for my mobile after being dumb enough to drop it on gravel. The hard cover took all the impact but the film protector on the screen was scratched badly. Was old and partially worn anyway so I decided to upgrade to a Tempered Glass screen protector. Being somewhere rural I had no chance to get one in a shop so I ordered online. With no intention of advertising for some sellers, I collected a few links so you can check what I am talking about: Item1 Item2 Item3 Item4 Item5 Item6 So, what is my concern with these? They all can be found on amazon and other online services as well as on local markets... As I said I ordered a glass screen protector. If you check these listings and even some of the packing you will notice they all have a thing in common - being shatter proof and of 9H hardness. I also love this video showing how to remove and fix a glass screen protector! The last time I checked glass had one very distinct feature: It is hard and before it really bends it breaks - unless you use fibre optics of fibre glass cloth... What is my concern and warning here? Pretty simple: Stay away from expensive scams! Some claim their screen protector is only 0.25mm thick, even the 0.2mm one I measured was over 0.5mm with the glue... The hardness of 9H refers to the so called Moh's hardness - look it up on Wikipedia if you like. That means these tempered glass protectors would have a similr hardness than a diamond, or at least close to it. Problem is that they are made from plastic to start with and not glass at all. They claims that the screen protector is flexible because it is so thin - again a fake! Even the thinnest tempered glass will shatter if you bend it enough, not so these plastic ones. If you think I am making all this up try to use a really sharp knife or deburring tool and cut the thin sides of one of these protectors. All the ones I tested could be cut quite easy - and I though glass can't be cut with a kinfe... A nice website showing that the scratch resistance is far from the claims can be found here. And a video showing how a real glass screen protector sounds and breaks can be found here. So is it really all bad and should I avoid getting one? Not really if it is only for the added protection. To be clear here, and without the intention to blame any of the above sellers, some protectors actually do have a top layer made from glass and you can hear it as in the above video - it sound solid and not like plastic if you tap it with something hard. Another factor is the simple fact that plastic absorbs impact much better than glass. So where a real glass screen protector might shatter and crack like in the above video, the fake ones might one get a nasty dint or scratch. But you should be aware and clear about what you get and what to expect from it. These glass imitations are made from a strong polycarbonate plastic, similar to the stuff used for bullet and explosion proof "glas" windows - if you every watched the Mythbusters you have seen the big sheets I mean. The top layer of these things is specially treated to repell water, oil and dirt, it also gives the surface the good scratch resistance. The technique is nothing new, camera lenses, plastic sheets and the clear covers you see over the timetable at your bus stop all use it. The new thing is to intentionally mislable a product to make the consumer think it is glass ;) What is the real difference for the user? Check this video. Here a guy performs a drop test with a real glass screen protector. Thing is once the protector breaks the screen itself is broken too but until then it was not too bad. Here it is demonstrated how a real glass screen protector reacts to certain types of abuse - one of the reason I decided on glass. Compared to the plastic counterfeits just the sound on the glass is worth it, but I think the hacksaw was best. Another video from XDA gives a bit more info on how the glass is made - if you can't seeing a phone being abused then don't watch the drop tests at the end ;) Glass with these hardness levels and types of surface protection will give the user a long and worry free use of the phone. The plastic fakes will perform at a similar level for some time but will show signs of wear long before even the top coat of the glass one fails. Both types have their uses and if the fakes would be labeled correctly the user would actually benefit from that. On bigger screens like a tablet I would actually prefer the plastic ones to prevent damage once it needs replacing. On a mobile used in less than perfect conditions I would also go for plastic as it usually is a bit thinner and will fit better within quality hard covers. But when it comes to real abuse like using with dirty fingers most of the time or mostly outdoors where a lot of dust and fine sand can be involved I always go for glass. If you paid attention to the surface treatment then you already realised that the plastic and the glass are in the same region, making them quite scratch resistant. Still fine sand or metal dust will scratch it.... The difference is in the hardness of the actual material that was covered with the oleophobic film. Glass will not give in any way, where plastic is much softer - so not to be confused with the surface hardness! This mean that sharp and point object will easier penetrate the plastic than the glass, something to be considered if you often ecounter harsh use. In terms of actual protection we need to differenciate between surface quality and actual screen damage. After all when badly scratched we can replace the protector but if the display got damaged we are back to square one. The surface hardness was already covered so let's move on to the screen itself. In some of the above videos you can see the abuse a screen might see in normal conditions, and if we would not drop our phones so often repair shops would not be at every corner LOL I have done quite a few screen repairs, mostly for friends and work mates that did not want to pay the hefty extras in a repair shop. From there I got the stories on how it happened and in almost all cases the screen cracked when the phone landed on the corners. In one case the screen and glass protector failed, including the actual display when the phone was dropped out of a 4WD and landed screen first onto a rock. A glass protector will spread the (direct onto the face) impact force onto a much larger area, where a plastic one will produce a dint onto the actual screen much sooner. So again glass wins in terms of actually protecting your expensive screen. But be aware that all this is useless if the phone lands on the corners!! Let me explain: Both the top glass on your screen and the screen protector have a thin layer of "glue". This acts like a shock absorber, so unless an impact goes deep enough so the pressure on the actual screen is too much only the protector should fail. But the screen itself is a tight fit into the frame of the phone, so all side and corner impacts go directly into the glass. As the rest of the glass has no way to give or go the stresses will crack the screen. How should I treat my phone with the new screen protector? Exactly the same way you would without it of course. But if you don't have a proper cover that offers protection of the corners you should invest in one. Having a quality protector and a good case does not mean your phone can be used as a football, see it as an added insurance in case something does go wrong. For obvious reason it can also pay off to have a spare at hand, if something bad happens that requires replacement of the protector you won't be left with an unprotected screen ;) Last but not least, double it up: For people that already know their screen will see a fair bit of abuse in term of scratches it is a good idea to put an extra film protector onto the glass one. Once it is too scratched you peel it off and replace it, while the glass protector gives you the actual protection for your screen. Corning Willow glass As time of wrinting Corning Willow glass is the only "flexible" glass on the market, unless stated with your flexible screen protector you can assume it will be just plastic. I did not list it above as this high tech material is mainly reserved for displays and at least to my knowledge is not available for screen protectors, although I will stand corrected as I have to assume some big players use it for their protectors. The material is actually a sandwich where an ultra thin sheet of glass stis bewteen two layers of durable coating, read it up on their website it is quite interesting. It won't reach the strength of their famous Gorilla glass so without an outer plastic that has the additional oleophobic coating it won't provide the strenght of real tempered glass protectors. Some phones like the Galaxy Round and the fleixble HTC phones use it for example.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Tracking down the speed problems on a laptop.

