The Uniball Signo RT Gel mini Hack

In my creating a custom Moleskine planner post, I mentioned a Uniball Signo RT Gel 0.38mm pen, for both creating the planner and writing agenda and task items.

Initially I'd purchased a 4-pack of Pilot G2 mini 0.5mm pens for pocket-ability, but found the ink bled a bit too much through the thin Moleskine pages, so I picked up a 4 pack of Uniball Signo RT Gel 0.38mm pens. The thinner 0.38mm gel pens work well with Moleskine paper because the line is thin and quick drying.

This weekend I was looking at the Uniball Signo and G2 Mini, when I wondered if I could hack the Uniball 0.38mm refill to work in a G2 mini pen body. When I took the two pens apart, I realized it could be done, with a flick of a utility knife to trim the Signo's cartridge down to size.

In the spirit of DIY, I gave it a try. The G2 mini to Uniball Signo mini conversion worked so well, I've decided to to share the easy conversion process with other Uniball Signo fans out there, complete with photos:

1. Here you can see how the G2 mini and Uniballl Signo compare side by side. The G2 mini is about 4.5 inches long, compared to 5.5 inches for the Uniball Signo. For pocket-ability, that reduction of an inch means quite a bit — making the G2 mini well-suited for pockets.

2. Next, I opened up the two pens to compare the length of the cartridges, and as you can see, the Uniball Signo is about 1 inch longer, but has room for trimming. I've noticed that new Uniball Signo cartridges have ink at or above the location you need to cut them down without creating a mess. The easiest way to remedy this is by drawing with the cartridge until the ink level drops enough that a slice is reasonable.

3. Using a utility knife , x-acto knife or other sharp instrument, trim the Uniball cartridge down to the same length as the G2 mini cartridge as shown in the photo above (see the dotted line). I've that the Uniball Signo cartridge uses a much thicker outer wall compared to the G2 mini, so the G2 may actually have close to the same volume of ink even though it looks like less.

4. Here you see the nicely sliced Uniball cartridge, ready for insertion into the G2 mini pen body. If you want to be non-wasteful, you can keep the G2 mini cartridges for backups, or use clear tape to adhere the chunk of Uniball cartridge you've sliced off to the top of the G2 mini cartridge, and use this in a standard G2 pen. The G2 plus clipped cartridge combo doesn't work in empty Uniball Signo pen bodies, because of the G2's nib.

5. Use your new Uniball Signo RT Gel 0.38mm mini pen, and enjoy! :-)

Related Links:

Moleskinerie by Armand Frasco

Recording Thoughts by Steve Duncan

The Sailcloth PDA

"Rather than bind the cards with a binder clip, I wanted to do something a bit different, fun to use, and meaningful. So I took some sample of stiff sailcloth I had and cut it into 2 3x5 pieces to match the size of the cards. The cards are stiff enough to protect the cards a bit. I punched holes into the lower corner of the cards and sailcloth and bind them together with a small carabiner. This allows me to flip through the cards without having to unclip. I also clipped on a small cross pen soI always have something to write with."


The D*I*Y Planner: Hipster PDA Edition

"The D*I*Y Planner project was thus born as a way of providing a wide assortment of forms at little cost. (Although, my wife might argue that I was just being cheap.) With the realization that others might find it useful, I decided to create a system that could be tweaked to suit almost any methodology or situation, relying heavily upon user feedback for ideas and direction.

The latest member of the D*I*Y Planner family is the Hipster PDA Edition, a set of 34 organizational and planning templates designed specifically for 3x5“ index cards. I've received hundreds of requests for a kit like this, many claiming it was an important option for creating an ideal customized system. At first, the demand took me by surprise; after all, why would you want to print so tiny on cards that contain so little information and are so hard to file?"

Douglas Johnston

43 Folders

Canadian MP's Hipster PDA

On BlackBerry-addicted Parliament Hill, NDP press secretary Ian Capstick turns heads with his newest organizational gadget: a stack of 3 x 5 index cards held together by a black bull clip.

His Hill-issued BlackBerry was starting to annoy him. He was drowning in unreliable notes at his desk. So when he stumbled upon a simple stack of index cards in a filing cabinet one day, he tried them out.

"I started to keep a few cards in my back pocket to write press requests on," the 24-year-old says. "Soon, it evolved into a way to keep the entire day's activities in order. Now, people are pretty used to seeing it in my hand."

A month into using his new system, he found an on-line community at a blog called 43 Folders. There, the file-card-and-clip system has been dubbed the "hipster PDA."

The Globe and Mail

Paper Enigma Machine

"I've had many fine emails from people who have enjoyed the Paper Enigma. Many have been confused about the subtlety of the motion of the rotors. One of the benefits of building and using a model like this is that you can gain a deeper understanding of the details of the Enigma machine.

Note that the VERY FIRST STEP before encoding (or decoding) each character is to move the rotors. That is why, even though the starting position of my sample is "MCK" - the rotors are moved to the "MCL" position while decoding the first letter. Also note that any rotor motions should be done in one step (the actual Enigma machine uses a pawl to rotate 1, 2, or all 3 rotors all at once when a letter key is pressed - and before a lamp is lit with the encoded letter). The right rotor always moves up by one space; the other rotors move up if the rotor to their right has the up-arrow symbol in the first row. If you move the rotors from right-to-left, you'll end up making a mistake by rotating a center or left hand rotor one character too early."

Paper Enigma Machine

by Mike Koss

Moleskine Pen Hack

Moleskine user Sean Gerety just sent in this sweet hack over at M.  You can use this with any other notebook so I just have to spread the love.

"I've demonstrated a quick hack for a flat pen holder for my Moleskine, made in five minutes with ribbon, scissors and glue. I really love the notebooks, however it would be nice if the Moleskine grid came in a Edward Tufte ghost grid style paper. "

Details at his blog

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