tibia_mod: (Default)
After recent events, I've learned a lot of people on the internet need to learn some lessons in respecting copyright and ownership of intellectual property.  Seriously, educate yourselves before you get into trouble.  There are some excellent, simple sites that explain copyright.  Columbia University's website is an excellent beginner resource. So many of you are well on the way to a lawsuit, and you just love to personally insult me for taking the legal and professional steps to protect my work. 

Contrary to what many of you seem to think, my work is copyrighted the second it is "fixed in any tangible medium of expression."  This includes being posted on my personal blog.  I have every legal right to ask that instructions and images taken from this site and reposted be immediately removed.  I will protect my work to the extent that the law allows me to do so.  HOWEVER, if you would like to work out an agreement where you repost a tutorial or helpful image with PROPER PERMISSION, please feel free to contact me.  I am not unreasonable.  I just want to see my work respected.

Unless otherwise indicated, all content on the tibia-mod journal is copyright T. Mulder.  All rights reserved.  Reposting, editing, or republishing this content without explicit permission is illegal.

tibia_mod: Logo from Millennium TV show (Millennium Logo)
So I've actually typed this entry up in its entirety several times, only to have it disappear completely when it's time to post. Every single time, I turn off the computer and crawl into bed, defeated. Then the next day, some inevitable life complication arises, and it's weeks before I have the time and the energy to try again. As always, thumbnails link to full-size pictures.

PhotobucketSo here's both halves after I've sprayed the Great Stuff foam.  I've had to trim them down slightly to fit in the tank.  As it happens, this is the 20 gallon long tank before it broke.  Cheeto's now in a 29 gallon that's been laid on its back to give him even more space.  The only difference between the two sizes is height, and that's wasted on a mostly terrestrial gecko.  The alien skull is visible on the right side, but the party cup that will become the moist hide is completely buried in foam.


This is the right side shortly after I started cutting the foam away.  Now the party cup is visible.  I kept carving, trying to make it look like stacked rocks. 

PhotobucketThis is the left side, after I've finished carving and applied several coats of thinset mortar.  I've cut a path leading to the skull so it can be used as the cool hide.  This angle gives a pretty good idea of how I've made it so he can climb all over.  Oh yeah.  Cheeto's been growing like crazy and now has definite pre-anal pores, so there's no question anymore.  My little dude's a man. 


The first color spray paint I used was a dark brown.  It took a few coats to get everything covered from every angle and to get down into the corners of the "steps" I carved.  In the future, I'd probably use brush on paint.  I can't remember how many coats of paint before I switched to a lighter shade of brown, but that only went on some parts of the background.  After that, I used Krylon's "Make It Stone" for a bit of texture and a sandstone effect.  Once that dried, it was at least a half dozen coats of clear coat to seal it all up.

PhotobucketThis time, I had the foresight to get a picture outside in daylight, so you can actually see the colors.  At the thinset stage, I really wasn't impressed with my work.  I was pretty much ready to junk it and start over.  I'm actually rather pleased with how well it ended up, though.  I guess once again, I owe my mother thanks.  She got on my case to just finish it, she thought it looked good.  I'm glad she was right again.


Here's the two pieces installed.  Please excuse the large reflector in the foreground.  With the tank on its side, I have to aim the ceramic heat emitter in the screen side, so it's clipped to the top drawer of my dresser.  This means that drawer is open a bit, and Cheeto's discovered that there's lots of soft clothes down there to poop on.  Twice now, he's come streaking out as soon as I open the door to feed him and spot clean.  I've got some flexwatt heating tape on order, as soon as it arrives, I'm going to prop the tank up on some lumber and install the heat tape.  Then I should be able to ditch the CHE entirely. 

PhotobucketDespite being in shed here, Cheeto really enjoys the new background. I think it took all of four hours for him to figure out how to get behind it.  I really don't want to encourage that, so I took some paper towel and crammed it along the top.  I keep meaning to replace it with something better, perhaps burlap or even some nice remnant fabric, but I really haven't had the time to go to the craft store. 

