Tag: Hardware

Hardware Pr0n: Sylvania “netbook” from CVS

by on Jan.08, 2011, under Embedded devices, Hardware, Hardware Pr0n, Investigative Dissassembly, Windows

cvs logo

Well, the annual gift-giving season has drawn to a close and now we are left with retailers trying to get rid of all that extra stuff that thy have left over in their inventories.  Of course as a hardware geek, I’m always on the look out for another great hack. While at my CVS I came across a Sylvania netbook device for under $100. Even better, I got mine as an open box for only $30 making it an awesome find.  Read further to discover what this little beastie’s hiding under its hood. (continue reading…)

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Dead Dockstar Resurrected with JTAG!

by on Sep.08, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Linux

Hey, I never said I was a graphics designer.  This was created in MS Paint after 15 minutes searching for a zombie icon and a JTAG icon or an angel I could slap JTAG over.

The reason I haven’t written any more about my fun with the Dockstar was that due to an unfortunate set of circumstances I was left with a bricked dockstar. (read: I did something stupid.)  After performing a lot of research and thanks to a bunch of people over at the PlugApps.com Forum site who helped me, I was able to get it running.  Read more for a complete list of what you will need including how to build an adapter and where to get the needed JTAG kit. (continue reading…)

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Squirrelcage blower keeps small form factor PCs cool

by on Aug.14, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's

Squirrel cage fan cooling. Not chuck squirrels through fans at nuclear reactors.

As long as there has been electronics, there has been the problem of how to keep them cool.  Unfortunately, the problem gets more complex the smaller that computers get and what works for one PC might not work for others.  This is clearly the obstacle to overcome when trying to cool down a settop box.  Read more to find out how I was able to pull it off very well for a little over $10 in parts and still maintain all my hair.

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Seagate Dockstar: Add an accessible serial port

by on Jul.21, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's

Ok, so not long after I published the article on  the hardware teardown of the Seagate Dockstar, I couldn’t help myself  so I started working on things to do with this device.  I did a lot of research in regards to the capabilities of the Dockstar, including being able to push a customized Linux OS on the device.  Once I saw the article at Hackaday that covers exactly how to replace the OS, I knew I had to do it for myself.  There are two ways to perform this upgrade however in order to capture syslog output and to be able to get to the bootloader, a serial port is required.  Just about all of the sites will describe the pins needed to make the connection, however none of them detail how to do it very clearly and none of them address the issue of aesthetics.  Read on for my method of adding a serial port to the Dockstar without affecting the look of the device.

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Hardware Porn: Seagate Dockstar teardown

by on Jul.14, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware Pr0n, Linux

Seagate LogoI was given a very interesting product by a friend of mine that happened to catch a good deal on woot.com a few days ago.  Apparently Seagate has made a network fileserver device for their Freeagent Go line of portable USB drives called the Freeagent DockStar. (I can only think that this is a play on Battlestar Galactica’s Baystar – a cylon “aircraft-carrier” of sorts.)  When I went to look for pictures online of the hardware, I was dismayed to find nothing about the inside of the little thing.  So here they are in all their exposed glory, the innards of the Seagate Dockstar.

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Parts: Parallax RFID scanner now $10!

by on Jun.14, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, Microcontrollers

Image courtesy of Parallax.com

Hello Everyone!   If you’ve been in a Radio Shack sometime in the last year or so, you’ll know that Radio Shack and Parallax have teamed up to bring some variety to the parts drawers.  This once $50 serial RFID reader kit is now $10 at Radio shack although it only comes with two tags.  Read more for additional details about the Serial RFID reader now on sale! (continue reading…)

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Lasers: Barcode scanner “gun” has real laser inside!

by on May.18, 2010, under Hardware, How-To's, Investigative Dissassembly

Telxon LS-201

I know it’s been a while so here’s another post.  In this post, I’ll go over the hardware in this gun style barcode scanner that holds a real helium-neon laser tube with power supply! Although this post only covers the basic modding, there’s nothing to stop you from gutting the gun and using the HeNe tube for your own nefarious plan. 🙂 (continue reading…)

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Basic Stamp: A quick guide on using a legacy joystick

by on Feb.03, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Microcontrollers

Joystick + Basic Stamp BOE-BOT = World Domination

In this post, we’ll be going over the basics of using an old regular PC-gameport joystick with Parallax’s Basic Stamp powered Boe-Bot.  This howto will have all the information you need to get started including code, schematics and a parts list.  We will be covering how the joystick is wired and how to go about interfacing it with the Boe-Bot for an easy to use and easy to expand analog control method for your Boe-Bot.  Next step, world domination! (continue reading…)

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Breaking into APC’s BR24BP battery pack

by on Oct.27, 2009, under Hardware, How-To's, Investigative Dissassembly

apcLogo_141x68.jpgIn this post, we will show what was necessary on how to get access into the BR24BP battery pack for APC’s BackUPS RS/XS series of battery backups.  Read more for additional details, caveats and some good to know general informaton on how you can replace the stock batteries in the battery pack with your own batteries to save money and time.

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Add an SD card slot to a WRT54G v2

by on Sep.09, 2009, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Linux

routerIn this post, we’ll cover step-by-step how to add a SD cardslot to your Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT and how to configure it in the DD-WRT UI.    Granted, this has been done a lot already, however there is a significant lack of information on how to do it on the older V2’s.  Read more for the complete step-by-step guide. (continue reading…)

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