Category Archives: Network

Cheap NAS / Print server (USB server) about $40

This is NS-K330 USB, also called BT Download USB server… Out of box they can do a lot: Multiple Function All-in-one Server: File server, UPnP DLNA media server, FTP server, BT download and USB printer server. 2 high speed USB2.0 interface, for printing sharing, hard disk drives, card reader and other USB devices.

You could get one from ebay or dealExtream ($40)

Install Snake OS on it to get max out of this little box.

Raidon/Stardom SL3620-2S-LB2 problem with power supply, unable to attach hard drive

Few weeks back started to have trouble with my trusty Raidon/Stardom SL3620-2S-LB2 NAS storage. After reboot it would work for few hours and then go crazy. It would loose configuration and unable to detect hard drives. In some cases it would “forget” configuration and had to use default user account to log in. It would report: no hard drives detected.

What I did was to replace ceramic capacitor 472 500v and capacitor 1500 16V (marked in red) from power supply..

DIY network mintoring temperature humidity I/O relay controller cheap

Just a short intro on this great and cheap network box that I found on ebay for $30-40. You can connect to it 8 DS18B20/DS1822 based temperature sensors, one Honeywell HIH-4000 series humidity sensor, plus few relay. And if you get in to it could program it to do automation tasks (home automation, IP relay, hydroponics, weather station, etc).

For $30 you can get this board called WebControl (8 ports), its made by There are two version PLC and BRE. You can find on Ebay. The major problem is that during power up they will fire relays. Have used this for garage door, but had problem that it would open garage door during power up. Solution at bottom of this post.

Some info:
WebControl™ has 8 digital inputs, 3 analog inputs(based on 10bit A/D converter, full scale 0-3V), up to 8 optional DS18B20/DS1822 based temperature sensors, one optional Honeywell HIH-4000 series humidity sensor, 20 custom definable timers to combine and define its 8 digital output in any sequence of those combined input.
The user manual for PLC version and BRE version.
If you are not sure which one to get, get PLC version.. PLC has been more updated and has large number of users creating codes for it..

CAI WebControl logger a cool Windows program to log temperature data, as well as, control outputs. Works on PLC board only.
Customs plug-ins xapmcsWebControl and
Link 2 details

Solution to power up problem by Support Team at CAI Networks, Inc.

Thanks for writing to us. The processor during power up do reset on all the
output. That is probably the cause for the power on trigger.

If you could delay the power going to the relay board for a fraction of a
second, that will be fine. Otherwise, you will have to modify the
WebControl board by adding a 2.2k resistor and 47mF capacitor connected in
series. Between the 5V regulator and 16 pin AUX connector, there is a chip
marked U5, if you look the chip pin 22 now is grounded. Using a soldering
gun to desolder pin 22, and connect a wire from chip pin 22 to the resistor
and capacitor. The positive side of the capacitor connects to 3/3.3V
regulator output, the other end of the resistor connected to the ground.

By this modification, the output during power on will be disabled for about
0.5 second. That is good enough to get rid of processor reset caused spike
in the output.

Interesting links
+ Fix temperature sensor, sample PLC code link or link2
+ Moco is a scaleable software system for monitoring and control of analog and digital I/O points. link
+ Weather station link

Cheap Ethernet / Network relay control (the one you can find on Ebay for under $40)

This post is for Ethernet relay boards that you can find on Ebay or Amazon under $40. This is great way to start home automation. My long term plan is do home automation with these boards. At this moment I dont have time for this, if anyone does home automation using these, please email me…

My other post relating to making one by your self using old HP print server link

For $30+ you could can get this board called WebControl (8 ports), its made by There are two version PLC and BRE (get PLC if newbie). You can get one on Ebay, or Amazon has it as well. I have 2 of these, one major problem is that during power up they will fire relays. Have used this for garage door, but had problem that it would open garage door during power up.

More details on CAI WebControl at my other post with more details and Windows control software.

Other options:
For $30 you could can get this NAS Network USB Storage BT download (NS K330)

YouTube video as well. Also you could run Snake OS on it.

Other more expensive setups:
For over $80 you can get this as well link $80
PoE Ethernet 8 Relay Board link, POE
POE version link
Wifi version link
UK Shop link, UK

run two or many Skype accounts on same computer

a simple way to run more then one Skype at same time
This works for Skype 4.0 and newer

create new shortcut to skype.. easiest way would be to go to skype folder and right click, create short cut.. Property of shortcut, add /seconday at the end.

