Igor's Blog

28-Jan-2017
Installing LEDE on Velvet's Hotshot aka MiWiFi Mini router (part 2)
This is the second part of the article talking about Installing LEDE on Velvet's Hotshot aka MiWiFi Mini router, the first part is here.
25-Jan-2017
Installing LEDE on Velvet's Hotshot aka MiWiFi Mini router (part 1)
A few days ago I received an email from Velvet WiFi saying that they're shutting down for business. The email also said that the Hotshot device that was supplied could be kept. The email mentioned that the Hotshot could be turned into a regular WiFi router but didn't go into details on how to do so. This two part article will show the steps to get the Hotshot configured as a 802.11ac access point in bridged mode.
25-Dec-2016
Painting the BYOC Mouse Guitar Pedal case
Yesterday I wrote about the final assembly of the BYOC Mouse kit which included the painted guitar pedal case. What I left out of that post was the process for painting this case, which I'll cover now. As a reminder, the BYOC kits come with guitar pedal cases that are not painted, just bare metal. Below is what the pedal case looked like when it arrived.
22-Dec-2016
Aquarium LED replacement round three
I originally had a go of replacing the CF tube in my aquarium a while back. The first attempt didn't work out too well so I had a second go with a slightly different circuit and new LED strips. Unfortunately even the second time around was met with LEDs burning out and going dull. So I decided to take a different approach this time around and use some car daytime running lights instead.
23-Oct-2016
DIY spare parts computer build with a RAIDMAX Anura case
Not long ago I decided to replace my home server with a new one and after repurposing as many parts of it as I could (mostly hard drives) I was left with pretty much everything needed to put together a whole new desktop. At the same time my parents' computer started to play up so this was a good opportunity to put all those spare parts to good use and build a new machine.
26-Sep-2016
Final assembly of my OdroidXU4 file/media server
Earlier on in the month I mostly assembled my new file/media server but didn't get to finish it because of some panels being incorrectly cut for me. Now I was able to get new panels laser cut and finally assembled the whole unit. It looks amazing...
25-Sep-2016
Aquarium LED replacement round two
About a month ago I replaced the CF tube in my fish tank with LED strips. It was all good for a while but I noticed a few things starting to go wrong with my first attempt. The LED strips were sagging, the backing glue was just not holding them, and in addition to that all the strips became dimmer and looked like they had some burn in happening.
10-Sep-2016
Putting together the Odroid-XU4 home media/file server
I've been meaning to write this update for a while. The Odroid-XU4 file server I've been working on to replace my existing file server is finally assembled. I've written previously about how I've added an external power button and also externalised the network port, this update shows the final touches including acrylic panels and the Odroid-Show2 placement.
26-Aug-2016
Replacing the CF light tube for LEDs in my AquaStyle 380 aquarium
We've had our AquaStyle 380 aquarium for some time now and overall it's a great fish tank, however during the warmer months it has one big drawback and that is the CF tube that's used to light it up heats up a fair amount. This makes it difficult to regulate water temperature when it's already hot and of course can and has resulted in fish dying.
22-Jul-2016
Externalising the OdroidXU4 network port
I've been slowly modifying a 4-bay HDD USB 3.0 enclosure to fit an Odroid XU4 to use as a file server. This is the latest modification, the network port from the XU4 is taken and extended to be accessible from outside the HDD enclosure.
23-Jun-2016
Giving an old Ikea KVARNÃ lamp a new lease on life with some 3D printed covers
Now that I have my 3D printer working again I was able to put it to some good use and made these top and bottom covers for an old Ikea KVARNÃ lamp. This lamp was sitting in a cupboard gathering dust for a long time because well it looks boring. With these couple of covers I think it really springs to life!
14-Jun-2016
Adding an external power button to the OdroidXU4
My file server project using an Odroid XU4 is coming along nicely and since it's all going into a HDD enclosure that I already have, the XU4 board will not be accessible and along with it, its power button. This article shows how I've added an external power button to the XU4.
13-May-2016
Hacking the Aurora LED Color Light Cube Chromatography Glass Clock Kit
I loved the Aurora LED Color Light Cube Chromatography Glass Clock Kit that I put together not long ago, apart from one 'feature'. That feature is the beep it emits on the hour. The beep is not subtle by far and the first time I heard it I thought an alarm went off somewhere in my apartment. There is a way to switch it off of course but my clock is plugged into a USB hub connected to my laptop so whenever I disconnect that the clock loses power and when connected again the beep is back (yep that setting is not saved).
