9 Kick-Ass DIY Projects to Get Your Hack On

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loozer

For an extra $2, and 2 more parts you can get a switching regulator. That would get >50% more power out of a 9v battery, meaning you'll make back the extra cost after burning only 2 batteries.

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Jeff0101

Some folks are missing the point here.  These are ideas that are presented in a way where if think they're worthy you may create one yourself and then they show you how to do it to boot.  If you dont think they are worthy (or safe) then dont make them- move on- nothing to see here.  Why is it some peeps that disagree on something wont let go.  Gotta argue to the death.  Say your piece and move on.

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dzman1

Can you purchase the female usb ports at radio shack if not where can you purchase some

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Jeff0101

You can get all the components at Radio Shack except for the Altoids can.  I also used an old USB part from used parts laying around from my comp building projects and used heat shrink tubing instead of tape.  I built this for my 14 YO daughter so she can charge her MP3 player.  It works like a champ and she is a big hit at her school robotics club.

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hiremenow

Would anyone happen to know where i can get this stuff? (for the battery powered USB charger?)

 

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nsk chaos

usbs....are god's gift to us nerds/geeks/hardware hackers/anyone else =)

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Biceps

Next week's headline: 'Man arrested after blinding neighbors', says he thought laser rifle was 'a toy'.

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nekollx

 ecept even toys with lightbeams always say "do not point into eyes" so if he pointed it at someones eyes it's his own damn fault.

------------------------------

Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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pcfxer

What happens when you connect Vcc to another Vcc and both have different levels of current/voltage? That's right Short circuit and explosion of components. As an electrical engineer, I suggest you beef up your -9V -> ground (Vcc of what part of the PC??? How are filtering/blocking excess Vn from battery?) or pull the project down before people start frying components and themselves (catastrophic failure?? unlikely, but still possible).

 

EDIT: Ground Loop. This is an improper circuit and is unsafe, I am serious.

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TheDorkSide

Now that old Inspiron 8000 I've got sitting around has a purpose for living. I'm so going to do this! Another poster here was right. A lot of DIY stuff is done with stuff around the house. I've got some wood left over from a shelf project I had. That's going to be my frame. And as a bonus for this project, I may also do that USB fan to cool that overheating beast.

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slumbersix

Great article. I think another cool addition to the article could be average pricing on the parts. Just a suggestion but I like seeing what people pay for things like this.

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bikerbub

My dad gave me his old Latitude desktop from the 90's, I might try to make that into a picture frame. Now all i need to do is get it to run an os again... it runs DSL, but it won't install to the harddrive. i think the harddrive is shot.

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ChadAvery

Read the article in the magazine and loved it. I found a laser on Ebay and ordered. It came in yesterday. I am wishing I ordered more now.  

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LGA1156

a chicklet box with a 9 volt does not a kick ass project make - yoda

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minimumBS

When did Do-It-Yourself become Let-Someone-Else-Do-It?  I'm specifically referring to the "DIY" mod of the netbook picture frame where we are told that the MPC staff had to resort to paying $100 to a local frame shop to have it made.  The best DIY projects for magazines (and their online companion sites) are truly DIY. (Fix: tell us all the DIY steps.)

And the best projects are those that involve parts that any techie ALREADY HAS in the house and can use with any brand of parts.  The projects listed here that involve very particular models of cameras really breaks MaxPC's pledge of Minimum BS.  (Fix: tell us how to do this with ANY digital camera, or if that's not possible, how to do another DIY project with ANY digital camera.)

Also, a good DIY project should have all the steps clearly detailed.  I doubt most folks are going to get their phaser working from that mod.  The project starts off well enough in the DIY ethic saying you can use an old blu-ray laser but then scraps the DIY ethic by saying well it would be too tough to DIY because you'd need to develop your own driver circuit?  Wow, how much better this article would have been if it actually outlined the steps to make that driver circuit.  (Fix: give us all the steps!)

In places such as the phaser project, where it's suggested that someone just buy a part from the Internet for about $30, why isn't there any more description as to what the parts are that are needed and/or where to get them from?  In the case of the phaser project, we're suggested to go buy the part as an alternative for needing to build our own driver circuit to go with our laser.  What parts specifically do we need to make sure we have the right driver circuit or whatever?  Or is the reader just supposed to google for "laser with driver circuit"?? And yes, Googling that phrase comes up with three results, two of which are YouTube videos and the third is a link to a site whose Google-preview text suggests one is available for FIFTY dollars... but ends up taking you to a dead-link/domain-tasting site.  (Fix: give us the details!)

