Category Archives: Gadgets

Music Minder Automatic Power Controller for Hi-Fi Systems

Mixed in with some other gear I’m servicing, I found this old Music Minder power box. It’s not all that obvious what it’s for at first glance! Some digging around found an explanation in the June 1958 issue of Popular … Continue reading

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Mercury Switch Find

Digging through a seldom-used parts bin, I made a cool discovery: a set of four mercury switches, still intact: These are used as tilt and vibration sensors in mechanical systems. They’re heavy from the mercury inside, and it sloshes around … Continue reading

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AUX in Volvo Stock Head Unit Radios

Dangerous Prototypes shares an article detailing how Karl Hagström hacked an aux input to his 2007 Volvo V70 stock stereo. Why, why, why isn’t there an AUX input on my car stereo from 2007? Yes 2007 was before the big … Continue reading

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The Awkward Engineer AWK-105 Analog Meter Clock

A few years back, I did a roundup of the various meter clock projects which were floating around the Internet those days. Some were really intricate: I’m a bit late to the party, as this came out a few years … Continue reading

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555 timer teardown (and a Retrovoltage drum trigger project)

Ken Shirriff’s blog has a fantastic and detailed teardown of a 555 timer, the ubiquitous decades-old timer circuit that turns up in so many places: If you’ve played around with electronic circuits, you probably know the 555 timer integrated circuit, … Continue reading

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Retro 1956 Cyclometer VTVM – Hycon Model 615

A pretty cool, very rare piece of test equipment turned up on eBay recently: a 1956 Hycon model 615 AC/DC VTVM. This was a precursor of today’s digital, using analog servo circuitry to drive the numeric digit display. These were … Continue reading

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Retrofitting Light Fixtures with New, High Efficiency LED Bulbs

I posted a while back about LED filament bulbs that use the new silicon-on-glass manufacturing process to produce Edison bulbs with thin strips of LEDs. Perfect for where you want that vintage styling of an incandescent bulb without all the … Continue reading

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