I've copied the conversation here so we could remove the information from the original instructable's comments.  I figure this would also be of some interest to other forum viewers who may have similar problems, or may be able to chip in. The long and short of it is, 92033 (Ed) has a refurbished laptop that takes literal hours to run a YouTube video on.  I suspect that it's due to a bottleneck with his internet connection.  Here's the conversation thus far: ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033 (Ed): Thank you kindly for your prompt reply...appreciate it very much. I came across this site by accident in searching for something else and now I'm 'hooked' on it. :) So far I've read over 400 archived posts (whew)...as well as looking at the videos. The videos are somewhat of a problem because this new laptop only has 512 mg memory...LOOOOOng time to load. For example...to watch a SLOW 5-minute You Tube video takes 5-1/2 HOURS to load...keeps showing a couple words at a time...need to get two new memory chips to upgrade to 2gb. Thanks again...Take care. ---------------------------------------------------------------- eddems: I think you're basic download speed is killing ya, not the laptop. check you're speed at Internetfrog.com, if you see the link near the bottom for the old test, run it, I like it's graph of upload and download speed much better. ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033: Thanks much. I'll check it out. I ordered a 1gb SDRAM Memory chip which just arrived yesterday. Hope this speeds things up a bit. ---------------------------------------------------------------- harley_rly: i hear u man, my computer is hopped up, but i live out in the sticks and have dialup...i only get 24kbps at most :( ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033: Maybe there's hope for 'us' yet. :-) I phoned Tiger Direct to see cost of an upgrading memory chip to go from 512mg to 1-1/2gb. The guy I talked to suggested I get "PC TUNEUP 2.0" which bypasses the Windows Operating System (I'm using Windows XP Pro) and speeds up the system. I gave it a try and ordered the CD (cost $39.98 - $44.77 postpaid). It hasn't arrived yet but will let you know if it helps as he claims it will. He said that if I just ordered a 1gb memory chip my system wouldn't notice much improvement as it is, but this CD should do the trick. THEN...when I DO order the Memory chip(s) to get total of 2gb my system should zip through like a rocket with the CD just ordered. I'll let you know when I get the CD and about the results. Just hope I haven't thrown forty-five bucks to the wind. Thanks for the contact...appreciate hearing from you. TAKE CARE. ~ ED ---------------------------------------------------------------- Javin007: PC Tune-Up "bypasses the Windows Operating System?" This guy fed you a load of crap. (I work on computers for a living.) PC Tune-Up does nothing more than clean up registries, defragment harddrives (if your OS even needs it, some don't) and keeps drivers up to date (which you could do manually.) That guy's an idiot, or just a liar. Could be both. Unless you were buying PC Tuneup 2.0 from Tiger Direct, in which case we can add "sleazy salesman" to that. What are the specs of the laptop? Go to Start/Run and type in DXDIAG. This will give you a quick snapshot of the specs. Specifically, I'm curious as to the processor speed/type. For a 5 1/2 hour "load" you're more likely looking at network slowdown issues (although 512 megs for XP is WAYYYY too little. I HATE when they put PCs together like that). The RAM upgrade will show significant speed increases, but no improvement with YouTube videos or other downloads. I'm glad to see you are returning the CD. ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033: Thanks much for your input...appreciate it very much. I checked the DXDIAG as you recommended. Here's the info on it: IBM ThinPad Laptop PC. Model # 23738TU. Intel Premium M 1.70GHZ. 512mb SDRAM Memory chip.Page File- 351mb used,513 mb available. Direct Version-Directx 9.00 (4.09.0000.0904). 512 mb SDRAM-Actual 212 Ram. AVAST Anti-Virus. MS Windows XP-PRO.. Dialup Speed-40kbps. PC2700 SDRAM 512mb Memory Chip installed. I ordered 1bb memory chip which arrived yesterday. Now I have to figure out HOW to remove the bottom of this laptop to install it...lotta small screws on it. :-) Oh, total memory shows 32mb. I don't know if this means much to you. I note your comment that the added RAM memory WONT (?) speed up loading YouTube videos? Is that correct? If so, why not? Thanks again. Take care. ~ ED ---------------------------------------------------------------- Javin007: :) At the risk of boring too many people, here's how memory in a PC works: You have two kinds of memory: RAM, and Hard Drive (technically there's three, as there's also onboard video RAM on video cards, but this is primarily used for 3D video game textures, so can be mostly ignored.) Your harddrive's read/write speed is determined by the type of harddrive it is (most are SATA now) and the rotation speed (most are 7200 RPM, though the specs for your system say yours is only 5400 RPM, but there are 10, 15, and even 20K rpm models out there that are exponentially more expensive.) No matter what, harddrive memory will always be degrees slower than RAM. RAM on the other hand is a small chunk of memory that is "temporary" memory, but very fast. Its speed is determined by the type of RAM (DDR2 being the current common one for notebooks, though DDR3 is available with some motherboards (you can ignore this, though, as you can only handle 2 gigs max of DDR with your system). The motherboard will determine the limits for the RAM that can be installed.) When running *ANYTHING* on your computer, and I mean ANYTHING, it must first be loaded into RAM to be accessed by the CPU. The computer doesn't directly access the harddrive. So this means when your operating system is loaded (Windows XP) the entirety of all running processes for the OS have to be loaded into RAM. Now, Microsoft claims that Windows XP only requires a minimum of 64 megs of RAM, but recommends 128 megs. I challenge you to find me a Windows XP system that only uses 128 megs out of the box. It's not atypical for an XP system to chew through all 512 megs of your RAM, leaving no RAM available for other applications. (Interestingly, the default setup for your laptop is only 256 megs of RAM, yet yours is reporting 512.) What happens when there's no RAM left? The system has to then start trading things into what is called "Virtual Memory." VM is nothing more than a file on the harddrive that will temporarily hold information that SHOULD be in RAM, so the RAM can load more info. For instance, say you have a process that's using RAM, but you want to watch your YouTube video. As the video is ready to play, the system will take the other process's data that's in RAM, write it to the harddrive, load your video into RAM in its place, play a portion of it, write the video to the harddrive, load the data for the process to RAM, let it run for a split second (so it doesn't lock up), write it back to the harddrive, load your video into RAM and play a short clip, etc. etc. etc. The result of low RAM on your system is that applications will open slowly (seconds or minutes, instead of instantly or a few seconds) and they will seem slow to respond, will stutter, etc. With enough RAM, your system can freely open as much as it needs into RAM, and ignore the virtual memory and all the slowdowns that it causes. Now, all of this being said, NO lack of RAM will cause a streaming video to take 5 1/2 hours to play. This is 100% going to be related to your downspeed. (Go to www.speedtest.net and post your results.) RAM slowdowns tend to be most noticeable when shutting down, or starting up your computer, apps will open a little more slowly, they will be slower to respond to button clicks, and video will be very choppy. Anything that is causing a YouTube video to take HOURS will be due to the system simply waiting to get the video in the first place. RAM wouldn't slow down the receiving of the video, but it would cause the video to play weird once it's downloaded. So, all this being said, here's the summary: Your system has a 1.7 Ghz processor, and your RAM is most likely 333 Mhz DDR. If you bump your memory up to a gig, you should see a pretty significant improvement in that your computer will, overall, just "feel" faster. It'll be more responsive, and working with large documents will be many, many times faster. This won't, however, affect your YouTube experience (unless you were getting jittery video often, not the same as "buffering" video.) If you see "buffering" for a long time, your internet connection is your bottleneck. A test on www.SpeedTest.net will likely confirm this. However, if you get decent numbers on SpeedTest, then we could have something more sinister going on, though I suspect you'll find your numbers well below the 1 mbps rate. This brings us to actually changing the RAM. I've been out of the PC hardware realm (professional programmer now) for a few years, and was unable to find a manual for your particular model. However, if memory serves, this image should be a fairly accurate representation of the underside of your system: http://www.javin-inc.com/temp/thinkpad.JPG Don't quote me, but I BELIEVE the red circle will indicate the only screw you will need to remove to access the RAM. There should also be a small clip holding the RAM in place that you'll want to pinch to get the RAM out, and make sure that the new RAM snaps into place. (Sometimes you'll have additional empty RAM beds, and you can just put your RAM in there and end up with 1.5 gigs, but I suspect you'll have two 256 gig chips in there.