Natural swimming pool in your backyard!

9 04 2009

I always wanted a swimming pool in my dream house, but I always hear people regret putting a swimming pool in their backyard. Mainly, swimming pool is high maintenance, requires harmful chlorine for cleaning, and it is seasonal!!

The solution is, converting it to a natural swimming pond!! It is a environmental, care-free, self-sustained pond that can also double as your backyard landscape. So how does it work? It involves a plant zone around the pond and the swimming pond. The edge of the pond is lowered allowing a shallow section for the plant zone, where it does the water filter and cleaning naturally.
Sounds like a great idea for your pool?


DIY shoe rack to keep you floor clean

7 04 2009

One way to keep the entrance clean is to keep the shoes off the floor. An DIY shoe wall rack using off-the-sheilf IKEA product is very clever idea.

[via Lifehacker]
[via Instructables]

DIY – Ultrasonic Rangefinder

1 03 2009

The ultrasonic rangefinder is one of the must-have on hobbyist’s DIY project. Here is a how-to-guide on building your own ultrasonic rangefinder controlled by PIC micro controller.

The approace is to use PIC generate a 40 KHz PWM to piezzo transmitter and use a piezzo receiver to hear the echo, then using some simple equation and echo delayed time to calculate the distance. This design also includes a transistor and resonator circuit to enhace the PWM signal to increase detection distance.
Here is the project page.

If this DIY guide is too complicated to you, there is an alternative solution. has off-the-shielf ultrasonic rangefinder with builtin RS232, PWM, and analog data output.

via MAKE

Audi A3 iPod Interface Installation

23 02 2009

The installation day has come, after buying a used iPod Interface on VWVortex and did many researches on its installation guide on the internet.

Some important things need to remember,

  1. You need an European Stereo removal tool.
  2. Make sure you put cover under your work area in the car!! I scratched my leather on the DSG shift nob.
  3. Before wiring, measure up the cable and determine if it has enough length for installation and uninstallation in the future.

Here I simplified full installation to simple steps:

  1. Remove the top left inserts in the glove box for the iPod interface.
    (Since I have the iPod interface from an ’06 A3, it is a dock that will replace the insert I took out. The new iPod interface has a circuit box with cable, therefore you might be needing the insert to put your iPod.)
  2. Remove the stereo with the removal tool by inserting into the slots under the left/right nob on stereo (Concert II)

    Concert II, no CD charger, no SAT

    Concert II, no CD charger, no SAT

  3. Disconnect the wire hub in the rear of the stereo.

    Remove the wiring hub closet to the top side

    Remove the wiring hub closet to the top side

  4. Release the purple lock on the side of the hub by pressing in from the left. (not shown in the picture)
    The pins on the hub is sectioned into 3 groups. (left/center/right)
    Remove the wiring on the left group, it is in WHITE, PURPLE, and BLUE.
    IMPORTANT: Use small Phillips screwdriver to push the pins from the bottom with some force. DO NOT use brute force!!
  5. Connect the color-coded iPod interface wiring as the picture referenced below.
    Top side of the hub is facing me

    Top side of the hub is facing me

    Top side of hub is facing to the RIGHT

    Top side of hub is facing to the RIGHT

    Top side of hub is facing away from me

    Top side of hub is facing away from me

  6. Plug the hub back and start testing out your iPod before you put everything back!!!