Archive for Hardware

Retro computers: Atari 2600

Another addition to my series of retro computer posts. This time I’m writing about the Atari 2600 Rev A. Jr. made in 1986. Quote from atariage.com:

The Atari 2600 Jr. was introduced in 1986 with a new ad campaign and a new design for the aging system. This is almost identical to the first edition 2600 Jr. except that the Rainbow on the metal plate is wider. It came in a small silver box, and can also be found in a red box. Once again it has the same functionally as other Atari models, just a difference in appearance.

I don’t usually find genuine pieces of electronics or antique laptops with a unique design at a local flea market, but my last visit was very much worth it.

This is a genuine piece that I got for 10€ – the dude doesn’t even know what he’s selling, or don’t care. Usually with laptops I’d do a bit of a maintenance like cleaning and replacing a CMOS battery, but this is so simple and in a really good condition that I didn’t have to do anything, except for brushing off dirt.

To my surprise though, this thing was in a full package – PSU, controller and a game cartridge – I mean I was surprised because all of the antique laptops I find don’t have anything else with them. I grabbed this thing right away and ran home to check if it works.
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Console emulator in a briefcase

Greetings fellow gamers! Let’s get one thing clear – I play games. Now I don’t play as much as I used to, but when I was a kid I used to play a lot… I didn’t own many consoles, simply because I couldn’t afford swapping consoles often, so I only had a Zhiliton (it’s a brand name of a Chinese clone from NES, these clones are normally called Famicom consoles). After that I owned a PS1, then a PS2, a PSP, then an Xbox360 which I own to this day.

This project, a console emulator packed in a briefcase, was born when me and a friend of mine had some ideas about how it would be cool to play and remember those old games… so I thought about it and started making one of my own.

The whole thing took a really long time (longer than I wanted, over a year) to assemble, but that’s because I ordered some of the things from eBay and AliExpress, and sometimes the packages would not get delivered, so I would need to order more and all that stuff… months of waiting and personal life stuff has delayed this project for a long time, but finally it’s ready to be shown off!
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Christmas decoration for 2016

arduino-christmas

Greetings. Christmas is coming and at work we often make something funny/interesting for this period of the year. About last year you can read in a previous post here, although it wasn’t all that interesting.

This year we decided to make some kind of an interactive thing and use the arduinos that we had laying around. So the idea was like this: To make a box that had a camera and 2 push-buttons. One button would play some kinda Christmas music, another button would take a picture through the camera and upload it to our website, where we could display them all.
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Christmas decoration for 2015

arduino-christmas

Yeah, it’s a bit late to post about it now… but end of 2016 is coming, and we have some new awesome things planned how we’ll decorate the office, so this post is to remember how we had decorated last year.
Nothing too fancy, we only did it at the last moment, but everyone liked the result.
We broke out some keyboards, glued their keys to a motherboard and some graphics cards. Found a lot of DDR rams and chained them up into a garland. Some PS2 mouses were painted red and hanged on the office lights.
The best thing was hanged on our door – a wreath made of DDR ram, LED strip, an Arduino motion sensor and a Piezzo buzzer.
The motion sensor would detect whenever someone was walking past our door and trigger an Arduino to play one of the two programmed Christmas melodies through the buzzer. To connect everything we used an ethernet cable. It was fun and simple.
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Building Bluetooth retro phone handset

bluetooth-phone

The other day I finished assembling this thing. I’ve been seeing these “retro bluetooth handsets” on the market for a long time and I love old things, but those are quite expensive, depending on the brand, price on ebay ranges from 20-40$ which is… too much for a toy like this.
I had made one before from not-so-old office phone. The quality of it was crappy, on some phones it was ok, on some it wasn’t… overall crap and I didn’t use it that much. But just recently I somehow regained interest in making a better version and here’s how I did it.
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Improved CD Lamp

improved-cd-lamp

Hello again :) the other day I finished assembling an improved version of a CD lamp which I made before. I’ve been collecting cd’s to be thrown out for like a year and I collected quite a stack. Had few left from my previous attempt, it was ok, but not good. That previous article I wrote in Lithuanian language, can’t remember why, it was probably easier for me at that time :D
Anyway, the new version I made is more than a meter high and uses RGB LED strip. I figured it’s not going to be used to light up a room, so I made it as a decoration instead and I think I got it really good… still not perfect, but… that’ll do pig :) I didn’t count how many CD’s I got stacked, but there should be around 680 of them… so apparently it takes 680 CD’s to have a 62cm tower.
The whole cost of this was about 55€. The most costly part was the LED RGB strip – 14€.
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BBQ blower 2.0

bbq-blower

Hello, this time I decided to make a dedicated and improved bbq air blower. I have written about making a simple rotary tool here which I later used to blow air onto hot coal when they would loose too much heat and whatnot, I don’t like getting smoke into my face :P
But that one wasn’t very good, it used a cordless drill battery as a power supply and later the cordless drill died, a few weeks after that the charger fried because of a power surge, motor required 24v for optimal results.
So I just thought to make a better version, powered by a 9v battery with 3v motor and a basic speed control.
Whole thing is very simple and can be put together from junk that I am sure you have laying around somewhere.
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VGA cable extension using ethernet cable

vga-ethernet-cable

Here at work we get to do all kinds of original things sometimes to solve a problem. This is an interesting thing we did for one of them.
Situation is that we have a few classes to prepare for lectures and that involves hanging projectors from the ceiling. Now of course for that you need a long cable, to connect the computer to a projector on the ceiling.
Buying one is a no go, since they are of limited length and probably wouldn’t be as long as we need them to be. So there are two options of making it. One being to buy VGA ends, take ethernet cable as much as we need and solder the ends to that cable. Sure that works and it looks better, but what if you need to move the computer somewhere and the cable becomes too short? you have to resolder everything and just basically make a new cable. Soldering it would be a pain anyway…
So that leaves us with the option that was best for such a situation, and I’m going to write about it here.
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Fixing my retro computers: part 2

so-retro

Another post in a very long time… I don’t have time for new projects and this blog anymore. So posting here is an occasional thing now.
This time I’ll post about my antique laptops. I came back to them and for the most part fixed both of them to a fully working state! awesome, I know. Here I’ll write about both laptops and how I did it, including photos and videos at the end.
Halikan is finished, just needs a battery pack for a fully working computer, and Compaq also needs a new battery pack, but it has one with dead batteries, so I’ll need to rip it apart and see how could I replace them.
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Ofiso ragelio prijungimas prie mobilaus telefono

ofiso-ragelis

Anądien naršydamas internete užmačiau tokį įdomų dalyką – retro stiliaus telefono ragelis prijungtas prie mobilaus telefono. Na prekė jau buvo supakuota, paruošta pardavimui.
Pagalvojau argi pats negalėčiau tokio pasigaminti… tad nulėkiau į instructables.com ir suradau pora straipsnių apie tai (tad prieš skaitant šitą straipsnį rekomenduočiau peržvelgti toliau pateiktas nuorodas).

Galvoju reik aprašyt šiek tiek eigą kaip man pavyko pasigaminti jį. Kadangi mano variantas naudoja lizdą su kištuku, patį telefoną galima lengvai pakeisti neperlituojant laidų.
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