Phantom CapsLock...<cough> Keystroker V2

ThinkGeek just released this little gem of a device...the Phantom Keystroker V2. Smaller, easier to use, only $14.99. And...notice in the picture above, right next to the Time Delay you see what I see? Caps Lock. I would put good money on the possibility that my Stealth CapsLocker influenced both the new size and the extra Caps Lock feature here.

And this is actually a pretty good deal. For $15...with a fancy looks a lot better than what I was planning if I ever made the CapsLocker available. It's still pretty large in comparison..the CapsLocker is only as wide as the USB port and would extend out to the end of the word "Delay" on the Keystroker. However, this has spurred me to develop a CapsLocker V2. I'm not going to invest in injection molds for a fancy case, but I think I'll make the device accessible for hacking. The firmware I used is no secret anyway. And there's a way to make this even more stealthy.

So, ThinkGeek, I salute you. A much better product than the huge, cabled, Keystroker V1. But in the computer-annoyance-device war, I think I can stay a few steps ahead. Beware the Insert Monster! Or the Volume Maxer! Or the Muting Maddener! Or the Sleeping Puter! Just a few of the many possibilites. :)

Submitted by Garrett on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 13:07.

A ShiftBrite Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I installed 30 ShiftBrites on the front fence this year. I'm pretty happy with the results!

Submitted by Garrett on Sat, 12/06/2008 - 03:29.

Arduino Shield Scaffold

Arduino Shield Scaffold PCBArduino Scaffold Schematic

I've been designing some products that attach to an Arduino Diecimila / Duemilanove board. These are typically called shields, and are used to easily add functionality to the basic Arduino platform.  Read more»

Submitted by Garrett on Wed, 12/03/2008 - 02:29.

Why ShiftBrites Exist

I ran across some photos of an impressive project on Flickr, uploaded in mid-2007. tellini on Flickr was apparently building a bar of individually-controlled RGB LEDs, with an Arduino. Only 1.5 years ago, there weren't many options to get this working; the ShiftBrite was a rough concept buried in a folder in my computer. He used a lot of shift registers, a lot of wire, and a lot of hard work. Here's what the prototype looked like: 

 Read more»

Submitted by Garrett on Mon, 12/01/2008 - 23:27.

Giant ShiftBrite Election Meter

Election Meter

I built a giant red/blue bar graph to display the electoral vote at my house tonight. It uses 32 ShiftBrite RGB LED modules, two CSG-4M LED numerical displays, a Cubloc CB405 with Quick Start 1000 board, and an ACODE-300B Bluetooth module. I used Eric's code from Hackaday last night to scrape CNN's election results. The code runs on a small 400MHz Linux server I always have running for file storage and random scripting.

Here's how I did it:

Election Meter  Read more»

Submitted by Garrett on Tue, 11/04/2008 - 14:06.

FedEx Email Support: Useless

So the next shipment of ShiftBrites was delayed in Alaska Customs again. Last time, I had to call and provide an EIN or social security number, I hoped they had that on file. Also, they never billed me for duties and eventually sent a collection agency after me. That always looks good on a credit report. Anyway, I used their online support contact form to ask for help:  Read more»

Submitted by Garrett on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 11:42.

New Products: Cables, Power

I've added several new products to the macetech store. The 5.5 volt, 2 amp power supply will come in handy for projects using 32 or fewer ShiftBrite modules. The 6 conductor cables make it easy to chain multiple ShiftBrites. If you've ever tried to make a lot of cables, you'll understand why many of our customer have demanded some kind of cable solution.

Anyway, these new products will make it easier to get your ShiftBrite project going...or should I say glowing?

No, I shouldn't.


Submitted by Garrett on Fri, 10/03/2008 - 21:42.

TGIMBOEJ: Microbox


What happens when you mix electronics, chain-letters, and awkward acronyms? You get TGIMBOEJ, or The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk. A nefarious plot to obtain more junk under the guise of giving away junk, hatched up by Windell at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories (with whom I occasionally cross paths at TechShop).

The idea is to recieve a TGIMBOEJ, pick out some interesting parts, put some more of your own electronics miscellany back in the box, and send it along to the next person. There are now several boxes circulating; you can track their progress and get yourself on the request list by visting the TGIMBOEJ wiki. Be warned there's a little vandalism on that site, so it may not be what you expect by the time you visit.  Read more»

Submitted by Garrett on Sat, 07/19/2008 - 03:09.

New Store Site

It's not simple to set up a new store! But it's finally done (my roommate works with web sites as part of his day job, and helped get everything formatted), and I'm liking the new software a lot better than what I was using before. This will make it a lot easier to keep track of orders, set up discounts, allow user logins, add new products, etc. Currently there's just the one product, but stay tuned for more in the near future. Please leave a comment below if you notice anything I missed during configuration or templating.

Submitted by Garrett on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 14:30.

ShiftBrite Demo Photo

ShiftBrite RGB

ShiftBrite RGB module doing its thing. I realized I didn't have any pictures of the modules lighting up in each color. Planning to get a datasheet written up within the next day or two.


Submitted by Garrett on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 00:54.