Storage technologies are a bit of an alphabet soup, with NAS, SAN, and DAS systems being offered. That’s Network Attached Storage, Storage Area Network, and Direct Attached Storage. The DAS is the simplest, just physical drives attached to a machine, usually in a separate box custom made for the purpose. That physical box can be expensive, particularly if you live on an island like [Nicholas Sherlock], where shipping costs can be prohibitively high. So what does a resourceful hacker do, particularly one who has a 3d printer? Naturally, he designs a conversion kit and turns an available computer case into a DAS.
There’s some clever work here, starting with the baseplate that re-uses the ATX screw pattern. Bolted to that plate are up to four drive racks, each holding up to four drives. So all told, you can squeeze 16 drives into a handy case. The next clever bit is the Voronoi pattern, an organic structure that maximizes airflow and structural strength with minimal filament. A pair of 140mm fans hold the drives at a steady 32C in testing, but that’s warm enough that ABS is the way to go for the build. Keep in mind that the use of a computer case also provides a handy place to put the power supply, which uses the pin-short trick to provide power.
Data is handled with 4 to 1 SATA to SAS breakout cables, internal to external SAS converters, and an external SAS cable to the host PC. Of course, you’ll need a SAS card in your host PC to handle the connections. Thankfully you can pick those up on ebay for $20 USD and up.
If this looks good, maybe check out some other takes on this concept!
If you have any sort of device that cuts like a CNC mill or a laser cutter, you probably generate a lot of strange-looking scrap material. Most of us hate to throw anything away, but how do you plan to use all these odd shapes? [Caddzeus] has an answer. Using a camera and some software he digitizes the shapes accurately into a form usable in his CAD package of choice.
The process involves setting up some targets with known dimensions that will appear in the photograph. This allows the picture to be taken without being overly concerned about the distance to the camera or the angle.
Using GIMP, he adjusts the images to remove the perspective. He then brings the image into Inkscape where he can accurately scale and trace the shape.
There are detailed instructions — including videos — but if you know how to use these tools, you can probably figure it out for yourself. This technique would be useful, too, if you wanted to get an outline of something you intend to mill or cut into your CAD program as a reference. We like to do this with a laser cutter so you can burn the outline of something you are engraving or cutting on a piece of paper before you start and easily align the workpiece to the laser.
Of course, a small part could surrender its image to a conventional scanner and you can use a similar technique to adjust the scale. If you start using Inkscape a lot, you’ll want more plugins. You never know what you might build from some scrap odds and ends.
Continue reading “Upcycling Flat Scraps With Open Source Tools” →
[Piffpaffpoltrie] had a 20-year-old Acer flatbed scanner that they just couldn’t justify keeping. But it does seem a shame to throw away a working piece of gear. Instead, the old scanner became a light table. We’ll admit, as projects go, it isn’t the most technically sophisticated thing we’ve ever seen, but we do think it is a worthy way to upcycle something that would otherwise be filling up a landfill.
The scanner was old enough to have a CCFL light source inside. However, it was too small, so it came out along with many other components that may yet find use in another project. If you didn’t know , scanners are good sources for small stepper motors, straight rods, and first-surface mirrors.
Continue reading “Upcycling A Flat Bed Scanner” →
Do you ever sit around thinking of ways to repurpose things in your house? Well [BevCanTech] found a way to recycle some of his empty beverage cans by turning them into homemade wire.
The premise is simple. He cut 2 mm thick strips of wire from the beverage can along its circumference, creating a thin, long “wire” spool. He sanded the ends of each strip to crimp pieces of his homemade wire together. He found he could get about four meters from a standard-sized beverage can, probably roughly 12 oz, as he unraveled the can. He then used crimp connectors to connect his homemade wires to the battery terminals and also to the end of a flashlight. He used a red cap from another can as a pseudo light diffuser and lampshade, creating a pretty cool, almost lava lamp-like glow.
Maybe the meat of this project won’t be as filling as your Thanksgiving meal, but hopefully, it can serve as a bit of inspiration for your next freeform circuit design. Though you’ll probably want to smooth those sharp edges along your homemade wire.
We’ve seen lots of power supply projects that start with an ATX PC power supply. Why not? They are cheap and readily available. Generally, they perform well and have a good deal of possible output. [Maco2229’s] design, though, looks a lot different. First, it is in a handsome 3D-printed enclosure. But besides that, it uses a TFX power supply — the kind of supply made for very small PCs as you’d find in a point of sale terminal or a set-top box.
Like normal PC supplies, these are inexpensive and plentiful. Unlike a regular supply, though, they are long and skinny. A typical supply will be about 85x65x175mm, although the depth (175mm) will often be a little shorter. Compare this to a standard ATX supply at 150x86x140mm, although many are shorter in depth. Volume-wise, that’s nearly 967 cubic centimeters versus over 1,800. That allows the project to be more compact than a similar one based on ATX.
Continue reading “Power Supply Uses Thin Form Factor” →
While the term “upcycle” is relatively recent, we feel like [saveitforparts] has been doing it for a long time. He’d previously built gear to pick up low-Earth orbit satellites, but now wants to pick up geosynchronous birds which requires a better antenna. While his setup won’t win a beauty contest, it does seem to work, and saved some trash from a landfill, too. (Video, embedded below.)
Small dishes are cheap on the surplus market. A can makes a nice feedhorn using a classic cantenna design, although that required aluminum tape since the only can in the trash was a cardboard oatmeal carton. The tape came in handy when the dish turned out to be about 25% too small, as well.
Continue reading “Satellite Ground Station Upcycles Trash” →
We’re not sure what we like better about this upcycled trapper hat — that [ellygibson] made it as a tribute to Holden Caulfield, the anti-hero of the classic teen angst novel The Catcher in the Rye, or the fact that she made it out of a skirt that cost a dollar from the thrift store. Oddly enough, one dollar is exactly what Holden paid for his hat in the book.
To make this hat, [elly] started by measuring the circumference of her head, then used math to figure out the radius of the circle for the top part. She made a prototype first to get the fit right, then cut the pieces from the skirt and the lining pieces from black flannel. We love that [elly] used the tiny pocket from the skirt in one of the ear flaps, because it will surely come in handy one day.
[elly] doesn’t provide pattern pieces, but that’s okay — between the explanation of how she arrived at the hat band circumference and the step-by-step instructions, it should be easy to make one of these for yourself from whatever fabric you’ve got.
Before you go cutting up an old coat, consider whether it could be fixed. Remember when [Ted Yapo] fixed the zipper box on his son’s winter coat by printing a replacement? Or how about the time [Gerrit Coetzee] cast his own pea coat buttons?