12-Apr-2016
Rewiring a Singer 201k Sewing Machine
I've had the Singer 201k sewing machine for quite a long time now, originally bought it from a lady that claimed it didn't work, but with a bit of oiling up it started going again. This machine always had dodgy wiring and I've never done much about it, until now. The last time I went to use the machine I noticed that a fair amount of the wiring was frayed and looked like it would short out at any moment, it was becoming a danger to use, so I decided to rewire all the bits that I could get access to.
25-Jan-2016
Dell Vostro 1510 SSD Upgrade
Recently I spent a bit of time upgrading an old Dell Vostro 1510 laptop with an SSD drive. The improvement was quite decent though overall this laptop would not come out on top in any benchmark results even with this upgrade. That is mainly due to its graphics card and processor, however if you have one of these and want to give it a little boost and extend its usefulness then upgrading the hard drive to an SSD is worthwhile.
10-Nov-2015
A clear acrylic case for the DSO138 digital oscilloscope
The DSO138 digital oscilloscope that I've put together recently is a nice kit but it lacks a case and it's always nice to have an LCD display protected. I decided to do something about that and make an acrylic case on my laser cutter, before it stopped working anyway.
13-Oct-2015
Adding extra USB ports to the Dell UltraSharp U3415W Curved Monitor
The Dell UltraSharp U3415W Curved Monitor comes with 4 downstream USB ports already, but what if you need more? Or what if the 3 ports that are inside the cable cover are just not enough and you don't like using that 4th external port, it is in an odd spot after all. Turns out you can cram a USB hub inside the cable cover and double the number of available ports that are hidden from view, check it out!
13-Sep-2015
Raspberry Pi in a NES Case wiring revisited
It's been more than two years since I posted about my Raspberry Pi in a NES Case. That article was spectacularly successful, gaining attention from LifeHacker and shortly being copied across many other blogging sites. Over the past two years I've had many people ask me about the details of the wiring and I must admit some of it was a bit flaky in my original article. So even though I've shelved this project, I dug it out, took it apart again and took a more detailed look at it.
10-Sep-2015
Giving that hacked-together photo frame a facelift
Two weekends ago, I hacked together a picture frame out of an old USB monitor and a Raspberry Pi Model A+. Functionally it was almost completed, but aesthetically it was a bit of a wreck, so I decided to do something about.
09-Sep-2015
Giving a Sony VAIO SVE151A11W Laptop a new lease on life with an SSD upgrade
A Sony VAIO E Series laptop may be old and discontinued, but it's still a decent laptop to have around the house. This past weekend, I took to doing a bit of upgrading and installed an SSD into one such laptop. The results are quite impressive I think.
01-Jun-2015
Mountable 3DPrinter Filament Spool Holder
My 3D printer box has had a number of improvements over the years, but that doesn't mean it can't get better. My latest addition to the box is a mountable filament spool holder. This holder makes it really easy to keep a spool out of the way but in an optimal position for the extruder assembly.
18-May-2015
Another custom SGI Octane light bar
I've changed the light bar in my SGI Octane case a number of times previously. At first I got it working as its original red with an ATX motherboard that I put inside, then I updated it to shine bright white. This time around I wanted to have it as a blue glow. It was a small job since I had a spare light bar PCB from the previous time already. I'm pretty happy with the outcome.
15-Apr-2015
RaspberryPi and a USB monitor combined to make a photo frame (part 4)
A while back I wrote an entry on how to get the Lenovo LT1421 USB DisplayLink monitor working on a RaspberryPi. Now I took that a bit further and created a photo frame using the Raspberry Pi model A, a USB monitor and a bunch of software and some custom scripts.
12-Apr-2015
RaspberryPi and a USB monitor combined to make a photo frame (part 3)
A while back I wrote an entry on how to get the Lenovo LT1421 USB DisplayLink monitor working on a RaspberryPi. Now I took that a bit further and created a photo frame using the Raspberry Pi model A, a USB monitor and a bunch of software and some custom scripts.
07-Apr-2015
RaspberryPi and a USB monitor combined to make a photo frame (part 2)
A while back I wrote an entry on how to get the Lenovo LT1421 USB DisplayLink monitor working on a RaspberryPi. Now I took that a bit further and created a photo frame using the Raspberry Pi model A, a USB monitor and a bunch of software and some custom scripts.
