Add extra SATA power to the Optiplex 9020

The Optiplex 9020 is quite a number of years old now, and many are beginning to come out of mainstream service. As with many of my projects, I like to re-purpose older hardware for new tasks.

In this case I want to add an SSD drive along with a standard spinning disk. I will be using a smaller 400gb SSD for the boot drive, and a larger 2tb HDD for my storage. The only problem is the Optiplex 9020 only has one SATA power connector in the small form factor.

Adding SATA power to Optiplex 9020

Before we begin I want to define the pin out of the SATA connector so you understand what’s going on. Also understand you can get the same result with a $7 splitter from amazon

SATA connectors are made up of 4 colorshttp://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnectors/sataindex.jpg Continue reading “Add extra SATA power to the Optiplex 9020”

How to repair Guitar Hero guitar Wii edition

Guitar Hero is over a dozen years old, and though not so popular as it was in 2005 it still captures the hearts of original Wii fans. Guitar Hero was introduced when video game motion control was in its hay day. Nintendo had a revolutionary idea with the original Wii and video game companies far and wide wrote tons of software to capitalize on the new systems.

My kids loved, and still enjoy Guitar Hero to this day, and enjoy firing up the old Wii or Wii U to get their guitar on. However like many teenagers they are not gentle with their equipment and managed to break our Guitar Hero guitar. I was looking to source on on Ebay or Amazon, but then thought to myself maybe it could be repaired.

Repairing The Guitar Hero Guitar

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8″ (200mm) Silicon Wafer With Amazing Chip Patterns

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if we never invented the micro chip? Micro chips and to that extent the micro processor should be hailed as one of the greatest inventions of all time. Most of our modern life would not be possible if we were not able to fit billions of  transistors in the space of a postage stamp silicon wafer. Just think about that statement for a moment! Your mobile phone would be the size of a car, your home computer the size of a room in your house. Constantly swapping out burnt vacuum tubes.

Micro chips to the rescue.

A Silicon Wafer Is Born:

Ever wondered how these chips are made? I never gave it a thought myself until I stumbled across these Silicon Wafers. For some reason or another these wafers were deemed defective so they were unable to continue the journey into computers, phones and other electronics. Some of the wafers were destined to become DRAM’s (memory) some designed to be micro processors, while others custom circuits for a specific job. Continue reading “8″ (200mm) Silicon Wafer With Amazing Chip Patterns”

Vintage Surplus 1991 NASA Landsat Parts For Sale?

The Landsat program is the longest running satellite imagery program on Earth. The first satellite was launched on July 23rd 1972 and the most recent launch was February 11th 2013. With Landsat 9 to be launched in 2020.

The instruments on the Landsat satellites have acquired millions of images. The images, archived in the United States and receiving stations around the world, are a unique resource for global change research and applications in agriculture, cartography, geology, forestry, regional planning, surveillance and education, and can be viewed through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) ‘EarthExplorer’ website.  Landsat images are usually divided into scenes for easy downloading.

NASA Unloading Landsat Parts (New Old Stock)

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Fun Project – Nintendo Wii Remote Flashlight

If you read this blog on a regular basis you would already know I enjoy re-purposing broken electronics into new useful gear. I had an old Wii remote sitting around that was broken and it was calling out flashlight to me. I figured I would give it a shot.

My self imposed requirements called for using one of the original buttons to turn on the light, and I also had to reuse the original battery holder.

Tools you can use:

Triwing Screwdriver – Nintendo likes to use “special” screws across all their equipment. The Wii is no different and requires a Triwing screwdriver to open the Wii remote. This kit is $11.99 and covers them all!

 

About 12″ of wire the lighter the gauge the better. This 22 gauge wire collection would be a great addition to your tool box. $20.00 at Amazon Continue reading “Fun Project – Nintendo Wii Remote Flashlight”

Don’t believe the hype – MP3 is NOT Dead!