If you look closely, you can see a damp spot in front of the skull hide.  That's where I had to wet the excavator clay and re-mold it.  For the most part, it holds up rather well.  However, Cheeto's turned out to be a digger, so all the excavator clay at the base of the background is now loose sand.  I'd like to pull the excavator clay out or mix it with some chemical free soil and up the substrate depth to four inches or so, since he genuinely seems to like digging.  I'm aware that particulate substrate is considered by some as an impaction risk, but the more I read and research, the more I'm starting to side with those who say that healthy animals kept properly can pass small amounts of soil and sand.  I'm still anti-calcium sand, but the more I read about natural burrowing substrate, the more I really think it's a good idea.  The fact of the matter is that since I put him in the tank with the excavator clay and proper hides, he's been far more active and has had a fantastic appetite.  His sheds and fecal movements are regular, and he's stopped screaming at the rats.  He's also coming into his adult colors.
He appears to be a hypomelanistic, but the spots on his head mean he's not a baldy.  He's getting quite the carrot tail, though.  The orange spreads and gets more vibrant with every shed.  Although the poor lighting in my bedroom makes him look like an eclipse morph, he isn't actually.  His eyes are the normal grey.   Fantastic appetite.  He'll gladly eat mealworms, crickets, roaches, phoenix worms, waxworms, meal pupae, and even the rare meal beetle.  He's not so fond of me, but we're working on that.  Maybe someday, he and I will actually be friends.  Not yet, though.

tibia_mod: (Mulder Jacket)
I never did post any pics of my completed anole setup. Soon, though. Right now, I'm busting my butt to get a leo set up in a decent enclosure while working 60+ hours a week. I've just been too busy to post here, although I'm going to cut back on my internet presence elsewhere in order to fix that. This is a really cool project, if I might toot my own horn, and maybe someone else can benefit from these posts. Thumbnails link to larger pics.

First up, the bare bones. It's a 20 gallon long with a built in sliding screen top. There's a few pieces of cardboard and styrofoam fitted to the back and sides. More about those in a bit. The alien skull and the rock are two of the furnishings I'm planning on incorporating.

The cardboard/foam is in two pieces for ease in installing. They've been temporarily taped to form the proper corner, then I hit them up with the Great Stuff spray foam.

I decided to embed the alien skull right into the foam.  The next step is carving the foam down to resemble the arid rocky area that leos inhabit in the wild.  This block's cured and ready to carve, but I think I'll just do them both tomorrow.   They'll then get a layer of unsanded tile grout, then paint and sealer.  Look for an update in a few days!

tibia_mod: (Default)
I decided a while ago that this would be the summer I set up a terrarium and got some lizards.  I've kind of fallen in love with green anoles.  They're small,cheap, and fairly hands-off.  I've wanted lizards most of my life, and I'd like to own more exotic lizards, but I wanted to start with anoles.  I also decided I absolutely wanted a live-plant terrarium, so I got a few plants.  Thumbnails link to full-size pics.
From left to right, there's a shoot from my rubber tree plant, a coleus, and something that was labeled "Green Plant" at the grocery store.  I believe it might be a philodendron?  I'm not sure.  In any case, I put it in the party cup temporarily so the roots could spread out a bit.

I picked up a 20 gallon tall tank, and put down about a two-inch layer of glass beads and clay planting balls to form an underground water source.  There's a small pump in the far right corner that I planned on turning into a waterfall.  In the foreground is a potted ivy I picked up.

Here's the bottom after I laid down a layer of screen, then a bag of soil mixed with vermiculite.  It should hold water better than plain soil.  It's also really obvious where the pump is buried. 

Now I've got the plants in place, and tossed a chunk of mopani wood in front of the fountain.  I wanted the plumbing and cord concealed better, however.

I spent about four hours gluing together rocks to form a really nice little waterfall that'd sit in the corner of the tank.  Unfortunately, it fell apart right after I turned the water on.  I'd used hot glue, as that's what was recommended, but it's pretty clear to me that it just won't hold up.

I found a corkwood hollow log at the pet store, so I tweaked the hose a bit with some household plumbing parts.  The log is sitting on some aquarium gravel.

I don't want anyone climbing down into the log and getting stuck, so I filled it with rocks, then covered the outlet with a large shell.  The water trickles down the side of the log and into a bed of stones in the corner.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with that chunk of mopani.  I'm weaving some cargo net style hangings out of twine to hang in the tank, and I've got some nice twisty branches I also want to hang.  I really need to increase the climbing space in the tank.  I've concentrated on the ground so far, and the little dudes really like to climb.
tibia_mod: David Duchovny as Hank Moody with a surprised expression. (Moody Freakout)
Since I'm getting anoles later this summer, i decided to start my own colony of feeder roaches.  I've been researching this for a while, and it looks like dubia roaches are easier to keep than crickets, more size-appropriate for anoles, and overall better nutrition.  Pics of my setup and a few of my roaches behind the cut.

