Archive for DIY

Bioshock casemod sinks HTPC in mineral oil

Posted in Computer Cases,Computers,DIY by Shane McGlaun on October 5th, 2010

Over the years, I have laid eyes on some strange casemods and have seen more than one machine that was submerged in oil. A new casemod has surfaced that has a Bioshock theme. The builder uses an aquarium to put his new HTPC under four gallons of mineral oil.

The mineral oil is normally used as a laxative for horses apparently. The mainboard and PSU are mounted to a clear plastic sheet and placed into the aquarium. The only hardware part not under the oil is the HDD. The maker rounded the design out with a bubble filter, gravel and a few other things.

DSLR gets hand carved wooden control knob

Posted in DIY by Shane McGlaun on October 4th, 2010

I would bet at one time or another we have all loaned someone something and had it returned with damage. That is frustrating and the least we expect from those who borrowed it is to fix it for us. That is just want one guy did.

As the story goes, a dude loaned a DSLR to a pal and while the pal had the camera, the control wheel was somehow lost. Rather than return the camera broken, the dude who borrowed it set about crafting his own replacement.

Nintendo NES DVD Player

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on October 3rd, 2010

If the NES were released today, this is what it would look like as you load up your Lost DVD. Once the tray goes in, you’ll need eject it again and blow on the DVD. It’s a beautiful creation.

The controller has been hollowed out and once you flip it over a DVD remote has been placed inside which controls it. Great mod. I may have to build this one myself.

World’s fastest lawn mower

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on September 30th, 2010


My lawn mower and yours are not very fast. Only as fast as you push it. But Bobby Cleveland’s lawn mower goes fast! Super fast. His DIY project produced a beast that can zing along at 96MPH. I’d hate to get in the way of those blades.

You might lose your head, or an arm, or…everything. I’d also hate to be the rider when it hits a rock or pot hole. Same result. But man that is one fast mower.

Awesome R2D2 DIY robot holds a geek and moves around

Posted in DIY,Robots by Shane McGlaun on September 28th, 2010

I really like to see some of the awesome DIY stuff that geeks come up with and when that stuff has to do with Star Wars it’s even better. A dude has created his own DIY R2D2 bot that is larger than the actual robot so the guy can fit inside the ting to drive it.

The replica of R2D2 has a flip up dome that the guy climbs into. Once inside the robot he activate sound effects and somehow control how the thing moves around. It has fans inside too to keep the geek cool.

DIY mini dragster powered by six circular saws

Posted in Automotive,DIY by Shane McGlaun on September 24th, 2010

Give a geek some hardware, a bit of extra time, and a need for speed and they can come up with anything. A dude named Barry Lee has constructed his own mini dragster using six circular saws for power. The saws are 16-inch Makita units.

The dragster was created for a cool competition in the UK called the Power Tool Drag Racing Championships held in conjunction with the Royal Navy and Five’s Gadget Show. The dragsters will compete against other DIY types and power tool companies for the win.

DIY pinball machine coffee table

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on September 22nd, 2010

Coffee tables don’t have to be boring. This one will provide much more fun than just a place to put your books and coffee mugs on it. A fellow named zieak created this amazing table, after picking up a pinball machine from the dump.

He basically transferred the playing surface of the old pinball machine (with some LEDs) into a coffee table. And now I want to do the same.

Macro Lens for your Nexus One

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on September 12th, 2010

The Nexus One might not take the kind of macro photos that your DSLR is capable of, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take good macro shots with a little bit of DIY elbow grease. Check out this handy macro lens attachment for the Nexus One.

The lens comes from a pair of mini binoculars, and is fastened to a mounting bracket using epoxy putty. You’ll notice the 3.5mm male plug, which holds the lens securely in place and also keeps it removable.

Meat smoker texts you when your meat is done

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on September 2nd, 2010

This DIY meat smoker is a must make. Real men need meat. And they need to know when it is done. Simple as that. And so this meat smoker will alert you via a text message whenever your meat is ready. Peter Rauch decided to use a proportional-integral-differential (PID) controller which can modulate electrical power to a heating element.

It even has a touchscreen display that allows you to adjust the controller, while a J-type thermocouple located in the top of the smoker delivers a voltage signal for the feedback loop to control the temperature. When you combine meat with tech, the results are delicious.

Voting machine plays Pac-Man

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on August 22nd, 2010

Voting machines are pretty unreliable and prone to being easily hacked, so it wasn’t that hard to hack this Sequoia AVC EDGE voting machine to play Pac-Man. Pac-Man isn’t all that different from politics anyway. You have one bloated yellow bastard gobbling up all of the wealth and resources, while we all play the ghosts who try to stop them.

The machine has had it’s memory card formatted, installing DOS and MAME. It has had it’s share of rigged votes, no doubt, but now it can right that wrong by providing some fun.

Motion-controlled Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on August 8th, 2010

Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots have gone all futuristic on us. Zachery Shivers and Anne Flinchbaugh have created a motion-controlled version of the game as part of Texas Instruments’ Co-op Design Challenge. This version, unlike the original has plenty of servos and circuit boards underneath the ring.

But the main event here is TI’s accelerometer-equipped Chronos watch, which lets you translate actual punches into rock ‘em sock ‘em punches. Awesome.

Nexus One/Arduino SmallSat blasted 28k feet into air on rocket

Posted in DIY by Shane McGlaun on July 29th, 2010

When I was a kid, I used to build those Estes rocket kits that you could shoot into the air a few hundred feet. I always seemed to get the tail fins crooked and the things would fly all sideways and stuff.

A couple geeks have taken rocketry to the next level and put a SmallSat made up of an Nexus One smartphone and Arduino onto the back of a big rocket dubbed intimidator-5 and blasted the thing into the sky. The project was followed by Make for its DIY Space issue.

Circuit board table is DIY at its geekiest

Posted in DIY by Shane McGlaun on July 22nd, 2010

I know that my wife would never let a coffee table as geeky as the one this DIY guy created from old computer parts into our house. This thing would look really good in my office though. The builder took old mainboards and other computer parts and built one of the coolest tables I have seen.

The table is actually made from two tables with a smaller table that the mainboards and components are attached to inside the larger table. The larger table is made from wood and glass with LED lights to let you see all the geekery inside the glass table.

It’s hot! Here’s a DIY air conditioner

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on July 7th, 2010

It’s hot here in the Northeast. Very hot! If your air conditioning fails or you simply don’t have air conditioning, here’s a DIY solution. You wont have real AC cooling power, but it beats having nothing.

You just need a cooler, a fan, some tubes and a water pump. Then you just need to run cool water in front of the fan for it to cool off the air that blows out, making it only slightly more effective than a regular fan.

Pixel Qi display available for DIY netbook repairs

Posted in DIY by Shane McGlaun on July 1st, 2010

Lots of netbook users take their devices with them wherever they go. The small and portable stature of the netbooks makes them idea for travel. If you use your in the sun a lot and want a more readable screen or have broken your screen, Pixel Qi has a DIY repair for you.

The Pixel Qi screen famous for its sunlight readability is now available for DIY repairs for $275. The screen is 10.1-inches and will fit most netbooks with screens that size.