Monday, May 2, 2016

Driftwood Cell Phone Stand

Here is a project I started. It's pretty much done. Thinking about either staining the wood or keep it natural.

I already had the drift wood. Cut to about a 8 inches with a jig saw I bought for less than 5 bucks! Score! Carved out the cradle and drilled the hole for the cord with a rotozip. Inserted the end of the cord and hot glued it in place. Found some key slot hardware and screwed into place around the end. Filled in the hole with wood putty.

I should really sand the cradle for a better look.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


The idea for the project began when my friend may have had an extra NES (turns out he couldn’t find his original) for me to buy/acquire. I’ve always wanted to mod a Nintendo after seeing pictures and videos online.
I just recently bought four “broken” NES consoles. I put broken in quotations because the only thing wrong with them, that I could see, was the connector and they were dirty as all hell. After cleaning connectors and polishing up the system I got three of them to work. I’m awaiting new connectors for the forth one.
I took the best of the “broken”, now fixed, systems and set forth converting it to a megaman themed NES for my project. Blue bottom half of the case, white top and a blue stencil helmet for the top. Similar to this:

I’m not going to paint the eyes and mouth. It’ll basically be an empty helmet.
 One thing you should know, during the beginning of the project I was unemployed and had plenty of free time to learn and tinker.
Now began the search for the right paint. I read online that Krylon Fusion is great for plastic, but I couldn’t find it at local stores and ordering online was way too pricey. I set aside a budget of $100 for the project. Shipping and pricing was something like $8 for one can. Instead I bought this (except for the small model spray paint, my buddy gave those):
The Krylon Maxx did not go on very well. Very drippy and uneven. See here:

The last shot doesn’t look too bad. But the first two were rough and I had to sand out the bumpy, drips. Also note: I was painting in a 40oF garage. Probably more like mid 30o’s. Don’t do that. Once the paint hits a cold surface it wrinkles and ruins the coat. Stupid me for starting the project in winter.
Despite the low temperature the blue paint (Rust-O-Leum) came out pretty well:


I used painter’s tape to cover up the serial number and other stickers on the bottom of the case. Also I peeled off the first layer of rubber feet and set them aside. Then I taped up the feet. I removed the expansion cover and painted it white:

It needs another coat.
Case assembled it doesn’t looks too bad. Everything still needs gloss and the top case needs another coat. I think I’ll try out the model paint I got from my friend.

Now on to the mods. I wanted to replace the power light LED with a blue one:

Looks pretty nice. Hopefully it will do because it’s a 3mm 20mA LED. The standard red one is 5mm. So far it’s working great and hasn’t been fried.

Then the last project is some interior lighting for the consoles. I ordered some 5mm white LEDs and respective resistors, based on this calculation:

Very useful.

I started the project by taking an old cell phone charger cord, because I needed wires. Cutting and soldering on LEDs. They burnt out because I didn’t have resistors, stupid me again. I’m learning. Here are the wires. I plan on having two LEDs wired in parallel with resistors on the positive wire. It should work.

That’s where I’m at so far. I’ll update periodically. As of right now I’m waiting for the weather to warm up and parts to arrive.

Month and a half later it's pretty much done. Waiting for some paint to dry. Had a little connector hiccup but replaced with a clean one and now games are working and looking great.


A collage of final result pictures. The underside with tape pulled off revealing cool stickers and serial number. I like the red repair shop sticker, haven't seen that on other systems before.

The mega man helmet came out a little blurry but I like the effect. Haven't sprayed gloss and I probably won't. Looks good without.

Using the cell phone cord from above with two 5mm white led's wired in parallel with resistors I added some interior lighting. They're not bright enough to shine through the vents but my idea was to play with the door open.