Read more... )

tibia_mod: (Default)
Finally got around to "replacing" Lazlo, my dead shop computer. Probie's been given new life after the totally random and weird screen breakage incident of last fall.


I've also been working on a few other little things. I'm turning an old scanner into a lightbox for drawing, and I'm modding a pile of original GameBoys. Well, a few at least. The main one I'm working on now will have an EL panel backlight, a pro sound mod, and a few other goodies. I've got a red and a yellow that I want to get fancy with the painting, but the one I'm doing now is just going to be a plain grey brick. I'm hoping to get more done this summer. Might even put together a quick and dirty tutorial for replacing the touchscreen on a Palm Pixi.
tibia_mod: David Duchovny as Hank Moody with a surprised expression. (Moody Freakout)

Still modding, tinkering, fixing, and playing.  School is just RAPING me up the ass, though.  Especially now that I am officially an employee of the Environmental Analysis Laboratory.  I suppose I could post some of my work there in the lab... like running acid analysis of hops.  Fuck yes science and beer!  I guess I could have posted a more detailed write-up of my repair, releathering, and tuning of Sugar Island's Opus 7694 Möller.  And yes, I did use my 3DS to tune a pipe organ.  Suck on that, Balrog.  Video games are NOT worthless. 

PhotobucketAside from the major pipe organ maintenence, I've really just done some minor projects.  Most needed to be done ages ago, to be honest.  Like my damn mini amp.   The fucking cord just dangled everywhere, dragged on the ground, and got in the way. Constantly.  I kept bending the prongs, and always neeeded to straighten them out.  Or dry them off.  Or clean mud off them. 

PhotobucketHowever, once a sailor, always a sailor, and I went down to the local boatworks to solve my issue.  A black plastic rope cleat and some stainless steel screws and all is well. 

And now to cram my MP3 player full of Pink Floyd, Mark Snow, Alestorm, and Atreyu before I go to bed so I can rock out in lab.

tibia_mod: David Duchovny as Hank Moody with a surprised expression. (Moody Freakout)
My apartment is really old and doesn't have very many outlets. I can only plug in so many splitters and stuff before I draw too much, and the circuit breaker is down in the hippie's apartment. Obviously, I want as little to do with him as I possibly can. As I was unpacking my video game consoles, I realized that the Saturn, both PS2s, the PSOne, and the Dreamcast all used the same basic AC power cord. The PS2Slim had it plug into an AC/DC converter box, but it's the same type of cord. Since I never use more than one console at a time, I decided to mod the N64 and GameCube power adapters to use the same cord.
Busy afternoon... )

Next up, I'm going to put a 9V 1A DC converter in a box with the same type of power connector, and a regular power jack on it.  Then, I'll make up some cords for the NES, SNES, SMS, and Genesis/32X that will plug into the box.  Then, all my consoles except my Wii will share the same power cord.  First, I need some more jacks like that, though. 

tibia_mod: (Default)
I think I've finished painting the mouse. I want to fill the window with some kind of glue, but I need the paint to fully cure before I can tape it off and do that. It's supposed to take a week, but it's been so humid lately, I might just give it two.


Not a whole lot more to say.  The piano will supposedly be moved down to the shop this week.  Aside from that, I defrosted the fridge.  Nothing really big happened.

tibia_mod: Logo from Millennium TV show (Millennium Logo)
I'm done with the electronic side of the mouse. As usual, all thumbnails link to larger pictures.

PhotobucketHere you can see the extra green LED I've added is working. It's actually under my finger, so I could take a picture without it getting all washed out. I grabbed the power from the headers that connect the two circuit boards together. I may need to add a resistor in there, if it's too bright, but I need to finish the cosmetic part first. It's not very obvious, but I've also changed the low-battery indicator light to green. Photobucket

Over here, this is the guts shoved back in the casing. I've cut out most of the back, under where the window will be. I might have to get a bit creative with glue to prevent light leakage, but that will come later.

PhotobucketAnd finally, the window itself in the process of being cut out.  I'm actually about half-way done in this picture.  It's totally cut out now, and I've started painting it.  It's going to still be purple.  But I don't want it to say "BELKIN" on it, so I sanded that off and I'm starting clean.  I might be able to finish the painting tomorrow, but it will have to sit for at least a week after that before I can finish it off.  It takes that long for a full paint cure. 

