Roundup: simple hacks

simple-hack-110909

Here’s a collection of simple hacks you can do in between larger projects. After the break we’ll look at converting an iPod from hard drive storage to Compact Flash, build an LED desk lamp using LEGO and USB power for charging, and use an Arduino shield to add network control at the touch of a button.

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SSD upgrade for 24″ iMac

24-inch-imac-ssd-conversion

The hard drive in [Jason's] 24″ iMac was on the blink. He decided that instead of just swapping out the bad drive for a traditional unit he would upgrade to a solid state drive. Tearing apart high-end hardware like this can be a bit nerve-racking but luckily the drive is mounted right behind the screen so he didn’t have to take everything apart.

The SSD he picked up was 2.5″ but the mounting hardware in the iMac is only setup for 3.5″ form factors. We would have used a bit of hackery to make it work but [Jason] went with an adapter kit. Uh-oh, once installed there was no problem with the mounting but the SATA cable didn’t reach far enough to plug it in. The cable snaked around under the motherboard and would have been a lot of work to swap for  a longer one. He ended up removing all of the mounting screws except for one coercing the drive close enough for the connection.

It worked for him and it can for you as well. If you do this make sure to devise your own mounting scheme so that you don’t hit the same snag.

[Photo: AppleInsider iMac teardown]

[via TUAW]

Tear your iMac’s insides out

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Saying that [Ian] had some overheating issues with his iMac G5 would be an understatement. After losing three hard drives due to heat he decided to do something about it. The first step was replacing the thermal paste with Arctic Silver. The solution for the hard drive was a little more unorthodox.

[Ian] picked up a 320GB Western Digital Caviar Blue drive because of its very low noise rating. He used rubber grommets to mount it outside the case and ran SATA data and power extension cables through a quarter inch hole to the motherboard. He mentioned to us that the cutout seen above the drive is from a previous mod.

This certainly will fix an overheating problem but it doesn’t do much for the sexy style we’re accustomed to with Apple hardware.

Classy hard drive speaker set

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Hard drive speakers aren’t anything new, but they have yet to be done very professionally. Most hard drive speaker hacks are awesome, but aren’t meant to be a showpiece. [Oliver] took the opportunity to put together a set of 20GB drives and a custom-built acrylic case with a horizontal VU meter up front. The project is well-photographed and documented and can be recreated without the use of laser cutters or other expensive tools. The only thing it’s missing is an iPod dock!

Related: Giant bulb VU meter

Game Boy HDD update: the guts

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Last week we showed you the ingenious hard drive enclosure made from a broken Game Boy. We caught up with [_n3o_], the person responsible for this mod, and he was nice enough to share some pictures of the inside of the project. Let’s get down to business and take a look. [Read more...]

How a storage company builds their own

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Want 67 Terabytes of local storage? That’ll be $7,867 but only if you build it yourself. Blackblaze sells online storage, but when setting up their company they found the only economical way was to build their own storage pods. Lucky for us they followed the lead of other companies and decided to share how they built their own storage farm using some custom, some consumer, and some open source components. [Read more...]

80 gig drive inside a Game Boy

gameboy_harddrive

[_n3o_] put together a nice external storage mod by fitting a 2.5″ drive into a broken Game Boy. This mod fooled quite a few people because it appears that the device still plays games with the drive stuffed inside of it. Sadly, this is not the case. The reflective backing has been removed from the screen and replaced by a piece of paper with a graphic printed on it. The LED from the hard drive was moved to the battery indicator for the Game Boy for added realism. There is no build log for this project but [_n3o_] did give a short explanation of it in a forum post. You can see two more pictures of the project after the break. [Read more...]

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