A page of quickies that can probably best be described as (ugh) 'life hacks'.

I think my issue with the term 'Life hack' is not so much with the label itself, as with some of the silly and often absolutely-pointless junk that gets attached to it by the second-to-absolute-lowest form of content-aggregator YouTube channels and spam-sites. Though I guess we at least get to use the concept of 'hacking' in an actually-historically-correct way!

'Real' hacking is about getting machines to do things they were either not designed to do, or even things they were explicitly designed not to do: with no inherent concept of the machine's ownership.... The correct term for subverting security systems is cracking. Though cracking is also sometimes necessary as part of hacking, even of the hacker's own property if it has been locked down by the manufacturer against owner-control, so it is not entirely unforgivable that Hollywood and the general-press got the terms so mixed up that now popular culture can't tell them apart either!

Anti-Moisture Pill-Box

Vitamin capsules into cough lozenge containers.

I was tired of cough lozenges absorbing moisture from the air and going soggy in my bag once the pack was opened. And I realised that they fit very well into the cylindrical containers that effervescent vitamins come in. These containers have moisture-absorbant crystals in the cap, so should not only seal up the lozenges, but keep the interior super-dry (likely I will change out the cap every so often). Since I have access to a sand-blaster at work, I went overboard and removed the old labeling off the aluminium tubes and re-painted them (I had intended to do them white, but had run out of white spray paint, so they are red!). Finally, I added a label with my label-writer. .... I did two, as my mum had also complained about cough lozenges going soggy in her bag some weeks back when I was visiting (which is what prompted me to think of this solution, I guess!)

Wall Hack!

Big heat-leaching window I don't need. Rental appartment I can't permonantly modify.

Boarded-up window with TV mounted on it.

Sheet of black-melamime-coated 17mm form-ply cut to the width of the window (and another cut to fill the bottom of this, and another window).

The back (outside-facing) has a sheet of roofing-foil spray-glued to it, to reflect more of the summer sun out, in addition to the thermal (and accoustic) insulation the 17mm plywood provides.

Front is somewhere to mount the eWaste-rescue FHD signage screen I use as a monitor, and some other things that I prefer wall-mounted, including - mounted just above the screen - a USB industrial camera with a c-mount zoom lens so It can focus just on my face from that distance and not half my room, for web-confrencing, mainly back during COVID lockdown.

It's a terrible photo, I know. I need to take a new one some day, as I now have a shelf at the top, and my 28V fan attached.

You can't see them, because I painted them black to match, but the boards are held in place by spring door-stoppers with the springs reversed. So no permonant modifications to the window frame, even.

Spring-loaded door stopper.

Recently in my state, tennancy laws were adjusted so that renters can now (within reason) put hooks in walls without getting landlord permission. But I don't think dynabolting big-screen mounting brackets into the rendered-brick would be covered by that anyway!

My only Fan!

I prefer to use low-voltage DC for my projects and private home-wiring (I am qualified to work with non-fixed mains equipment, but obviously don't touch the stuff unless I have to). My industrial-control background inclines to me preferring the 24-28V range over 5V-USB-Power, mainly because it lets me push more power down the wire a bit more efficently. It also allows me to directly tap my 24V backup-power battery and bypass the inherent ineficiency of the 230V inverter for equipment that doesn't need it.

I'm actually in two minds about my home-DC voltage. 5V-USB-Power is enough for most of what I run directly off DC, and things are readily available for that voltage these days. Plus it is really simple to wire up a micro-controller to drive things at 5V without the need for level converters, if I want to go all 'smart' device. But there is still at least one important device in my life which needs the full 28V, and at an amperage above what even 28V USB-C Power-Delivery can pump, so I have the raw 28V available on-tap anyway.

I had tried a 12/24V car fan in my appartment, but it was so cheap and badly-balanced it sounded like an aircraft engine! Instead I designed and 3D-printed a mounting bracket for a nice quiet fluid-bearing 120mm case-fan rated for 24V.

I mounted it on a ball-joint arm intended for attaching small cameras on walls, also purchased for a few bucks online. And on the front and back, some metal grills I had saved off some old equipment.

Case fan mount.

It is quiet enough that I can leave it running (turned down a bit, if needed) while sleeping under its gentle air-flow in the summer.


Air Exchanger.

Here is another fan, or two fans, actually. No fancy-pantsy 3D-print this time, just cut wood. This one fits in the edge of my window. The top fan vents air outside from the top of the room (where hot air, being lighter, accumulates) and the bottom fan draws in (hopefully) cooler air.

Window air-exchanger bar.

I put a nice push-button switch on it, even with a fan icon! LED-lit so I can find it in the dark to turn it off if I wake too cold late at night.