Mocking the $2,145 "couture Ikea bag" with awesome Ikea bag hacks

Balenciaga sells a $2,145 leather bag that looks exactly like a cheap, big, blue plastic Ikea Frakta bag. Read the rest

How to make a skateboard that squirts liquid fire

This week on Donald Bell's Maker Update -- a skateboard that shoots fire, design concepts from Hackaday prize, a dirt-cheap telepresence robot, cardboard rivets, a microcontroller guide from MAKE, a (canvas military tool bag), and Maker Faire Bay Area, the biggest show and tell on Earth.

Extended show notes and transcript are here.

By the way, if you're coming to Maker Faire this weekend, I'll be on a panel with Donald, April Wilkerson, and John Edgar Park, moderated by Gareth Branwyn. I'm also giving a talk about making a 1-string guitar in 15 minutes. I hope to see you there! Read the rest

Maker Update #33

This week on Maker Update: a giant mechanical iris, a lightsaber, remote control Arduino, a micro torch, python boxes, Google HATs, Processing Spirographs, and Maker Faires. See expanded show notes here. Read the rest

Make a quick, cool crystal ball out of a smartphone and a goldfish bowl

Get your phone to loop Madame Leota (or your favorite spooky fortune teller), stick it in a goldfish bowl with strategic black cloth covering everything except the video, and plonk the whole thing on a candle-holder: viola! (via Gameraboy) Read the rest

Arduino clone on sale for $8.68

Grab this Elegoo UNO R3 Board while you can for $8.68 on Amazon. If you don't have jumper wires, LEDs, buttons, resistors, etc. you can buy a bunch of goodies for $7.86. Read the rest

Adam Savage's Maker Tour: Albert and Tina Small Center For Collaborative Design

Adam Savage is on a tour of maker spaces around the country. He visited the Tulane School of Architecture's Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, where students are assigned real-world projects. He went to a local homeless shelter "to learn about one of the center's recent builds: an outdoor space that the class conceived, designed and built in just 16 weeks!" Read the rest

Control devices wirelessly up to 2 kilometers away with this DIY project

My friend, John Edgar Park, has a video about low-bandwidth, long-range packet radio signals, which he uses to make a remote effects trigger box. Really cool! Read the rest

Excellent vintage portable TV turned into retro gaming system

FinnAndersen spotted this wonderful vintage portable TV in a dumpster. He gutted most of it and outfitted the shell with a new screen and Raspberry Pi 3 to run RetroPie. Demo video below.

"It can emulate everything up to and including N64/PS1/Dreamcast, with a built-in wireless XBOX controller receiver for multiplayer parties!, he writes. "It also has a digital tuner inside to watch actual television, using the original knob for channel switching."

I'd love to do this to a JVC Videosphere!

"I turned an old portable TV into a dedicated retro gaming system!" (Imgur)

Read the rest

Chess with wireless, glowing nixie tubes

Lasermad's Nixie Chessboards take 8-10 weeks to hand build, during which time each of the chess pieces is painstakingly built around a vintage nixie tube scavenged from the world's dwindling supply, and the board is prepared with the wireless induction coils that power the pieces when they're set on the board, lighting them up. (via Red Ferret) Read the rest

Custom Minecraft figs with glowing eyes and swords

Red Lava Toys is a Detroit-based startup that make super cool, low-cost custom Minecraft figs at a local makerspace: they CNC-milled their own injection molds for the body and joints, and have precision die-cut vinyl stickers that they print to order with long-lasting ink and cover with a clear adhesive coat, then place them on the body of the toy. Read the rest

Cool cover for a 1974 hobbyist electronics magazine

I'd not heard of Elektor magazine until today, when I came across this photo of the cover from a 1974 edition. I assumed it was fake. Everything about it seemed like it was created this year - the typeface, the names of the projects, the tagline ("up-to-date electronics for lab and leisure"). Someone has uploaded the issue in PDF format.

Such a groovy magazine!

Joint smoking transistors:

Trippy traces:

Elektor is still around, but the design is vastly different:

From Wikipedia:

Elektor is a monthly magazine about all aspects of electronics, first published as Elektuur in the Netherlands in 1960, and now published worldwide in many languages including English, German, Dutch, French, Greek, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian) and Italian with distribution in over 50 countries. The English language edition of Elektor was launched in 1975 and is read worldwide.

