Hardware Guides

Uses for fishpaper

Fishpaper is an insulative paper that used to be common in antique radios. It's often used to insulate transformers.

The history of the name is pretty interesting. According to Alvin G. Sydor:

 

In 1729 Stephen Gray made the discovery of the conducting and non-conducting power of different substances. Gray found that by using woven silk served as an excellent insulator. Some years later it was found that the paper industry could provide what was equivalent to woven silk. Later it was discovered that if the paper was saturated with fish oil its ability as an insulator was much improved particularly when used in harsh environments and high voltages.

 

Recently, I've been using it for fast and cheap electronics cases. This is one of my backup servers:

Rebuilding a Porter Cable 18V battery

I have a large collection of 18V Porter Cable tools. The oldest are from 2010, and the batteries are starting to fail. I've heard that Harbor Freight's 18V battery uses the same cells. A new Porter Cable battery is about $40, whereas the Harbor Freight battery, with the ubiquitous 20% off coupon, is just $10.40.

Both batteries open by just removing a few screws. The Porter Cable battery is better packaged, but the layout of the cells is identical:

Prototype Clear TAM Trackpad

Thought people might want to see a picture of this. I was passed this from a friend.

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Cracking Open the Time Capsule


An in-depth look at Apple's Time Capsule: how to get more room for backups, and a cooler, quieter-running Time Capsule with a single upgrade.

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iBook G4 12 inch Logic Board Issues - The definitive Guide

Chances are that if you're reading this, you have an iBook that isn't working properly. For the last two years, I have been supporting a deployment of 2k plus iBook G4 12 inch computers. If there is an issue that could rear its head on these machines, chances are good that I have found it. I'm going to break this guide up into a few sections - symptom charts, what parts work in what machines, and whether it's worth doing the work yourself.

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Fixing the Epson 'Prints Blank Pages' Problem


A number of Epson inkjet printers suffer from a problem where they eventually print nothing but blank pages, even with new ink tanks. Here's a way to try to fix the problem.

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Intel Mac mini: Take Apart Guide (RAM & HD)


This guide describes how to take apart the Intel Mac mini and upgrade the RAM and hard drive.

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3.5" hard drive on laptop/Mac Mini internal IDE


Want a cheap way to add storage and speed to a stationary laptop that might not have Firewire or USB 2.0? Disappointed that your Mac mini uses a puny little laptop hard drive? If you've got a desktop hard drive that you'd like to connect to either of these, it's possible with a little work.

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Repairing the PowerBook 5300


A design flaw in this PowerBook inevitably leads to a flakey power connector. Learn how to repair it.

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Building a Case for the Replica I

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In this detailed tutorial, Larry Nelson explains how to make a traditional-style Replica I case out of Birch and Walnut.

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