The finishing touch was the nice, metal Nintendo decal I bought from somebody in Denmark, random I know. Not too bad for a first mod.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Engine of Time

A group of soldiers come across a crashed space ship and rummage through the objects strewn across the landscape. A cube filled with unusual food, dead, mangled bodies, scrap metal and a completely intact engine. The soldiers fashioned a stretcher to carry the engine back the two hundred miles they walked. They were on a routine patrol of the empires border lands. They didn’t see any action, most of the land was a great desert. The only possibly inhabitable land was the forest that they spent the last two days traversing until they came across the crashed ship. Their time was up and it was now the moment to come back home, hopefully their emperor will be pleased with the engine.

The trek back was hard work. The men stopped several times in the forest to rest and hunt. Carrying a three hundred pound engine was hard work for even four men. The extra seventy five pounds apiece was tough especially with all the other gear, tents, maps, water, food and everything else necessary for survival.

They averaged twenty miles a day. The woods were a tough place to navigate considering how dense the foliage was, although food was plentiful. The better of the hunters would go out for small, easy to catch game like rabbits and squirrels. The other two would sit back and build a fire. They tinkered with the engine but just for a bit, they didn’t want to break it. The two soon found they could use it to create a fire. The friction from the moving parts soon sent tinder ablaze. They could conserve their flint and fuel.

The engine sparked something in one of the men. He recalled from his school days about the age of electricity, before the world fell into the second Iron Age. Engines similar to this one were built to power farm equipment, factories and space ships. However, this engine was quite different, there didn’t seem to be an intake of fuel. Maybe it drew energy from the air, or from the earth that it sat on top of. The man couldn’t figure it out, maybe their emperor could.

The hunters came back from their journey with two rabbits and some wild roots. They cooked the food, ate and talked. They each took swigs of their mead, surprising it has been un-drunk for this long.

The next day the men made it to the desert. They caught lizards and snakes along the route for sustenance. They camped together in one tent at night to conserve heat. Night in the desert reached as much as ten below zero. The sand retained some heat from the day which created a nice bed for the men. The engine also provided heat.

A week later the soldiers made it back to the kingdom. They were greeted by the towns people and other soldiers; everyone was curious about the unusual looking engine in which the men returned with. Quickly they went to see the emperor who said to them: “what took you so long, and what is that thing?”

“We’re not too sure, some sort of an energy creating device. I believe they have been used extensively during the Electricity Age to power wagons and the planet exploring ships.” Said one of the soldiers.

“Interesting let me have a look at it.” Said the surely emperor. He spent the next few hours studying the engine and brought several specialists to his quarters to inspect it. They concluded that the machine is a perpetual energy machine that does not need fuel.

The men enlisted the help of the best engineers to harness the engine. Soon the electricity was back on, the first time in six hundred years. The empire created more engines and sophisticated weapons to conquer the planet. There was much warfare and conquest. The engine brought with it much death and ruin along with glory and triumph.

The emperor found a way to harness the engine for his own immortality. He passed on the gift to a select few men and women. He wanted to conquer another planet, so a spaceship was built, powered from the engine which his soldiers found thirty years ago.

The crew set off in search of a habitable planet. They were one hundred million miles from the closest atmospheric planet; the trip would take a year. The time was used for combat training, food generation, and astronomical study among other things.

Eventually the ship made it to the surface of the planet, however the breaking device malfunctioned, crashing the ship and killing everyone on board, including the emperor.

A roaming band of soldiers noticed smoke in the distance. They reached the crashed ship and set down their weapons, swords and shields. There were bodies strewn over the landscape, equipment, supplies and machinery, everything destroyed except one engine. The soldiers didn’t know quite what to do with it, so they fashioned a device to carry it back for their king.

The men camped in the wilderness and eventually reached the castle walls. They presented the engine to their king. He was pleased. They all were unknowingly pleased.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Moon Dust

Moon Dust

                The day the moon exploded was a dark day. A meteor struck the celestial body at high speeds, completely unforeseen by the earth dwellers. The worst part about it was that the day stretched into years. Dust from the disintegrated moon hung in the air like a lumbering mist and it would not leave the atmosphere. The perpetual night continued for years.

                The only people who seemed to benefit from it were the crime syndicates. They continued all of their unsavory transactions under the cover of darkness.

