Category Archives: COMPONENTS AND TOOLS

How to Power a PC Fan

power computer fanA year or so ago, my PC’s fan was making an unacceptable amount of noise, so I changed it. For the most part I’ve been pleased with the new fan, but I kept the old one since it still worked, just in a louder manner than I wanted. I was cleaning up the garage, and found it again, just waiting to be thrown away, since I wasn’t sure how to hook it up.

Well now I know. After some simple experiments seen in the video below, all you have to do is run between 3 and 12VDC between the red (positive) and black (ground) leads. It couldn’t be simpler, and might make a good fan for blowing fumes away while soldering, or just trying to cool off during the summer.

The 3V supply worked, though didn’t blow much air. Perhaps a portable version would use a 9V battery.

The Fabnik NATO Watch Strap Review

fabnik-NATO-band-SwissArmyWatch

Fabnik was nice enough to send me one of their NATO watch straps to try out. I’m happy to report that I got it assembled, as shown in the video below (note the watch running extremely fast in the lower-right corner), though it did seem to take longer than the 30 minutes to an hour that their guide specifies.

It was also a bit of a challenge getting the old metal strap off, and I actually had to buy a replacement pin from Amazon. Fortunately they’re pretty cheap, the non-prime option was $2.50 for a set of two with included shipping. Once I had that, the strap attached quite easily, but, though they include a removal tool, that part was somewhat difficult in my case.

I’m quite happy with the results. I’ve had this Swiss Army watch for quite some time, but I hadn’t used it in several years due to a bad battery, and having another watch. Putting a new strap on makes it look more casual and unique, making it a great alternate watch!

As long as we’re at it, this isn’t the only thing I’ve assembled from Fabnik. Here’s an article about my trial of their super-thin wallet kit.

Hands On with the KeyChainino

DCIM114GOPRO

If you play with your keys while waiting on something: bus, subway, fish to bite, etc., the KeyChainino might be a good device to have handy. Creator Alessandro Matera was nice enough to send me one of these devices* to try out.

It’s a pretty neat device, and I really enjoy seeing the default Arkanoid-style game played on a 5×6 LED matrix. If you get tired of that, these LED devices can be programmed using an Arduino. Although it’s not as simple as programming an Arduino directly, the task shouldn’t be too hard to execute (I’ve programmed ATTiny chips before using an Arduino, as seen here).

Pins are provided with the board, so don’t discard them, or things will be slightly harder if you want to change the program around. Several programs, or sketches are available on the Keychainino site, though it would seem the real fun would be in creating or modifying your own programs. Granted, I just received this board and haven’t tried it yet, but that seems like the real fascinating thing about this little project.

Check out the video after the “read more” to see it in action: Read more »