And another thing about the ACER mod... the netbook already IS an electronic picture frame - SCREENSAVERS ANYONE?!?  It's like saying a good DIY project is to rip my car stereo out of my car, throw the rest of the car away, wire a battery to the car stereo and voila - you have your own portable boom box.  (Fix: give us a truly DIY project that uses truly old parts and not cannibailizing a recent system that ALREADY DOES what the DIY mod would do.)

And on the project Yoda mentions...  the big glaring problem with a USB booklight is that you have to have a USB cord tied to the booklight now.  The cool thing about those little booklights is that they are as portable as the book is.  But now I need to provide USB power for my book?  Pleeeeeez.  It's like asking someone why they've never made a car video player that gets cable TV.  (Fix:  Don't provide a DIY project that takes something functional and useful and makes it unusable.  Projects for fun's sake are of course fun, a USB booklight is neither fun nor usable.)

C'mon Max PC, you can do better!

Or am I just missing some new tradition of celebrating April Fool's Day this time of year and this article was supposed to be just a gag, and I'm taking it literally and not getting the joke?!?

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Havok

 THis article is supposeed to be about having fun building things out of seemingly useless items. You must not read the magazine much. All the How-tos or DIY stuff in the mag are a lot shorter than the on-line How-tos (Read: Build your own touchpanel or Build your own MAME cabinet) People can't just post essays for the heck of it (Fix: Yours) And really, if your that pissed about a fun article, head over to the forums and post it there under 'Magazine Feedback' instead of here, or better yet, e-mail it to the editors who care more about it than us normal people do. (Fix: If you want a DIY or LSEDI for yourself, go to Wal-mart, pickup a LEGO set and start building. Look! It has detailed step-by-step instructions, AND tells you where to find all the pieces! Just what you asked for!)

 

 

OMGWTFBBQ

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minimumBS

 

I've read Max PC for years.  Not trying to rain on a parade, just really, really hoping that Max PC can and will do better.  This was not a fun article.  It was simply one disappointing project after another.  Certainly not cool enough to be considered kicking anything.  These do not deserve to be in a Max PC magazine, or even online with the Max PC brand, unless Max PC has downgraded their target reader level to 5-7 years old in an attempt to get more readers.  In which case I have to agree with the other poster who noted that some of these projects were not electrically safe, and point out that while they might be interesting to someone 5-7 years old, they are not safe for anyone, let alone that age range.  Again I say... Max PC can do better.  I know because I've read them for years.  

 

 

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nsk chaos

lulz

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sallystudios

Obviously you are retarded; get the strongest laser you can.

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major_tom

The retarded should get no lasers at all.

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gulfcoastfella

"...it’s also strong enough to do some extreme eye damage to anyone unlucky enough to catch a stray reflection."  How are you unable to make this TOY with a safer laser?  Because as soon as you seal the phaser back up, regardless of what you may think, every person who ever lays eyes on that thing will know that it's a toy.  The sad thing is that some of you who wrote this article probably have kids; and that one of those kids is about to permanently loose vision in one eye.

Do you know what would be a great diy gadget?  A teddy bear with a 30 Amp capacitor stuffed inside.  Obviously, it wouldn't be a toy, because who would make a plush toy with a massive capacitor stuffed inside.  And of course, the one time your as-yet-undiscovered future girlfriend comes by your apartment with her 2-year old child, the stated child wanders your apartment and finds the dangerous teddy bear.  But any two year old who's not brain dead KNOWS that teddy bears are actually dangerous electerical devices used to restart someones heart after a massive heart attack.

But you're probably right, a toy phaser that can permanently destroy someones vision in addition to letting you burn your electrical tape and pop balloons while wearing your Captain Kirk outfit in your garage made up to look like TOS Enterprise bridge... we've got to allow ourselves a few vices, now don't we?

Or we could just install a weaker laser and not be able to burn our electrical tape.  Damn these choices are hard...  my brain is starting to hurt, guys!

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gulfcoastfella

Don't worry guys, I fully realize your need to singe electrical tape with your Trek phaser, and hence the need for installing an overly powerful laser into a toy.  Consider me enlightened.