What did we do before MP3? I remember the early years using my Dolby high speed dubbing tape decks to make copies of the tapes my friends and I used to share. Not too soon after came the Compact Disc, and I ran out to buy a Pentium 60mhz with a 2x CD-Recorder to make my mix CD’s.

I was amazed that we could “rip” huge wav files off the CD’s and play them back on the PC. But disk space was at a premium in the 90’s, due to the limited capacity of hard drives.

There had to be a better way to store music! That’s when a friend introduced me to the MP3 format. Full length songs at decent quality only 3mb – 5mb! WOW this was amazing, think of the possibilities.  There were no portable MP3 players yet, I found myself taking a laptop in the car hooked to an FM transmitter to listen to my music.

My car MP3 Player Website

I even marketed a CD on eBay for $10 that had plans for a car MP3 Player Just imagine putting a computer in a pizza box in the trunk of your car, running a PS/2 cable to a numeric keypad and mounting a 40 character display to your dash board with a parallel cable.   It was good business until the portable MP3 players began to arrive about a year later.

A BRIEF TRIP DOWN THE PORTABLE MP3 PLAYER MEMORY LANE

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DIY Summer Project – Make your own Sun & Moon Jar Night Light

The Sun & Moon Jar night light helps set the mood in any room. Place the jar in your family room, bed room, back yard patio or even take it on your next camping trip. No matter where you place the jar, the warm glow will surely add ambiance to your surroundings.

Today I’m going to explain the steps to make your own Sun & Moon Jar.

Visit www.GeekGearStore.com for a completed version of this project!

Supplies you will need:

Tools You Can Use:

Let’s Get Building!

If you are not familiar with how LED’s work give this post a quick read.

Light Up Your Projects With (LED) Light Emitting Diodes

SUN & MOON JAR STEP 1 – Prepare The LED module

Take each LED and bend the Cathode (negative) post as shown.

I use a small needle nose to make the “L” shape.

 

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Build Your Own Google Home Assistant – Google AIY & Raspberry Pi

As a huge fan of the Raspberry Pi, I’m always looking for cool new projects to try. Google had released a free hardware kit with Issue 57 of the MagPi magazine. The kit included a Pi Voice Hat, a microphone board, speaker, a “traditional google” card board case and various bits to put it all together. Apparently this is Google’s answer the Raspberry Pi Amazon Echo that was released last year.

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on the kit, I hope you put it to good use. They were in limited supply and are sold out at this point. Maybe they will make another run and sell them in the Google store?

If you still want to try this project with out the kit you can! Google has published instructions.

Supplies you will need

 

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and power supply

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Add sound to your project – Nintendo NES cartridge clock plays Mario theme song.

This is a fun project even without the sound. I enjoy taking vintage NES cartridges and making them into clocks. No worries the cartridges are broken beyond repair before I gut and start drilling holes in them. The NES cartridge clock is a great way to recycle.

I will cover building the clock in another post later on. This article is going to focus on adding the audio module and making them sing.

Supplies You Will  Need

  • 30 Second audio recording module – $12.00
  • An old Nintendo NES cartridge – Ebay or Free(if you have one)
  • Soldering iron – $16.00
  • Small piece of wire – You got this
  • Hot glue / or any glue  $11.00
  • NES Security bit – $5.00

Let’s get building

Continue reading “Add sound to your project – Nintendo NES cartridge clock plays Mario theme song.”

How to make a Nintendo NES controller USB flash drive.

This is a fun project that takes an old Nintendo NES controller and converts it into a cool USB drive that your friends will envy.

Time to build: 1 hours
Skill Level: Easy

Supplies:

A classic NES controller. Can be found on EBAY or at the bottom of your closet or in the basement.

 

Any USB drive extracted from its case. I used a 16gb drive for this project.

 

A USB extension cable. I found this one laying around the shop.

 


Continue reading “How to make a Nintendo NES controller USB flash drive.”