And that's where that is.  I had the screws sitting in a container on my workbench at home, but all my tools were packed and moved to the shop.  I seem to have misplaced them, but I'm not particularly concerned.  If I don't find the exact screws, I'm sure I have some that will fit.  In any case, I'm kinda busy as fuck with all the repairs and cleaning the apartment needs. Then I can move in. Joy unbounded, or some shit like that.
tibia_mod: (STFU)
A change in employment and living arrangements have led to me using the shop as a shop. What a concept. I'm also doing more projects, so I will hopefully keep this journal updated more often. I "celebrated" Independence Day by working down at the shop. I finally got my benchtop turned back into a workspace. The thumbnails link to full-sized pictures.

Before:                                                     After:
Photobucket             Photobucket

The Bach bust is there because it's about the only place I have that it won't fall off, not because I want it there. I'd kind of like to shove the thing in a box and not look at it, to be honest. I'm probably going to be moving the last of my tools and parts at home down there tonight.

I did start a little project. I can think of a million reasons why I shouldn't have, but I did it anyway. I apparently own well over a dozen optical mice, some wired, some wireless. Since I am a huge X-Files nerd, I'd like to mod one to be themed. The first one I pulled out of the box was a purple wireless mouse. I HATE PURPLE. However, it's the color of cancer survivors. My younger sister is a survivor who loves the color purple anyway. She's been in remission from Burkitt's Lymphoma, and the lymphoma awareness color is green. I'm going to add a green ribbon window and change the optic color to green, and give it to her. A little something she'll appreciate, and a bit of fun and practice before I do a more complex design for myself.

PhotobucketAll I've really done so far is take it apart, glue the loose optic lens into place, and start cutting the hole for the window.  I'd kind of like to change all the installed LEDs to green tonight, but I've got some priority work from the computer shop to do.  We shall see what I get through tonight.

tibia_mod: David Duchovny as Hank Moody with a surprised expression. (Moody Freakout)
I like bones.  I collect skulls.  I've got a pretty good collection going, here's part of it:

Here, I've got five coyotes, two foxes, a raccoon, an opossum, a muskrat, a skunk, a pocket gopher, an ermine, and a pine marten.  Not pictured, I have another fox, a bobcat, two coyotes, and a badger.  I've got another box of them somewhere, but I don't remember what's in that box. In any case, now that I am dog-less, I've been getting my skulls back out to display proudly. 

Unfortunately, the five coyotes pictured here smelled TERRIBLE when I opened their box.  I decided to take them down to my workshop and wash them off, since I could still see prominent bits of flesh and dried meat on them.  Heck, one of them even had large, waxy yellow chunks that I had to cut apart to get out of the braincase.

This isn't really for the squeamish, as meat is involved, and it does get a bit grody.  Also, if you plan on using this as a tutorial for cleaning your own skulls, a few warnings: I'm cleaning these for me, and I'm doing it in the way that gives the result most pleasing to me.  I am in no way, shape, or form responsible for what you do to your own skulls, and if they get damaged.  Washing bones makes them soft and fragile, do it at your own risk. 

So if you're up to the task, click here for more.... )
tibia_mod: (3X01:Blessing Way- VRY SRS)
I gave up on the memory card, it's faulty, and I don't currently have another I can play with. So. Here's the end of it.

Apparently, I live in a goddamn cave with shit for lighting. My camcorder won't work, so I've done the best I can with my camera, which is so old it takes floppies.

The finished console in the dark, showing the EL panel under the X-Files cutout.

The sound-activated LEDs. They glow a bit while playing in the dark, but they aren't all that visible, really.

Here's what it actually looks like. It's a flawless matte black finish, but I had to use the flash, and it picks up every speck of dust. I have over 60 hours in just sanding and repainting, so I KNOW it's flawless.

This is the matching controller. It's been painted with a matte finish, the buttons have all been repainted, and the LEDs changed to green. The right buttons are 9mm bullet shells, the exact type Mulder and Scully use. lol

Close-up of the buttons:

I can't do video, but if you are interested, I've got links to more pics, and some worklogs.
Photobucket Album
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
tibia_mod: (Default)

This is the latest teaser image.  The quote's from 5X09: Schizogeny.  It's one of the eps that takes place in Michigan, too.  Mulder's climbing a tree, and Scully's just ignoring him by that point.  All the parts I was waiting for came in yesterday, and last night was spent soldering and trying to figure out how it's all going to work.  Pics and more lackwit commentary under the cut.

Read more... )

And that brings me up to July 13.  I'm getting there.
tibia_mod: (Default)
So I'm picking up where I left off.  This is where I am as of June 26, the day the EL panel came.

