Welcome to BlondiHacks! My name is Quinn, and this is where I write about all the hacking projects I seem to find myself getting into. There’s electronics, home-brew computing, machine shop, welding/fabrication, 3D printing, and lots more.
If you like this content, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Any little bit helps, as these articles take a lot of time and money to produce.
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55 thoughts on “About BlondiHacks”
Great website. Do you have an email address I can contact you on? I have a few questions to ask.
Hey Ryan! There’s contact info over here on the main site:
Thanks for reading!
Nice site – great hacks! Definitely gets a spot in my RSS reader. FYI though, I had to read the page source, ’cause the href for your “Posts RSS” link in the page footer is missing, so the link shows up as just the current page.
Thanks, Michael! I really appreciate it!
Actually, the regular page link that the RSS button sends you to is sufficient to put into your reader as a feed. I use it that way myself, in fact. That is pretty confusing though, you’re right. I’ll see about fixing that.
Okay, Michael, I think I’ve fixed up the RSS feeds to make them more obvious, and the links should work better. Thanks for pointing that out- it’s a big help!
You are an inspirational person – I particularly admire your attention to quality, detail and planning; a trait most hackers dismiss.
Keep up the great work
Aww, thanks! You just made my day. 😀
This blog is going to be definitely in my RSS feeds.
You are the first entry on my blog, in section: Cuando sea grande quiero ser como ella or in English “When i grow up i want to be like her”
Thanks for helping me to relive the late 70s when I wire-wrapped my first 6802-based micro system! I had no idea you could still get a DIP 6502 🙂
Anyway — I like your “back-to-basics” approach…nothing but the essentials. Have you considered adding a 16×2 LCD display? Although, since real computers have switches and lights, you should probably go all the way and build a real front panel for it, like the old IMSAI 8080…but using LEDs instead of incandescent lamps. Or, for authenticity, get yourself an ASR-33 Teletype and write a monitor PROM!
Haha, yah, I was surpsised to find how plentiful they are, and in fact Western Design Center still makes a 20Mhz(!) version (although in a tarted-up modern microcontroller form with onboard RAM and stuff). Honestly, I’m surprised DIP packages are still made at all. Surely they most only be catering to the hobby market. Are we that big?
The 65c02 and ‘816 microprocessors are available in PLCC also, and I hope WDC will bring back the smaller PQFP. The microprocessors are faster than the microcontrollers (65134 and 65265). WDC makes most of their money licensing IP to companies that put the ’02 at the heart of custom ICs in automotive, industrial, appliance, toy, and even life-support products, to the tune of hundreds of millions of units per year. The fastest ones are running over 200MHz, but the fastest individual microprocessor ICs available off the shelf are about one-tenth that fast. Come join us on the 6502.org forum where there is a load of expertise!
I wrote above, “and I hope WDC will bring back the smaller PQFP.” They do offer it now, although you might have to order it directly from WDC rather than get it from the distributors. See http://westerndesigncenter.com/wdc/HowToOrder.cfm .
As a fledgling hacker your work is so inspirational. I’d be happy to be half as good as you are one day!
Thank you! For me, the secret is attempting projects that I think are just a bit outside my ability. Too easy, and I don’t learn anything, too hard and I’m liable to get discouraged or quit in frustration. Of course, things are usually harder than expected, so the final trick is to just keep plugging away and don’t give up.
Dunno if you have noticed but your amp fix is on Hackaday….
Hey, thanks for the mention of my LucidScience site. Now that winter is here, I am back indoors hacking away and now have an XMega pumping out full 256 color NTSC with nothing more than a few resistors. Hope to start a site just for AVR video stuff at AVRCade.com and possibly sell a kit as well.
Just found your page last week, and so far have found your Veronica project very informative. I am currently diving head first into learning PIC micro controllers for a similar project. If your interested, Myke Predko is the man when it comes to these. Also, Microchip has a PIC32 chip. One of its packages is a DIP24 and most models have ethernet capabilities and what they call USB-on-the-go, which is actually a USB host capability. They can also be ran on external memory in a microprocessor mode. Also, I would recommend a program called KICAD. It looks and feels like Eagle, but it’s free and doesn’t have any of the limitations that the free version of Eagle has.
Hi Blondihacks ! Through Hack a Day I found your website and spent a LOT of hours reading all you Veronica achievements ! Congratulations, excellent job ! If I had the time…. but I’m building other stuff, however your info is verty good. I plan to build a HexOut circuit based on your design but using a PIC.
