Current Projects

[van picture] The Red Menace
1981 Ford E150 Compressed Natural Gas Conversion

Conversion complete! Nearly 1,000 miles driven on clean-burning methane. Now, making it run right is a whole different story. The van project has been on hold while I turn my attention to more immediately gratifying electronics stuff; for now, follow the link for some basic specifications and pictures of the installation.

[bus picture] The Old-School Bus
11,500 pounds of Detroit Iron

A rolling relic of an era marked by the coexistence of Elvis Presley and Sid Vicious. Will the Great White Whale outlast the Pequod? The struggle is chronicled at G-Cipher HQ.
UPDATE: "From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." See the victory party here.

[Volvo 240 picture] Vicious Old Lady Vehicular Onslaught
Information about Volvo 240 automobiles

Painstakingly gathered via massive expenditure of blood, sweat and tears.

[Theremin picture] Vacuum Tube Theremin
From an original schematic by Doug Forbes

To the left is a picture of my primitive prototype, which has since been torn apart so that other circuits may live. It was at least partly successful, despite defiance of all sane RF parts placement conventions. A more considered approach is in the works.

[move away from things that might fall/face away from windows and walls] Thor's Hammer
Analog modular drum synthesizer and sequencer

Boom, tss. Boom, tss. Although every added capability suggests a tantalizing stage of completion, a modular music synthesizer can never be "finished". The promise of perpetual creative gratification makes this the perfect DIY project, and a recurring focus of the Engram Enterprises research labs' energies.

[Mystery Machine picture] The Mystery Machine
Anatomy of An Elaborate Device of Unknown Purpose

What is this thing? What was its intended purpose? How many hapless EE students died in the course of its construction? For answers to none of these questions, follow the link above.

[Penguin Generator] Pocket Penguin Function Generator
Minty fresh waveforms for your analytical pleasure

A simple exercise in shoehorning an XR2206 and its attendant discrete components into the smallest space possible.

[Liquid Crystal Display] Fun with LCDs
or Liquid Crystal Displays; modules thereof; application and practice

Mainly presenting an economical method for driving HD44780-compatible LCD modules from the Universal Serial Bus under Linux, rather than the parallel port as is the style of our times. Under construction.

[Circuit Board] Making Your Mark
Easy, inexpensive methods for etching metal

Featuring a tutorial on galvanic etching, as well as an improved method of toner transfer which produces results comparable to photoresist when used with printed circuit boards. Under construction; follow link for photo gallery.

[C-Net wireless card] CNet Wireless Card External Antenna Mod
Generally applicable to any re-badged Eumitcom WL11000-1

A brief, unoriginal howto covering the addition of an external antenna jack to the CNet CNWLC-811-3V, one of a large family of PCMCIA wireless cards based on Eumitcom's Prism2 implementation which also includes the SMC-2632.

[blivet logo] Miscellaneous Small Projects and Technical Information

Including diagnosis and replacement of defective capacitors in various consumer electronic devices.

Older Projects

[ViewFrame Spectra picture] nView ViewFrame II+2, Spectra, and Spectra Plus LCD overhead projection panels

Here's the pinout these devices use, reverse engineered by yours truly, along with standard PC and Macintosh pinouts for reference. These panels work well, in spite of their age and relatively low 640x480 resolution. First-person killing games are a completely different experience, especially when the sound is routed through a real stereo system. The only problem lies with my ancient grade-school surplus overhead projector, which overheats the panel and causes the LCD to wash out after several minutes.

Virtually Defunct Projects

Intergraph InterAct 220 dual-monitor CAD workstation
This white elephant has been collecting rainwater in my driveway for four years. For a pretty picture of an identical beast, click here.
Sony BVH-1100 1" Hi-Band VTR & BVT-2000 Time Base Corrector
Thinkin' 'bout selling these on eBay.
Super-8 TeleCine Projector
Went so far as to make up a template for a five-bladed shutter, then decided a digital film scanner would be a better idea.
3/4" U-Matic cuts-only editing suite
Assembled a complete rig, two Panasonic NV-9600 decks and matching edit controller. Only problem: missing proprietary 33-pin control cables. Attempted to retrofit equipment with 34-pin Centronics connectors, achieved mixed results--possibly botched the pinout. Reckon non-linear editing is the wave of the future anyway; should've left these cranky, fragile monsters on the auction block. Sony U-Matic decks still rule, though.

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