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033: Phew. Thanks again for your most indepth educational lesson. I appreciate all your help more than you realize. I attempted to answer this last night, typing in more than twice the amount of text as your to me, then suddenly realized there was a glitch and I was on another page...lost it all into the ionisphere. :-( Rather than try to retype all I wrote, I shut 'r down and went to sleep. Now I'm trying to recall all I wrote last night but failed to get mailed. I'm not a traditional typist, rather a one-finger bloke so you can understand the frustration there. I do, however, type at a reasonably good speed. With that said, let's continue. I went to search for Configuration of this IBM Laptop ThinkPad 23738TU and am copy and pasting it here. It's relevant to what I have to say...here it is: ********************************************************************************** Overview Specs Features Includes Warranty Supplies IBM ThinkPad T42 2373 Specifications Part # 23738TU Key Specifications IBM ThinkPAD T42 2373 Manufacturer IBM Manufacturer Part # 23738TU Processor Type Intel Pentium M 735 1.7 GHz Data Bus Speed 400 MHz Cache Memory Type L2 cache Installed Size 2 MB RAM Installed Size 256 MB Technology DDR SDRAM Memory Speed 333 MHz System Type Notebook Storage Hard Drive 40 GB, 5400 rpm Storage Controller Type IDE Optical Storage Type DVD ROM Read Speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD) Display Type 14.1" TFT active matrix Graphics Processor / Vendor ATI MOBILITY RADEON 7500 Video Memory 32 MB Max. Resolution 1024 x 768 Audio Output Type Sound card Audio Codec AD1981B Compliant Standards DirectSound, AC '97, SoundMAX Telecom Modem Fax / modem Max. Transfer Rate 56 Kbps Protocols & Specifications ITU V.90 Networking Networking Network adapter Data Link Protocol Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet Expansion Expansion Slots Total 1 x front accessible Expansion Slots Total 2 ( 1 ) x memory 1 ( 1 ) x CardBus - type II Interfaces 1 x docking / port replicator, 240 pin docking 2 x Hi Speed USB, 4 pin USB Type A 1 x parallel, IEEE 1284 (EPP/ECP), 25 pin D Sub (DB25) 1 x display / video, VGA, 15 pin HD D Sub (HD 15) 1 x infrared, IrDA 1 x modem, phone line, RJ11 1 x network, Ethernet 10BaseT/100BaseTX, RJ45 1 x display / video, S video output, 4 pin mini DIN 1 x microphone, input, mini phone mono 3.5 mm 1 x headphones, output, mini phone stereo 3.5 mm Miscellaneous Features Locking device keyhole (cable lock), administrator password, hard drive password, power-on password, asset ID, IBM Embedded Security Subsystem 2.0 Compliant Standards ACPI 2.0, ACPI 1.0b, FCC Class B certified, CE, MPR II, UL, BSMI, cUL, NOM, VCCI-II Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional Software Included Adobe Acrobat Reader, PC Doctor, IBM Rapid Restore Ultra, IBM Update Connector, InterVideo WinDVD, IBM Access Connections, IBM Access Support, Access IBM,(OEM) Battery Technology lithium ion Capacity 4400 mAh Average Run Time 5 hour(s) Installed Qty 1 Ambient Temperature Min Operating Temperature 50 °F Max Operating Temperature 90 °F Humidity Range Operating 8 - 80% Dimensions (W x D x H) Unit 12.2 in x 10 in x 1.1 in Weight Unit 4.9 lbs Warranty 3 Years Limited Warranty on parts and labor. IBM 23738TU Summary ********************************************************************************* NOTE...I DON'T BELIEVE THIS...I JUST TYPED FORTY MINUTES REPLY HERE and it instantly scrolled up like speed of lightning and disappeared like last night. I'll ATTEMP to try again later. So please don't reply yet as you need to read my discoveries in changing the RAM chip. Meanwhile, thanks again...take care. ~ ED ******************************************************************************* TRY #3...I'm Back :-) Your diagram showing where the RAM chip is located was right on. Thanks. Here's my DISCOVERY :-( The RAM chip installed was NOT a 512mg...but only a 256mg chip. The ads ans specs say it's a 512mg...NOT SO. I was lied to by either the manufacturer or refurbishing company who removed the original 512 chip and reinstalled a 256 chip. I was lied to by the Tiger Direct guy on the phone. There are NOT two chip slots...only one. So I now have a useless removed 256mb RAM chip. Replaced with the 1gb RAM chip I just installed. So instead of having 1-1/2 gb RAM, I only have 1gb. Here's the crux. To. go to 2gb RAM I'd need to buy a full 2gb RAM CHIP and discard the 1gb for which I just paid $39.99 ($45.00 with s/h). This means another output of almost a hundred dollars plus the $45.00 just wasted because they wont accept return once the sealed chip plastic was opened...even though I had no idea there was only ONE SLOT in this PC instead of TWO like the Tiger Guy said. Now...crux #2...this new 1gb RAM does nothing more to increase speed. I just watched a 2.01 MINUTE YouTube video which took a HALF HOUR to load, so I threw the money away for nothing, eh? There is no noticeable change except the 'speed' shows it now as 41.2 kbps instead of 40 kbps. Okay...now HOW do I get to speed this thing up to normal viewing in real time? I also saw an ad for 4bg RAM Gateway laptop with 120gb hard drive for $404.99 which is all suped-up with everything. I had to upgrade a LOT since I got this only four months ago...taking over a hundred hours to load it, like Internet Explorer 5 to 6 and then to 8 and now to 9. I'm using AVAST Anti-Virus, after trying for 23 hours to get ADVAR, then find out it didn't load because of problem on the servor's end. Added Firefox and upgraded twice. Loaded MS Protection but it created more problems so I deleted it...now with AVAST which I like. Soooo...I've literally spent over 200 hours to get this thng where it's at now, plus the wasted money for the upgraded RAM chip.and I still don't have increased speed. HOW do I get it? IF the processor has to be changed does this mean I have to gut the thing and install a new motherboard? If so, what kind of money cost are we talking here? I bought this four months ago as a refurbished unit only because I was able to get it on payments of only $25.00 a month. If I had to wait to get $400.00 cash I'd never have it. :-) Okay...that's it for the moment. Thanks much again for your help offering and detailed instructions...appreciate it more than you realize. Best Wishes And God's Blessings To You And Yours In Everything Always. Most Respectfully... ~ ED  ---------------------------------------------------------------- Javin007: Well, let's start with the RAM. If you're running windows XP, you can assume all the extra processes (virus scanners, and whatnot) will be eating up about 512 megs of the RAM. First thing to do is check DXDIAG again (start/run) and verify that it's now reporting the correct amount of RAM. (Don't be surprised if it's like 9 hundred something megs or slightly more. It won't report 1024 or 1 gig.) This being said, that will leave you with the other 512 for your applications. This box won't be running the latest and greatest 3D games, but I suspect it was never intended to. If the heaviest hitter you'll have running is along the lines of photoshop, the 1 gig of RAM you have now should be plenty sufficient. I wouldn't worry about getting 2 gigs. Not for this rig, anyway. Also, Avast is a great (and free) virus protection, every bit as good as Symantec's Norton, so good choice there. If your youtube videos are choking out, we need to start by verifying that it's an actual speed throttling problem. Go to www.SpeedTest.net and run the speed test. Come back with the results.

