Eugene’s fishing line header hack for Raspberry Pi Zero

0.38 mm / 5.4 kg test Trilene threaded through Raspberry Pi Zero header holes
0.38 mm / 5.4 kg test Trilene threaded through Raspberry Pi Zero header holes holds male jumper wires snugly without soldering

Eugene ‘thirtytwoteeth’ Andruszczenko (of Game Boy Zero – Handheld Edition fame) posted a neat idea to help your Raspberry Pi Zero take jumper wires without soldering. He threaded fishing line through the 40 hole header, making an interference fit for male header pins. I tried it with 0.38 mm Trilene, which worked rather well.

A few seconds from a 12- hour print job

A few seconds from a 12- hour print job

A few seconds from a 12- hour print job

Instagram filter used: Lo-fi

View in Instagram ⇒

… which of course failed 95% through:

As Vik said: “The Flying Spaghetti Monster has cast forth His noodly appendage and made output in His own image.”

You gotta brim all the time.

In the very unlikely event that you want to repair a broken handset socket on a Princess telephone …

It seems that Princess telephones — like the one I have — were notorious for having their connectors break. The connectors are made of brittle thermoset resin, and sit just where they’d hit the ground if you dropped the phone. This is definitely what happened here:

Very broken 616p modular handset connector. Pins are (l to r): Black, Green, White, Red

For the handset, you want a 616P connector. If your wall connector has gone too, you’ll need the 623P connector for that. These are fairly readily available on eBay.

These instructions really only apply to the 2702BMG model of the Princess phone. There are many variants, and the 2702BMG was one of the last Princess models made.

  1. Remove the upper body by unscrewing the two screws at each end of the base

    Undo the screws at left and right to remove the case
  2. Remove the body, and remove the keypad. This is held in by two screws, one on each side of the keypad
  3. If your phone’s anything like mine, untwist the wires inside to get the line and handset connectors separated
  4. Unhook the old connectors from the terminals, and attach the new connectors as shown:

    Handset wiring: Green → S, White & Red → R, Black → T
  5. Slot the handset modular connector into its space in the phone chassis
  6. Replace the keypad
  7. Re-route the wires so they don’t get pinched or block the handset hook, then re-attach the plastic body with the two screws.


You say ‘homage’, I say ripoff: cakeordeathsite’s What a Life!

So via mefi I find this: What A Life! | cakeordeathsite.

I love it when people discover this book. It’s been a minor obsession of mine for nearly 30 years. I first put it on the web in March 2000 and updated it to then-current web standards in 2003: What a Life!: an autobiography. Over the years I’ve received a bunch of interesting notes from fans and even a couple from relatives of the authors. I marked it up the old, hard way: by scanning pages then re-keying the text. OCR wasn’t that great back in the day.

So I get kind of irked that this cakeordeath fella lifts my pictures and markup wholesale. Shame he didn’t understand how to copy CSS, ‘cos his formatting comes out worse than mine:

cakeordeath’s rendering, viewed 2018-04-01 18:22:34
my rendering, viewed 2018-04-01 18:23:20

Crack open View Source on his and f’rinstance my Chapter 1,


<p><span class="smallcaps">I</span> was born very near the end of the
year. <img src="Images/wal009a.jpg" width="112" height="104"
alt="calendar showing 29 December" class="right" /></p> 

<p>The grange where I was born was situated in a secluded corner of
the Chiltern Hills. Rumour had it that Queen Elizabeth had slept

<div class="centre"><img src="Images/wal009b.jpg" width="160"
height="232" alt="doll's house" /></div>


<p><span class="smallcaps">I</span>&nbsp;was born very near the end of the year.<img class="right" src="" alt="calendar showing 29 December" width="112" height="104"></p>
<p>The grange where I was born was situated in a secluded corner of the Chiltern Hills. Rumour had it that Queen Elizabeth had slept there.</p>
<div class="centre"><img src="" alt="doll's house" width="160" height="232"></div>

I mean, come on … including my domain and image path in his image urls? Otherwise, it’s whitespace difference. I dunno, these kids today: lift anything without credit, so they would. Seems this dude is a semi-popular blogger, and I’d be vastly annoyed if he were getting ad revenue for this, while I did this for fun and it’s cost me to host it all these years.

