Hacking TVs in 1954

shaddap already!

This gem was published in Mechanix Illustrated magazine in may of 1954. AT that time, a remote control was the stuff of science fiction. This article shows the modern man how to modify his television to include a fancy button to stop all noise. This button, affectionately labelled the “SHADDAP” was marketed as a way to relieve the pain of long winded commercials. Basically, it cut the connection to the speaker, nothing super fancy. Is that an altoids tin as an enclosure?

[via BoingBoing]

Making the Bulbdial clock touch sensitive

We never thought about it before, but having the controls on the bottom of a clock is a bit of an inconvenience. [Alex Whittemore] mutes the LEDs on his clock each night and after a while, decided he should make the mute button into a touch strip on the case. You’ll remember that the Bulbdial clock uses colored LEDs to create the effect of a sun-dial, casting colored shadows for each hand of the clock. It makes sense that this would put off a pretty good amount of light at night. [Alex's] original thought was to use a capacitive touch sensor but complexity and cost were in his way. What he ended up with is a resistive touch switch based off of two metal strips. He used metal repair tape but suggests copper foil as he was unable to solder to tape. When your finger touches the two strips it completes the circuit for the base of a transistor, which in turn grounds the mute button on the clock. Cheap, simple, and illustrated in the video after the break.

Continue reading “Making the Bulbdial clock touch sensitive”

Adding mute to a Bluetooth headset

[Jared] often needs to be on conference calls for work during his motorcycle commute. He’s got a bluetooth headset that cancels noise but it didn’t have a mute feature. He cracked open the speaker and microphone portion of the apparatus but there wasn’t enough room for a switch. The base unit which houses the noise cancelling hardware had plenty of room. He added a single pole double throw (SPDT) switch to the positive wire from the microphone, allowing him to disconnect it as a mute function would. He mentions the need to seal the unit with silicone after the hack in order to keep out the elements. We might have opted for a weather-proof switch as well.

This simple hack makes a nice addition to any Bluetooth projects you’re working on.