D.I.Y. Resources

These resources might be applicable to artists, makers, experimenters, dreamers…
(There are many topic-specific links on my syllabus pages too.)

Sabrent USB-SND8

Cheap Multichannel Audio on OS X

I tested some inexpensive 8 channel audio interfaces in OS X.


Acer Laptop Touchpad Fix

A fix for touchpad / trackpad freezes on the Acer ES1-111M laptop.


Steenbeck With Synced Digital Audio

In 2015 there are still people who love the tactility of editing 16mm film by hand. Here’s how to sync digital audio to a Steenbeck flatbed editor.

pyle apart 4

FM Transmitter Experiments

A collection of information about short-range FM radio transmitters, including hacking advice.


Coolant Hose Lamp

After a recent workbench redesign I built an articulating lamp that I could position anywhere on the work surface.


Stream Recording With VLC

VLC makes a great stream recorder. Here’s how to record the MP3 webstream from Pond Station.


Digidesign Mbox 1 Standalone Mod

With a simple hack you can use your old Digidesign Mbox 1 audio interface as a standalone mic preamp with no computer required.

Robot Jumping Jack - finished

A Robot Jumping Jack Toy

A laser-cut robotic update of the classic cardboard kids toy. Files included.


Fisher Price #816 Record Player Repair

Does your battery-powered Fisher Price record player have speed problems? This simple method might fix it.


Bluetooth As A Generic Audio Link

Can Bluetooth A2DP transmitters and receivers be used to make a reliable generic audio link over long distances?

MP3 Trigger Line-out Circuit

Improving the Sparkfun MP3 Trigger

The inexpensive MP3 Trigger from Sparkfun does basically everything that “industrial MP3 players” can do. Unfortunately it has some rather annoying flaws: No Line-Out and false triggering when using long cables. Here are my remedies.

Bubble Umbrella

Umbrellas as Parabolic Speakers

My first attempts at building portable parabolic speakers using parabolic photo umbrellas.

SV Safety Glass with silicone edge

Smith Victor 765: Taming The Glass

How to fix the rattling “safety glass” disc in the Smith Victor 765UM halogen light, using silicone tubing and a binder clip.


Hydrophone Experiments II

I started experimenting with inexpensive DIY hydrophones awhile ago. This update discusses encapsulation, commercial hydrophone elements, and modifying a Primo EM172 capsule for underwater use.


Take Apart An Electret Mic Capsule

How to disassemble an electret capsule and put it back together without ruining it.

R-05 recording bats

Exploring Ultrasound

Experiments with recording ultrasound bat calls using the built-in mics of the Roland R-05 portable recorder.

Alex Rice Piezo Preamp: Assembled

Alex Rice Piezo Preamplifier

Alex Rice designed a phantom-powered preamplifier for piezo contact mics and hydrophones. It sounds great but his site is offline. I posted his files and made some changes of my own.

scoopic 16m manual cover

Canon Scoopic 16M Manual & Info

A cleaned-up, straightened, and re-colorized scan of the instruction manual for the Canon Scoopic 16M camera, plus other info.


Inductive Pickup Experiments

Use the coil of wire from an old relay to listen to the electromagnetic world of modern machines.

hifimediy T-Amp - front

New T-Amp In Old Clothing

A modern “class T” amplifier tucked into a simple vintage housing.

Primo EM172 binaurals (finished)

Low-Noise Binaural Mics (Primo EM172)

How to make wonderful low-noise binaural mics from Primo EM172 capsules for under $20/pair.

DIY hydrophones close-up

Hydrophone Experiments

An underwater microphone using a common mic capsule and silicone sealant. It has relatively flat frequency response without the resonant “honk” of the piezo disc used in most DIY hydrophones.

JFET VLF receiver

VLF Natural Radio Experiments

“Natural Radio” is the low frequency residue of lightning strikes and space weather. After building a simple preamplifier circuit, you can tune it via the mic input of any recorder.

contact mic - final wiring

Simple Contact Mike

Listen to the hidden vibrations of objects using easy-to-find Radio Shack parts.

Sony PCM10

Zach’s Recorder Recommendations

An opinionated, annotated list of portable audio recorders, updated occasionally

Beaulieu R16 Instruction Manual

Beaulieu R16 Instruction Manual

A hard-to-find manual for a hard-to-find 16mm motion picture camera

Resistor Color Code Chart (by ZLP)

Resistor Color Code Chart

Print this and hang it on the wall next to your pile of unsorted resistors!

Trigger Circuit v1 (ZLP)

Light Trigger Circuit

A simple “break-beam” light detector circuit that virtually taps a button whenever an object interrupts a light beam.

PMD660 soldering the jack

Marantz PMD660 Headphone Jack Fix

This popular Marantz audio recorder has a particularly fragile headphone jack. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to fix it.