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DIY Truth Wristband Kit

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Misc. Tech,

Truth Wristband KitFind out what your date is really thinking. The Truth Wristband kit measures the galvanic skin response which is used in larger lie detector tests, and turns from blue to red when the wearer gets nervous. All the parts you need are included: an etched PCB, finger strap, Velcro wristband, TRUTH face plate, batteries and instructions. You need to do some soldering but for $44.95, we figure it should pay for itself after the first transgression.

Read More | Maker Shed

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HTPC Building Series: The Final Tally

Check out out series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

The challenge presented at the beginning of this process was for us to build a great home theater PC while sticking to a budget of $1,000. We knew we were up for the challenge, and wanted to walk you through that process with us. Here’s what we’ve done, as a refresher:

So, now that we have reached the end of this process, we need to take a look at how we did, right? Were we able to stick to our budget? Let’s see how we did…

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: The Final Tally


This Week on TV (2/16-2/22)

The Real Housewives of NYC

(You can view TV Envy’s Midseason Programming Schedule here.)

 

MONDAY 2/16)
  • Chuck (NBC, 8pm):  “Chuck and Sarah go undercover as a happily married couple in surburbia.” A happy couple in surburbia? Isn’t the whole point to be inconspicuous?
  • Jon & Kate Plus 8 (TLC, 9pm):  “The Gosselins settle into their new home after the big move, but there’s still lots of work to be done.” And Kate will make sure Jon knows it.
  • Kyle XY (ABC Family, 9pm):  “Kyle reluctantly starts working at Latnok to repay his debt, and it’s not at all what he expects. Yet he still wants to quit, until he considers the Tragers’ current financial situation.” Back up a second—someone’s hiring?
  • True Beauty (ABC, 10pm):  “Contestants walk the red carpet with their parents, but there are also several secret tests of manners going on.” In other words, pushing mom out of your spotlight would be inadvisable.

Click to continue reading This Week on TV (2/16-2/22)


HTPC Building Series: Laying out all the components

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

In our quest to build the ultimate inexpensive hoome theater computer, we’ve walked you through selecting all the major components that will power our labor of love PC. I’m talking about things like why we picked our chosen motherboard, the MSI MS-7411, a look at how we will drive 7.1 sound from the HTPC to our receiver, and the smart way that we will move content to the HTPC so it’s displayed on our television.

But what about the rest? The pieces that, although not major, are still required to have a - you know - functioning HTPC? Well, that’s where this article comes in. We are going to be giving you a quick rundown of the smaller components that you will need in order to get this thing built, before we do our wrap-up in our next article.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Laying out all the components

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

HTPC Building Series: The ATI TV Wonder 650

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

We’re starting to wind down the layout of all the parts that are going into our Home Theater PC. First, let’s recap some of the main components that we’ve thrown into this project this far:

We’ve come a long way to far. In this article, though, I wanted to talk about the TV card that we’ve chosen. Since we are doing this on a budget, we are hoping for a nice balance of good performance at an inexpensive price. This is why we’ve chosen the TV Wonder 650. Amazon has it for 43% off of the retail price. This card supports both over the air HD broadcasts, as well as ClearQAM cable TV.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: The ATI TV Wonder 650

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

PVC Camera Mount

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Cameras, Design, Hot Deals, Misc. Tech,

PVC Camera MountNeed a quicky camera mount for use with a mic stand? “mnwingnut” wanted to create something that was cheap, easy, secure and small. He finally picked up both a non-threaded female to male PVC adapter and threaded PVC cap, added a nut, wingnut and bolt, some flexible water hose and he had himself a mini-mount. Although the mount can pan and tilt, it is somewhat limited in its ability to make angle adjustments. A step-by-step guide is available for the $4.00 gadget.

Read More | instructables

HTPC Building Series: Driving multimedia content to the HTPC

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

Continuing our quest to build the ultimate, while inexpensive, home theater PC, the one thing you need to consider when talking about media is how you are going to actually get the media to the computer. After covering the main mission, carefully going through our selection of hardware, giving you a first hand look at the MSI motherboard we chose (and explaining exactly why we chose that one,) and then bringing you up to speed on how we are going to drive 7.1 surround sound from this thing, you were probably thinking that the brunt of the thinking was done, right? Well, while that may be the case, there are still some important considerations that need to be taken into account.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Driving multimedia content to the HTPC

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

HTPC Building Series: Achieving great 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

In previous posts, while talking about building up our Home Theater PC, from the ground up, and on a budget, we’ve focused on a few goals. Things like what we want to see the system, as a whole, do for our home entertainment experience. We’ve talked, in general, about some of the hardware we plan on ordering to put into this bad boy. We’ve even gone into detail on the one essential piece that is going to drive everything - that being the motherboard. Today we want to focus on how we are going to get amazing sound out of this system.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Achieving great 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound

Read More | Series: Building an HTPC on a Budget

HTPC Building Series: Choosing the MSI 7411 motherboard

MSI 7411

Check out our HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

In this installment of the Home Theater PC building log, we wanted to focus on the core of our system. Previously, we took a look at the process of selecting hardware along with a look at the overall mission to build the best HTPC we can, on a budget. To understand what we are aiming to do, though, I thought it would be best if we were able to take a look at what’s going to be at the center of everything: the MSI MS-7411 Media Live DIVA 7.1 motherboard.

That’s a mouthful, we know - but it’s also an amazing centerpiece for our system. The foundation is MSI’s MS-7411 micro-ATX motherboard featuring AMD’s 780M chipset with UVD support and side-port memory for smooth 1080p playback. This motherboard can be ordered with either pre-amp or amp audio card solutions (one purchase package) directly from your distributor of choice. Note that this motherboard uses the mobile variant of the 780 for additional power savings features that are useful in a home theater environment. It pulls less power, and it doesn’t get as hot, which means much less fan noise. Nothing kills a movie experience like fan noise, seriously.

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Choosing the MSI 7411 motherboard


HTPC Building Series: Selecting our hardware

Check out out series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.

In our quest to build a great HTPC on a budget, one thing we need to think about is the hardware and software we are going to use to build and run everything. We are going to be really ambitious here, scouring deal and coupon sites to find great hardware and software at even greater prices. If you come across anything, feel free to leave a comment and let us know.

The first piece of hardware we are focusing on is a motherboard from MSI that integrates the “Maui” platform - the MSI K912GM-FIH. This is one of the biggest leaps forward in HTPC technology, and as such, we are going to build this machine around this board. In case we need to prove our case further, check out this video we did on the motherboard before its release:

Click to continue reading HTPC Building Series: Selecting our hardware


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