If you've ever lost a night's sleep because you couldn't wrap your head around how to build a Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS receiver without breaking the bank, then prepare to sleep like a baby. Why? Because researchers Tomoji Takasu and Akio Yasuda of Tokyo University have you covered.
The researchers developed an inexpensive, open source RTK GPS that runs on a beagle board, and better yet, they've posted instructions so you can do the same. And unlike traditional GPS, RTK units measures the shorter wavelengths in the satellite's carrier signal, which ultimately means greater accuracy.
Getting it work right, however, isn't an easy task. That's why Takasu and Yasuda deserve major kudos for printing the detailed instructions, which you can access here.
We've seen modded NES systems before, but BenHeck.com forum member "airz" earned some serious geek cred on Thursday by cramming all kinds of goodies into an NES cartridge.
Airz took a foreign-made portable media player and hacked an NES controller to replace the player's buttons, then stuffed the whole assembly into a Super Mario / Duck Hunt combo cartridge. He then cut out an opening for the 2.8-inch LCD screen and the end result is a handheld NES cartridge capable of playing a complete library of NES games using the original buttons, while also serving as an MP3 player, FM radio, picture viewer, audio recorder, and more.
After going through 3 game cases, 2 controllers, and 2 media players to make the mod work, Airz said he's selling his awesome mod to recoup his losses.
Earlier this month, we posted a step-by-step guide showing Android G1 owners how to root their phones and install a third party ROM. There are several upshots to doing so, including the ability to overcome the G1's meager amount of memory by installing apps directly to a SD card. Wtih the Android Market now sitting at roughly 10,000 apps strong and third party ROM developers churning out mature firmware, we felt the time was right.
Unfortunately, Google's timing couldn't be any worse. The search giant last week issued a cease and desist order to ROM developer Cyanogen, maker of CyanogenMod, arguably the most popular Android ROM out there.The problem, says Google, isn't that Cyanogen is hacking away at the open-source OS, but that he's also including (and distributing) a handful of closed-source apps, including Market, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps.
Hit the jump to find out what the future holds for Android modders.
According to Taylor Wimberly of AndroidAndMe.com, uber popular Android hacker who goes by the name of Cyanogen managed to ruffle some feathers over at Google. From the sound of things, the search giant is none too pleased with Cyanogen distributing their closed source Android apps (Market, Talk, Gmail, YouTube, and others) with his third-party CyanogenMod ROM.
Going by the chat log Wimberly posted on his site, Google has issued a cease and desist letter to Cyanogen, who laments that "CyanogenMod is probably going to be dead." It would be a shame if it came to that, as CyanogenMod is probably the most popular third-party Android ROM out there, and is actively being developed, somewhat of a rarity in the Android ROM community whose only compensation is user donations.
But all might not be lost. Cyanogen said he has opened up a dialog with Google.
"My argument is that I only develop for Google-experience devices which are already licensed for these apps," said Cyanogen. "So we'll see what they say. Maybe we can work something out."
So do we. Otherwise, this could be a blow to the entire Android ROM community, not just Cyanogen.
Finnish modder Jani Pönkkö scores major geeks points, both for holding onto a 25-year-old cellphone and for breathing new life into the mobile monstrosity by modding it into an HTPC.
Pönkkö started off with the handset, installing LEDs, a WiFi card, a soundcard, a speaker, and the crème de la crème - a 128 x 182 OLED display.
Inside the briefcase-sized Mobira Talkman's base, Pönkkö managed to cram a 3.5-inch form factor motherboard, Intel T5500 Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of DDR2 notebook memory, and a 32GB SSD. The modded cellphone also boasts a DVI port and USB hub.
We've seen some cool looking Xbox mods, but Ben Heckendorn's portable Xbox 360 creation stands apart from them all, and his latest is the sexiest one yet.
Now in revision 5, Heckendorn again gutted the same Gateway 1775W laptop with a 17-inch 1280x720 screen as he done in the past, but this time has added a bevy of new features. His portable Xbox 360 now comes with a built-in Ethernet port, WiFi, a digital push-button volume control, flush-mounted DVD door and side panels, remote IR sensor, two USB ports, a bunch more air holes, and the latest Jasper motherboard.
If you like what you see (and we certainly do), Gizmodo has a heaping handful of other Heckendorn-mods worth checking out right here.
You probably have an old processor lying around that you ended up modding into a keychain, but to take your geek cred to a whole new level, try wielding a blu-ray laser like a light saber the next time you fumble around for your house key.
Not only can it be done, but "jayrob," a DIY lasers expert, has posted a worklog of how he built his own using a keychain light made from a solid piece of brass that he picked up from Lowe's. In short, Jay stuffed a laser diode and a larger battery inside, did a little drilling, and ended up with the coolest keychain we've ever seen.
If you have kids, make sure they're out of the room before looking any further. That is, unless you want to devote the next 18 days to building a kick-ass case mod that will appeal to just about any age. According to EnglishRussia.com, that's how long it took "this Russian guy" to build his Wall-E inspired case mod.
After watching the movie, the Russian modder thought to himself, "I want to build such a thing and hold my computer stuff in it." And that he did, using Swiss precision homemade heavy metal.
This ranks as one of the coolest case mods we've ever seen, and even better, the modder offered up a worklog so you can replicate the design at home. See you in 18 days.
Everyone’s favorite hardware hacker, Ben Heck, has done it again. While making today’s game consoles into laptops was pretty impressive, he’s decided to kick it old school by making a Commodore 64 laptop.
“This is a fully functional Commodore 64 laptop using actual hardware, specifically the C64C motherboard which was one of the last and smallest revisions. It uses a Gamecube power supply in place of the original power brick,” writes Heck on the project’s page. “For storage there’s a device called the 1541-III DTV to ‘emulate’ a floppy drive using an SD card. The SD card is formatted FAT-32 so you can dump disk images on it using a PC, and read it with the C64 - pretty cool!”
So, if hardcore modding is what you’re in to be sure to look at more of Heck’s work! It’s well worth checking out.
It's not too often that we get to see a computer case that stands taller than Houston Rocket Yao Ming, but at nearly 8 feet tall, D. Mattocks' Frankenstein machine has nearly half a foot on the NBA star.
Mattocks' impressive Steampunk mod consists of a vent salvaged from an old church, lots of copper piping, vintage gauges, green cold-cathode tubes, and a plethora of other parts. More than just aesthetics, one of the gauges serves a useful purpose by showing the computer temperature. Save for the optical and floppy drives' black face-plates, you wouldn't even know this tower housed a computer inside.
And speaking of the PC inside, two radiators cool the CPU and dual 8800 GTX videocards. Yates Loon fans help keep the components cool, and according to Mattocks, the rig never ramps up more than 10 degrees above room temperature, even when playing high end games for hours on end.