Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

MacBook mishaps

I'm getting pretty good at taking apart old MacBooks. One from a year ago: MacBook backlight fix.

This time was to remove a broken cd drive with the disc stuck inside. The second photo is cleaning out a newer MacBook Air that had wine spilled on it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

PC building

First post at the new apartment. Putting together a new PC for the tv.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Breaking into my trunk

I was walking to get some tacos during my lunch break when this guy biking towards me suddenly got off his bike and started inspecting the pedal. I stopped to take a look, and saw that the crank was loose. I offered to lend him some tools I have in my car.

We tightened up the crank. I put the tools back in the toolbox. Threw the toolbox in the trunk. Closed the trunk. As we walked away, I realized I didn't have my car key in my pocket anymore. I had dropped it into the toolbox as we were fixing the bike. I needed a taco.

After my snack, I researched my options online. The alarm disables all trunk release buttons. Even if I could get into the cabin, I was still locked out of the trunk. The solutions I saw online were:
  • Removing the rear deck speaker, putting your arm through the hole into the trunk, and pulling the latch to release the rear seat. Unfortunately, my car doesn't have folding rear seats.
  • Removing the rear license plate, drilling a hole near the latch, and inserting a screwdriver to pop the trunk manually. I'd rather to take the bus home to get my spare key than drill any holes in my trunk.
  • Removing the glove box and jumping some wires behind the fuse box to disable the alarm and power the trunk release motor. The directions were unclear on this, so I decided not to risk electrical damage if I were to jump the wrong pins.
Then I saw one post with a simple yet effective solution. Taking apart the driver side door handle, and turning the switch manually to make the car think you're inserting and turning a key. This disables the alarm and unlocks the trunk. 

I called AAA to get me into the cabin, then I was able to take apart the door handle.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dustbuster battery pack replacement

I have an old Black & Decker Dustbuster cordless vacuum that no longer holds a charge. I took the battery pack apart and found it runs on NiCd batteries, which typically don't last very many charge cycles anyways. I modified the vacuum to take lighter, more powerful lithium-ion batteries.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Oxygen sensor

I saved some money buy ordering a universal Bosch sensor instead of a plug-and-play sensor (also made by Bosch.) That just means I had to spend extra time cutting wires and reattaching the vehicle-specific connector.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bar tape

It's been a while. (7 weeks since my last post.) I took a break from documenting my projects. Sometimes it's nice to work on something and not have to worry about explaining it later.

I'll start it up again with some photos of the new bar tape I put on my road bike. Nothing fancy, just plain black. I decided to try out Deda brand since it was the most reviewed on roadbikereview.

Friday, July 5, 2013


Our dishwasher wouldn't turn on. The power wires were wedged in the hinge of the door and got sliced. This also caused a varistor (surge protector) on the circuit board to blow.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BMW head unit wiring harness

I wanted to upgrade the factory cassette radio on this e36 with a new Kenwood head unit. But I didn't want to splice a bunch of wires, and mess with tricky soldering inside the car. I purchased a separate BMW connector and made a plug an play wiring harness for the new head unit.

Flashlight LED mod

Swapping out the LED for one with higher CRI for better color accuracy. Cree XP-G to Nichia 219