Here are where I will place my witterings on matters geekiness. 


DIY Cross Ion Pen to Stylus Conversion

Cross Ion Pen with origional Pen refilOK, So is an electronics and audio site primarily, but i though I would share with you a half hour hack that converts a Cross Ion Pen into a touch screen stylus for resistive touch screens.

For those who have not seen this pen before, the Cross Ion Pen is a bullet shaped pen approximately 3/4 the size of a standard pen when closed.  It opens by pulling the two halves of the pen apart which both unsheathes the pin nib and elongates the pen to full size.  It’s pretty ingenious though the drawback is that the pen uses non-standard refills which are both expensive and difficult to buy off the shelf.  Some people have resorted to converting other ink refills for use in their Cross Ion.

I bought mine a few years ago and after the pretty miserly ink refill ran out, it was vanquished to the bottom of a toolbox for years.  Recently though I repurposed it for use as a stylus for my Asus T101MT Tablet PC.  The conversion it turns out is a pretty easy job.  I am sure that this little hack could be applied to other pens with similar refill cartridges.

Read more: DIY Cross Ion Pen to Stylus Conversion

Spotted in the Wild, an Unusual DAC Project Based on the Twisted Pear Buffalo

twpdac1I noticed this Digital to Analogue Converter(DAC) on the Thai forum It’s a rather nice build based on the Twisted Pear Buffalo II DAC and Placid Power supply kits.  The owner has made good use of Perspex (or like material) to produce what is an interesting looking product.  Using two colours of clear material to sandwich the electronics.  I have seen many Perspex cases before, it’s a popular way to house low voltage electronics in a cheap yet attractive manner.  In fact I have a headphone amplifier and a couple of chip programmers manufactured in a similar style.

Read more: Spotted in the Wild, an Unusual DAC Project Based on the Twisted Pear Buffalo

DSO QUAD in Development a More Powerful, Wearable Oscilloscope!


News!  This device is now at the pre-order stage and has an early review of the product here.


Seeed Studio is developing innovative new products at an amazing rate.  On their blog today they have announced a new oscilloscope which is currently in development and it looks like an exciting product indeed. 

I am already a fan of the DSO Nano, their first handheld oscilloscope, but I have to say what they have coming is even better!  The renders they are showing are for a wearable scope.

  • A first prototype has already been made, Named the Quad, this is a more advanced scope with more powerful performance and function.  They hope to implement the following in the product.

Read more: DSO QUAD in Development a More Powerful, Wearable Oscilloscope!

DSO Nano firmware major update

DSO Nano Single Trigger EventI reviewed the DSO Nano from SeeedStudio a while back and was very happy with what was a prototype.  It is fair to say that Seeedstudio have enjoyed success with the later production model of the DSO nano.  However they have not rested upon their laurels.  As well as improving upon the hardware itself since my original review, Seeedstudio has been improving upon the devices firmware.

Today (16/8/10) Seeedstudio announced a major firmware update to version 2.4.  This new version I thought was worth mentioning because it brings some major bug fixes and additional function to the DSO Nano:

Read more: DSO Nano firmware major update

Worth watching this: EEVblog – Electronics Thermal Heatsink Design Tutorial

imageI have been following a new blog recently and I would thoroughly recommend a visit to check out this podcast.  Featuring Dave Jones, the electronics world’s answer to Barry Scott, this podcast educates on how to calculate the correct sized heatsink for your electronics project.  I have always played a guessing game in my projects but after a few minutes tuition from the effervescent Mr Jones I am amazed at how simple the math is. 

Most importantly I think Dave demonstrates which shortcuts can be taken through the calculations, which to those familiar with Ohms Law will not find challenging.

Read more: Worth watching this: EEVblog – Electronics Thermal Heatsink Design Tutorial

World Designs Closes it’s Doors

imageI was sad to see an announcement on World Designs website to say that they have ceased trading today.  World Designs supplied DIY Audio Kits and Parts to hobbyists in the United Kingdom.  In their catalogue were Speakers, Tube Amps and Turntables.

This statement is currently posted on their site:

image“Unfortunately, due to the lack of interest in DIY projects in the UK, World Designs has ceased trading as of July 21st 2010.

Support for World Designs products will still be continued on the World Designs Forum by its members and through independent engineers.

If you require repairs or help with World Designs kits please contact John Caswell at 0118 973 2059.”

I wish all involved with World Designs all the best in the future!

A fix for 3guk’s Squeezeplay Theme.

Squeezeplay_FixedOk it’s been quiet round here recently… Life has been more than a little busy for me recently. But I have had time to acquire an O2 Joggler and have a play with it. Using Squeezeplay, the Joggler makes a great little music player.

3guk made a great Squeezeplayer skin to suit the O2 Joggler, almost perfect in fact, but it had a little issue with the top buttons of the interface. Not a difficult thing to sort out as it happens, and so I did.

I am hoping that in time this can be included in 3guk’s download, but in the short term the files can be downloaded from

Read more: A fix for 3guk’s Squeezeplay Theme.

Foobar Web Interface for HTC HD2, Work in Progress!

Screen07 This weekend I have been playing with a Foobar Plug-in called Foo_HttpControl. Essentially what the plug-in does is set up a small web server on your machine, allowing you to control Foobar remotely through any web enabled device.

My HTC HD2 Smartphone is an ideal device to use as a remote control. It sports a large (very large in fact) 800x480px resolution touch screen.

The Foobar plug-in allows for users to add their own themes, created in JavaScript. There are already some themes available, most designed for I-phones. However the due to the increased screen resolution, the HTC HD2 displays the i-phone themes with obvious pixilation.

Read more: Foobar Web Interface for HTC HD2, Work in Progress!