Your source for daily hacks

Published on: September 26, 2013 / Comments: None

Trim the fat out of your Pi

Need to stick that Raspberry Pi in a tight spot ?  Or is it just a little to big for your enclosure ?  Finn has some ideas how to shed some size off of the Pi for a slimmer fit.

The first mod is the obvious one, de-solder the RCA video connector (if you aren’t using it).  Next remove the audio jack.  Those will slim it down a little bit in the width.  Now for trimming the length, the biggest problem is the pertruding full sized SD card.

There is a fix for that, you can get a micro-sd adapter that will fit nicer.  Or you can do it the hackalizer way and take some scissors to that SD card.  As it turns out most modern SD cards only use the very tip, the rest is just empty plastic.  Who knew ?

Check out the post on finn’s site.


Published on: August 18, 2013 / Comments: None

Adding a reset switch to your Raspberry Pi

While having full power control of your Raspberry Pi, meaning a power on/off button would be great a quick and easy thing you can do is add a reset switch.  If you have the Rev 2 version of the Pi, (the one with mounting holes) apparently there is an un-populated header labeled P6.  By soldering a momentary switch to those points, or a cleaner approach is to put a removable header in that spot.

Once you have the header in place you can either momentarily touch the two leads together to cause a reset (just like a PC reset button) or fashion a momentary button with a female header.  If you have some old PC junk laying around you might be able to salvage the reset button from a pc (that acts the same way on a pc motherboard) as the author of the article did.

Not really much to it, but useful.  Full write-up here.

Published on: August 8, 2013 / Comments: None

Millennium 64 and N64 Pi!

This is the kind of stuff that I really like to see.   Baka Chan is my type of hacker.  Here is his build log of taking the guts from a Nintendo 64, and sticking it in a Millennium Falcon.  It’s not as easy as you would think, just taking the guts and tossing it in another.  You have to  finesse  things, plan it out, and extend a lot of wiring!

So here’s the kicker.  Why go through the trouble of putting the guts in a Millennium Falcon ? (Besides the obvious answer that it’s awesome).  Well because you have one left over from putting a Raspberry Pi inside a N64 case of course silly!   Not the cleanest stuff job I’ve seen, but it works.  Bravo Baka Chan keep ‘em coming.

Published on: August 3, 2013 / Comments: None

Hacking a cheap de-soldering iron for higher performance

Matt’s go what appears to be a cheapo Radio Shack de-soldering iron.  You know the one, with the little squeezy-bulb.  Using a solenoid and hacking a volleyball pump he’s made it a push-button experience.

The results from the video seem pretty adequate.  I would like to see the components stepped up, and a little more vacuum.  None the less it still looks easier than squeezing the little bulb on each joint.  Maybe adding a finger-tip trigger too.  I know I have one of those irons around here somewhere, I’ll have to try this hack out myself.

Published on: August 2, 2013 / Comments: None

Your guide to making solder paste stencils out of soda cans

Felix has put together the ‘definitive tutorial’ on making solder paste stencils out of soda cans, who am I to argue with that ?  Looking at his previous attempts to perfect the process I can buy that.

The soda can appears to be just the right thickness (and price) for a sharp stable stencil.  Felix uses the toner transfer method to etch the holes in the soda can using readily available chemicals.  If you’ve ever etched a circut board it’s a similar process.

The write-up is here.

If you make it that far, you’ll want to check out Felix’s solution for a cheap manual pick and place that he put together for $20.  Just add a home made reflow oven or hot plate and you’re making your own surface mount boards in no time.