Old equipment repository

[Swake] tipped us off about a collection of old equipment. The site is packed full of various hardware that was used for electrical and chemical testing, metering, and experimentation. You could use this to identify the dinosaurs found in backrooms of college science departments, or draw inspiration from it. The next time you’re laying out a panel, or working on a steampunk-ish project go to the source to achieve that vintage look. Some of these remind us of the control panel on [Steve Roberts'] bicycle.

19th century all-in-one PC

…well not quite, but Victorian-styled nonetheless.

In the same vein as his previous creation, [Jake] decided to steampunk his new monitor. However, this time around, he managed to squeeze a full pc into the retro case. A custom aluminum chassis had to be designed and safely house the disk drives and motherboard behind the monitor.  Since the 350W PSU was a bit too clunky to mount behind the screen, [Jake] rebuilt the base of the unit around it. The P4, 250GB SATA hard drive, and gold painted cooling fan allow the machine to run Kubuntu “Gusty Gibbon” smoothly. Coupled with a typewriter-inspired keyboard, [Jake's] got a cutting edge antique setup.

Home made rollerbar mouse

4003919989_f0f0c6cd65 (Custom)

[Judyofthewoods] has hacked together this rollerbar mouse. We’ve heard people talk about these in a positive way, going on about how comfortable they are. We haven’t really experimented with one much to verify. This one looks surprisingly nice considering it is made from scrap. The image above is showing it without the cover that hides the hot glue and optical sensor. There isn’t much of a writeup, but as you can see from the picture, there isn’t much necessity for one either.  She seems to have done a great job stating that it is fairly smooth with only minor jittering.

Steampunk vibrator

steampunk_vibrator

[Ani Niow] built this steam powered vibrator. It has a milled stainless steel shell with a brass motor structure. The motor is a Tesla turbine made from a stack of Dremel diamond cutoff wheels. This drives an off-center weight to create the vibration. She tested it using a pressure cooker as the steam source. It worked, but became so hot it had to be held using welding gloves. It works just as well with compressed air though. You can see the device at the Femina Potens Art Gallery in San Francisco or later this month at Maker Faire.

[via Laughing Squid]

UPDATE: [Ani] responds in the comments.

Scrabble keyboard

scrabble

Here’s another bizarre keyboard mod to add to the pile. Unlike previous typewriter style mods, this one uses Scrabble tiles. All of the tiles were hand beveled and attached to a clicky keyboard. The Num, Cap, and Scroll lock buttons have their letters’ hollowed out so the LED light will shine through.

[via Gizmodo]

Wooden retro keyboard build

[phirzcol] sent us this cool step by step build of a retro looking keyboard, Inspired by [Von Slatt] and his work. [phirzcol] starts with a standard keyboard and removes the keys. He steams some wood to wrap the keyboard, then finishes it off nicely. The process of making the keys looks pretty grueling. Each key has 4 parts which have to be hand cut and assembled. A blue accent light is a nice touch as well.  The keyboard looks pretty good, but we’d like to try typing on it for a while to see how usable it is.  If it looks like too much effort, you can actually buy it on ebay.

1920s navigation system and more


And now, for your amusement, we present to you a navigation system from the 1920s. It’s not so much a satellite navigation system as it is a tiny map mounted in a wristwatch, but for the available technology of the era, this was a pretty ingenious invention, Other (and somewhat more bizarre) entries on this list of over a dozen other inventions from the early part of the 20th century include a finger stretcher, an eyeball massager, and mustache guards. Although most of these inventions seem laughable today, they are an interesting study in finding creative solutions to real problems. After all, what these inventors did a hundred years ago with gears and paper is pretty much what we do today with transistors and LEDs.

[via The Presurfer]

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