Hardware Hacks

New Digital Picture Frame

[thumb:1933:l] Awhile back I turned one of my old laptops into a picture frame PC based off of WinXP, that didn’t last too long! The drive crashed about 4 months ago and I finally got around to redoing the entire setup. The old frame was made out of some wood trim and didn’t look that great. The new version was created from a shadow box that was modified to work with my frame. Read More

Cisco 7960 Backlight Mod


Cisco makes some great VoIP products but yet they seem to leave out some of the most important features. Only one of their VoIP phones comes with a backlit screen: the 7970. Now as much as I would love to have that phone (it comes with a color touchscreen for web applications on the phone) I can’t justify the $500+ price tag.

So I decided to add a backlight to the Cisco 7960 I have. Using a EL foil ($12 eBay) I was able to modify the LCD screen by removing the standard foil and placing the EL foil in its place.


One task remains, I need to find a way to get 12v DC from the 48v DC that the phone takes. The inverter that is being used accepts 5v to 12v and I currently have it attached to a USB port on the desktop providing power.

Overall it wasn’t too bad of a mod, just took awhile to get things setup on the EL foil.

Linksys WRT54G “BlackBox”

[thumb:1850:l] So I finally got around to installing OpenWRT on my spare Linksys WRT54G access point. During the install I also took the time to mod it to include a SD memory stick slot, builtin GPS, and dual serial ports. The access point is now a Kismet server that when turned on mounts the SD memory stick, fires up GPSD, and then starts scanning for wireless networks with Kismet. When I turn off the unit I can remove the memory stick and bring it up to my laptop and map out the networks found while out and about. Next step is to make it more mobile with a battery pack and also provide battery backup power to the GPS receiver to reduce the time it takes to acquire a signal.