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Looking for a tool to reccommend a laptop configuration

Is there a tool online that might be able to tell me what parameters I would want for a new computer (probably laptop) given my current patterns of use? Looking in stores leads me to think I don't need the high end models but I'd hate to buy something only to find out I should have sprung for the extra RAM. [more inside]
posted by gilsonal on Jul 19, 2011 - 9 answers

Electronics makes me feel stupid

Being an electronics wizard, what do you wish you'd known when you started out? [more inside]
posted by run"monty on Jul 3, 2011 - 9 answers

PIR circuit to switch off door alarm

I am trying to build a circuit to turn off an alarm when a passive infrared sensor detects a human in a room. Yes this is a bit backward but it is for turning off a door alarm when our receptionist is at her desk rather than detecting intruders. I know enough about electronics to just get myself in trouble (which isn't much), so any advice on parts and construction would be excellent. Thanks!
posted by lake59 on Jun 21, 2011 - 8 answers

How do I run 20ish LEDs with a LED Driver built to run 1 large LED ?

I want to drive 20ish LEDs, should I run them as series or parallel and why ? [more inside]
posted by 70klicks on Jun 20, 2011 - 8 answers

Mystery Cell Phone Display Question

I was with a person that had an older style cell phone, I think it was an LG, but not sure. He was showing me pictures, but I was distracted with a series of around 10-12 numbers that were displayed on the screen, to the left and top of the picture area (not inside). They kept changing about once a second, each digit with no regularity. One would think that it may have been GPS coordinates but the numbers were too random and not changing in any particular sequence. What the heck was that? A tracking device? When I asked him what it was he very quickly deflected the question.
posted by ~Sushma~ on Jun 15, 2011 - 7 answers

Help me do the old USB switcheroo

I can't quite get to the bottom of a USB peripheral auto-switching circuit diagram. [more inside]
posted by le morte de bea arthur on May 17, 2011 - 13 answers

Help me rediscover an electronics project from Radio Shack from back in the '80s.

Help me rediscover an electronics project from Radio Shack from back in the '80s. [more inside]
posted by babbageboole on May 12, 2011 - 2 answers

LED lightbulbs are illuminating but not illuminating.

What is going on in LED lightbulbs? I mean the devices, not the industry. [more inside]
posted by chairface on May 11, 2011 - 9 answers

What could cause a USB mic to all of a sudden start picking up a hum?

My USB Mic started picking up an omnipresent hum all of a sudden. It never used to. Any ideas what could have changed? [more inside]
posted by JoeGoblin on May 10, 2011 - 10 answers

Now word on the street is y'all suckers (don't) want static.

Help me find a place to purchase this tiny car part for a Scion xB! [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon on Apr 22, 2011 - 7 answers

How can I be smart in buying smart pen as gift?

How smart are smartpens? [more inside]
posted by Postroad on Apr 14, 2011 - 3 answers

Exciting electronics video?

I am looking for an interesting or exciting video that would, in some small way, get Grade 7 kids excited about electronics or science in general. The video will be one part of a talk by Skype I'll be giving to a teacher friend's Grade 7 class. Ideally, the video would be less than 15 minutes and deal with electricity or electronics directly.
posted by sirsteven on Apr 8, 2011 - 4 answers

Broken plugs from an RCA cable are stuck in my amp. Help?

I tripped over an RCA cable connecting my amp to my laptop...and the RCA cable broke off, leaving the actual plugs stuck inside the amp. How the heck can I get them out? [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Apr 4, 2011 - 16 answers

Remixed electronics: can I make a working frankenphone out of these two broken 6820 phones?

Help me identify a mystery component from the board of one of two damaged/crippled Nokia 6820 phones and determine if it's possible for me to get one working Frankenphone out of the two. [more inside]
posted by weston on Apr 3, 2011 - 6 answers

Where can I get a replacement A1242 transistor?

Where can I get a replacement A1242 transistor? [more inside]
posted by seanmpuckett on Mar 28, 2011 - 8 answers

Ideas for an exciting (and difficult) electronics project

What are some reasonably complex and conceptually interesting electronics projects that I can make for my class? [more inside]
posted by cognitio on Mar 14, 2011 - 5 answers

Stupid standby timer being all standby-y

I'm trying to interrupt a standby timer on a DVD player for a homebrew projector dowser project and I need some help with capacitors and resistors. I've wired a momentary switch across the eject switch terminals to pop the cd tray from a distance. [more inside]
posted by edbles on Feb 27, 2011 - 11 answers

need help sourcing material!

Where to source cheap LED strands? [more inside]
posted by puckish on Feb 21, 2011 - 3 answers

Circuit for headlight LED works, but I don't know why

It's been cold recently (-15C) and I burned out two bulbs in my dutch bike's headlamp in a short time. Since the bulbs are hard to find, I thought this was a good time to replace the bulb with a 1-Watt LED light. What I built works, but I don't quite know why. [more inside]
posted by kamelhoecker on Feb 20, 2011 - 9 answers

Nokia 2730 not working.

Today I bought a Nokia 2730; stupidly, I took the battery out before taking it home. Now, even though it says the battery is charged, the phone won't work. Help! [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Feb 17, 2011 - 8 answers

Recommendations on synth DIY

I am looking for recommendations for DIY synth kits. I recently built the Weird Sound Generator and Voice of Saturn kits and am now looking for more to build. Does anyone here know of any similar noise-making PCB kits, or something else in general I should look into? Thanks.
posted by archivist on Feb 6, 2011 - 10 answers

How can I connect my TV (via my stereo system) to my wireless bluetooth speakers?

How can I connect my TV (via my stereo system) to my wireless bluetooth speakers? [more inside]
posted by lovableiago on Jan 27, 2011 - 1 answer

USB charger + iPod = static

Cheap wall USB charger seems to interfere with iPod headphones, do I just need a better charger? [more inside]
posted by BungaDunga on Jan 25, 2011 - 4 answers

Circuit/Battery combos for driving a single 5mm LED

I'd like to use a single 5mm UV LED (3.4Vf, 20-25mA) to charge a daub of glow-in-the-dark paint. It only needs to be lit around 1 minute of every 10 (or 6 seconds of every 60), and only when the (room) lights are out. What battery/circuit would be most economical to operate, and require the least-frequent battery changes? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Jan 18, 2011 - 6 answers

3.5mm male-to-male coupler - does it exist?

I am in search of a 3.5mm male-to-male coupler. [more inside]
posted by hsawtelle on Jan 17, 2011 - 12 answers

hook me up

vintage technology fi: help me connect a VCR to a TV [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on Jan 15, 2011 - 10 answers

I'm not turning Japanese, so must sell it.

What is the best way for me to sell (in the United States) an electronic device designed for the Japanese market? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Jan 12, 2011 - 6 answers

Where can I buy cheap import electronics in Seattle?

Recommend places to shop for cheap import electronics in Seattle. Think knockoff ipads, android tablets, unlocked smartphones, and other geeky gadgets straight off the boat from China...The kinda stuff you can get at sites like www.chinavasion.com
posted by stenseng on Jan 11, 2011 - 3 answers

WHAT IS THE EBAY FOR INTEGRATED CIRCUITS?

I have a lot of (old) ICs Integrated Circuits. (Also, crazy piles of capacitors and resistors, etc. but let us concentrate on the ICs.) Is there a website where an average citizen with these items can sell them to buyers? I fear they would just get lost buried or unseen on "ebay", even moreso on "craigslist". SeekIC.com seems like the kind of site I am after, but I would like to sell to buyers in the USA. [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker on Jan 2, 2011 - 8 answers

Best blu-ray player for an elderly person who doesn't have internet?

My mother-in-law's old DVD player bit the dust recently and we would like to get her a blu ray player. She does not have internet and has a Magnovox 27 inch analog TV. She just wants to be able to view DVD and Blu ray movies. Any recommendations on a good, basic player?
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! on Jan 1, 2011 - 7 answers

possible to fix tv speakers buzz?

My boyfriend has a Phillips 32" in flat LCD HDTV, that appears to be from 2006 or 2007. The screen seems to still be in great shape, but the speakers have developed an annoying buzz. Is it likely that the speakers could be fixed at a reasonable cost, or do we need to junk the tv completely and just get a new one?
posted by mmmmbobo on Jan 1, 2011 - 13 answers

What Arduino projects can I build with a radio or other scavenged household parts?

What interesting projects can I make with my Arduino and scavenged radio parts or other household items? [more inside]
posted by lollusc on Dec 26, 2010 - 7 answers

¿Como se dice "Reprogram the remote"?

Can anyone recommend a good, inexpensive English-Spanish lexicon of TV/Cable/Broadcast technology terms? My sister does Spanish-language technical support for a large TV cable and Internet provider. She's first-language fluent in Spanish, but like many Spanish-speaking U.S. natives, leans heavily on Spanglish for many of the neologisms ("el remote") of the electronic age. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Dec 25, 2010 - 4 answers

Name that part! (electronics)

Name this electronic component / construction technique! Found inside a late 1980s Datron 1081 bench multimeter. [more inside]
posted by ryanrs on Dec 21, 2010 - 11 answers

Is there an car thief app for that?

Recently, a friend's beat up old car was stolen the old fashion way - with a screwdriver to the ignition. This made me wonder about auto theft and newer, computer chip laden cars like the 2011 Volvo that I rode in yesterday. Has the computerization of automobiles led to new ways to steal cars? Basically, is there an car thief app for that?
posted by R. Mutt on Dec 17, 2010 - 8 answers

Why does stuff disappear from Costco.com website without an out of stock indication?

Why does stuff disappear from Costco.com website without an out of stock indication? [more inside]
posted by Twinedog on Dec 17, 2010 - 6 answers

Help me navigate the world of diy audio kits with respect to guitar amps!

I finally figured out the perfect gift to get the boyfriend but am having trouble finding what I want. Help me navigate the world of diy audio kits with respect to guitar amps! [more inside]
posted by joydivasian on Dec 10, 2010 - 6 answers

where to get a dog door with a timer?

where can i buy a dog door with a timer OR how can i make one OR is there somewhere i can commission such a thing? [more inside]
posted by dontmesswithseth on Dec 4, 2010 - 8 answers

What's age-appropriate for a gadget-nut 4 year old?

My 4.5 year old got to play with my friend's Ipod Touch, loved it, and is now adamant that Santa is bringing her one. This ain't going to happen. However, I would like to find her some kind of age-appropriate equivalent toy for Christmas. We don't do huge Christmas celebrations or massively expensive gift-giving, so this will be her big present, even if it's under $75. What can you recommend that won't make her ultra-disappointed (understanding that disappointment is a part of life, yadda yadda yadda)?
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out on Nov 25, 2010 - 24 answers

I've become afraid to park in my parking space.

I need help parking in my apartment garage parking space. [more inside]
posted by fiTs on Nov 20, 2010 - 24 answers

Or failing that, a time portal to 2005 and $100 or so in appropriately dated bills...

Does anyone make a thumb drive that plays MP3s? [more inside]
posted by 256 on Nov 16, 2010 - 24 answers

Is the Big Volume and Tone Knob lobby behind the lack of wiring straight pickup-to-jack diagrams?

How can I wire a bass so that the volume and tone knobs are bypassed? [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Nov 13, 2010 - 5 answers

Using a Droid Phone as a WiFi Hotspot?

Should I replace my MiFi with a hotspot-enabled Droid? [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster on Nov 8, 2010 - 9 answers

Why does my TV's picture drop out intermittently?

Why does my TV signal disappear into static for minutes or hours at a time? [more inside]
posted by aaronbeekay on Nov 2, 2010 - 2 answers

How do I power a 5mW laser?

I have a 5mW laser module. What do I need to attach it to to power it? [more inside]
posted by RobotHero on Oct 27, 2010 - 9 answers

Can I use a Kindle charger on my Blackberry?

Can I use my Kindle charger for my Blackberry Bold? [more inside]
posted by stenoboy on Oct 16, 2010 - 4 answers

Circular LED Displays?

Circular multi-segment LED displays? Who makes them? [more inside]
posted by Marky on Oct 13, 2010 - 2 answers

Gadgets in Manhattan?

Where in Manhattan should I go to look at and possibly buy gadgets, electronics, and computery type stuff that would be hard to buy (excluding online) anywhere else?
posted by Mwongozi on Oct 11, 2010 - 9 answers

How much trouble am I flirting with?

Does a 120V AC -->12V DC power supply need an RF choke when used to power a small DC motor? [more inside]
posted by jon1270 on Oct 6, 2010 - 7 answers

Please recommend a soldering mat.

Please recommend a "soldering mat" or other heat-resistant surface. [more inside]
posted by crawl on Oct 4, 2010 - 14 answers

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