06-Apr-2015
RaspberryPi and a USB monitor combined to make a photo frame (part 1)
A while back I wrote an entry on how to get the Lenovo LT1421 USB DisplayLink monitor working on a RaspberryPi. Now I took that a bit further and created a photo frame using the Raspberry Pi model A, a USB monitor and a bunch of software and some custom scripts.
17-Mar-2015
Portabee 3D printer enhanced base components
I've finally gotten around uploading the enhanced base components for the Portabee 3D printer. I wanted to upload these with the new z-axis clamps, but I've not completed work on these as of yet.
06-Mar-2015
Rebuilding the Portabee 3D printer (part 4)
I've started this ambitious project around 3 months ago, its intent was to rebuild the Portabee 3D printer to make it more robust, easier to service and more stable. Now with the project complete I'm finally getting around to writing about the experience.
05-Mar-2015
Rebuilding the Portabee 3D printer (part 3)
I've started this ambitious project around 3 months ago, its intent was to rebuild the Portabee 3D printer to make it more robust, easier to service and more stable. Now with the project complete I'm finally getting around to writing about the experience.
04-Mar-2015
Rebuilding the Portabee 3D printer (part 2)
I've started this ambitious project around 3 months ago, its intent was to rebuild the Portabee 3D printer to make it more robust, easier to service and more stable. Now with the project complete I'm finally getting around to writing about the experience.
03-Mar-2015
Rebuilding the Portabee 3D printer (part 1)
I've started this ambitious project around 3 months ago, its intent was to rebuild the Portabee 3D printer to make it more robust, easier to service and more stable. Now with the project complete I'm finally getting around to writing about the experience.
30-Nov-2014
Portabee 3D printer extruder motor latch mod
I've been meaning to write about this one for quite some time, but it always slipped my mind, but here it is. Many a time during my 3D prints, the grub screw on the extruder motor's 9-tooth gear would come loose and slip causing the filament to stop feeding in. Tightening the grub screw too much would cause the 9-tooth gear to crack. I thought about this and decided that if I add a latch to the motor shaft, the grub screw could slot into it for added support.
13-Nov-2014
More 3D Printer box and Portabee improvements
Over the past couple of months I've had to do some major maintenance on the 3D printer because some of the original parts simply snapped. I took this opportunity to improve both the printer itself and the box that I built to house it. These are the changed that took place.
01-Sep-2014
Fitting a SATA USB 3.0 HDD enclosure into the modified SGI Octane case
Now that the HDD enclosure arrived, I could continue the modding of the Octane case. This case is going to hold the HDD enclosure only, no computer components, its sole purpose is to be a complement to the other Octane that I modified that I use as my home server.
16-Aug-2014
Modifying a SGI Octane metal frame to use as a conventional computer case
Last time I wrote about taking the SGI Octane apart. This entry is about taking the metal frame and modifying it to so that it may be used as a conventional computer case. This involves drilling and cutting metal with an angle grinder and redoing the pop rivets in a number of places. The end result is a rectangular frame without any internal dividers.
11-Aug-2014
Taking apart an SGI Octane
I've come into the possession of another SGI Octane recently that I plan to use as a HDD enclosure to match the other Octane case that I modified that I use as my home server. These are the photos from the disassembly of the machine.
15-May-2014
7200 RPM HDD vs SSD performance in Skyrim for PS3
I'm still playing Skyrim, yes it's an amazing game! However, I've been getting frustrated with its loading times. So I thought, why not try an SSD upgrade, they are so cheap now it's almost a crime NOT to do it. The results are quite favourable, they aren't going to blow your socks off, but will definitely improve the gaming experience.
05-May-2014
PS3 hard disk upgrade makes you lose Skyrim DLC
There is a number of guides that talk about how to upgrade the hard disk inside a PS3 (and now a PS4) and various reports that talk about how beneficial these upgrades can be. Well I've decided to try it out myself by upgrading to an SSD and seeing how Skyrim performance changes, that's in a separate post later. I was out to get some real figures to see what an SSD upgrade would do, instead I found something worse - the DLC content is lost during this upgrade process.
31-Mar-2014
Wood grain EXOSkin for Retina MacBook Pro
It's been some time since I've had this EXOSkin on my rMBP and since I've been getting quite a few comments about it, I've decided to write something up. Overall, this is a good cover for the laptop and it really gets the attention, so if that's what you want, this is the product for you.