Topic by Javin007    |  last reply


Be aware of the new LED light-door knocking scam!

It might just be a local thing for now here in AU but history shows a good scam often is picked up globally...The topic of the scam is a FREE upgrade of your old incandescent lights to modern and cost efficient LED lights.Down here we have these government sponsored and energy related initiatives for home owners and landlords on a more or less regular base.Sometimes it is solar cells, then solar hot water systems or better insulation, now we again have LED lights as last time not everyone took the offer.The offical way to benefit is to apply for it, usually a quick online process.After that a certified guy or girl makes an appointment and replaces the number of lights you specified.But to address more people and get around landlords door knockers are also used.These offcial guys provide you with some flyers highlighting the program, details about the process and so on.And if you are interested sign you up on a list for your replacement.It means you don't sign anything, you just confirm your ID and end on a list.A a week or two later you see a bunch of students running with little ladders and boxes of lightbulbs knocking on doors.So far so good and sometimes you even get older people replacing the bulbs for free.You can quite easy identify the official guys down here as the display ID tags with picture and those tags not just look professional but also contain all vital info and signs that correspond to the official government initiative.The scammers jumping on the money train however show a slightly different approach.Usually students with good language and promotional skills come in a nice dress and knock on your door.They come with a more less well made copy of the government flyer, usually not in the right format and not on nice, glossy paper.They also usually only show you a badge after you ask then to but won't follow the official code and have it displayed on the dress.Said badge, in my case, was of bad quality and was just an ink jet print laminated in bulk and cut straight, not even with the standard rounded edges...I played along anyway and showed interest, so I was asked if it is ok to have a quick look to check how many lights are required.Keep in mind here that the official guys won't need that info - they take this info by the actual amount of lights the students replace later on!I told the guy I only need 6 lights as the rest was already replaced by myself.Needless to say he insisted stating that he needs to confrim the amount as a requirement for the free replacment because the installer needs to know how many light are required...You would expect now to see someone walking through your house with the head tilted to the ceiling....2 minutes, maybe three...It took almost 10 minutes, for each light he filled a bit out on his form.Like lvining room, 3 lights, ladder required, toilet, one light, cover needs to be removed.....This time was used to get an impression of what is visibly available in the rooms...Once done the nice guy wanted me to sign his now filled out form and asked for my name so he can put it in the form.Don't know why I felt this urgent need but I asked nicely if I could actually have a quick read of the form before I sign.Reluctantly he agreed and handed my the form.What I spotted right away was that it was two pages that were not connected in any way, like with a stapler, not numbered either.The first page had all the details of my lights and requirements plus some not really clear looking government inignias.Like what you would end up with if you embed in a word document from a web page.Low quality instead of coming from a proper and official print shop.Page two then only needed my name, address and signature under the long list of fineprints.I did not even have to read it all to know it indeed is a bdly made scam.The FREE LED lights are still free, but each one comes with an installation fee of $35.This fee covers checking the fittings and light switches and if required their replacement at the costs of the occupant plus of course the disposal of the old lights.The offcial cooling off period for this type of contract is honored though.Well, that is until you read it all and double check the first page.14 days are granted for this officially and in the contract I was supposed to sign.With the exception that I automatically agree to have the replacement done at the convinience of the installer.Also added was a clause that states the contract is binding and the payment is required within 7 days once the lights are replaced.Page 1 though already had next Friday listed for the replacements of my lights....Means my cooling off period is reduced to 7 days....To cancel the contract I would have to send it in writing and with confirmation.And the arrival needs to be confirmed at least 48 hours prior to the installation date so the installer can shedule accordingly.Basically means I have to send this cancellation letter the same day I sign the contract to have any chance at all to avoid paying at least $35 per LED light.Needless to say I refused to provide my name and did not sign despite all well meant attempts to convince me otherwise.And although I can neither deny nor confirm to have made a specific phone call, some cop car picked the guy up shortly after when he was knocking on another door further down the street...Be aware if some really nice guy or girl offers you a FREE service after you opened your door!Be suspicious if they "require" entry to confirm or check certain things!It is quite possible this requirement is only to check for valuables!Do the smart thing and take what they offer in paperwork and ask them to come back a few days later so you can have a good read.Don't let them pressure you in any way!!!If it is a free service then you don't need to rush things and any official door knocker will be happy to give you the parperwork and tell you if you want to have it done you can simple use the details on the info material and register yourself online.And if you go that route you will see an official government portal for it.Even if a scammer goes as far as creating a website for the scam it won't provide you any of the standards you expect from your government.If you really decide to sign something on the spot or to provide personal details then at least read all the fineprints and everything else on all the documents!That means unless you know legal talk that you should have someone check it for you!