There’s a further uncredited lift from Chris Mullen’s oldweb classic, Visual Telling of Stories. cakeordeath’s banner page scan is straight out of Chris’s Collage Pioneers: E.V.Lucas and George Morrow, What a Life! 1911 with the same file name. Was there credit? Was there shite

Ringing like 1984: Western Electric “Princess”

Western Electric “Princess” compact telephone from 1984

I got this phone at a junk swap event. It had a broken handset jack, but I got a replacement from OldPhoneWorks.

It has a distinctive, loud ring:

(Alternative Freesound link: Western Electric Princess Telephone Ringing)

That’s a lot of noise from a small phone!

Western Electric “Princess” compact telephone ­— base. Note mid-1984 production date: after the US Bell breakup

If you want the ringtone for your phone, here it is as an Ogg file for Android:

Western Electric “Princess” Telephone Ringing
Recording © 2018, Stewart C. Russell —

provided under the Creative Commons — Attribution 2.5 
Canada — CC BY 2.5 CA licence:

Rose plots

source by Dan Anderson:
Enlarged and plotted on a Roland DXY pen plotter: 0.7 mm black pen on design vellum.

Full page:

Even if the 0.7 mm pen is a bit chunky for fine guilloché effects, the plotter output is pretty crisp. Here’s a detail at full resolution:

select this to see the full resolution scan. Original is just under 6 cm wide

Unfortunately, an earlier attempt to print this figure using a fresh-out-the-box 20+-year-old HP SurePlot ¼ mm pen on glossy drafting paper resulted in holes in the paper and an irreparably gummed-up pen. If anyone knows how to unblock these pens, I’m all ears …

birb chirper v2.0

This is one of those toys that you whirl around on a piece of string and it makes a chirping sound like a flock of sparrows. I have no idea what they’re called, so I called it birb_chirper.

Print Settings

Printer: Reach 3D
Rafts: Doesn’t Matter
Supports: Doesn’t Matter
Resolution: 0.3 mm
Infill: 0%

Notes: This is a thin-walled model, so use at least two shells and no infill for smooth walls.


Take a piece of thin string about 1 metre long (I used micro-cord, very fine paracord), pass it through the hole in the tip, then tie off a jam knot that’s big enough to stop in the hole in the top but still pass back through the slot in the side. Now whirl the thing around fast by the string, and it should start to chirp.

This is intended for the amusement of small children and the annoyance of adults.

How I Designed This

The tip of this thing is an ogee curve. I’ve included my library for creating simple ogee and ogive profiles in OpenSCAD.

// ogive-ogee example
// scruss, 2018
use <ogive_and_ogee.scad>;
ogive(20, 35);
translate([0, -5])text("ogive(20,35)", size=3);
translate([30, 0])ogee(20, 35);
translate([30, -5])text("ogee(20,35)", size=3);

Download: Thingiverse —birb_chirper by scruss. Local copy:

western electric marbling

accidental marbling found in injection-moulded recycled plastic microphone cup in a 1984 Western Electric 2702 (Princess) telephone handset

When you fix a thing and it just works …

When you fix a thing and it just works …

When you fix a thing and it just works …
Skelf is a Scots word for splinter or shard and is a weak pun on the Stealth clips that splintered for me.

When both clips broke within a week on my Timbuk2 messenger bag, I knew I had to do something. This coincided with me fixing my 3d printer (it was the extruder feed: it was too loose all along!), so I was able to prototype a new clip.

clip section

The files are on Thingiverse: Messenger Bag Replacement 25 mm Webbing Clip, or there’s a local copy here: