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This is a question DIY Techno-hacks

Old hard drive platters make wonderfully good drinks coasters - they look dead smart and expensive and you've stopped people reading your old data into the bargain.

Have you taped all your remotes together, peep-show-style? Have you wired your doorbell to the toilet? What enterprising DIY have you done with technology?

Extra points for using sellotape rather than solder.

(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:30)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Camera Phone
I was at my mates house last year and we were taking pictures with our camera phones, mostly just larking about taking random pictures but my mate didn't have a camera phone so was missing out on the fun, until he got an idea and went into the kitchen made a bit of noise and then came back out with this:


A Camera - Phone, as you can see it is sellotaped together so do I get extra points?

Edit: Woohoo, front page!
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 14:24, 7 replies)
In my first bed-sit
I made a remote control for my stereo by wrapping a piece of string twice around the volume knob, behind the radiator and around the bedstead.

Yay, now I could adjust the volume whilst lying in bed.

The next morning, I lay there pondering why I'd not thought of a way to turn the thing on first...
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 14:23, Reply)
Can I just say that in all my 44 years on this planet.
I have yet to come across anything broken that cannot be fixed with duct tape.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 14:08, 28 replies)
I found a self-adhesive hook recently...
It is now on the side of my PC hutch, so I can hang my keys on it.

Mum would be proud.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 14:02, Reply)
At school, Spoonhead had an electrocutor made from a flash in the camera (a capacitor?) which he plugged in to the mains.The jolt you got was right on the otherside of painful.
He was one of those brainiacs with almost no other notable skills other than pain and destruction, I wonder what became of him.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:50, Reply)
A friend of mine had a remote control watch
that, for some reason, he could use to control TVs and radios. He used to use it in school to turn the volume up frighteningly loud or right down on the documentary while the teacher had it paused to pass out notes or whatever.

I don't think they ever caught on...

Did anyone else have one of these watches?

(The most sabotage I ever did was altering an alarm clock so it sounded like my school bell, then setting it off five minutes before lunch so we all got out early. The teacher then set their clock five minutes fast for the rest of the year.)
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:48, 7 replies)
I Like This Question

So there should be a few from me this week.

But I'd better start by saying that I've invalidated the warranty on pretty much every gadget I've ever bought. Usually within 5 minutes of getting them home. I've either stripped them down to see how they're built (IMac, Blackberry, innumerable phones) or installed extra operating systems (pretty much every computer I've owned has either been dual or triple boot) or jailbroken them (Ipod Touch) so I can install software *I* want and not have to be dictated to by Apple.

My Wii can now control my laptop via the WiiMote. My Ipod can remote into my 2003 server and I've a cunning plan for my toilet. I'm going to make the seat voice-operated.

Oh - and I built a gadget that uses the WiiMote to track LEDs built onto a bar. That was used to control a simple game over the Internet that can be used by kids doing physiotherapy. If they did the exercise right they got to see cute kittens. If they did it wrong then no pussy for them. That study was presented at one of the major medical conferences over here in Oz.

More later

(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:45, 4 replies)
Pea-Roast : Polo Mints
Mr Silver Surfer was a techie beyond extreme... A radio ham amongst other things...
A long long time ago (20+ years), he used to develop software to test electronic equipment (whilst in the design stage). Pretty serious boffin stuff.

His office was subjected to some git stealing biscuits and sweets that may have been left around overnight.

His solution was to get a pack of Polo mints and remove them (including the silver foil) from the wrapper.
He then removed a strip of the foil across the centre of pack, reattached the two halves (with the gap) with tape and placed it back in the wrapper

Opening the ends of packet, he inserted a capacitor of some strength that was fully charged (don't get too techie here with the challenges - I don't know) and then connected the terminal ends to the foil at each end of the packet.

The packet was duly left on a desk that evening and strangely there were no more thefts after that.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:43, 1 reply)
Sex with a rotting corpse. Wanking over photos of your six year old nieces’ camel toe as she frolicks in the surf off Brighton beach. Marmite. Simon Cowell. - Some things are just too fucking terrible to contemplate.

Add to this list my last attempt at cooking that fancy French food for my girlfriend.

I’d been seeing Liz for about a month – we were moving past the initial shag-each-other-ragged then pop out for a bacon sandwich and a tube of Pringles before another cock-slamming-kidneys-encounter stage, and it was time to impress her with something other than the red raw contents of my pants (good job really; my testicles had shrunk to the size of acorns from all the two-backed-beast monkey rubbing we’d been up to).

