PCMCIA modem serial port

[nickjohnson] sent in today’s hack. Mike removed the extraneous hardware, just leaving the UART on this IBM PCMCIA modem and replaced it with a SMD MAX241 ttl-rs232 converter. He added a new end to the original cable and ended up with a nice, finished PCMCIA serial port. That fine SMD soldering is hard to do. Impressive work.

Dan Kaminsky’s Cryptomnemonics

Our buddy Dan Kaminsky gave an interesting talk at Toorcon. This is just one part where he talks about a novel way to help the user remember SSH keys by converting them to couples names. You can get it in high quality here. 17 minutes long. Thanks to Fabienne for shooting the video.

Thursday mini-extra

[Russ] sent in his Great Pumpkin computer case mod. (Non-biodegradable)

[Nuke] sent in his $10 ipod dock. It makes me think of doom for some reason.

[phnx] sent in this amusing case mod.

These have been around, but they’re excellent, so deal. Evilmadscientist.com has a couple of great pumpkins.
Check out the Cylon Jackolantern and the R/C Dalek Pumpkin

[Daedalus] sent in this one – adsl via sound card. 96kbs. The sound card is interfaced
with an audio transformer to the line at each end.

And this one just came in from [Eric]. Make a magsafe connector for thinkpads! Awesome.

PSP analog stick part 2

I’ve been getting some help with How-To’s over at engadget. One of our favorite hardware hackers Ben Heckendorn put up part two of his analog joystick PSP mod. When he showed me the original I was surprised at just how simple this mod is. Part one showed off the wiring, while part two puts it in a clip on enclosure. Who else would strap a jerky tin to his PSP?

LED sensor solar tracker

More of my EV kick coming through. A solar tracker is used rotate a solar panel to get optimum energy from the sun. This one uses LEDs as the light sensor and mosfets to drive the output to rotate on a single axis. He even reduced the duty cycle on the fets so no heatsink is needed. Mounting in a peanut butter jar keeps the circuit dry and allows the sun to shine through. (The designer sells these, but has circuits up on the site)

Environmental monitoring

[Daniel Klien] sent me his thermd environmental monitoring project. It’s written in perl, but the cool part is the sheer number of supported devices. It’s pretty rare when a single developer is given test hardware so he can add support for it.

Sure, this isn’t a hardware hack, but temperature logging is one of those irritating problems of hardware hacking. I’ve got loads of uses for it – coffee roasting, house management, battery charging, monitoring for my EV motorcycle project.

Wake on lan network tester

[Jachin] sent in his network port tester built from a network card, wake on lan cable and a battery holder. Three AAs supply 4.5v DC just like the motherboard would to the card via the WOL cable. Nice trick, I’d consider adding a static bag at the least to keep the card from getting zapped.