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How To: USB WiFi Signal Extender

Several years ago, I reported on a USB wifi extender in parabolic form.  Now, we’ve got a slimmed down version using an empty food can and your USB wifi dongle.

It’s not the prettiest thing, but it works and will boost your signal strength enough to grab the channel from your neighbor who’s barely showing up in your wireless network.

USB wifi extender

Plus this hack gives you adjustable control both up and down, and left and right.

The concept here is getting the can to increase your signal.  In addition, mounting the can and USB wifi dongle to a portable camera stand.  This will give you the stability you need to keep the signal strength strong while in use.  It will also allow you to keep the position for use from day to day.

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Bring Back The Old School Typewriter, Via USB

There is nothing more satisfying for a finger work-out then using a laboriously slow old school typewriter.  Or on those cloudy days where you feel a bit melancholy and in the mood to write the start of a novel you’ll never finish, you may need to punch down on those exhausting keys of a manual typewriter to get the creative juices flowing.

Today I present you that possibility and better yet, with a touch of technology to  make your craving a bit more current.

USB typewriter

A well known steampunk modder [Jack Zylkin] has taken the traditional typewriter and transformed it’s key punching into a digital conversion of letters and numbers.  Using some customized PCBA, a USB connection and a bit of code it’s now possible to sync your great grandmother’s typewriter with your computer, or in this video, your iPad.

Your craving wont go without some minor cash flow issues, as you can purchase a pre-made [or pre-mod I should say] USB typewriter or you can buy a kit and down grade your very own typewriter and keep the family air loom alive and kicking.

To get more details visit the Etsy Shop to make your purchase or gather more information.

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USB Hack: Nexus One Turns Into Full Blown Portable Workstation

The love for Linux is that with a bit of tweaking you can do just about anything. Case in point: Sven Killig took the Nexus One, loaded up some code to control the USB host controller and is now running a full work station.

Now this sounds awesome. Sven can run a digital camera off his phone, stream video from a USB stick to his screen or even run a printer off the USB port. Check out the screen-shot of his work station…

USB Hack Nexus One

So if you’re like me, this project would be in the advanced level of Instructables for DIY mods, but thanks to Sven’s recording skills, we have a video to tell us how.

The best part of all this? He’s got the whole thing demonstrated for you on video, but not only that, you can hit up the down-loadable binaries from his website. And while he tried all of this on Android 2.2, which means its the only version of Android it’s been successfully tested on (at the moment), Sven believes that it will work on Android 2.1, too.

Source: SlashGear.com.

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Home Brew USB Lego Printer

At one time in most guy’s life, they are nuts for lego’s. It’s usually the 4-8 year range, but for some it continues on. Here is a great example of how this guy never let go of the dream. “Squirrelfantasy” created a felt-tip pen printer out of Legos, motors, a USB print driver and a pile of creativity.

The “Lego Felt-Tip 110” was designed and coded from scratch. Unlike your typical ink-jet printer, when the ink goes dry or begins to fade, just replace with a new felt-tip pen. Granted it’s only one color, but we all print blank anyway.

Not the most accurate printer, but an extremely accurate Lego printer.

Check out the video. Very entertaining.

Source: PCWorld.

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USB Flashrods

What do you get when you cross a Hot Wheels car and USB stick?  Flashrods.

We’ve seen plenty of mods for USBs and hot rods, but we found one guy making a part time job of it.

Sure you can do your own, but getting the masterpiece on the first try is hard, buy a Flashrod of $25 and have it done right.

There are 20+ styles to select and available in different GB capacities.

USB flashrod

Source:  DigitalDrops.

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Printer Cartridge USB Storage Drive – Great Hidding Spot

GetUSB.info reports on all many different USB hacks which take ordinary items around your house or office and turn them into something different.  Today we bring you the USB printer cartridge.

usb inkcartridge

This is a low tech project easy for just about anyone to do.  I wasn’t going to report on this because of it’s simplicity, but then I got to thinking.  This is a great way to have a USB drive with content you don’t want anyone else to find, hidden nicely in your inkjet printer.  At least for me, the color inkjet printer we use only prints black because we really didn’t need color and the cartridges are too expensive.

The full USB hack is laid out really well at Instructables website, but it boils down to 5 basic steps:

Step 1 = Gather up your tools

Step 2 = Break into the USB stick and disassemble the inkjet cartridge [messy]

Step 3 = Clean everything out

Step 4 = Position the USB stick inside the case [ink cart full of silicon]

Step 5 = Button it up and use.

Considering the simplicity of this project, you also have a low budget, about zero cents.

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3D Printing

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