Good Old Fashioned Mixtape

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This is something I think my generation is missing: mixtapes made by friends. You can show friends new music, or show someone you care. Anyhow, my girlfriend and I are really big fans of Perks of Being a Flower, and in there Ponytale Derek gives a mixtape, so I thought I would make a modern version of this.

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Hardware for this one was pretty easy. Components include an old cassette tape and an old flash drive. Remove the flash drive from its housing. Measure it, and file away a spot for it on the cassette tape. Taking apart the cassette tape is easy, its just four screws located on each corner, and one screw in the middle. Just be careful, there’s a lot of little parts that you can accidentally lose and the cassette tape won’t look right upon reassembly.

Bonus points for adding a personal engraved message. I wrote it backwards on the inside so it looks nicer and feels smooth on the outside.

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As for making an actual mixtape, I used Audacity and imported some of my favorite songs and recorded some commentary from me. And since a flash drive (mine was a 4gb) can hold a lot more than a cassette tape, I included the original audio files, some pictures, and a movie.

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New Life to Old Radio

My mother recently recovered her father’s old radio. It’s from either the 40’s or even prior to that. It’s beauty inspired me to bring new life to it.

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Being that I’m an electronics novice, I didn’t know how to repair the old electronics. It looked like the plug had disintegrated and at least one of the vacuum tubes looked shot. On top of that, the inners of it looks like a mess of electronic components. I gave up on trying to revive the old, and gutted it for the new. I didn’t want to make a whole large project, so I took the easy way out on all of the electronics.

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After removing the old electronics, I installed a car speaker from my old car, which fit rather well. For an amplifier, I used a car amp, which also fit snug. Add a switch and an old DC adapter and I have sound! It supplies pretty good sound quality, allows me to easily hook up an iPod or other device, and there is plenty of extra space in the case for modification (possible rasPi with pandora and NPR player?). Hopefully this is only the first chapter in this project.

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The video quality does a poor job showing how it actually sounds.

Recycled Electronics Flower

I have a lot of old and now useless electronics. It seems sad that all of this stuff just ends up in a landfill. So recently I took apart a few things and found pretty parts.

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The outer rings are from in between hard drive disks, superglued together. The ring just inner of that is part of the stepper motor that spins the disk. The innermost ring is what I believe to be a filter from an old printer power supply. The stem is a thick wire I had sitting around, and the colorful wires around that are from an Ethernet cable.

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Then to make it really pretty I added some color changing LEDs. They are just hot-glued in, but that seems to hold them well. These are really great because they don’t require any microcontroller, just apply 3V and they change colors. The large solid wire I used for ground, and the spiraling green wire I used for 3+ volts. Right now I’m just using a battery, but I’m hoping to make it work off of old solar cells from broken outdoor solar lights.

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