Category Archives: Electronics

Electronics and related things

NES gamepad dimensions & pictures

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Front of the gamepad

I am working on modifying a NES gamepad. I took me some time to take the dimensions of the PCB and the keepout area where the mounts are in the controller. I’m posting the dimensions here so maybe it saves you some time.

And remember, the dimensions are not guaranteed to be correct. If you find a mistake, drop me a note.

Continue reading NES gamepad dimensions & pictures

Worklog: Conversion of an old tube radio into a Bluetooth boombox

I sourced an old tube radio from an good will store. Since it was defective I got it for free.  Anyways, I have already striped the electronics inside so this does not matter. I am going to build a Bluetooth speaker box with the case. Bluetooth receiver, Class-D Amplifier, bass reflex loudspeaker, lead-battery, USB-charging port and a carry handle.

radio2

Continue reading Worklog: Conversion of an old tube radio into a Bluetooth boombox

EPROM data decay

EPROM short for Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory is a relict from the early days of computing. It is a from of memory used to store program code for CPU and micro computer. As the name states it is a read-only memory this means that in normal operation the memory content can only be read but not altered. To erase then the memory the chip needs to be exposed to UV light. For this propose the housing of the chip has a built in quartz glass window. I used a so called flash gun which is basically a mains powered fast firing strobe light which is pointed on to the window.

The process of erasing the memory takes some time. I interrupted the erasing process to monitor the progress erasing process by dumping the chips memory into a file. During the first 60 seconds of the chip being exposed to the light no data change occurs. After that the memory fades pretty fast. Even the placement and structure of the memory cells on the chip is somewhat recognizable.

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Initial content

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Reading Flash and EPROM chips and visualizing their contents

This post can be seen as a follow up to my recent post[1] adressing the G540 universal programmer. The reason why I bought this programmer was that I have collected many old memory chips. I was always curious what kind of interesting data they might contain. A EPROM reader was needed and since my urge to build an Arduino shield for that purpose lapsed soon after sourcing some MCP23S17[2] SPI port expander chips.  So I bought the G540 I mentioned before.  Continue reading Reading Flash and EPROM chips and visualizing their contents


  1. My first impression of the Genius G540 universal programmer 
  2. Microchip product page of the MCP23S17 

Genius G540 EPROM programmer: what’s inside and initial startup

Buying a G540 programmer

I have been collecting old EPROM chips for many years. Now I was curious what data these hold exactly. I am not looking for program data but more for character maps, hidden “Easter eggs” . Something like this Hack a day[1] post.

So I went to ebay an bought one of this widespread available “Genius G540[2]” EPROM programmers. Continue reading Genius G540 EPROM programmer: what’s inside and initial startup


  1. Hack a day on hidden photographs in old Mac ROM chips  
  2. G540 programmer on ebay 

Urban Cricket

altered assembly without pcb
 

Project description

Urban Cricket is a small circuit that imitates the call of a cricket, only being powered by a small solar cell[1][2]. The idea comes from Reinhard Gupfinger[3] a Linz based artist I met during the Ars Electronica Festival 2011 in Linz. This circuit here is a altered version of his original circuit. He distributes this little sound bugs all over the world[4][5]. Until early 2013 on was in a tree at the Schwedenplatz in Vienna[6].

Continue reading Urban Cricket


  1. Introduction to Urban Cricket (German) (youtube)  
  2. Introduction to Urban Cricket (English) (youtube) 
  3. Reinhard Gupfingers website 
  4. Sound tossing website  
  5. Sound tossing Facebook page 
  6. A Urban Cricket in the wild