Category: project

DIY USB and SATA panel mount connectors (#P13)

Next batch of connectors incoming! (yes, I’m onto something)

I bet most of you are familiar with USB panel mount connectors, which (I guess) are a by-product of the slot mounted USB ports of PC mainboards in the late 1990s, early 2000s. Back then, boards had none or few USB ports on their back I/O panel, but often one or two available via pin header. So people obviously needed some slot adapter for them, something like this:

If you slap on a different connector on the other end and omit the metal bracket, this is basically what you get these days when buying USB panel mount connectors. […]


DIY Phoenix VS-PSC style connector (#P12)

Okay okay, “project” is a big word for this. It’s a teeny tiny DIY thing, sparked from MOQ/packaging size worries of a rather unique connector.

In preparation of other things, I wanted access to the data lines of an USB port that is panel mounted. Just tinkerer stuff, you know, seeing if there’s any communication effort happening at all, being able to set current (allowance) sense resistors, you name it. I could have looped all wires to a second/third USB port and made an adapter for it, but that would be a lame one. Instead, I googled for IDC connectors, ideally female to allow easy resistor insertion, which can be panel mounted. […]


Fujitsu P20-2 finalized CCFL to LED conversion (#P9F1)

Canned content, for when I’m busy with stuff that’s not definite yet.

A while back, I tried the CCFL to LED conversion on one of my Fujitsu 20″ monitors. I only had warm white LED strips available at the time, mostly because I no longer require cold white DO STUDY NOW atmosphere at home ;) However piss-yellow doesn’t really shine behind an LCD, so I ordered some cold whites. AliExpress -“2018 New 1m 1200LEDS 2835 SMD LED Strip 24V 1900lm 240LED/M Gold Line LED Ribbon LED Tape Light Cool White Warm White Natura”. 6000K color, 12V, “14-18W”. […]


APC Back-UPS capacity upgrade (#P11F1)

Was that foreseeable? Not sure, but the design called for it…

Now that my modified APC UPS is running smoothly again (#P11), I still had two pairs of these nice XT60 connectors laying around. And as old, to-be-recycled lead acid batteries from UPSes pile up at work, I took one or two of them with me for testing at my electronic load. Like previous batteries, quite a lot of them are really toast, but some of them are in decent condition. Not as in “like new, ready for another year of service in a commercial fire alarm system”, but still holding a significant fraction of their original capacity and delivering a suitable amount of current. […]


APC Back-UPS external battery mod (#P11)

Good thing I’m a doofus. While tidying up cables after some keystone module action, I also moved the bulky power supply of my monitor. And then I noticed that the only thing that absolutely has to be on the battery backup outlets of my UPS unit was in fact…assigned to the surge-protected ones that fail when mains power is gone. D’oh. After some cable identification in that tight space, I moved the UPS around a bit and I discovered a drop of liquid. A very dubious drop at a place where liquid would have to seep through 4 centimeters of a wooden table, or somehow permeate 1.5mm of solid steel against gravity’s pull. […]


Revox Evolution front panel repair (#P10F1)

Soo…the Revox thing from #P10 wasn’t done at the time, and when the missing cable arrived from China (“DB9 Male to Female Gold-plated Extension Cable Pure Copper Line RS232 9 Pin Serial Connector Wire COM Core with Double Shield” for a whopping 4.53€), it didn’t really work as expected.

I wondered: Did they do fancy things with the shielding, in order to squeeze out one more connection from this otherwise 9 pin cable? The cable might have different characteristics compared to the metal-to-metal contact of the serial connectors directly sitting on top of each other. […]


Revox Evolution 19″ panel mount (#P10)

Christmas, the fabulous time of the year where you got plenty of free time, but you aren’t supposed to make hell of a noise :suspect:

Happy 2019, y’all!

Having ordered a second 19″ keystone plate recently, I decided to finally make the user panel of my Revox Evolution stereo system into a front-mount panel that fits the outside of the rack. Without, it got even more hidden inside because of the top-mounting system that is used. Here’s an original marketing wankery image from Revox:

So if that unit is sitting inside of a 19″ rack, imagine the user experience (wank, wank) of operating the display if the top part is blocked by other stuff. […]


Fujitsu P20-2 CCFL to LED conversion (#P9)

Okay, so here’s something that I wanted to do for a long time, but it makes no sense in terms of time and money. But hey, I finally did it and it was fun!

I’ve shown my old Fujitsu P20-2 monitor previously as a comparison to the current 3440×1440 setup. It’s an old prosumer-grade 1600×1200 display, 20″, 60 Hz S-PVA panel with VGA and DVI inputs. Really good stuff. I got two of them after they failed by the dozen at university, where the tech guys even did a capacitor swap (these were in the upper three-digit Euro range when new, their replacements are totally overpriced 2560×1440 displays for 700€ a pop). […]


ESP8266-DHT22-SR501 kitchen lights thingamabob PCB (#P7F1)

Alright, software aside, back to hardware…

The ESP module shown in #P7 slowly gathers dust in my kitchen, which is tolerable for a few weeks, but that’s not the solution I want long-term. Also, it’s on a separate power brick, meaning there are two microcontrollers running in my kitchen for doing fancy light switches and some air quality logging for twice the standby current. Nope, has to go, needs to be consolidated into one unit.

So a while back I designed this PCB and ordered it (once again) at OSH Park, together with some teeny-tiny DIP adapters that cost next to nothing. […]


FlowerPower LED GrowLight POWERLIGHT 400W Repair (#P8)

Yeah, sorry for not delaying this until I could declare project #P420, but sometimes I’m a little impatient to get content online. After all, I’m not as enthusiastic about this silly number as some folks apparently are. Which also means I’m getting paid in hard cash and not in kind…

So for today’s repair project I have a quad-100W growlight unit on my desk that was in mortal agony when it arrived. The thing does not have a power-on indicator (usually you do know when it’s on…), all it did was some dim, erratic flickering of the LEDs. […]