                Food production was down. All vegetables were grown under artificial light, needless to say they didn’t taste as good.

                The government had two problems to deal with, the growing mafia problem and restoring sunlight to the planet. There was a constant war between the mafia and the government.

                People were becoming zombie like since their sleep cycles were disturbed. They demanded ice from the mafia, and they got it.

                A high speed chase ensued one ghastly night, a high ranking capo was pulled over for a routine traffic stop when the FBI searched his trunk and found thirty pounds of ice. The capo ducked into his Porsche and zipped away. The agents were temporarily blinded by the dust storm kicked up by the mobsters tires, giving the advantage to the capo. The agents regained their vision and piled into their modified cruiser quickly gaining on the mobster. The agents called for reinforcements and soon chased the mobster down a back road blocked off by a line of police officers. He crashed into their barricade, injuring two. He crawled out of his Porsche with a machine gun in his hands, blood leaking out of his cracked skull. He opened fire at close range but his aim was off due to his injuries. The agents fired into the chaos, killing the capo.

                Dangerous encounters, like that, happened constantly throughout the country. There was definitely a crime epidemic and no one seemed to have the vaccine.

 As far as the mafia knew they didn’t want daylight to return. Night was perfect for carjacking and the seedy night life of many cities.

Sam the Scam was an up and coming member of the New England chapter of the La Cosa Nostra. He was only eighteen, but his skill and violence supersede his years. Sam has already carried out hits on three government employees. He has carjacked over a thousand cars and shipped them over seas for processing. He made his manager proud, and rich. Sam was the second highest earner in his crew. He soon took over the gambling sector of his crew and ran in beautifully.

The FBI set up a raid on Sam’s gambling house. He was abducted, without incident, and was taken to headquarters. They were watching Sam for years and had big plans for him. The agents left him in an interrogation room and watched through a one way mirror. Knock out gas was pumped into the room:

“Hey, what the hell are you doing? What’s that smell?” Sam said before he fell asleep in his chair. A government doctor walked into the room and looked Sam over. The procedure began; Sam was strapped to a chair and was injected with a robotic virus. The device attacked, opening up truth regions of his brain. The virus also deleted selected sections of his brain that controlled his affiliation to the mafia. Sam was then questioned for hours, answering in a monotone voice. Sam will be studied and questioned for several more hours. The government soon had enough information to, potentially, take down the mafia and work on restoring peace.



Monday, September 2, 2013



                The problem of overpopulation hit a new high. The entire solar system was populated to the maximum with numbers of humans stretching into the hundred trillions (by scientific estimates). The gas giants were the last to be populated mainly due to their absence of a solid surface. Floating platforms were developed in which cities could be built and the atmosphere of deuterium and helium was converted into breathable oxygen. It was a feat of engineering and scientific immensity. The day the solar system was fully populated was approximately 5000 AD. Now food production will soon reach it’s limit. Potable water is becoming scarce.

                Still on Earth a group of two scientists and two engineers work together to perfect human fusion. The previous team developed a combined human, but the size of him was that of two humans, not helping the overpopulation problem. The new team must be able to fuse two or more humans into one normal sized person. The team was finally ready to test their hypotheses. A group of subjects were brought to the lab, their collective name was code name Jom, a mix between Tom and Jane. The group consisted of ten individuals, five men and five women.

                The test subjects were crowded into a fusion tank and subjected to uranium at a high atmospheric pressure. Two hours later they emerged as one, androgynous looking person, who, remarkably, was only five foot nine and 165lbs.

                Tests were performed for months to see if there were any health risks to Jom as a result of the procedure. Jom  broke all records for the fastest sprint, marathon and longest jump. It had the highest documented IQ of any human to date, and for some reason, unbeknownst to the team, Jom only needed approximately 2,000 calories of food a day. The team observed Jom in public. It could carry on several conversations at once, remember everyone’s name.

                Soon it was brought to the workplace. Jom could perform the job of ten people and multitask with ease. Quickly it’s superiors realized the value of Jom and paid it ten times an average person’s salary.