29-Dec-2013
Adding a TEMP er1 sensor readout to Pronterface
I've had the TEMP er1 USB temperature sensor lying around for a while with no real use for it so I thought that I'd add it to the 3D printer box so I can see what the ambient temperature is. This is a bit of a hack and there is probably a more elegant solution, but I don't know Python and this works.
24-Dec-2013
Vintage style Edison light bulb table lamp
I came across these amazing 12cm Edison style light bulbs recently and originally wanted to hang them from my ceiling but that was no possible so I thought that I'd make a table lamp to serve the same purpose. The result...amazing. Check it out.
01-Dec-2013
A custom boot install for Infiniti G35 - Part 4
This is a follow up post from Part 3 where I finished the subwoofer enclosure, in this post I describe the carpeting and the finishing touches.
10-Nov-2013
A custom boot install for Infiniti G35 - Part 3
This is a follow up post from Part 2 where I finished the floor and amplifier fitting, in this post I describe the construction of the subwoofer enclosure.
05-Oct-2013
PiBee: Adding a trackball and monitor to make a standalone 3D printer
This post follows on from the PiBee post where I described how I combined a RaspberryPi with the Portabee 3D printer for WiFi printing. In this post I talk about how I added a 3.5" TFT LCD monitor and a mini trackball mouse to the PiBee to make it a fully stand alone 3D printing unit.
25-Sep-2013
A custom boot install for Infiniti G35 - Part 2
This is a follow up post from Part 1 where I started the boot install, in this post I talk about the carpeting, fitting the acrylic window and mounting the amplifier.
23-Sep-2013
A custom boot install for Infiniti G35 - Part 1
It's been a while since I've done anything serious in terms of audio to my G35 and my current subwoofer setup has been bothering me for a some time, so I decided that once the weather got better that I would finally start on the new install, and here it is. The amplifier (Alpine PDX-M12) is sunken into the floor with lights illuminating it around the border. The subwoofer box is not ready yet, that is the next part of the install.
16-Sep-2013
PiBee: Combining a Portabee 3D printer with a RaspberryPi for remote WiFi 3D printing
I've had to shift my office space twice in the past two months and one of the things I hate are the tangle of wires that you got to deal with all the time, so I decided to use my spare RaspberryPi to control my 3D printer (Portabee) to reduce at least some of the wire clutter. These are the results: in a nutshell, it works great!
07-Aug-2013
Custom SGI Octane light bar
When I modded my SGI Octane, the light bar was not working properly because it had some burned out bulbs in, which I fixed, but I wasn't too happy with the result. It took a bit of time, but I finally got a lightbar that I am happy with and all I had to do was design a PCB and some custom fittings, solder the components in and 3D print the fittings. The new light bar sports four bright white LEDs that make the whole bar light up.
23-Jun-2013
Improving the Portabee 3D printer
Now that I've had the Portabee for quite some time, I've made a few essential improvements that every Portabee owner should have I think. These are: motor/cooling fan wire arm to keep the wiring out of the way and off the heating bed, glass surface to print on, an additional cooling fan mounted onto the extruder assembly and wing nuts for the print bed to make adjustments easier.
10-Jun-2013
3D printer box parts posted on Thingverse
I've put together all the STLs and SCAD files that I used for the 3D Printer Box and posted them on Thingiverse, free of charge. Hopefully these will be of some use to others.
09-Jun-2013
A clear acrylic box for the Portabee 3D printer - Part 4 - Adding a bit of style to the box
This post follows on from Part 3 where I added some stabilisers to the box, in this post I cover the aesthetic aspects of the box, namely making it look like something you want to look at every day.
08-Jun-2013
A clear acrylic box for the Portabee 3D printer - Part 3 - Stabilising the printer and covering the corners
This post follows on from Part 2 where I showed how I've added an exhaust vent to the box. This post deals with the extra bits I've added to stabilise the printer inside the box and to add corner pieces to the aluminium frame to cover sharp edges.
05-Jun-2013
A clear acrylic box for the Portabee 3D printer - Part 2 - Adding an exhaust vent
This post follows on from Part 1 where I showed how I've built the box for the 3D printer. In this post I show how I added an exhaust vent to the box.
25-May-2013
A clear acrylic box for the Portabee 3D printer - Part 1 - Making the box
I've finally got around to putting together a clear acrylic box/enclosure for my Portabee 3D printer. I made it so that the noise will be reduced and so any dust and bits of plastic stay in the enclosure instead of going all over my table. The noise is only slightly reduced, so it was only partially successful for that purpose, but it makes the printer look a lot more professional.