So I decided to cook Liz a meal. I sauntered down to Sainsburys, returned, and commandeered the kitchen in the shared house I was living in. Chicken breasts, cream, white wine, shitloads of salad (in an attempt to make Liz think I was in someway healthy and more virile than a horny wilderbeast who’s stumbled across an errant shipment of viagra and Spansh fly), and also loads of posh-sounding herbs and shit.

I started my culinary creation the best way possible – I sat down and watched The Simpsons on Channel 4 and had a glass of wine. Then I had another one. And another. Then I ripped the chicken breasts from the packet and slapped them in a frying pan, poured over the wine and the cream, and after a few minutes standing there wondering why nothing was happening, turned the cooker on. Then I had another glass of wine. Then I made a bit of a salad with all the skill and grace of Freddy Kruger attacking a virgin’s nether regions.

After about fifteen minutes of standing round, perving over the girls on Hollyoaks, I recalled something I’d seen on telly a while back. I remembered that setting fire to food makes it taste better; I decided to flambe the fuck out of this meal – that would, quite simply, impress the panties off Liz. So I got out my lighter and tried to set fire to the bubbling chicken tits lying in the frying pan. No joy. It wouldn’t light. So I had a scout round the kitchen, found a half empty bottle of vodka, and poured a bit in. This lit, but not too well. I wanted Terminator-style explosions, a flame a pyromaniac would’ve ejaculated over.

And this is where the techno-hack bit comes into play...
I recalled when I was a kid the endless hours of fun to be had lobbing aerosol cans onto naked flames. I also remembered the time my best mate Greg scorched off his own eyebrows doing something cool and amazing with a can of Lynx and a box of Swan Vesta. So I went down to my room and routed round for something to go WOOOOSSSHHHH!!! No joy, I use roll on deoderant. Fuck. So I went to the bathroom and ‘borrowed’ one of my housemates cans of hairspray. One of those big bastard Elnett cans with the sexy 80’s girlie on the front.

Returning to the kitchen, I reasoned if I directed the flame in such a way I could get a nice spray of fire over the chicken, just enough to give it that crispy flambe feel. Then, realising I’d run out of wine, I had a glass of vodka. Then I poured a little more vodka into the frying pan for luck.

After this I reached for my lighter, angled the Elnett can at the cooker, and –


It was like a scene out of Apocalypse Now. The improvised flame thrower spewed out buring hot fire and engulfed the cooker, scorched the counter next to the cooker, set fire to the curtains above the cooker, and – somehow – managed to scorch the ceiling. I dropped the can and ran as the wine and vodka-drenched chicken breasts went up like an improvised explosive device – Taliban eat your fucking heart out.

After I’d composed myself, I legged it back into the kitchen, slammed right into the corner of the kitchen table lodging my bollocks deep into my abdomen, fell over and landed conveniently on my face. After a few seconds whimpering I managed to scramble up, fill a saucepan with water, and chuck it on the flaming meal and smoldering curtains. The kitchen stank like Satan’s hairdressers. My creation, alas, had withered and shrunk and turned black – eight quids worth of premium chicken breast resembled a set of old man’s knackers.

With only a few minutes before Liz was due to come round, I quickly cleaned up as best I could and went out for a Chinese. By the time I got back Liz was waiting outside. She looked at me quizzically as I started mumbling a greeting. Liz said: “Where’s your eyebrows???” I stopped mumbling... Reached up, yep, where my eyebrows should’ve been was balder than a monk who uses Gilette. “And you’ve got soot on you...”

I felt a bit foolish – sort of explained the funny looks I was getting strolling down Camden Road.

But I learned a valuable lesson – don’t use improvised weapons in the pursuit of culinary excellence... Think I might ask for a blow tourch for Christmas...
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:43, 15 replies)
Not me but my sister
When my sister was a wee kid she built all kinds of gadgetry. There was the post-man trap, a shallow but lethal hole dug in the front lawn. A door bell made from a lamp shade hung out of her bedroom window on a length of wool.

My brother & his young friend invented a great game, my sister would stand in the front garden (being carful of the post-man trap) then run about and shout as he would launch 12’’ vinyl records out of the window at her.