I would say that your best advise is “…the secret is attempting projects that I think are just a bit outside my ability”, I have face the same situation ! So this comment is really valid !
I found in one of your comments, that you said I’m not a Electrican Engineer”, what is your background ??? How has you achieve to get so much information ? What do you do for living ???
Regards from Colombia, South America.
Hi Andres, thanks for writing!
My background is mainly software, though I learned just enough hardware to be dangerous back in school. My electronics endeavors are mostly self-taught (which is probably self-evident from my designs 🙂 ).
I run an app development and consulting company:
Just wanted to leave a message to say that your posts are epic and quite frankly inspirational. I just finished reading through around 30 pages of captivating posts and have bookmarked your page.
Good luck and keep them coming!
P.S. Love your humour
You are one seriously SERIOUSLY talented girl hacker! 🙂 Excellent site, excellent projects, very inspirational stuff, have just read through the entire site and setup a permanent bookmark. Wish there were a lot more women like you out there. Good luck with everything and keep those projects coming! 🙂
Thanks Jon, I appreciate that! I hope you enjoy the site.
I’d “help you pay for more hacks”, but it looks like your PayPal link is broken?
Thanks very much for letting me know! It should be working now.
Very impressive site, I really like your home brewed computer project. I did something like that myself back in the 80s (although no video on my system). You obviously have great talent.
Have you ever consider working on a project that dealt with arudinos? or like a raspberry pi board?
Yup, it has crossed my mind! So many projects, and so little time, though. 🙂
Arduino micro computer that would be quite impressive.
An attraction to a 6502 computer is that you can understand every speck of code in it. You can’t do that with things like the Pi which has too much complexity that you don’t stand a chance of fully understanding and controlling. I enjoy the challenge of striving for elegant, efficient, maintainable, well documented solutions, rather than a “just get it going” mentality. The 6502 is probably the most documented processor in history, and it’s still growing. Things like USB are not friendly to cobbling together solutions on the workbench. I like open, non-proprietary software and designs. The 6502/816 field has been useful and fun for me, and I use it in my work.
When I try to subscribe to the RSS or email notifications, I get a “Sorry Greader is no longer offerred.” :'( Could you please let me know what I am doing wrong or how best to get notifications so that I can make sure and not miss any of your blog?
That message is probably coming from your browser or other software on your computer. The RSS and Email subscription links open a URL that looks like this:
(for email, it’s a bit different)
You can paste that link into any RSS reader, and it should work. Your computer appears to be trying to auto-open some tool or application in response to the URL.
Hey, Quinn, you haven’t had any new posts in quite a while (or so it seems to me). You OK over there?
Hey hey! Thanks for writing! Yes, sorry for the delay in posting. I’m working on a couple of larger projects at the moment that don’t make for good blog entries. You’ll see something new here before too long, though!
Great talk for the Hackaday anniversary! (did you really get dressed up for those geeks?)
You should do a short post and link to the video. It’s great encouragement to just dive in and make/learn something.
Thanks! And no, I didn’t get dressed up- that’s… just how I dress. 🙂
Interesting to read of your PCB etching issues, I ran into similar problems trying to develop PCBs after etching patterns with a UV laser.
Orange peel texture – While working with enameling (colored glass on metal) several years ago, I learned that when remelting a piece while adding more colors, the Orange peel texture appeared just before melting, probably caused by non-uniform temperature or composition causing small areas to melt before their surroundings, and surface tension altering its shape. Since you don’t want melting, try lowering the oven temperature a little.
Wow! A very nice and interesting blog 🙂
Only recently found it, so am now working my way through each post.
You went in some different directions with Veronica compared to the “conventional” approach. This is always good to see (makes for a more interesting project than simply being a sheep 😉 ).
Keep up the good work 😉
i develop new version of your HexOut. name of that is BusReader. it also can generate 20bit address and read 16bit data from data bus.
Looks great- thanks for sharing!
I originally wanted to leave a comment on the PCB page, regarding the double transparency problem, but the comments were closed, so I’m leaving this here.
Anyway, I’ve had really good success with exposing the printed transparencies to acetone vapors. This doesn’t work on all toner types, but it should be worth a try. I tape the transparencies to the lid of a metal can (toner side out, so the vapors can attack it), throw in a paper towel drenched in acetone, close the lid and let it sit for an hour or so (You might want to take the can outside before opening it after this).