                When all experiments were complete and Jom appeared healthy, the team of scientists and engineers installed fusion tanks across the planet, to start. Once the success of them was established, they were soon installed throughout the solar system.

                The human population was condensed to one tenth of it’s size. Over the years the condensed humans were condensed even more, with seemingly no side effects.

                Years later Jom was scheduled for a checkup to see if there were any long term risks or complications for it’s survival. However, researchers found that Jom died the year previous to their check up. Apparently when ten individuals are combined they take a toll on the single heart, thus reducing life span.

                That means the combined humans who are already fused will die exponentially sooner than the individuals who are fused only once. The team quickly performed more tests and have yet to find an answer.    

Friday, July 12, 2013

Generation Ship

Generation Ship

We had to leave our planet, pollution became ubiquitous and air quality was very poor. We had the technology for a housing ship, the size of a small country. These ships couldn’t travel very fast, but that was okay. We started a new civilization on the generation ship. Originally the inhabitants were both men and women but soon space became an issue and the men had to be sent off. Reproduction was performed through artificial insemination. The population slowly grew over time but was highly regulated. The ship could only contain one million individuals.

The first boy opened his eyes. He was in the hospital sector, born only seconds ago. His mother, a servant, breathed hard through a layer of sweat. The nurses and doctors carried the baby away for tests and health screening. The room was very bright to the baby. He could make out the white walls and equipment, even though he didn’t know that what he saw was the color white.

The media was in the hospital too, documenting the birth of the first male. Video cameras filmed the baby with his mother. Wirelessly the information was sent to the populations’ tablets and laptops. Outside the hospital people gathered in the parks and gardens. Roses climbed trellises; thorns were trimmed for the safety of everyone. There was very little crime on the generation ship. Women tended not to resolve their conflicts with violence.

The emperor of the ship was a very old woman who was appointed the position one year ago, while the ship was still grounded. She was tall and charismatic. She marked the day of the boy’s birth as a holiday and the triumph of the generation ship over the rigors of civilization.

The ship was on a slow course to a nearby star where it could gather light to recharge the ship’s batteries through the miles of solar panels covering the ship. The course was previously untraveled which led to several surprises. Soon the ship was in an asteroid field, the large, floating rocks came into view. The ship’s controllers called the emperor and told her the news. They could use the guardian lasers the blast the asteroids, but that would just make smaller asteroids.

After conferring with the emperor, the controllers used the remaining battery power to erect a force field which protected the ship. The lights on the generation ship cut out. People began to panic. Soon the emperor came over the speakers and reassured everyone:

“We have encountered an asteroid field. To protect the ship and all its’ inhabitants we had to create a force field which meant depleting most of the ship’s energy. Based on estimations from the controllers we should be out of the field in two hours. Then it should only be another two hours before we reach the star.”

The boy was awake in the pitch blackness of the hospital room. For a second he thought he was back in the womb, but wasn’t too sure. He didn’t like the darkness. He closed his eyes and pictured the asteroid field. He wished it away. The asteroids disappeared.

“Where did they go?” Asked a controller.

“Very strange, they just disappeared.” Said another controller.

Soon the force field was turned off. The power was back on. The baby opened his eyes as the lights came flickered into life. He liked the bright lights.   

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pretty Good Little Saturday

I may have just used a line from "Old School" but it's fitting. I haven't posted about something non-sci fi for awhile so it's time for an entry.

Today was awesome. Got a lot done, saw some people, had lots of fun. Here's a quick rundown:

- Went out for breakfast with my wife
- Bought some soil for the gardens
- Bought new floor mats
- Cleaned out the car
- Picked up my wife's number for her race tomorrow.
- Went to the library
- Read about the universe in the backyard with my wife and our dog
- Picked up some trash near a marsh around town. Plastic bottles aren't going to recycle themselves.

Let me know if my list of seemingly mundane things is boring. Either way, I enjoyed myself (writing this and spending my day). I hope you had a good day too.