Hardware Hacking

"And remember, if the ladies don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!"
(--Red Green, from "The Red Green Show")

Sometimes, it's hard to find just the right gizmo you need...  Either they don't make it anymore, or it's not available with mix of features you need, or your particular requirements are considered a "specialty" item and it's just too bloody expensive.  And sometimes, it's just more fun to improvise and build it yourself out of whatever you have handy!

As the old cliché goes, "necessity is the mother of invention."  Most of these hacks came about because I ran into some kind of problem trying to use the items as-is: it wouldn't fit in the intended case, or it lacked some feature I wanted, or something wasn't designed to connect to something else.  Others were made at the behest of friends who had an idea in mind, but didn't know how to build what they wanted, or were done on commission for someone who needed an unusual piece of equipment rebuilt or repaired.  If you find any of them interesting or useful, you're welcome to use the information – but please, don't try any of these hacks yourself unless you have some idea of what you're doing!  I assume no responsibility for any damage you may do, either to your equipment or to yourself, if you just start hacking around without even knowing which end of a soldering iron is which! :)

ODYSSEY 2K7! completed Jan. 21st, 2007

More! classic! 8-bit! console! customizing!  This time, a vintage Odyssey2 console gets both an A/V-output modification, and gets rewired to take Atari 2600-style joysticks.

COLECOVISION-AV completed Nov. 24th, 2005

Another classic 8-bit console modding project, this time adding A/V outputs to a 1982 Colecovision system.

INTELLIVISION-AV completed Nov. 10th, 2005

Modifying a vintage 1979 Intellivision game console to have proper A/V outputs for modern TV sets.

CHIPLOADER STATION completed Jul. 7th, 2005

Rebuilding a custom, in-house bench rig used for programming various types of chips...

PROJECT 1541 completed Jan. 1st, 2005

In which a dead Commodore 1541 floppy drive is resurrected as a new home for an external USB/Firewire-to-removable IDE drive system...

"Doing what I can with what I've got."
(--Burt Gummer, from "Tremors 2")