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  • OT - your favorite hacks

    The word "hack" is overused nowadays. But to me, a "hack" is using something beyond its intended purpose--or cobbling things together to do the job of something else. I love to see the ingenuity of tinkerers using whatever's on-hand to make things work.

    So I invite everyone here to share their favorite hacks--perhaps something brilliant you came up with, or one you saw somewhere and tried yourself.

    Here's one that inspired me a few years ago. While I didn't quite follow his plans exactly (I used sheet metal instead of plastic cups), it works REALLY well, and I use it every time I'm in the garage. http://hackaday.com/2009/07/19/cyclo...st-seperation/
    Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

    Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
    Twitter: @undefinition1

  • #2
    Re: OT - your favorite hacks

    Good thread Paul, hopefully it picks up. I don't have anything to offer right now, but a future "hack" I'd like to pull off is some sort of Y on the dust collector for my router table... one hose going to my fence, and one going to something that somehow draws dust down through where the bit comes through the table top.
    "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
    "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

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    • #3
      Re: OT - your favorite hacks

      Just stumbled across one today, as a matter of fact. Might make for some unique looking spikes.
      Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: OT - your favorite hacks

        Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post
        Just stumbled across one today, as a matter of fact. Might make for some unique looking spikes.
        All these years of drinking wine and using bottle stoppers....Great Idea!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: OT - your favorite hacks

          Originally posted by mattsk8 View Post
          Good thread Paul, hopefully it picks up. I don't have anything to offer right now, but a future "hack" I'd like to pull off is some sort of Y on the dust collector for my router table... one hose going to my fence, and one going to something that somehow draws dust down through where the bit comes through the table top.
          I did just that on my router table.. was able to use the dust hood meant for the fixed base (it's the same base that bolts to the table, in my case). Used to blow dust all over the place from underneath the table. Now I'd estimate it captures 90%.

          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...11#post1993511

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          • #6
            Re: OT - your favorite hacks

            Originally posted by matt996 View Post
            I did just that on my router table.. was able to use the dust hood meant for the fixed base (it's the same base that bolts to the table, in my case). Used to blow dust all over the place from underneath the table. Now I'd estimate it captures 90%.

            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...11#post1993511
            Nice and thanks! I used to have that same table, did a LOT with it and its a nice router table. I need to figure something out that works with a router lift. Considering making some sort of housing around the motor and everything, but I don't want to cause issues with it overheating or anything like that.

            As far as hacking goes... My bro in law, a friend and I used to go fishing up north in MI every Labor Day weekend, kind of out in the middle of nowhere. I was about 25 years old and had this lifted Chevy truck and we were driving back to the camp site when I saw this huge mound of dirt and decided to charge it with the truck. When we came back down, the battery hold down broke, the battery fell out and the hot wire for the battery welded a hole in my transmission line. So being carbureted and not much fuel pressure, I first wrapped the hole in the trans line with electrical tape, then cut a piece off my rubber fuel line and took the clamp and the piece of rubber hose from my fuel line and clamped it over the hole (didn't necessarily need the clamp on the fuel line cuz there isn't more than 5psi). Finished our weekend and got me the 2 hour drive back to my house . Moral of the story... always keep electrical tape in your truck :p
            "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
            "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: OT - your favorite hacks

              'Course, nowadays, they sell us things they want us to hack. Doesn't that kind of ruin the fun?



              In all seriousness, the other day a friend of mine told me how he turned his Pi into a VPN concentrator (which doubled as a media player, naturally), and for the first time I really thought I need to get one.
              Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

              Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
              Twitter: @undefinition1

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: OT - your favorite hacks

                Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                The word "hack" is overused nowadays. But to me, a "hack" is using something beyond its intended purpose--or cobbling things together to do the job of something else. I love to see the ingenuity of tinkerers using whatever's on-hand to make things work.
                Have you ever looked up the actual dictionary definition of "hack?" It really isn't very flattering!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: OT - your favorite hacks

                  Duck/Duct tape is even better!


                  Originally posted by mattsk8 View Post
                  As far as hacking goes... My bro in law, a friend and I used to go fishing up north in MI every Labor Day weekend, kind of out in the middle of nowhere. I was about 25 years old and had this lifted Chevy truck and we were driving back to the camp site when I saw this huge mound of dirt and decided to charge it with the truck. When we came back down, the battery hold down broke, the battery fell out and the hot wire for the battery welded a hole in my transmission line. So being carbureted and not much fuel pressure, I first wrapped the hole in the trans line with electrical tape, then cut a piece off my rubber fuel line and took the clamp and the piece of rubber hose from my fuel line and clamped it over the hole (didn't necessarily need the clamp on the fuel line cuz there isn't more than 5psi). Finished our weekend and got me the 2 hour drive back to my house . Moral of the story... always keep electrical tape in your truck :p

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: OT - your favorite hacks

                    I actually had a HVAC contractor make a bit on "duck work". Needless to say, he didn't get the job.