Topic by Downunder35m  


External aquarium heater with digital control

I lost about 300 fish just a few days ago when my tank heater decided to stay on when it failed.(examination showed the theromstat contacts were fused together)So far I never worried about failing heaters as so far they just wouldn't heat anymore once the failed.This time I lost about $400 in living creatures and 2 years of breeding.Guess that is the punishment for being away for a few days - a bit over 50°C in your tank...Normal tank heater come in the submersible form or with the clear instruction NOT to submerge them abvoe a certain line - usually under the rubber capEither way they all love to fail within a few years if you are lucky, otherwise sooner.The one thing I always hated is that you need to find ways to hide them in your tank, in some cases you even need to a heat shield to protect sensitve critters in your tank.I though that there should be a cheap and easy way to eliminate most of the annoying factors....Simple, digital temperature controller....You find digital thermostats for your fridge and freezer for around $30-100 bucks, depending on the brand and features.Downside is they all activate the output once the temperature gets too hot.For under $10 you can get universal thermostat controllers- just a tiny white box with the display, two buttons and a few wires...Won't place a link but with the above you should find them on Ebay and Amazon for as said under $10.These can be set with the min temp being above the max temp - this effectively reverts the output state ;)Looks a bit weird when setting the temps this way but after that the power on the output is alive once the temp is BELOW of the set temp.And you can set the differential as low as 0.1°C if you like, but 2-3°C are fine for most tanks.Abandoning the internal heater thermostat....As the number one cause of failure apart from water getting inside we should not use the internal thermostat anymore now.To do this without messing around the temp is simply dialed way above what you will need for your tank.E.G.: If you want 24°C in your tank over the digital controller than the heater thermostat is cranked to 27° or higher.The on-off will be handled through the power our new digital controller provides.Sealing a heater....You should not have to do this but an awful lot of heaters simply fail because water makes it inside somehow.I use a bead of UV curing resin or UV curing epoxy glue for the first stage.The glass won't really expand, so the rubber from the cap won't expand much either.All we do is to add another layer of sealing protection.That stuff however is not always fully qualified for being suberged or just in contact with water a lot.So we add another bead of aquarium grade silicone on top.This also protects our tank from any harful chemicals the UV glue might otherwise release over time.Going external...With an external filter pump it just does not seem to make much sense to have a heater insde the tank.For some reason those filter manufactureres though about almost anything, including build in UV sterilisation - but not a heater...Using a bit of 5mm PVC drain pipe, two end caps and some hose fittings for your aquarium hoses we are set again.A bit of stainless steel wire from the gardeing section of hardware store helps too - the soft, flexible kind, not the really stiff and hard wire please!Design of the external heater:In one end cap you want to drill a hole of the same diameter as your heater tube, a mm bigger won't hurt too much but don't make so small that you need brute force to get the heater through the hole.Seal the inside and outside of the cap with silicone.If you want the heater to be replaced easily in case it does fail again (which it should not!), then you a pipe with a screw fitting and a screw on cap.Keep the assembly steady and secured while the (aquarium grade!) silicone cures - if in doubt let it cure for few more days.The lenght of the pipe should be so that there is enough space left in the bottom so the heater will have about 6cm until it would touch the other end cap.The pipe connections can be for one on the other end cap if you mount the pipe somehwere, otherwise both connectors should on the side of the pump and as close to the caps as feasable.Again, seal the inside and outside of these connections with silicone and let it cure.It helps if the fittings are of the screw in type with a backing nut.Downsides of having an external heater...You need to clean it out when you clean your filter, an added few minutes.If the heater thermostat is set too high and your pump is not running the water in the pipe and hoses will rise to the set temperature of the heater.For a medium sized tank that is no problem, for really small tanks it should be considered though - set the thermostat of the the heater not to the max if you think you might forget the water circulation one day ;)Upsides of having an external heater...The biggest benefit of having and external heater with a digital temperature controller is the lifespan.I used a dirst cheap 400W tube heater like this for over 6 years until finally the actually heating element failed.With the nicely illuminated temp display the times of checking the sticker on the tank or trying to read this tiny floating thermomoter are over as well.Possible upgrade options if you know how to solder or at least know how to correctly wire a relay...With an external tube comes the option to include a UV sterlisation lamp on the other end.The tube will be accordingly longer but a submersible lamp only costs a fraction of these ready made solutions that you still need to attach your your hoses somehow - and they are often quite big...Apart from that there is the option to modify a digital fridge thermostat (about $20-100 bucks) like the STL-1000.As most of them can't be re-programmed for other than cooling use and only have a single output for the compressor the internal relay needs to be replaced.Just select one that somehow fits inside once the original is removed and wire the NC and common output for your heater.Not in mood to fiddle with a controller and solder? No problem either!Just wire another relay to the output.Means the power that the controller switches on it will then switch your additional relay on.This gives you the option to use the proper contacts again to turn your heater on.Using a normal fridge controller this way however requires thinking the wrong way around for the temps.Remember!! : The frige controller "turns on" when the temp goes ABOVE a set temperature!!If you use it like this and connect your heater directly it means it will only turn off once the temp is BELOW the set temp and it will never again go below, only up and up and up....The added or exchanged relay however gives us the option to reverse this to some extent.You set the controller to the MAX temp that you want in your tank.Let's say 24°C , by default this gives a 3°C hystersis, meaning depening on the programming of the controller it will turn on at 27° or close to it - keep that in mind add realise that it means your 24° might need to be set to 21° so the temp won't go over 24° in your tank.Ok, got it, but what exactly happens now and why does it work?When the controller reads below the set temp, like when setting up a new tank with cold water from the tap, it won't provide mains power on the compressor output.It knows the "fridge" is fine right now.Our added relay will be off for the same reason, however we connected our mians power to the common contact of the new relay, the heater on the NC (normally closed contact) and from there back to neutral.Means our heater will get power when the temp controller in the OFF-state.Now the temp start to go up in your tank and sooner or later it will reach the set temp you adjusted the controller to.Suddelny the controller sees a risk for your food in the fridge to go bad and decides to turn the compressor back on to cool it down.As we added our relay it means it will turn on as well.Our NC, normally closed contact, opens and the heater turns off.From ther is just continues within the range of about 3°C....You added digital temp display to your nice fish tank, don't have to worry anymore about your heater prematurely failing and if you like:Some controller offer an alarm output.This can be used with an added relay the same way as before and would then warm you if you heater burnt out and the temp in your tank goes too low.Why so "complicated" if there is microcontrollers?Anyone can use some Arduino and do the same with ease - if anyone can program what it is required.However, even our average Joe with no electronic skills can to the above mods within a few hours excluding the curing time for the silicone.Back to the basics, and after all we already have a microcontroller inside out firdge controller ;)And as said, if in doubt then even a $10 one will do the trick without any mods to it.What about that stainless steel wire?? Don't tell me I wasted 5 bucks for nothing!You did not...Long heaters or UV lamps certainly benefit from it.But even a smaller one is much more stable inside the pipe if you create a simple wire cage for it.The stuff usually comes in a rolled up form of a 10 or 20 meters.With that it is easy to make some loop with the heater ube in the center.Just make a wrap around the pipe with enough left either end to form a ring or spiral that fits inside the pipe.There is not much spring action happening with this wire, so the loops can be quite big and you just push them inside inside while decreasing the diameter until they slide in.If you have a 3D priter you also just print a ring with a hole for the heater and some spokes to cneter it in the pipe.What about heat transfer and even temps in my tank?With the usual in tank setup you have to ensure anyway that the heater is in the waterflow.Otherwise one side of the tank warms up more than the other.With the heater being in the flow of the external pump directly we pump in warmer water and suck out the colder water the other end.Results in a more stable and even overall temperature especially on long tanks.Enjoy!

Topic by Downunder35m  


Would this automatic curtains / blinds controller design work?

