I understand this isn’t exactly technology related, but I still have an interesting article for you. I was faced with a dilemma: I have to move out of my house by the end of the month, but I can also only make one trip. So I went out in search of a camper shell that would fit my short bed Ford Ranger. I searched for about two weeks until finding the perfect camper shell: top of the line, carpeted, screen windows, the works. The only problem? It was for a Chevy S-10. In this article, I make it work anyway.
The first problem came when I put it on: The S-10 has a bed that gets narrower as you move further back. Edges needed to be trimmed.
Using a Dremel and about 6 or 7 different cutting wheels (they keep breaking!), I slowly manager to cut through the fiberglass and make the camper fit.
Once that was done, I attached the two rear clamps to the bed, as the front two required drilling. I’ll get to them eventually.
My other main issue was wiring. I didn’t get the harness that went to the camper, so I had to cut it off and wire it the hard way.
The wires went to the third brake light a d the interior done light. The two black wires were ground, so I just combined both and wired it to the rear light bar’s ground.
To get the third brake light working, I found the + wire it used, then tapped off of my brake pedal. Most Rangers don’t have a dedicated third brake light wire easily accessible, so I had to do it myself. If you’re doing the same thing, use the solid green wire.
The dome light was much easier, just tap off a fused 12V source. I used a 10 amp fuse on my secondary fusebox and ran a wire to the back.
My first real successful modification: A black JP Nintendo GameCube shell with white accents. The innards are from a DOL-101 GameCube.
There’s a few things I did to it besides a new coat of paint, which are:
Replacement exhaust fan, to improve airflow
New intake fan, to improve airflow even more
Replaced thermal pads with thermal paste and trimmed the heatsink
Cycling RGB power LED
There was originally a third fan where the DOL-001’s power regulation circuitry was, but was removed when the shell was replaced due to insufficient airflow.
I did eventually finish the project, with good results! I didn’t open it again because there wasn’t anything new to show off.
For being my first ever mod, I think I did well. In the future, I plan to add some LEDs to the controller ports, and perhaps replace the disc drive with an SD card reader. I might replace the motherboard with a DOL-001 for component as well.
Recently, I came across my old ThinkPad T400. I wanted to use it again, but the chassis was in severe disrepair and I didn’t want to spend much money trying to get it working again. My solution? Remove the chassis entirely and make it an all-in-one PC akin to an iMac.
I found an old Dell 1704FPV in my attic, brought it down, and took off the monitor, leaving the stand. After removing the motherboard from it’s mangled chassis, I then taped it onto the front of the stand. I gathered a low-voltage Intel P8700 from a previous project, 2GB of spare DDR3 RAM, and attached them onto the board.
It works. Mostly. The hard drive doesn’t stay put due to the nature of the port, so I’ll have to buy a SATA riser cable. There is no battery functionality, as the port is blocked off by the stand, requiring a low voltage CPU and a 90 watt AC adapter (as it throttles without those two things together). The UltraBay has the same problem as the hard drive, except that the extension cables are much rarer. Besides those problems, I feel like the project was a success.
Some of the cables arrived! Also, a new monitor that more appropriately fits the style of the project. It’s now much cleaner from the front. If only I could find a way to crack open the monitor and stuff some of the internals inside…