Projects, notes, etc by Will O’Brien


Category: Uncategorized

Land Rover Discovery I

11 January, 2015 (09:59) | Uncategorized |

I’ve picked up a new 4×4. The wife’s prius just won’t quite cut it on major snow days. This will be our spare. It might be a little fun too! The new land rover has already been an adventure. It’s got its own section on the site.

Annd we’re back.

4 July, 2013 (13:13) | Uncategorized |

This site was murdering my web server every so often. After looking around a bit, I found that I had 2GB worth of comment/comment meta data. The comment system was just murdering the server. I’ve decided to turn off comments for now. I just don’t have the time to sift through them (this site makes [...]

Setting up an awesome home media system

20 April, 2013 (09:17) | Uncategorized | 1,155 comments

I used to spend a lot of time playing with various home theater toys. It was one of my main hobbies before I owned a house. Once I bought a house, my priorities changed a bit out of necessity. When we got the house, I did replace my diy video screen with an electric drop [...]

Smoker Hacking

14 August, 2012 (09:25) | Uncategorized | 3 comments

So it begins. I’ve acquired a Bradley Smoker. This particular unit is an interesting beast. It’s essentially a mini-fridge chassis (built for heat rather than cold). Up top is a standard grill smoke release hole, in the bottom is a undersized 500 watt heating element. Mounted on the side is the ‘Bradley smoke generator’. The [...]

OSX System failure: argh!

27 December, 2011 (09:48) | Uncategorized | 3 comments

It was bound to happen. My Mac Mini started to crash, and hard. When I’d login, it was a crap shoot until it would lock up. Eventually it started happening immediately after login! It’s about 1 year old and I could have sent it off to apple. Being me, I decided to do a fresh [...]

iPhone, jailbreak, ssh, car controller

20 November, 2011 (10:00) | networking, Projects, Toys, Uncategorized | 1 comment

I’m working on a new car controller. It’s based on aftermarket remote start, a jailbroken iphone and some open source hardware. This post covers setting up the iPhone for that use. It’s really just a nice, cheap (if you have it) script-able serial telemetry platform. iPhone jailbreak notes: I used an iPhone 3g, downloaded 4.2.1 [...]

Check out my project at Kickstarter!

2 August, 2011 (21:08) | Uncategorized |

I want to launch a new hardware/software platform for energy monitoring and usage. Check it out: The project site is

Tri/Quad Copter motor testing

15 May, 2011 (12:23) | Uncategorized |

Check out this sweet test rig that “Old Man Mike” built for evaluating motors for copters. It uses a PIC microcontroller to measure thrust, current, voltage and throttle to measure efficiency and wobble factors to find the best motors. Test Fixture Evaluates Motors/Props/ESC for Quadcopter Performance from Old Man Mike on Vimeo.

Comparison of microcontroller dev boards

2 February, 2011 (09:51) | Uncategorized | 3 comments

Yesterday, Hack-A-Day had a nice write up listing the various development boards available these days for projects. If you’re looking for a brain for your next creation, you should definitely check it out. It includes boards that start at $4 and up.

Calibrate your monitor with your DSLR

31 January, 2011 (08:15) | Uncategorized | 3 comments

I upgraded my desk at home a bit with a new monitor – A Samsung P2770H – a pretty decent 27″ 1080P display. I was wondering how I might calibrate it and the pair of 24″ displays next to it to have reasonable color matching and ran across this article on doing the job with [...]

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