Hacking My Vagina

Making a Vibrator That Listens to Your Body This project has been an astonishing little journey. Many of my previous projects were characterized by an amazing outpouring of effort to build something highly intricate and ultimately invisible. This is the opposite kind of project. A little bit of work and a little custom design to create something new and exciting that I can immediately use in my everyday life. It also happens to be a sex toy. In other... Read More

Duct tape RFID tag #1

This is just a messy first prototype, but I recently tried making an AVRFID tag on a substrate of duct tape. The first attempt involved: An upside-down strip of duct tape, as the base for everything else to stick atop 100 turns of AWG 40 magnet wire around a ~66mm diameter form, which I then haphazardly squished against the tape An ATtiny85 µC in the SOIC-8 package, programmed with the latest AVRFID firmware SMT 0.1 µF capacitor across... Read More

Neon Scope


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It’s so hard for me to clean up my office. I’ll see a random collection of objects that I’m supposed to be sorting, putting away, and/or throwing in the garbage.. and I can’t help playing with them instead. This time the objects in question were an old CCFL backlight inverter, a neon flicker-flame bulb, and a linear table from a discarded flatbed scanner. These flicker-flame bulbs have two metal plates in them. Normally, the... Read More

Cube64 GameCube to N64 Adaptor

Enjoy retro N64 games, but can’t stand the controller? That’s the situation I found myself in about 7 years ago, back in 2004. So I built an adaptor, to use Game Cube controllers on the N64. (tl;dr… Cube64-DX on Google Code) The adaptor hardware is very simple- all you need is a PIC microcontroller. I originally designed the project to work with the very popular at the time PIC16F84A, or some smaller 8-pin chips. It bit-bangs... Read More

Simple Optical Microphone/Pickup

This is another mini-project that began, like so many have, in a discussion with Scott over some beer. We wanted to build a new kind of speaker amplifier, which used mechanical closed-loop feedback to position the speaker cone exactly where the audio signal says it should be. We figured that, if done right, this could yield higher audio quality from cheaper speakers. So, that idea is pretty crazy, but it seemed just barely plausible enough that I... Read More

Gitaroo Man + DDR Pad

As much as I like the long, complicated projects that involve weeks of soldering, gluing, coding, tweaking, re-tweaking and debugging, it’s really refreshing to occasionally do something cool with no more than an hour or two of work. This mini-project was my boyfriend’s idea. It’s an experiment in cooperative two-player Gitaroo Man, played using a gamepad for attack/charge and DDR pad for defense. For those who aren’t familiar... Read More

“Luggable” power pack

Paul and I are leaving on a cross-country train trip next week, for Jen and Shawn’s wedding in Colorado. I’m sure the view will be great, and I’m bringing a handful of books- but Paul and I are geeks and we need our electro-doodads. If only we had a way to run our Nintendo DS and PSP for the ~30 hours that the trip will take… I sifted through my stockpile of junk, and came up with this: It’s kind of like a mega-size... Read More

Lego Sky

Over the weekend, I had a chance to finish up a project that I started (and immediately became distracted from) several weeks ago. In our house, Paul and I have a game room. This is where the video games live, as well as other assorted geekery. We have Magic cards, D&D books, some manga.. it’s super nerdy Best of all, Paul has a Lego city on display. We had been looking for an interesting way to add light to the city, so when I saw some... Read More

Mmm, crispy.

I hate power electronics. This was my first attempt at fixing a broken Cuisinart cordless kettle. The original symptoms: I notice the kettle occasionally turns itself off. If I turn it back on, it works again for a little while. This kept up for a day or so, then it refused to turn on at all. I open it up, and one pole of the dual-throw relay (really, a combination on/off switch and thermal switch) had melted its plastic supports. The contacts no... Read More

Latest Altoids artwork

Medium: Altoids tin, Keyspan USA-19HS (modified), PS2 Multitap (modified), 74HCT04 inverting buffer, discrete passive components, solder, wire, epoxy. Artist’s inspiration: Dorky boyfriend that crafts Final Fantasy Tactics characters with the precision of a meticulous dungeonmaster (Yes, it’s a USB Playstation memory card reader/writer. Firmware and source code for Mac OS and Linux is in Subversion. The software doesn’t yet support... Read More

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