Hi all, I have been searching for ways to make an easy and cheap automatic curtains/blinds controller but have not really seen any that actually meets my basic needs but also does not require lots of complex IC components. Please let me know of any instructables I may have missed. So here is my design - hoping everyone can help to validate it and discuss design faults and improvements (mainly to reduce costs). The Requirements: 1) Costs: Total costs should be around $20 per curtain. I think professional systems cost about $100-$200 per curtain controller. 2) Parts: Easy to build and put together with some soldering. Parts are easy to find/buy or substitute for similar components. 3) Function: At least 2 buttons. One UP button and one DOWN button for manual triggering (wireless buttons would be better). 4) Function: One press of Button A fully opens the blinds with the motor stopping at the correct place to avoid damage to the blinds or the motor. The opposite goes for Button B to close the blinds. 5) Function: The controller should never be able to open or close the blinds past the normal safe positions, causing damage. 6) Optional Parts: Complete system is small enough to fit inside the blinds/curtain's cover / awning. I think it should be easy to fit in most covers anyway. Briefly how it should all work: With the curtains rolled up, you would press button A, which would roll the curtains DOWN, then stopping at the correct place (covering the whole window). Pressing button A once again would not do anything or further roll DOWN the curtains. Then, press button B and the curtains should start rolling UP constantly, stopping just before it gets to the top. Pressing button B once again would not do anything or further roll UP the curtains, avoiding damage to curtains or motor. Design/diagram below (sorry for the poor details, i used MS-Visio to draw it out). The Parts/Components (under $30 at time or writing): 1) 5-10kg servo $7 (using 5volts) that can be power in forward or reverse spin. Slow spinning speeds would be best for safe and low power operation? 2) Some hand made adapter to firmly connect the servo motor shaft to the curtain's shaft to spin/roll the curtains ($0 free). 3) A wireless power relay $14, (12 volts) with 2 channels and "constant on power" functions (links below). I guess wired relays are fine, but I would want to hide the wires to the buttons. 4) 2x 5V regulators $2, to reduce the 12v power from the Relay to 5v for the Servo. 5) 2x Magnetic or reed switches $5 (12 volts) that is Normally On (normally connected). 6) 4x Rare earth magnets $1 to work with the reed switches. These are small, thin and easy to hide, but are very strong. 7) A power source for the relay, 4x 18650 batteries?. Should be 12 volts or depending on what relay & servo combo you use. (links below) Construction: 1) Make an adapter to connect the servo to the blind's shaft. I dont have a picture of one or the steps for this as every servo & curtain combo situation will be different, but im sure it should be simple to make. Fail or malfunction of this part would cause too much damage to anything really? 2) For best practice, use temporary wiring to connect all the components together as per diagram and test out the functions as if they were installed in their places and on the blinds. 3) Glue or connect the adapter, curtain shaft and servo shaft together. Also mount the servo firmly somewhere, on the wall or curtain cover so it doesnt end up spinning itself. 4) Position both magnetic switches on the wall, behind and just under the curtain's roll of fabric as per diagram. A lot of testing and playing around will be needed to create the correct gap between each switch and curtain.    Switch A   (Limiter A) will be the most difficult to position. It will be used to stop the servo from rolling the blinds too far down. This means the magnet glued on the blinds is up high on top, which will be rolled inside layers of fabric and may spin close to Limiter A multiple times which may cut the circuit/power earlier than intended as the magnet spins round and round. Limiter B should be easier. 5) Wire the 2 channels on the relay to the Servo and the Limiters. The 5V regulators goes between both channels of the Relay's power OUT and the Servo's two power Inputs. Screw or glue the relay to somewhere firm like inside the curtain covers. 6) Glue the rare earth magnets to the desired positions, or sew them on if you dont trust the glue. The magnets will physically cut the power to the servo by activating the Magnetic reed switches, so using 2 magnets would be even better, just incase the servo you use spins really fast or has a lag. 7) Connect the relay to the battery/power cable. Of course double check all is good before adding power. In my case, I will have 12v power cables available to use. 8) Put the curtain cover back on to hide everything. Hopefully you did not create creases in the curtain fabric where the magnets are glued. Oh and maybe remove the curtain draw strings (used to pull up & down the curtains) to avoid breaking the Servo? Detailed explanation of how it should work: - The blinds are fully rolled up. - Press Button A once, Relay provides power to Channel A, Servo spins clockwise constantly (rolling down the curtain). - Servo's positive line A is cut (circuit open) when Magnet A rolls out and comes close to Limiter A. Relay is still outputting power to Channel A but no power goes to the Servo. - Press Button A once again, the Servo should not do anything. The Relay should then stop outputting power to Channel A. - Further presses of Button A does nothing but toggles Channel A's power on and off. Magnet A & Limiter A still disabling power to the Servo. - Press Button B once, Relay provides power to Channel B, Servo spins anti-clockwise constantly (rolling UP the curtain). - Servo's positive line B is cut when Magnet B rolls up close to Limiter B. Relay is still outputting power to Channel B. - Press Button B once again, the Servo should not do anything. - With this "latch" functionality of the Relay (see link below and product details), it is also possible to stop the curtains mid way, which might be useful for some people, i dont think i will use it. For future upgrades: I think it would be possible to control this controller from a PC program, by directly connecting IO cables to the Relay's button A & B on the PCB. Sending pulses from the PC as though it were remote button presses. Or just bring the remote to the PC's IO ports and connect there. Would anyone disagree? Links: - An example Servo: http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_nkw=High+torque+Metal+Gear+RC+Servo - The wireless Relay: http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?rt=nc&LH;_PrefLoc=2&_nkw=2CH%2012V%20Wireless%20Relay - The 5v Regulators (L7805): http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?rt=nc&LH;_PrefLoc=2&_nkw=5v%20regulators&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m283 - The magnetic reed switches: http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_nkw=reed+switch - The rare earth magnets: http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_nkw=rare+earth+magnets+n38 - Design/diagram: http://i50.tinypic.com/118emas.jpg

