The right to repair is the right to screw up

If you own a piece of hardware, you should be able to do whatever the hell you want with it, period. Don't like the color? Paint it. Not enough storage? Upgrade it. Not thrilled with it's operating system? Change it out. Many companies disagree with this. They'll void thew warranties of the things you putter about with. If you're cool with that, then putter away.

I do.

A couple of weeks ago, I got tired of the way that my accidentally tapping any of a number of keys on my Pomera DM30 would switch my typing, in mid-sentence, into Japanese. So, I changed it: Popping the caps off of all of the culprit keys, I removed their membrane. After the keys were popped back into place, it looked exactly the same as the device I started with, boasting one important difference: it only types in English now. It's a small, successful hardware hack that pays dividends towards my quality of life and productivity when I use my DM30 to churn out text. I've performed similarly simple operations on other hardware in the past: installing a new battery and a larger SSD in my ancient 11" MacBook Air. A New battery and replacement display for my wife's iPhone SE? Yep. They're small wins that have gone a long way towards building my confidence as a tinkerer and, consequentially, make me want to tinker with even more of the shit that I own.

Today, I was planning on sharing how easy it was to upgrade my 7th-generation iPod Classic with 256GB of Micro SD storage and a 3,000 mAh battery. Read the rest

Barb Noren makes soldering iron unicorns

Barb Noren, of the highly-recommended YouTube maker channel, Barb Makes Things, has a fun and easy new project video. In it, she turns a Rainbow Dash My Little Pony toy into Rainbow Flux, the soldering unicorn. Read the rest

Man adds proper headphone jack to an iPhone that lacks one

Scotty from Strange Parts famously built a fully-functioning iPhone from replacement parts sourced in Chinese electronic wholesale markets. Now he's gone a step further, and upgraded one to have a headphone jack: "Is it possible? I'm headed to Shenzhen to find out!"

I’m pretty proud of the final implementation. I took apart an Apple lightning to headphone adapter, put that inside the phone, and hooked it up by man in the middling the lightning jack with a flexible PCB. The PCB has a switching chip that switches between connecting the headphone adapter to the phone by default, and then disconnecting it and connecting the lightning jack when something is plugged into it. I have a couple other timer chips that briefly disconnect everything from the phone when something is connected/disconnected to improve the reliability of the phone detecting when something is plugged/unplugged (otherwise it sometimes gets confused).

You won't be doing this work with the soldering iron grandpa left ya.

Read the rest

Weller Pyropen

The Weller Pyropen is one of the best portable soldering irons out there. I like them because I get almost an hour and half of heat, and I can move around — no cords. So, while I have an electric soldering station, I almost exclusively end up using this Weller, even when I’m near the station. I just find it easier. So, you switch it on, it lights the butane up, and it makes this cool high-pitched scream. And when it glows red, it's very hot. It heats up faster than an electric; it will reach full heat in about 30 seconds. I love these things.

-- Adam Savage


Weller Pyropen$125

Available from  Read the rest