Posts in Category: Projects

FRAMED update!

I just extended my collection with 2 broken Phones, taken apart and framed 😉

1 & 2 see post

3) My old Nokia N95 which I used around 2007. One time, the Display broke and I had to replace it but the party ripped fcc wire shorted out some other components on the board which rendered it unusable.

4) My Samsung S4 Mini. At its time one of the few ‘Mini’ smartphones on the market – with the downsides of less capable hardware. It served me well for almost 2 years but shocked me a few times when the battery was entirely dischaged. The lack of a charging LED made it look like it was gone for good since it would only turn on after about 5 minutes of charging. One time, it really didn’t turn on anymore. No visible damage and even a new (swappable!) battery didn’T help. -> To the wall!

To be continued 😉 …

More LEDs, Igor! Give me more LEDs!

As if 720 RGB and 720 warmwhite LEDs* wasn’t enough for a living room… [* 2*12m Led strips on the walls] – I added a light-up table!
Back in 2007 the first of my friends moved out from their parents home and got her own appartment. We celebrated – and I gave her a color-changing lounge-table like the ones our favourite bar had. It was a simple, wooden 50*50 frame with 4 legs, an acrylic-glass top and a color-changing LED-lightbulb.
Years later, in 2017, I bought my first sofa creating the need for a coffee table. As a tribute to the ‘Schollenspiel’ we created the year before, I decided to go for a hexagonal table with LED-strips, similar to the 60 LED-‘ice-floes’. [article and pictures of the game will be added in the near future]

Here’s what the building process looks like:

The frame is composed of white cupboard-shelfes and outfitted with 3 legs and wheels. An extension cord enters through the bottom to connect the power supply. The LEDs are arranged on a wooden hexagon, soldered together and placed on top of the receiver and power supply. To avoid the visibility of individual LEDs, the acrylic glass is coverd with sticky foil and then placed on top of the wooden rests on each side. A plastic corner-cover keeps the ‘glass’ in place and ensures spilled coffee/beer won’t get to the electronics.
As you can see, the LED-strips I still had lying around had 2 different tones of blue – and the wifi-controller in the pictures isn’t Alexa compatible. I since replaced these LED strips to have a unified colorspace and put in a controller similar to the one powering my wall-LEDs.
The LEDs can be controlled via smartphone or voice-control via Alexa.

The last picture shows a hexagonal wall-mounted frame with a Tequila-hat on display. It’s based on a hexagonal tray I found in a store and omitts the acrylic glass. The ‘picture’ is thin black plastic stuck to sticky foil and the LED strip runs around the inner edge of the tray. I’ve built a few of these simplified, wifi controllable versions so far =).

Shopping list:
– ~6m RGB-LED-Strip
– a wifi-led-controller (magic home compatible)
– a 12V 60W power supply
– extension cord with in-line switch
– a hexagonal inner-plate for LEDs
– a hexagonal bottom-plate of wood
– a hexagonal 6mm acrylic glass top
– plastic corner-cover + silicone
– white sticky foil as diffusor
– six side-covers, 100mm high
– inner wooden rests for glass
– 3 legs with attached wheels
– screws, glue, metal-angles, wire & solder

PCB milling and pogo-pin adapters

A few years back I started the initiative to build an open electronics lab for students at my university. Some friends quickly came aboard and together we convinced institutes to share barely used equipment, companies to give us discounts and managed to win a price, giving us some cash to spend on awesome tools. Last year, the company LPKF kindly offered to lend us a professional PCB milling machine.
Since I moved to a different town for work, I haven’t had much time to play with it or work on projects in general, but here are a few PCBs I recently milled.
The pogo pin adapters will be the programming interface for coming ESP8266-based Boards. They feature 2mm-pitch pogo-pins with a X-XXX layout to ensure polarity and allow to program the board from top, edge or bottom.