                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      Re: OT - your favorite hacks

                      Just because they're on the bench right now.
                      Hacking up (ahem, excuse me) a fume hood. Trying some different configurations before I assemble a permanent solution.

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                      ~99%
                      Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery
                      Make me a poster of an old rodeo
                      Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
                      To believe in this livin' is just a hard way to go

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                      • #12
                        Re: OT - your favorite hacks

                        Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                        But to me, a "hack" is using something beyond its intended purpose--or cobbling things together to do the job of something else. I love to see the ingenuity of tinkerers using whatever's on-hand to make things work.
                        Back around 1975 I had graduated from college with a degree in philosophy, so I did what some philosophy majors do...got a job as an electric organ technician. Yes, I actually had a job where I would go to someone's house, and the woman opens the door, and I say "I'm here to service your organ", whereupon she pays me $75 an hour for my services. Back on topic, I had access to lots of parts and boards from electric organs.

                        The picture shows a clock made from a Lowrey organ chord board. Hmmm...12 notes in a scale, 12 hours in a day...that should work.

                        There is logic that decodes the LED display segments to determine the hour and quarter hour events. It starts in the key of C, then C#, etc. The tick tock uses the root-fifth output of the chord generator. Quarter after is a guitar strum on the key of the hour. Quarter till is a strum seventh. Half hour is a chord chime in that key. The hour uses the piano arpeggio output to play a sequence of notes in the new key. My dad had perfect pitch, and he absolutely loved this thing.

                        It's really very cool and I didn't have the heart to throw it away after my mom dropped it for the nth time. So it's been sitting on the floor collecting dust until I can replace the batteries and re-glue everything to the frame. Whenever the power went out and came back on, the LED's would flash and trigger all of the sounds, so I had to add those batteries.

                        Anyway, it's definitely a hack.

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                        Free Passive Speaker Designer Lite (PSD-Lite) -- http://www.audiodevelopers.com/Softw...Lite/setup.exe

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                        • #13
                          Re: OT - your favorite hacks

                          My shop is under the garage. In the shop, there's a corrugated steel ceiling that's unfortunately very low. I can reach up and put my hand flat against it, and I'm only 5'7" tall.

                          But steel is magnetic, and I can reach it, so I decided to install some diffusion cloth on PVC pipe frames that easily swing into place for photography. I also used very strong magnets (all from Apex magnets, BTW) to hold a roll of seamless background paper. Now when I'm working on a speaker or other object, I can have a studio setup in a jiffy on my tablesaw. Modern digital cameras seem to get along fine with the CFL lamps in clamp-on reflectors shining through the diffusion cloth.

                          Here's the shop with the panels in their stowed position, held in place with magnetic hooks...



                          Here's a view of the diffusers and background paper deployed ....



                          And here's a shot of a friend's product made with the arrangement...



                          I guess that I hacked my tablesaw for this arrangement. No wonder it's my most used item in the shop - it's used for cutting wood, serves as my workbench when a piece of MDF is on top, and is a photo studio table.
                          Bill Schneider
                          -+-+-+-+-
                          www.afterness.com/audio

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                          • #14
                            Re: OT - your favorite hacks

                            Originally posted by Bob Brines View Post
                            I actually had a HVAC contractor make a bit on "duck work". Needless to say, he didn't get the job.

                            Bob
                            Must of been hungry if he "bit" a duck rather than bid on a duct.

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                            • #15
                              Re: OT - your favorite hacks

                              Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                              'Course, nowadays, they sell us things they want us to hack. Doesn't that kind of ruin the fun?



                              In all seriousness, the other day a friend of mine told me how he turned his Pi into a VPN concentrator (which doubled as a media player, naturally), and for the first time I really thought I need to get one.
                              I had really high hopes for the RPi and there is some great free software available to turn it into a media streamer, etc...

                              Sadly, after I played with it for a couple of weeks, I eventually gave up because my goal was to have a wireless music streamer and the Wifi connectivity is horribly inconsistent. I'm still unsure if this is a quality control problem and varies between units. Some people say the Wifi is fine, many say it's garbage. Might be that some people having no problems just haven't tried anything significant over Wifi.

                              If you do get one (or perhaps before) you might be interested in these related threads:

                              http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...ow-to-have-fun

                              http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...dio-card/page3

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