Bakelite Internet Radio

NOTE: If your a vintage radio purest you may want to look away now, as I never had any intention of restoring the radio back to its original glory due to the damage of the insides and the custom speaker. I wanted to give it a fresh lease of life while hopefully doing it justice. The radio is a Stromberg Carlson Ovaltone (model number:5A29), manufactured around 1949. I was unable to find much information on it, and I’d guessed the model number by comparing it against other online pictures. What I’m going to do is make it into an internet Continue Reading →

Cheap Pickups – Box of Server Parts

Found a shoe box sized box of random PC parts for $10. I wasn’t able to see the entire contents, but was assured it was all related. I’m always looking for cheap cables and assortment. Cut the tape on the box when I got home and found: 1x Supermicro X7SBE motherboard. 8GB of DDR2/677mhz ECC RAM (2GB sticks). 1x  Dedicated IPMI card for the board. 1x Quad core Xeon X3360 @ 2.83GHz. 1x rear Double USB motherboard extender. I also bought from the same seller for an extra $10:  Low profile dual 36pin SAS card – cant find the model Continue Reading →

Cheap Pickups: SRW2008P

I found a Linksys SRW2008P at the markets for $10. That’s 8 1000Base-T gigabit ports with POE and 2 mini-gbics (SFP’s). It also supports 256 VLANs and link aggregation. Resetting to factory defaults took some reading, and trial and error. The console cable required is a straight through DB9 cable not a cross-over (null modem) cable. I’ve used an old DB9 to RJ45 convertor and changed the pin assignment (pin 2 and 3) to make it compatible with newer Cisco console cables. The console login/password reset procedure is terrible. Pull the power and open a console session. Plug in the Continue Reading →

Cheap Pickups: Vistar Audio 250W Panel Amp

New speaker back.

Picked up either a 450W or 250W/360W sub woofer panel amplifier: $10. As you can see from the pics below, there aren’t any identifying model numbers on it except “AUDIO 9911061”. Had to fix the cable from the volume/frequency/IR PCB, then plugged it into see if it works… It does and works very well! When playing thumping bass, a carpeted speaker box with a 600W Kicker Sub moves along the floor! Next, sub woofer races!! The metal rattling is the “Man Cave” roof, and yes I know the box is way too small for the sub. An few interesting features Continue Reading →

Altec Lansing ACS48 – Satelite Speaker Mod

Lansing ACS48 Din Pinout

I bought an Altec Lansing ACS48 a while ago but it came without the left satelite speaker. Although I didn’t need it because I only wanted it for it’s powered sub, which still sounds perfect. Because of the way the system was designed, the right satelite speaker has all the controls and it uses a micro-controller to power on – by holding the volume up and down at the same time. Also as stated the volume controls are push button and not done using a pot or variable resistor. So what I wanted to do is remove the need for Continue Reading →

Cheap Pickups: Cisco 857w = $20

Cisco 857W

Bought a used Cisco 857w modem/router/switch at a market for $20. After taking it home and finding an antenna and power lead for it discovered that the power pack was…Err… Smoking. Not sure if it was a “hidden feature” so I cut the cable and Jerri-rigged an old PC PSU to suit.  Lucky it only needs 2x5v and 1x12v, so a molex connector is fine for testing. Plugged it in and the status lights lit up – All good. Taped off the cables to make it a little safer, and connected a console cable – Still all good. Ordered a Continue Reading →

Cheap Pickup: HP T1000RX (1KVA UPS)

Network UPS Tools Screen Shot

I bought a HP T100RX last year, but when testing it, it’s alarm activated for seemingly no reason after about a week. So it was considered faulty and to be disposed of. The recent power spikes and bad weather lead me to look at it again, which lead me to this page: FIRMWARE UPGRADE RECOMMENDED In Summary: “T1000XR and T1500XR UPS with Firmware Version 2.00 or T2200XR UPS with Firmware Version 2.02 May Falsely Report Fan Failure and Shut Down After Running for Several Weeks” So I applied the firmware update from a windows XP machine, then spent 45 minutes Continue Reading →

Cheap Pickup: WRT54G2 = $2

Yep, a working WRT54G2 (version 1.0) for $2, just required a 12v power cable, which I’ve a few spares. This is the third WRT54G I’ve owned: First one was purchased o modify the flash and use as a bridge. Unfortunatly it was version 7 so it had no known third party firmware available, (atleast at the time)  mainly due to an under sized flash chip and non-supported wireless chipset. Second was an American import and one of the originals flashed with DD-WRT.  Worked perfectly until the loose power cable came out during a reflash… Bricked. As explained, this wireless router Continue Reading →