Question by sonhy    |  last reply


The sad truth about VR headsets

With seemingly no end to lockdown I thought I provide a little heads up on the VR front in terms what is going on, what is required, how much it might cost you and where the downsides are.Google basically abandoned the Cardboard idea, there isn't much new happening anymore, still it is a great and dirt cheap start. For under 10 bucks you get some cardboard, two lenses and some magnets. Put together and you have a head mount for your phone to enjoy 3D and VR/AR realities. And surprisingly there is actually good content available for Carboard users.For a bit more you can get stand alone headset from several vendors. Starting from as little as 300 bucks for the older, entry level models. Good enough to watch movies, play some nice games and explore the virtual world. Serious gaming is becoming more and more popular, especially online multi player games.Still considered the best option in terms of experience ad quality are tethered solutions that required you to have a powerful gaming PC at your disposal. But for the casual fun it would be overkill to invest into both PC and VR hardware.How good is it then? I tried quite a few systems and have to say they have come a long way from the early days. The wow-factor though depends on the content, some is good, some is just painfully bad unless you like catoon style graphics. The potential is huge but right now content is limited to more or less always the same in a different look. If you have problems on a moving ship or have your breakfast come up in a themepark ride you might stay away from certain VR things. They like to call them "experiences" - a way for you to be really in it, a part of it. Only problem is that no everyone can tolerate seeing all sorts of movements and motions without actually moving - seasickness in reverse so to say and not very pleasant if you suffer from it LOL What is rather surprising is that some VR things are incredibly addictive even with crappy graphics. You can lost playing some crappy game for hours on end and still want more.....What is possible in terms of social interaction, considering we are in a pandemic? Depending on what you and your friends/loved ones have available there is some... You can hang out in virtual worlds together, have a chat, play some games. With some systems you can even watch movies together in your own virtual theater. A bit like having your friends with you in a really dark movie theater and not being allowed to touch them LOL Sadly a virtual sharing experience still seems far way. You can't just pop your headset on, plug in your 3D camera and share what you do in realtime and 3d with your friends. There is development though in terms of virtual interaction. By linking certain things, like little robots, electronic board games or just your virtual assistent, you can create your own virtual, virtual home. And whoever comes to visit can use your interactive things, for example to tell the robot tomove a chess piece on the board. VR suits to allow for a more realistic virtual experience are still very far away ....The reality about content, games and apps. Google offers quite a lot on it's Youtube platform. Simply tye in whatever you like and add VR to have a good chance to get at least a 180° video out. And there is plenty of other providers specialising in VR experiences and video content. From holiday promotions, over themepark rides to doing freefall jumps out of a helicopter - there is something for everyone. If we leave the free world of the internet behind us and things that every browser can reach: What is left? That is the real problem.... It is a platform war of the worst kind. Something that you like isn't available for your friends headset. An app that works fine for you can't even installed by your friend. And not even within a company you have a chance to use it all as Facebook showed us with Oculus. They kindly allow you to use some apps and games if you upgrade to a better model but not all. And once you find out that your new model can't share stuff with your friends on older ones you feel ripped off. Does not help that if you don't own one of the older models you won't even get access to the compatible and free software - you are stuck. Every company provides their own "store", why bother with the Playstore if you can keep the money and content control. It's all VR but good luck getting real cross platform support. Some developers decided to seek alternatives and so options to sideload content were born. And yes, some there actually bother to provide their game or app for multiple platforms :) What bothers me is the "try out buy later" approach. Sounds nice, sounds fair.... Most offer you a limited time, like 2 hours, to test a paid app or game. Turned out that itis actually possible to complete some paid experiences and games within two hours. Would you really want to pay 50 bucks for 2 hours of fun?.... Some say around 50 bucks is a fair price for a good game. Others say that for non VR platforms there is plenty of free alternatives that ae equally good and that it seems impossible to play the same game with people on 2D and in VR. Why is this happening....Let's take a look on how it all started.... There was the great idea once that AR and VR applications for everyone would be a great thing. We had no usuable tech at affordable prices though. Several companies and individuals tried ways to get at least AR solutions working, often by using mobile phones or tablets. Google jumped in with Cardboard, Samsung with Gear VR and even Microsoft wanted it rather late, a bit different and calling it mixed reality. Google gave up quickly and focussed back on Andoid and real world devices, same for Samsung. HTC and others still are game players and in some way responsible for us still having at least some choices left. from being just a pain and novelty at best AR and VR quickly saw real world uses. Developers jumped onto it and although content was rather low quality the interest was there. At some stage we saw a few interesting Kickstarter campaigns. And that's when things got really bad. A new device appeared and seemed to be a real game changer - a true stand alone headset with enough power to be practical. A few more were added shortly and it was almost a run to be the first to get a solution to the market. Obvious that even developers became rather exited. Suddenly they all started to disappear, often without actually shipping any devices to the many supporters. Only one Kickstarter got snatched up by a military contractor, two offered their services to Bill gates. The remaining ones including this amasing standalone model ready for production got snatched up for cheap by Mark and his social media platform. Microsfot had a lot of titles and applications, HTC was going strong as well and even Gear and Carboard were still all time favourites back then. Facebook offered the dream of every little hardware developer. Unlimited funds and access to a whole new world. Sadly it meant handing all control to FB. The dream of a free and open source VR platform with lots of support was gone. Now we have to decide in advance which system to buy, which company offers the most to fit the needs. Usually it means if your friend or family member has one device then you will buy something compatible, if not the same. VR turned into a game of control and data hording.What do your need to get really into VR and AR? Unless you have a supported Samsung device or a cardboard AND are happy with what is available you need a lot! Every competitor requires you to provide your personal details in one way or another. Most, if not all require you to also agree to being tracked and monitored during usage. They ALL require your bank details or credit card information if you want to make a purchase - few expections for the Xbox and Playstation in terms of gift cards. The later still require you to have a valid payment account at some stage. Some might say it is ok because if you order a toaster online the seller would have your address and bank details as well. Most sellers won't have databases for their users to track them or collect all sorts of data.... Microsoft at least limits this to gaming and proffessional use and the other competitors seem to keep a low profile. FB on the other hand has a very lear appraoch: Add whatever is possible to allow for even more data horading and user tracking - at the cost of competitors as this hurts developers and users alike. If you don't like being watched, tracked and that your data is abused stay away from the virtual world ;)How the VR development came to a stop.... Facebook made it clear from the start that certain content is prefered in their VR store. Experiences are fine but for apps and games the focus on being online is pretty clear. The need for people to not just sit there with a headset alone but to actually interact with other was abused to the max. The easier it is to get users together, to actually listen to them, see what they are up to is worth gold. This is reflected in the store. Apps that work(ed) fine on the GO are not available for the Quest. Titles advertised are not available. Developers wanting to port their things to the Quest are refused with useless excuses why it can't be allowed. If you actually check and see that it seems to be fine to publicly stream pirated movies or other copyright protected material you have to wonder... Bigscreen is a huge thing right now and o problem finding someone streaming a movie that is not allowed to beused this way. But it allows many users to watch and do things together..... Same for those virtual environments where you can hang out with your friends, share pictures and play games - you are being watched, tracked and followed while doing so - you date is indeed vital.... In other cases it is a clear money approach, like with Skybox. There were wuite a few good video players available for the Go. Only Skybox made it over to the Quest, the free ones all missed out. Those who still maged to get entry seem to have no choice but to leave well deserved features out, so that Skybox remains the only alternative. If you wonder why: The others won't offer or allow servers used to collect user data and usage data.... Right now the only real option seems to be to stay away from Oculus and to prefer the alternatives out there as a lesser evil.What will the future hold for us? The market is already clearly devided and split with only Steam being sort of a middleman solution for some platforms. Facebook made sure the hardware market stays empty and even if we would get a new player in the game it is questionable if the control of the big players can be broken. If in doubt and something becomes a thread it will be bought for whatever price necessary. Facebook already hinted that closing the door for "unknown sources" is an easy option, same for alternative app launchers. Microsoft made it clear that they don't mind free development for their mixed VR systems but well, with a very low user base interest is low for developers as well. HTC and the rest still try to fill the gap and find their place but it seems they only catch only slowly. In the early days we had only a few "companies" starting our computer revolution. Only the two who split apart in the garage times and are still rivals survived. Apple VS Microsoft. Only Linux and as a part of it Android really provided any lasting alternatives. Android was soon taken over by Google. Now we have the same useless war in the virtual world, with only the user paying the price and being blamed for the failure of VR catching on. Funny once you start thinking about it and checking how it all started. It is no wonder then that OS security as well as App security is of the highest importance to FB. Allowing true homebrew on these otherwise just modded Andriod systems would mean the end of tracking users and milking the money out of them.Is homebrew the solution or the real threat to VR? A very few of you will now say hold on a minute! Wasn't there a few court cases against Google and FB in regars to user data and privacy breaches?? Yes, and that is part of the problem. Both companies, more or less reluctantly, agreed access to their databses to government agencies. With basically everything in VR being (intentionally) kept unencrypted it is a real treasure hunt..... Homebrew would allow apps similar to Whatsapp entry and with that added level of end to end encryption open pandora's box. Imagine loading a custom OS onto a VR system that allows you boot whatever you like. You could create secure chat rooms for people with the need to show their latest tech, their latest innovations in a way that everyone can interact. Problems with your latest order of assault rifles - just check out our VR experience showing all you need to know. Need a map to find your way through this facility you shouldn't be in? No worries, just load the interactive 3D map on your headset and turn on the pass through from the cameras - follow the red line.... Fair enough then most will say now, make a bit of sense to be careful... But what is used as the worst case scenario to keep the doors locked also keeps all the good stuff out. And a result the devlopment and amount of titles and apps is kept low.What about families or group setups? Unlike other platforms there is no such thing as family accounts, not even individual user accounts on most devices. FB even removed this option from the native android setting with "updates". Means, if you own a bunch of VR headset you most likely will have buy the apps and games for every single device. The family fun of competing in virtual games then can set you back 200 to 250 bucks with easy - per title....Summary: VR is a novelty at best right now. Good for hardcore gamers with enough money mostly or to be precise totally useless for cross platform interaction - not even watching a movie from your own collection together in VR. You are tracked whenever possible, you are profiled and coached into buying more and more. Without real competition, without real open source solutions this will not change anytime soon.