Building a new PC

In 2004 some friends and I decided to build gaming PCs. Later, as a student, there was no way around a laptop. But now I decided a PC makes sense to replace my aged T420 which still works but lags a lot when trying to be productive. It also opens up the opportunity to focus on portability when replacing my T420 with some ~10-12″ tablet/laptop hybrid since the powerful machine is already there. The focus on bus-speeds (fast SSD, newest chipset, fast ram ) definetly paid off. Despite still missing a dedicaded graphics card, it puts my T420 to shame without breaking a sweat. Hardware definetly has become nicer to look at!


Electronics (sadly) aren’t built for eternity. I bet you’ve got some broken gadgets lying around as well… Here’s what I started doing to mine:

1) My Sony Ericsson K750i was the phone I used around 2004-2007 and it was famous for a 2 MP autofocus camera as well as good sound. We’ve had a great time, pal, you deserve the honour of being framed.

2) My Sony actioncam, which I bought in 2014 was more of a disappointment. It’s intended use was underwater photography which should have worked great with the advertised 12 MP Sensor and 60m rated dive-housing. The pictures it took were only 2MP without any way to change it (12 MP is probably used for enhancement). And it ‘drowned’ while diving (somewhere above -32m) – which wasn’t due to dirt in the lid or improper sealing of the casing-door but due to a manufacturing defect allowing water to leak inbetween the plastic parts the ‘dive-door’ is made of. The removal of the battery couldn’t save it due to the soldered coincell I discovered later. Well, it looks better disassembled and framed anyway 😉

Bonus) My former 3.5′ HDD with the lid replaced by acrylic glass (no, it doesn’t spin anymore ^^)

To be continued 😉 …

Lighting up the living room

I’ve always loved LEDs sind I built my first 5mm-LED Flashlight in a ballpen-casing back in 1999. So LEDs were bound to become a part of my new appartment. For watching TV, partying or simply a nice, dimmable light I wanted to have indirect LED-lighting in my living room. Without wasting much space or money, I decided to mount it on the walls: A small cable-canal offeres a great solution to mount LED strips facing upwards and/or downwards while a black wooden cover-plane (~5cm tall) serves as ‘shade’ to avoid the glare of individual LEDs. Two RGBW-LED-controllers offer wifi connectivity and control via smartphone, tablet or Alexa (via the ‘Magic Home’ App). Here’s how the ~ 12m Warmwhite and ~12m RGB-Led-Strip look in my living room:
As you can see, they are bright enough to replace conventional lighting entirely.

Shopping-List ~ 130€:
– RGB-LED Strip, 60 [5050]-LEDs/m, 12m 24€
– WarmWhite LED-Strip, 60 LEDs/m, 12m 20€
– RGBW Wifi controller, *2 30€
– Power Supply, 60W *2 30€
– Cabel-Canal, 12m 8€
– Wooden 100cm*5cm*0.4cm-Panel * 14, 13€
– short screws, rawplugs, hot glue, black paint, 4m DC-cables & Tools

And a coffee-capsule-holder!

After building a nice teabag-shelf, I decided to build my own coffee-capsule-holder as well. More durable wood and more precise planning & cuts this time, same ‘teak-wood’-paint.

Shopping list:
– a backplate of wood
– some thin wooden bars (vertical dividers); height ~ capsule-height + 2mm
– some flat wooden pieces to prevent the capsules falling out the front
– some smoothened ‘stoppers’ to ensure the capsules have to be pulled/squeezed a little to come out at the bottom.

Building a Teabag shelf

Annoyed of getting teaboxes out of the shelf and opening them to finally be able to get a teabag? So was I – and built a solution: Most boxes can be used as teabag-spenders when put vertically but they require some kind of retractor to be able to pull one out. Other Teabags come in individual paper-wraps. Here’s my ‘cheap, quick & dirty’ teabag-shelf. [Yes, lasercut/cnc-milled or thicker wooden pieces would look more awesome but it serves it purpose – ( maybe I shouldn’t have covered it in ‘teak-wood’-paint though… :D) ]