19-May-2013
3D Printer, Faraday cage and filament spool holders
I've had my 3D printer for about a week now, there were and still are some teething problems with it, but I'm fixing them one at a time. So here are the main issues I had so far and the solutions I found for them: filament spools unwinding in all crazy directions and fluorescent lights giving off electromagnetic interference and crashing the printer.
15-Apr-2013
Carbon fibre look for the SGI Octane base
The SGI Octane case that I modified was a bit rough with scratches and marks, something that is expected given its age, so I thought I could wrap the base of it in some carbon fibre vinyl to make it look more modern and cover up the scratches.
07-Apr-2013
Adding some extra support to the SGI Octane Mod rear panel
This is just a quick follow up to the SGI Octane Mod I did a few weeks back. The original mod had problems with the rear acrylic cover not being flush with the case, so I've added some extra supports to keep it in place.
03-Apr-2013
Reviving the SGI Octane Lightbar for use with an ATX motherboard
Since I've built my SGI Octane Hackintosh, the lightbar in the case was not working properly, I've finally had all the components arrive in the mail to give it a new life.
24-Mar-2013
Modding a SGI Octane to use as a Hackintosh - Part 4 - Hardware and Software
This is part 4 of the series of posts that shows what I’ve done to the original SGI. Part 3 describes the fitting of the fan vent and rear panel.
23-Mar-2013
Modding a SGI Octane to use as a Hackintosh - Part 3 - Fan vent and rear panel
This is part 3 of the series of posts that shows what I’ve done to the original SGI. Part 2 describes the fitting of the motherboard tray and the power button.
19-Mar-2013
Modding a SGI Octane to use as a Hackintosh - Part 2 - Motherboard tray and power button
This is part 2 of the series of posts that shows what I’ve done to the original SGI. Part 1 describes the cutting out internal supports and fitting a disk cage.
16-Mar-2013
Modding a SGI Octane to use as a Hackintosh - Part 1 - Cutting out internal supports and fitting a disk cage
A couple of months ago I managed to get a SGI Octane (in working condition!). I was really after a SGI O2, but the Octane came up, so I took it. I acquired it simply for the purpose of modding it to be my new home file/backup server.
24-Feb-2013
Building a Mac Pro Hackintosh - Video
I've put together a video of the building of the Hackintosh Mac Pro.
15-Feb-2013
Converting a SNES controller to connect to a NES controller port
When I built my Raspberry Pi NES emulator box, I used the original NES case, so that meant the controllers were plugged into the NES controller ports. At the time this was fine, but it also meant that I could not play SNES games.
03-Feb-2013
Using the 12v port on a Dell U2713HM monitor to power a LED Strip
There are a number of Dell monitors that support the SoundBar attachment, however since I didn't get this accessory (already have a Bose sound system), the monitor has a 12v port free. Although Dell doesn't specify it, this port can be used to supply a constant 12v to power whatever device you want to plug into it. There is also a bonus, when the monitor is in standby or is turned off, the 12v power is cut as well.
14-Jan-2013
Raspberry Pi in a NES Case - Part 2 - Connecting the controllers and finishing up
This entry follows on from the previous entry: Raspberry Pi in a NES Case - Part 1 - Wiring up the front panel and external connectors
08-Jan-2013
Raspberry Pi in a NES Case - Part 1 - Wiring up the front panel and external connectors
Raspberry Pi is a great project computer, it's cheap ($35), runs Linux (or Risc OS) and has lots of resources available aroudn it.
18-Nov-2012
Building a Mac Pro Hackintosh - Part 3 - Fitting all the off the shelf components
This entry follows on from the previous entry: Building a Mac Pro Hackintosh - Part 2 - Cutting and preparing the case
17-Nov-2012
Building a Mac Pro Hackintosh - Part 2 - Cutting and preparing the case
This entry follows on from the previous entry: Building a Mac Pro Hackintosh - Part 1 - Stripping the case and adding front panel wiring
16-Nov-2012
Building a Mac Pro Hackintosh - Part 1 - Stripping the case and adding front panel wiring
For a long time I worked on laptops only (my MacBook Pro that I bought in 2009), now that I wasn't travelling so much and had the option of being able to play some games, a desktop seemed like a more attractive option.

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