I made a fantastic thing to adorn my teenage bedroom I got 2 oscilloscopes (ooh I plugged them in to my stereo - wiggly lines to the music, bearing in mind this pre MS media player. My best friend almost died from jealously) to top this fabulous creation I found a marine receiver (I don’t know what it suppose to do, but it looked nice) between them.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:43, 4 replies)
DIY Candles
This doesn't involve too much technology, so may be a little OT, but have this chirpy little repost whilst I try and remember what other "inspired" ideas I've had which turned out in practice to be utter shit...
Last Christmas, one of my housemates was given aLean, Mean, Fat Reducing Grilling Machine*. Now, for the unfamiliar, this is basically a Breville Sandwich Toaster with a bit of a slope on it. You put a plastic tray** under the end of it, and as your meat cooks (*snigger*), the fat drips down into the plastic tray. Simple but effective.

Just one question: what the f**k do you do with a tray of sausage fat? Said housemate probably needs a good salad more than he needs a piece of white sliced deep fried in the sausage juices, so he's better off throwing it away. But of course, you can't tip the stuff down the sink.

So he collected it in a jar. For a few weeks on end. We now had, in our kitchen, a jar containing several weeks' worth of fat, oil, grease and foetid meat juices.

I had a nice sturdy piece of string. I had an idea.

Yes, I dangled this piece of string into the jar and let it marinade in the grease for a few days. Then I took a lighter to the end and - bugger me - I had a working candle.

Of my four housemates, two of them think this makes me disgusting, one of them thinks it's a good idea, if eccentric, and the other hasn't commented. Who do you side with?

Apologies for length, but at least it's lean and low-fat...

*Cue "So good I put my face on it" jokes...
**Two of which are generously provided by the manufacturers
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:38, 12 replies)
Oh, I just remembered...
while reminiscing about my old electronics class down there v v v, one of the first things we learnt to make was a bell (exciting huh?)

While faffing on with my crappy electronic bell ringer in the next class (while waiting for the teacher to arrive - it was in one of the "audio visual presentation rooms" because we were going to watch some boring educational film because the teacher was too lazy to teach) I noticed it completely shagged the picture on the telly.

Oh the fun we had. Every time he sat back down at the back of the room *muffled buzz from my bag* + fucked tv picture until he returned to fiddling with the cables at the back of the telly.
By timing these bursts, I convinced him the only way we could watch the film was if he stood at a stupid angle at the back of the TV with one hand on the aerial and the other in the air.

I'm beginning to understand why I failed these classes.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:35, Reply)
I took apart a dead Dual Shock (PlayStation controller)
and clipped and sanded off the cup-shaped base of one of the thumbsticks, so I just had a mushroom-like thing consisting of the nub on its stem. Then I took the thumbstick off my PSP - it just pulls right off, you don't even need to take apart the machine - and put the PS2 controller's stick in its place; surprisingly, the joint is the same size on both machines. Much more comfy than the stupid little flat nipple the PSP comes with.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:32, 5 replies)
At college...
I was so fed-up with wise-guys messing with my motorbike (hilariously turning-off the fuel tap, putting it in gear, taking the cable off the spark-plug etc. every...damned...day) that I decided to build a "deterrent".

I was doing Electronics at the time - one of those silly subjects they make you do because 3 x A-levels isn't enough (this was back when A-levels were difficult :p) so I thought I'd put my limited knowledge to good use and create some form of zapping device.

I secretly created my zap-o-thon but didn't have the balls to test it (it discharged rather a large shock from 2x 9v batteries) so for some reason, still a mystery to me to this day why, I rigged it up to a metal rod and put that on the teacher's desk on top of the register.
The minute I sat back down, I realised what I'd done and was about to undo it when he walked in. Ooops.

Morning class...
He let out a noise, the likes of which I haven't heard since, no matter how many cats I've sat on.

The room went silent while he traced the wires to my little project, patiently opened the box and examined the circuitry inside and calmly asked "Who did this?"

Knowing I'd crossed that line (again) I stood up.

He disarmed the device, picked it up and walked over and placed it on my desk.
"McFlimby... Right now, I should be shouting at you, or marching you out of this building, but, did you design this... contraption?"
"I'm impressed"

He made it quite clear that I wasn't to do anything similar again, but that was it! A total let-off!