Topic by Downunder35m  


Long Range Off the Grid WiFi Repeater

Hello Everyone,  I've got quite the project that I am undertaking and I am looking for a bit of advice. This will be my very 1st forray into long-distance wifi, as well as off-grid power resources, so Im biting off quite a bit at once! I have a friend who has been helping me with the research who has a much firmer understanding of both electricity and hardware, but he will be out of town for the next week and I would like to get a bit of progress on this while he is gone. SO, I shall consult the hive mind known as the internet. Alright, this project consists of creating an uplink between a remote shed, and a home in a nearby city, with a broadband connection. The rub, there is 10,000 ft mountain range in between the two. We have a site were we can put a repeater node at approx. 10,000 ft elevation, that has wonderful line-of-sight to both locations. However, this site is very remote, and will have to run off the grid obviously. The distances are as follows: Home to repeater: 3.96 miles (thats with Google Earth following the contours of the          mountain/valley, not sure how to make it just do a straight angled shot, so thats a rough estimate) Repeater to Remote shed: 2.68 miles (same issue) Background environment info: shed has generator + 60w solar array with 3-4 deep discharge lead RV batteries at 7400 feet. Has spring fed running water, which could be utilized for power as well, as obviously its always running. Repeater location is at 10k, as stated. Moderate to high winds very likely (data from peaks of similar altitude in the general area show gusts ranging from 40-60 mp/h, temperature ranges of  averaging 7 to 90+ for a the later part of July and August (F). Obviously, its very possible to get soemething below this, though the lowest Ive ever seen at the shed has been -15 (f), I would say most winters we could get a few nights that see temps below 0, but not often. Equipment Ideas: So to pull this off, we have come up with two ideas for the network equipment, which I shall discuss 1st, then I will show you what we have come up with for power.  - Network    - Repeater Node: rb433 wireless access point ($99.00) http://www.routerboard.com/pricelist.php?showProduct=43         with 2 r52h mini PCI wifi chips ($59.00 x2) http://www.routerboard.com/pricelist.php?showProduct=69         2 8-18 inch satelite dishs converted for long-range WIFI use (20.00 x2) http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna/ OR instead of a rb433, we could use 2 WRT54G Linksys routers like this. (I also have 2 BEF 801.11b routers that are legacy to the WRT54G. I would like to use this if possible! http://hackaday.com/2005/08/23/how-to-greyhat-wifi-repeater/ Now, I know that this later choice would increase power use by about double. From what I have been able to find, the WRT's would at anywhere from 4.2w to 8w of power. Anyways, I like this later choice because it would be significantly cheaper for the equipment, but do you have any other ideas? I know that the RB433 would work great, but its rather expensive all said and done after I throw up the power as well. Plus, if it takes a lighting strike, its out of commission, and 2 cheap linksys routers are much cheaper to replace! Anyways any input here would be great! - Power  so power to the repeater node is the real challenge. We crunched the numbers and came up with something almost exactly the same as below: From the datasheets, a routerboard will draw between 6-10W. So design for 10W. Over 24 hours you will need 10Wx24h = 240 Watt.Hours of power. For 7 days, you need 7x240Wh = 1680 Watt.Hours. A single, large deep cycle 110Ah 12V battery gives you about 1320 Watt.Hours of power, almost meeting the requirement. Now, to look at the solar panels: A good rule of thumb is to install 6 times the wattage that is drawn by the device. This is because only about 8 hours a day in sunny weather gives you maximum power output from a solar panel. So the other 16 hours you need to draw from the battery. (So already you need 3 times the wattage drawn by the device to break even each day) To generate 1 full day of extra battery power per sunny day, you need another 3 times the wattage. This is how we arrive at 6 times. 6 x 10W = 60W. So at a minimum I would recommend 60W of solar panels. That qoute comes from http://diywifilink.wordpress.com/ and http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php?179547-Advice-needed-Setting-up-wifi-repeater-11km which is a project from a guy in South Africa almost exactly the same as the one that we are working on. The numbers came out to be about the same (Though they were a bit different when we calculated for the WRT54G option.) so, 60w of power generation to keep a decent charge on a battery. Now, we have a 60w panel at the shed, which is rather large to take up to 10,000 ft and place on the side of a mountain, and given the consistent wind element up there, we are hoping to do a hybrid system of both solar and wind. This is where things get tricky. A perfect balance, or even a more wind heavy balance would be great, such as 30-40w wind 20-30w solar. That keeps the panel size down, and uses a power source that runs 24/7. A Faroun Savonius wind turbine seems like the best system, but the controller to prevent overcharging etc is where I get nice and lost, having breached into very unknown territory. https://www.instructables.com/id/Faroun-Savonius-Wind-Turbine/ http://www.fieldlines.com/board/index.php/topic,129060.html This looked at 1st like a good, cheap system to use a controller board for the wind, but my question is would the controller board that comes with these solar panels (see below) work for both. That below is the setup that we use more or less at the shed, with some mods, such as a better alternator. http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11298029&search;=solar&Mo;=5&cm;_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang;=en-US&Nr;=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp;=S&N;=4001192&whse;=BC&Dx;=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk;=Text_Search&Dr;=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne;=4000000&D;=solar&Ntt;=solar&No;=3&Ntx;=mode+matchallpartial&s;=1&topnav;=&Nty;=1&s;=1 So, can a small, 30-50w wind turbine and generator be built, with a small solar array to power this thing? I dont care if we have some down time, this is primarily going to be used as a system to get a weather station with web cam to send in hourly photos during the peak hours. I can have the system at the shed shutdown automatically  using some cron jobs in linux during the evening to conserve power. When there are people at the shed, we would like to be able to get a good enough wifi connection to use a wifi device (such as an android phone or ipod) to use as a voip phone in essential communication. The teenagers aren't going to be chatting with their friends for hours, but we would like to be able to put a short call through in case something goes wrong, or we just need to get ahold of someone at the shed or in the city. Next the equipment at the shed should be comparable to the repeater node,  sans 1 antenna and just some low power embedded system. We would like to get a webcam and weather station hooked up on this end, but that can wait for upgrades later if needed, if power doesnt allow it. like I said, a simple water turbine could be used (something similar to the wind turbine perhaps?) and even another wind turbine could be built to add extra power dedicated to running any system at the shed, though I dont think the wind is quite regular enough to be viable here, but if its cheap, we could throw it on anyways. equipment at the home in the city is simple, just use an extra laptop or desktop we have laying around to be server/router, hook up antenna to this, broadcast connection, run the weatherstation/webcam web server off of this. So, thats the plan, but load of input is needed to try to come up with this. We hope to try to keep this sub $1000.00, but the budget could go higher. This is DIY at its finest! Thanks in advance for you help!

Topic by kydan    |  last reply