More exposition )

This brings us up to June 30.  More next post.
tibia_mod: (Default)

Here are the worklogs for Codename: Mulder's Nipples.  It's a custom PlayStation console and controller.  I began it June 20, when I discovered that my PS2 slim wouldn't play "The X-Files" for the original PlayStation.  The project name came from an episode of Californication I'd watched at the time.  In the commentary, David Duchovny was rambling on about how fantastic his nipples looked in the nude scenes, and frankly, it brainwashed me. 

Let me show you Mulder's Nipples... )

tibia_mod: Logo from Millennium TV show (Millennium Logo)
I've put together a tutorial for LED modding the Game Gear. I've kept it as simple as I could, but you will need to know how to solder. I am not responsible for any injury or property damage you may incur while doing this, do it at your own risk. Now that I'm safe from getting sued, let's get started.

In addition to a functional Game Gear, you will need the following:

Soldering Iron
Screw driver (philips, game bit)
Hot Glue Gun
Electrical Tape
Wire cutters
2- 3.3V 3mm white LEDs
1- 33 ohm resistor

First, remove all the screws from the back of the console. The six red dots just need a regular philips screwdriver, but the green dot needs a game but. It can also be removed by the "Bic Pen Method", or there is enough space to get a pair of pliers in there and grab it.

Open the Game Gear up. There are three sets of wires connecting the two halves. Gently pull them apart and set the back half aside. You won’t need it until you’re done.

Unscrew the motherboard from the front half of the case. There are ten small screws, and two larger ones holding the cartridge slot down. Use the red dots to find them all. The screen will flop forward, so be careful lifting it out. Take the silver colored reflector shield off and set it aside.

With the board face-down, look at the left side of it, near the top. These are the components we will be removing. The easiest way is to melt the solder, and pry them off with pliers or a screwdriver. Note that the colored bit in the black square may be a different color than mine. It may also be on a different part of the board, but no matter where it is, it needs to be removed.

Here are the solder points on the front of the board. Heat these, and gently pull the parts away.

Once these have been removed, turn to the right side of the board. These components will be removed.

Again, here are the solder points on the front of the board. Heat, and pry the parts away.

Here’s all the components you’ve taken off. Take the black rubber holders off the fluorescent tube and discard the rest. It’s not worth saving.

Note the two solder points in the red circle. This connection will have to be bridged for the mod to work.

I used a small piece of bare wire soldered right to the contacts, like so:

Here’s what you will need to finish the mod. Two white LEDs. I used 3.3V 5mm LEDs, because that’s what I happen to have. The brightness rating doesn’t matter, because the brightness dial of the Game Gear will still function, so it can be adjusted. You will also need the rubber holders that held the original tube in place. I used red and grey wires for the positive and negative terminals. You will also need one 33 ohm resistor. The colored bands must be orange, orange, and black. If there is a fourth band after the black one, it can be silver or gold. It doesn’t matter.

I like to sand the LEDs to a frosty kind of finish. I personally think it diffuses the light better. Any kind of sand paper or sanding block can be used. If you’re really desperate, you can rub them against concrete or brick a bit. Once you’ve done that, solder wires to each leg of the LED and feed them through the rubber tube holder. Apply some hot glue to the bare legs of the LED and the solder joints to make sure they don’t touch.

Repeat with the second LED and tube holder. Place both tube holders back in the silver reflector, and connect all the red wires and the black wires together. Tape them along one of the slanted sides of the reflector. You may want to solder a bit of wire to the joint so that you can easily reach where you need to solder to on the Game Gear. The finished assembly should look like this:

Next, take the resistor and feed one end through this hole, and solder it in place. If the transformer was somewhere else on the Game Gear, find where it was, and install the resistor in the middle hole of the row of 5. Also take note of the single hole on the side of the white square outline. This is where your black wire, or negative terminal will go.

Solder the red wire onto the resistor, and your negative wire to the hole mentioned above. Trim any extra lengths of unused wire, and make sure no bare wire is touching anything else. Electrical tape or hot glue can be used to prevent this. You may need to use a bit of electrical tape to hold the wires down out of the way of the screw holes.

Reassemble the Game Gear. The screen will lay flat in the bottom of the front of the case, and the motherboard will lay on top of it. Be sure to line up the holes that the screws go into, then screw the reflector back down, and then screw the motherboard back down. Connect the back half of the case with the wires, then carefully snap it closed. Replace the case screws, add some batteries, and enjoy!

My testing with two identical sets of fully charged batteries gave the following results:
Unmodified GG: 2 hours, 40 minutes
LED-modded GG: 8 hours, 45 minutes


tibia_mod: (Default)
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