Category Archives: Hacks

Just as the name says. Hardware hacking.

Dewalt DW411 vacuum adapter – 3D print

I have been doing some woodworking prvacAdapter_preview_featuredojects lately, and got tired with my palm sander constantly clogging with dust. The sander did have a vacuum adapter once, but must have fallen out of the transoceanic shipping container or something similar. Rather than trolling through ebay (Latgalīte!) or amazon for a used one, I drafted a replacement in SetchUp and printed up a new one. Nothing much, but it comes in handy. If someone else needs a copy, I have posted it in thingiverse for anyone who needs a copy.

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Improved iBolt xProDock Latch

About a year ago I ordered the iBolt xProDock for my Samsung Note3, and have been quite satisfied with it, except for one niggle – the latch holding the phone is spring loaded, and it is nearly impossible to attach or remove the phone from the dock single handed. With one hand you need to pull the spring loaded latch up, then with the other hand remove the phone. Last week, the latch finally broke. Rather than buy a new dock, I decided to improve upon the design. Continue reading

PWM Based LED Driver

** Updated code for better performance and stability [26 Feb 2015, rev.3]

It has been quite some time since my last post – as often happens, life intervenes and this time just a bit too much hospital time both for myself and one of my kids. Things are good now and normal can resume…

Black-Decker-FSL18FL-Firestorm-18-volt-FlashlightFor years I have had this Black&Decker FireStorm FSL18 flashlight, but hardly ever used it due to its anemic light quality. The fixture is powered with an 18v battery pack and uses a KPR18v0.3A bulb putting out 7 candlepower when running at 18 volts. 1 candlepower = 1 lumen. Compared with the brightness of the 12v power LEDs I have been working with lately, the brightness from this incandescent bulb is not much better than a glassed candle.

The trigger for upgrading this flashlight came one day when the wife complained an LED lightbulb had failed in her workshop. I replaced the bulb, but rather than throw it away, I took it down to my workshop to disassemble and identify what had broken. Continue reading

Upgraded My HP Touchpad in the Nick of Time

Back when HP was having its big Touchpad Firesale, my wife picked one up for me as a Christmas present. Loved it. A few years on, however, I find I am using it less and less, as it does not do the things I need. Simple things, like Citrix remote sessions, so that I can quickly login to work and help when an issue comes up. Even Netflix or Vudu would be great.

I had heard of people working on an Android build for the Touchpad, and after a few hours of poking around, I decided to try it out. I mostly worked with the information in this page: Continue reading

Featured on

Imagine my surprise on Monday morning, when WordPress sent me an alert of significant activity on this site. Over 40 visitors within the last hour – that is very unusual. Usually it is much less than that per day. I took a look at the detailed statistics and all of the hits were coming in from It appears someone had submitted my article describing a cheap power LED driver to their editorial team, and it got accepted! YAY! Continue reading

Simple Constant Current Driver for a High Power LED

** Schematic diagram corrected and updated **

Update: New post highlighting a ATtiny85 based PWM LED Driver!

In my previous post, I slapped together a quick LED lighting solution for my workbench… but it is truly a hack. What I really want to do is make a simple constant current driver, so the power LEDs can be used in other projects. One of those projects is an LED swimming pool light. It needs to be running at maximum brightness and low cost.

Updated Schematic, correcting op-amp connections

After much digging and testing, I found a simple circuit using a power FET, an OP Amp and 0.5 ohm resistor.

Continue reading