Anyhooo, we had a fun week watching from a hidden window as the jokers zapped themselves one by one (it looked a thoroughly unpleasant experience) until I was warned by a sensible friend that if a little old lady brushed past my motorbike and fibrillated her old heart or the zap-o-thon caused a spark in the fuel tank, I would be in big trouble so I binned it but, I never had any more problems with twatty wiseguys messing with my bike again.
Gawd bless you technology!
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:27, 5 replies)
I once strapped my cordless phone to a 12mp digital sli camera and strapped that onto my sony bravia 32" LCD plasma. That kinda voided the whole mobile telecommunication idea.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:26, 2 replies)
Uni Halls Tin Foil
While in Uni in Southampton, we used to hang foil over the PIR that controlled the heating (it switched off if there was no movement, as it assumed you were out of the room. Trouble is it also switched the heating off if you sat reasonable still, like when watching TV)

The foil would jangle in the draughts and reflect around, or that was the theory. I was never convinced.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:20, 2 replies)
Abused technology?
I have. I had a wank one whilst thinking of that bird from the Gadget Show.

I don't even fancy her that much.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:12, 1 reply)
Not a real DIY story
But we're in 2009 and i'm using floppy disks (yes, the 1.44MB ones)
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:12, 2 replies)
My Gran asked my uncle to have a look at her electrics after my Grandpa passed away...
... All seemed fine except for a mysterious white plug that disappeared behind the T.V but didn't seem to be connected to anything. Getting on his hands and knees he followed the wire behind the T.V, under the carper, out the room, across the hall and into my Grandpa's bedroom. By moving the bed my Uncle found what the plug was connected to; an identical white plug connected to the mains. For some reason known only to himself my Grandpa felt it necessary to hook the mains up to the mains.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:12, 7 replies)
Flying Remote
I taped several hand fans to a TV remote in the hope of creating some sort of air bound,hovering remote that I could pluck from the air and use when needed.

The idea just didn't take off.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:10, Reply)
A couple
My fridge is hot-wired. The thermostat in the fridge section conked out, but rather than spend wonga on a new fridge/freezer, I hot-wired the fridge sensor through to the freezer thermostat. Been working fine for over a year now.

My second hand laptop only works because the graphics card connector was fixed using an old milk-bottle top.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:09, Reply)
The secret telephone switch
Our house apparently has this. It's a rather complicated piece of apparatus, you have to admire the genius at work.

It seems to be wired to the the telephone and activated when you are alone in the house and enter the bathroom. The very instant you you immerse your body in the shower, or place your buttocks on the lavatory seat for some quiet contemplation your peace will be shattered by sound of the telephone ringing.

However - and this is the clever bit - it manages to ring in such a manner as to convince you that a family member or friend is calling you to pass on the sad news of a loved one's sudden departing.

You're given twenty seconds to haphazardly pat dry your soapy self or complete the necessary paperwork before risking life and limb racing downstairs to find the handset, all the time repeating the mantra "ohfuckohfuck" and dodging the many hazards along the way.





"Hello, please. Can I please be speaking to Mr PJM? Would you be interested in having conservatory extension Mr PJM?"

"You cunt!"

*click, brrrrrrr......*

I'd love to know how else the telemarketing companies conspire to achieve this every fucking Sunday morning?
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 13:00, 8 replies)
Best mirror ever
Took the rear projection mirror out of the back of a 61" RP TV... it's made of foil and as light as a kitten, but a REALLY good mirror.

It's also fun to take off the wall and yell "CATCH!" just before throwing at someone. Although then you need to invent something that's good for taking the pooh stains off sofas.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:59, 3 replies)
As a child
I turned the portable telly I had in my room into a remote control telly. All I needed was a long bamboo stick and job done.

Granted, I couldn't adjust the volume (because that was on a dial) and neither could I turn the telly on without getting out of bed as you had to pull the dial, but apart from that, it was all systems go for those 'late night' viewing of Prisioner Cell Block H


'Tackling technology since 1974'
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:57, 4 replies)
I once taped a load of cooling fans together to create a large block of super fans.

I didn't work.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:48, Reply)
Can't do tech. Once i made a blender out of a drill, it covered me and kitchen in jizz-tasting cream. Parents were not best pleased.
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:46, Reply)
When I was at uni i made a remote control light switch out of a length of string attached to the oversink light in my room in halls of residence - does that count?
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:41, 1 reply)
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:39, Reply)
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:38, Reply)

Edit: I'm absolutely rubbish at Techno shit and DIY and i'm not a geek so this weeks question is going to be good for me
(, Thu 20 Aug 2009, 12:38, 2 replies)

This question is now closed.

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