“C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe” /secondary

More details at

Old Print Server as Ethernet relay control, cheap ethernet relay JetDirect

This could be a cheap way to start home automation project. What you need is old Print server, you can find these on ebay for $10-30. You will need a relay board as well. I plan to use this as simple home automation to control garage door, a small water pump and so on..

ConnectGear GP Print Server

HP Ject Direct

Smart Print Mini

My other post on same subject

Get more out of you WD TV – network media box. WD Live and Plus (custom and hacked firmware)

While back, I got my self a network media box from WD, called Western Digital WD TV HD (G2 version). I am very happy with it since it plays almost all formats from my NAS. A great solution for children movie collection. My WD G2 is older version which had no network connection and it played only USB attached drivers. Lucky I found this hacked firmware which allows for USB wireless or USB wired NIC cards to be attached. As well as many other cool features. From cheap ($40 / $60 back in 2009) media player to great media box.

Hacked firmware

I am using 1.01.77-WDLXTV-G2- with great results.


What is WDLXTV?

WDLXTV is a homebrew firmware developed by the community for the WDTV line of products from Western Digital. Its goal is to add a lot of new features on top of what is already provided by WD, such as movie sheets, Bittorrent, streaming from external online sources, and a lot more.


Supported devices are:

  • WDTV Gen 1 (older version of WDLXTV)
  • WDTV Gen 2 (Model number WDBABF0000NBK)
  • WDTV Live (Model number WDBAAN0000NBK)
  • WDTV Live Plus (Model number WDBABX0000NBK, WDBREC0000NBK, WDBG3A0000NBK)

Not supported:

  • WDTV Live Hub (Model number WDBABZ0010BBK, WDBACA0010BBK)
  • WDTV Mini
  • WDTV Live Gen 3 (Model number WDBHG70000NBK, WDBGXT0000NBK)


There is also another version of G2 firmware You get more options like web and FTP server comparing to WDLXTV firmware, BUT webpage is in Russian (translation)…..

– linux kernel
– busybox-1.17.4
– pure-ftpd-1.0.29
– mini_httpd-1.19
– samba-3.0.28a
– dropbear-0.52
– mc-
– transmission-daemon-2.13
– aria2-1.10.9
– curlftpfs-0.9.2-1
– djmount-0.71-1
– ffprobe-0.60
– e2fsprogs-1.41.12

Digital Photo frame, reuse old laptop

Do you have unused or old laptop. This is simple but a nice way to reuse plus it looks nice. This was made about 4 years a go, but still works good.

I use old IBM P2 laptop, with 128Mb ram  and 300Mb hard disk..

The software:

Windows 98SE, Win 98 Lite (add on), Irfan View (+ loading/batch script), VNC.

Windows lite ( This is a nice tool that will strip down your old Windows 98 SE to be fast and stable system. Since you will only do slide shows this works great. My photo frame boots up and start slide show in less then 20 sec. Also, I installed VNC which is not must but a nice way to remote control the photo frame. Win 98SE + Lite gives an old and slow laptop a new life, also solves problems with finding new drivers for old laptops.

Get or order a basic photo frame. I recycled the old frame and just got new black cardboard edge. You could also get these from crafts shops or IKEA.

The goal was to keep the laptop in one peace as much as possible. Simply remove the LCD from laptop hinges and turned it around. Be careful with this since LCDs are attached by ribbon cable which breaks easy.  I will not post how-to for it since every laptop is different, but you should goole for it before you start the project.

Build a small frame to fix laptop to it. Used cheap angle profiles to secure the frame and laptop.

Connect a push button to laptop off/on switch. I soldered my directly to board.

Added WiFi card for easier administration and updated.

All done.

My other DIY projects with OLD laptop.

ADSL modem overheats and freezes NetGear DG834 (fix)

I use to have a lot of problems with this ADSL modem, every few days it would simply freeze on me.. Since I use a lot of remote log-in this was a problem for me. A simple solution was to install a small fan. Since then it never froze again..

what you need: Find a smallest possible 12V fan (brushless fans are quieter). You dont need to push that much air around so small fan will do. Also its quieter and lower amp usage.

Note: I have used the 12V fan since power supply for my modem was 12V. Make sure you get V that you need, since some modems user 5V and other 12V.

Locate a good place for fan.

make sure that fan is over main chip, and ensure that fan does not touch any electronic parts. If you find a small 12V fan with low power usage, you can wire it directly to boards power socket.

Drill wholes on top cover, and secure the fan with screws.

after using this setup for over 2 years without any ADSL freezes the small fan died on me. So, I removed the fan and left modem case only with drilled air wholes that I originally made for fan. It looks like that these small drill bits wholes give enough of air flow. For last 40 days or so ADSL modem worked great even without fan.

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