Elektor publishes a vast range of electronic projects, background articles and designs aimed at engineers, enthusiasts, students and professionals. To help readers build featured projects, Elektor also offer PCBs (printed circuit boards) of many of their designs, as well as kits and modules. If the project employs a microcontroller and/or PC software, as is now often the case, Elektor normally supply the source code and files free of charge via their website. Most PCB artwork is also available from their website.

Read the rest

Open source interface to connect your brain to your computer

Most of us need a computer interface implanted in our brains like we need a hole in our head. That said, there are benefits to bridging the gap between mind and machine. Joel Murphy is the founder of OpenBCI, an inexpensive, and non-invasive, brain-computer interface (BCI) platform. People have used OpenBCI to control robots, compose music by thinking about it, develop games, and help individuals who are "locked in" and can't control their bodies communicate with the outside world. Mark Frauenfelder and I interviewed Joel about open source, DIY neurotech in this episode of For Future Reference, a new podcast from Institute for the Future:

Please subscribe to For Future Reference: iTunes, RSS, Soundcloud Read the rest

If you want to build an iPhone from scratch, you have a lot of tiny parts to deal with

Last week Carla posted Scotty's amazing video about building an iPhone from scratch. Scotty just sent me a couple of photos that show just how difficult it was to build the phone:

The attached photos are from one of the booths that sells screws and brackets and other accessories for repairing and refurbishing iPhones.

The first photo of the laminated card is showing "foam, stickers, and dust mesh accessories". These are all the little bits of adhesive and foam and mesh hole coverings you need to make an iPhone totally perfect. Most notable are the two grids of pink dots. Those are water damage sensors, which turn red when you get them wet (the other side is faces up when installed, and is white). This is what Apple looks at to see if your phone has gotten wet.

The other photo is a bin of brackets for iPhone. They're mostly coverings for connectors, or to hold the camera or other parts in place. The baggies in the upper right are camera covers - they glue into a hole in the metal shell, and are the round piece of glass that prevents the actual camera itself from getting scratched.

Read the rest

Bake: a Piescraper that towers over the dessert-table

Pie-hacking baker Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (AKA @thePieous) writes, "I've been experimenting with pushing the boundaries of pie design for just over a year now, but my big white whale - how to make pies 'tall' - had always eluded me... until today. Meet my new invention: Piescrapers! What is a Piescraper? Essentially a pie that is built 'up' using a series of engineering and baking tricks to enhance structural integrity and make tall pies stable, and delicious!" Read the rest

Robot Maker and YouTuber Simone Giertz's favorite tools

Our guest this week on the Cool Tools Show is Simone Giertz. Simone is a Swedish native who now resides in San Francisco. Millions of people come to watch her build shitty robots on YouTube and she recently launched her own astronaut training program to get herself into space. Simone's videos have been featured on The Ellen Show, The Late Show, Mashable, Business Insider, Wired, Conan O'Brien, and more. Whilst most recently joining master builder Adam Savage's tested team.

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Show notes:

Dremel 4200 ($114) “I started building stuff about 3 years and I’m rediscovering everything that people have known for a long time. … Dremel tool kind of goes in the line of that … it blew my mind because I do a lot of aluminum fabrications. I make parts out of aluminum frames or customized parts that I already have and for that it's freakin' great because it's like having your own arm do it but at a much higher RPM. It's like a little pen. It's just such an accessible tool. You're just sitting there and you're cutting. It has the tiniest little cutter blades and it’s just nice. … It’s a super versatile tool and it takes up no space.”

Original Prusa i3 MK2S kit ($699)

"I am definitely not an authority in 3D printing. I am a total 3D printing novice. Read the rest

Hacking your microbiome with DIY fecal transplants

Biohacker Josiah Zayner suffered from persistent digestive problems so he decided to undertake an extreme self-experiment: He isolated himself in a hotel room, took massive doses of antibiotics, and then gave himself a fecal transplant to transform his own microbiome. Mark Frauenfelder and I interviewed Josiah about biohacking, cheap genetic engineering kits, and, of course, his own full body microbiome transplant in this episode of For Future Reference, a new podcast from Institute for the Future:

Please subscribe to For Future Reference: iTunes, RSS, Soundcloud Read the rest

Strollers suck so these designers made their own amazing, lightweight, compact marvel

Tim from Windfire Designs writes, "We got excited about making our own stroller after getting sick of trying to choose between really giant expensive and clunky strollers, or putting up with cheap, throw away strollers. We made our own -- which is always great -- because we could decide what was cool, rather than being told and sold. This thing goes everywhere, and the kiddo loves it. This video should show others the path to not accepting the de facto standards in stroller design." Read the rest

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