The result should be a shiny, uniform, homogeneous, and most important of all, opaque toner surface. IF it works on your type of toner, that is. If it doesn’t, you might try a different printer/toner. I’m using an old Samsung ML-2010 with the cheapest replacement toner cartridge from Ebay, and I can go down to 5/5mil with decent repeatability.
PS: Amazing projects you’ve got here!
That Sony chip in your Chinon Laser 128 disk drive is a diskette read-write amplifier. I believe that the sony 3.5 mechanism in your IIc+ has a similar one. I remember looking one up a while back when I was attempting repairs on my own internal IIC+ disk drive
See the data sheet here:
Just a comment on the Garage Door Fail article, about the mod you did on the FOB PCB.
Instead of soldering the wires to the area where the soft button was, you could have easily soldered them to the lowest hole and the third one from the bottom of the row of six holes at the bottom of the PCB. Looking at the two images of the PCB, those go to the contact of the switch in the upper right of the PCB.
It’s great to see you got a lathe! They are so much fun aren’t they? Here’s an amusing lathe project of mine: http://everist.org/NobLog/20170321_machining_pool_noodle.htm
I’ve been reading your site a long while, and always enjoy your work.
Btw, one comment on lathe use. Yours looks very clean, almost as if the steel surfaces have no oil on them. It’s bare steel, and unless you coat it all in some kind of oil it WILL start rusting. There are special oils recommended for the ways, but I just use an old tin, with some gear oil and a rag that lives in that tin, to wipe everything down now and then.
Yes, of course I oil it regularly. It just doesn’t show up in photos.
How about a new version of http://quinndunki.com/blondihacks/?p=835
Perhaps optimized for SMD parts? Maybe based around some $200 mill, laser cutter, or UV box?
Honestly, the method described there works very well with SMD. I have made several SMD boards that way. It’s extremely precise and allows very small PCB features, by virtue of being a photographic process. PCB mills have worse limits on board density, because physical removal of material is less precise than photons and chemicals. Laser cutters for copper have to be very powerful indeed, so you’re not going to find an inexpensive solution there. A UV box’s only advantage is speed. If you can afford to wait 10 minutes, a desk lamp works just as well.
I just read through your Apple IIc+ fixing the beep article and have just one thing to say…
[gets down on one knee and clears throat]
“Will you marry me?”
Imagine. I am just surfing around on the inter-web looking for metal lathe “Stuff” in general and maybe some project ideas that are simple yet help to develop my skills and knowledge base. Kinda looking for help grinding HSS steel blanks because for me its been a little hit and miss, sometimes they cut pretty well other times not so much… half surfing and half watching a re-run of Myth-Busters I come across an article about grinding tooling and then see some pictures and notice that looks like my lathe, a lot like my lathe, Hey! that is my lathe, So cool! Then I figure out this a lady and think that makes it even more cool to me actually for some reason. ( maybe it’s because I am currently reliving my crush on Jessie Combs from MythBusters…?) I will defiantly be a follower as I continue to get my home shop set-up and equipped, now looking for a good bench grinder with solid and adjustable stops btw. Thanks for doing and sharing, I’ll be checking in often. Also… Happy New Year!
Thanks, and welcome to Blondihacks! Be sure to check out the YouTube channel as well, as there is machining and shop projects a-plenty! http://www.youtube.com/c/Blondihacks
Quinn I am fascinated by the machine tool videos [and the stunning array of other interests.] How did you get interested and proficient in so many areas like welding, fabrication and machine tools?
I’m not sure! I guess I just like a lot of different things. Maybe growing up on a farm was part of it- you get comfortable with a lot of different things because nobody is gonna do it for you!
Hi, thanks for doing this. I just discovered your YouTube channel after Abom79 started to work on your collaboration project. The good thing about finding this late is that I can binge all your content. Thanks again for all your well curated content. As an aspiring hobby machinist I’m starting with the lathe videos and blog.
Awesome, thanks German! Welcome to my site and channel. I hope you enjoy it!
Just watched all of your lathe videos. I found them just exactly what I need to do my first lathe project. I was able to tune up my 1940’s Altas 618 lathe including a new modern tool post and cutters. I am building a custom Honda GL1100 I wanted to do a fork swap from a 2018 Suzuki GSXR with keeping the stock front wheel. I was able to mill down a Honda CX500 rear axle and then make four spacers to accommodate the modern fork and stock hub. Thank you for teaching and sharing your knowledge. Plus you’re really a good teacher.