Last week, Jamie headed up to Portland with P...

July 21, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Projects

Last week, Jamie headed up to Portland with Pat and his family. Pat found this pair of WWII pilot's headphones that I told him to buy. They're in great condition with rubber covers over the speakers, cloth-insulated wires, and leather straps keeping it in place. I took apart some of it and discovered the date "Feb 11 1944" inside one speaker.

It took me a long time to figure out how to actually hook it up to the computer. After hours of testing connections and trying different configurations, I ended up going with the least destructive approach. I couldn't convince myself to cut those beautiful wires, so I ended up taking an existing set of headphone wires and hooking them up in parallel.

It works great, other than needing an extender for the headphone wires. The sound quality is actually not too bad. It's stereo, unlike the original setup, and I now have it hooked up to Sam's computer.

As an aside, you can see the mouse we painted over to the right in this picture. It actually includes a "Brass Zeppelin" logo on the top, instead of the Logitech one.

Probably our next step is to paint Sam's computer and make it match the rest of the stuff. Eventually I want to work on the keyboard as well, which is getting close, but still has some glitches.

The last couple days were very much project days

July 09, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Projects

The last couple days were very much project days. Sam was gung-ho on working on things, plus I got some supplies while in Portland.

First off are recent additions to the Fossil computer. I purchased a wood keyboard and mouse, which look fairly good, if relatively cheap construction. I visited the Fossil Cartel in Portland and added a trilobite to the keyboard and a nautilus for the mouse. I ended up using my Dremil with pretty good results, other than a scratch on the mouse. All that remains is doing something for the monitor and speakers and then the theme should be perfect.

Turning to Sam's computer, we took my old monitor and went with a metallic look. We took off the plastic and spray painted it gold. Visiting a scrap yard, we found some metallic shapes that look like leaves. Those were painted copper and artistically arranged. Everything got an "antiquing" pass where we basically painted in black and grime to give it a used look. For the finishing touch, my "Brass Zeppelin" plaque was glued to the base.

The keyboard is slowly coming together. I did a trial run to see if I could type with it. The back needs lots more support and there are a few keys that have problems, but the proof-of-concept was promising.

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