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2005 MM Q4 Meeting by Brett

Wow! It’s been a while, but as you know, it’s tradition here at Midnight Mods to cook a Stromboli whenever the members meet. How or why the tradition was started, no one knows. We do know however, the results are delicious.




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Ugly, but they work Great! by Brett

It always happens when you get them broke in just perfect to the shape of your head. That’s right, your favorite headphones, after years of abuse, finally start to give out. Many, like mine, will show their age where they are the most vulnerable, the cord.

Snap, crackle, pop your music goes- or worse yet, you lose the right channel completely during Season 4 of Deep Space 9. This cannot be allowed to continue- not when there are episodes of Star Trek at stake.

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  • Permanent Markers (2 colors preferred)
  • Electrical Tape
  • Soldering Iron
  • Donor Wire (Lamp cord optional, but durable)
  • 3.5mm Female Jack
  • Multi-meter
  • Power Drill
  • Wild Cherry Pepsi (Optional, but required)

Now, before we get started, I know what your thinking- Why don’t we just replace the wire with a new one from a cheap pair of headphones? The answer is simple. Because I said so. Besides, that’d be way to easy and it probably break in a month or two.

So, the basic idea is this. Take apart the headphones, trace wires with multi-meter, mark polarity on the speakers, rip out the old wire, drill bigger holes in both ear cups, run the lamp cable from L to R to make them like the new single wire headphones, wire in the 3.5mm jack, solder the connections, tape where needed, take a swig of the Wild Cherry Pepsi, and finally put everything back together (don’t forget to zip tie the lamp cord for that extra WTF look.)

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Take another swig of that Wild Cherry Pepsi and admire your work. With that jack there, you have not only provided a point of disconnect / strain relief in case the cord gets pulled on, but you’ve also left yourself open for upgrades. Want in-line volume control? Done. Want to connect directly to your receivers output RCA jacks? Done.

…and yes, I wear these out in public just to see the smug look on the face of every person with tiny iPod ear buds on.

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Laptop Wireless Card with External Antennas! by Brett

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Well, this project starts just like any other laptop wireless card- under the MPCI door. As you can see, I’ve installed a MPCI wireless card into my laptop that previously had no WIFI. I’ve also plugged in some short pigtails that I have run myself. This is where it’s going to get a little more complicated than your typical WIFI install…

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I’ve carefully run the pigtail cables through the case and to the other side of the motherboard, in places they won’t get damaged or bent at a sharp angle (it is coaxial cable you know). It was a tough decision figuring out where I was going to place the external connectors, but this corner offered enough room for both connectors and cables to operate without interfering with the normal laptop components.

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Once the holes are drilled and the connectors are tight, it’s just a matter of putting everything back together, stopping every step of the way to admire how awesome that looks. Come on, look at it! That’s Hot.

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Now you have CHOICES when it comes to antennas. Is this a 7dB day or perhaps only 2dB? Both? Oh I know, today we are wardriving, so we’ll need a 7dB + a magnetic 12dB external on the roof of the car. It’s good to have options.

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Chieftec Side Mount USB and Firewire Ports by Brett

That’s it! I’m tired of reaching around the back of the computer every time I want to plug in my flash drives or the latest USB gizmo.


What to do though? USB extension cables are handy, but I’ve got enough cables snaked all over my desk. Front USB ports are standard now, although this case doesn’t have them and you know, actually the side seems like a better place to put them for my setup.

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This couldn’t be easier. My motherboard already came with header cables for the back of the case and they fit nicely in the bottom lip of the case. Now it’s just a matter of drilling some square holes! Remember kids- measure once, eye it up a few times, and cut till your fingers bleed.

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I started with a drill bit, then squared off the corners with files. I was able to reuse the screws from the back plates. What do you know, it works! Looks good too.

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I even bought a new shelf to raise up the computer a bit to desk level.

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Humm… What to do with all the free PCI slots now? Oh I know!

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More USB ports. You can never have enough root level USB ports.

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