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Asevening

I have never heard of loose vision, or tight vision for that matter.  Did you mean to say "LOSE vision" when you were standing on your throne casting stones at MPC for not being smart?  I don't want to be confused between not having vision and having my eyeballs come out or something.

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alanmc76

 LOL

 I'm still laughing at the mental image.

 _______________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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alanmc76

 Gulfcoastfella, I get what you are saying, and while I applaud the effort, your blame is misplaced.  The real problem here is the education of the children.  The hard truth is that parents are not spending as much time with their children as they did in previous generations.  Instead of teaching our children we prefer to just remove all dangers, then we don't have to worry about watching them. 

When I was a kid we were taught what dangers were deadly and anything else was pretty much fair game.  If we got ourselves hurt, it was our own fault.  There was no suing the neighbor because I was stupid and fell off the trampoline.  It was my fault, not theirs.  I rode my bike all over the city with no helmet.  I rode in the back of pickup trucks.  I played with BB guns.  I built model airplanes and then blew them up with firecrackers whilst recreating WWII battle scenes.  Dangerous?  Maybe.  But I survived.

Children are naturally curious, so don't make everything a mystery to them.  If a child picks something up, don't freak out, take it away and put him "time-out".  Show it to him and explain why it's dangerous.  Then there is no mystery.  Give the kids some credit, they are much more intelligent than we give them credit for.  And if they get hurt from time to time, well that's part of being a kid.  After all, I'm still alive.  Sheesh.

 ________________________________________

-- "What am I, MacGyver? Fix it with what?"--

 

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willsmith

I think the story was adequately disclaimered. If you want to put a weaker laser in, it's relatively easy to step it down. If you have the skills to make this work, and you read our article, you should know not to leave this where your kids will find it.

I don't mean to be glib, but there's plenty of stuff in every household that's much more dangerous (knives, poisons, solvents, bleach, ammonia, etc). For that matter, if you stare at the sun for a few moments, you can permantently damage your vision too.

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Walnut

Or you could, oh, I don't know, not leave it where small children can get to it? This is the same reason why one might buy medicine and then not put it in the baby's crib. Should I throw away all of my kitchen knives, have the electric company take my house off the grid, and abandon the notion of ever cleaning my windows again as well? I don't care if it looks like a toy. If you have small/dumb children around, you put it on top of the fridge (which, on second thought, you might want to get rid of, as a child might lock themselves inside). This concept really shouldn't be so foreign to someone so concerned about the wellbeing of children. Also, it would be quite a challenge to permanently "destroy" someone's vision with a $30 laser diode. Also, capacitors are rated in Farads, not Amps. 

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AntiHero

"(which, on second thought, you might want to get rid of, as a child might lock themselves inside)." I laughed at this. Well played, sir.

I don't like Microsoft, I associate with it.

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minimumBS

I also highly recommend installing those little child-safety latches onto the fridge as well to keep them from being able to open the fridge at all.  This keeps them from getting locked inside, as well as keeps them away from the food so that they don't kill themselves slowly through obesity.  And while we're on the subject, anyone who has a fridge with a drink or ice dispenser on the front, you need to take special care to secure that area to prevent kids from lodging their heads in the drink dispenser area and drowning, or from lodging their heads in the icemaker area and freezing the side of their head off.

I'd recommend not using fridges at all, except the alternative -- portable coolers -- offers such a dangerous hazard to small pets who can fall in and either drown or suffocate.

 

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snapple00

Lol.

I'm guessing you don't have a car, don't leave your house, don't get close to anything electronic, and don't have any knives/forks/metal spoons to cut your meals made entirely out of bread.

If you did do/have these things, your brain would explode so you wouldn't have been able to type your response.

QED

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Havok

 Man, this article was amazing in the mag, now that its online, all my friends who saw my Altoids tin USB charger and USB charger cable for my DS (I sliced off the AC head in favor of a USB head) can finally go get the how-tos online WITHOUT destroying my magazine! Soldering is now a hobby of mine! I'm making an "Awesome Button" next out of a useless Staples EASY button.

"Touch my awesome button!!"

Also, Kipkay.com made a Blu-Ray Laser Phaser, using the exact same steps as you did... I trust you guys were first though because your articles are written like 2 1/2 months in advance, his How-to was posted AFTER the mag was out, and claimed he was the "first" person to do this. It was probably you guys, at least I hope.

 

 

OMGWTFBBQ

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