Upgrade your trampoline by adding interactive LEDs

Adafruit Industries has created a tutorial to upgrade an ordinary trampoline by adding fun, interactive NeoPixel LEDs.

This is a really fun project that lights up when you jump on it! These trampolines are meant for exercising and jumping on this thing for just a few minutes feels like a working out so perfect for tiring out kids, just be sure to supervise them. It works really well and looks amazing at night, especially around a fire pit with a fog machine.

Yes, please!

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

Magical video for kids: How to make a duct tape coin pouch

In this lovely video by Joel Fox/Smile Mountain, young instructor Sally explains how to make a duct tape coin pouch with a ziploc bag closure. The video has serene, calming quality to it due to the colors, background imagery, and, of course, the stunning synth sounds by my pal Mikael Jorgensen, keyboardist for Wilco and Quindar.

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Watch this computer case mod made of wood and rope

If you like your PCs to look like a coffee maker from a 1970s yacht, you'll love this case mod. It's pretty neat in terms of heat sinks, but it has a rather large footprint. Read the rest

Watch ten eggs get sucked into a steam-heated jug

Plunging scalding hot glassware into ice water is not very safe, but it does create tremendous pressure, enough to suck ten eggs into a jug with a mouth slightly smaller than an egg. Read the rest

DIY: How to make an engagement ring in your workshop

It took maker Eli Peterson several weeks to make this silver and "nowhere near perfect" diamond engagement ring, making mistakes along the way that forced him to melt the ring back down and start over a bunch of times. But he's condensed his process into about three-and-a-half minutes to show us how he did it. Read the rest

Watch: These kids have to use rowing machine if they want to play their video games

Playing video games all day long becomes a healthy sport when you've got one of these genius contraptions. Maker Jeremy Fielding uses a rowing machine to make this human-powered generator, which is needed if the kids want to play their video games, and they have less than one minute to switch rowers – otherwise the power goes out and their game goes kaput.

Here's the full video, in which he explains how he made this, as well as four other things made from treadmill parts, including a bench top DC power supply, beautiful clock, wood lathe, and steel-cutting bandsaw:

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Flat earth-preaching rocketeer finally gets off the ground

You likely read about "Mad" Mike Hughes in the news last year – you know, when you weren't busy stockpiling canned goods and potassium Iodide tablets to help deal with the existential dread that's currently gripping the planet. Hughes is the flat-earth loving, paradoxical science-hating DIY rocket designer who stated that he'd blast himself into the sky in a steam-powered, homemade rocket to prove that the earth isn't round.

That was a mouthful, but there's a lot going on here.

The first time that Hughes attempted to fire himself into the air in a blaze of Darwinism, the Department of Land Management shut him down, as his flight path would have taken him into the airspace over public lands. So, Hughes scrubbed the launch. Yesterday, he took another go.

According to the Associated Press, Hughes's steam-powered death chair was able to carry him to a distance of 1,875 feet into the air before he and his capsule floated back to earth, in relative safety, via parachute. When questioned about how he was feeling after surviving his flight, Hughes seemed happy that it was over and done with, citing that his back hurt, but over all he felt relieved that it was over.

No matter what you believe about Hughes' beliefs about the shape of the earth, of the lunacy it takes to strap yourself to the tip of a homemade rocket, you've got to respect that he pulled it off. Maybe he didn't gain as much altitude as he'd wanted. Read the rest

Bionic prosthetic Nerf gun for man without an arm

Maker collective Hackerloop modified a Nerf gun into a bionic prosthetic for their friend Nicolas Huchet. He fires the gun via EMG (electromyography) sensors that detect when he tenses his forearm muscles.

"It all started with jokes about the fact that it was too easy for us to win over him in a nerf battle, as he’s missing his right hand," writes "tinkerer in chief" Valentin Squirelo.

From Medium:

DIY hardware is not just about temperature sensors and automated door locks anymore. Every hardware component used to make this gun can be found online.

“Electromyography is a great way to make the body communicate with hardware. We used it to detect electrical impulses and translated them into instructions for our gun. You could think of a thousand other uses.

You could think it’s not the first problem to solve for people with disabilities, but in fact being able to have fun with your friends with these wonderful toys is also a real game changer”.

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Make your own 'bagpipes' with a garbage bag and recorders

Maybe you don't want to shell out a heap of cash for real bagpipes.

Or maybe you just want to make a trash-bag instrument.

Whatever the reason, I'm not here to judge you or what DIY projects you jury-rig in your spare time. Source your bag and recorder and head on over to this 2009 Instructables tutorial to learn how to make your own bagpipe-like device today. (Spoiler alert: It won't sound like a real set of bagpipes.)

Thanks, Don! Read the rest

Make your own ALTAIR computer based on an Arduino

Designed by Ed Roberts and released in 1974, the MITS ALTAIR sparked the personal computer revolution and was the basis for Microsoft's first product, the Altair BASIC interpreter. It cost $439. While ALTAIR replica kits and online emulators have been available for years, there's now a $149 kit that substitutes the ALTAIR guts with an Arduino Due while duplicating its iconic LED-laden case. From Stephen Cass's review of the Altairduino at IEEE Spectrum:

The Altairduino is derived from David Hansel’s work on cloning the Altair with the Arduino Due and Arduino Mega 2560. If you want to build one of Hansel’s designs from scratch, you can do so by following his free instructions on hackster.io. The advantage of Davis’s kit is that it provides all the components, including a nice bamboo case and plastic front panel, along with a custom printed circuit board (PCB) that greatly simplifies construction.

The Altairduino improves on the original Altair in two important respects. First, it offers modern interface options. You can connect an old-school terminal using an optional DB-9 connector (which I will stipulate should properly be called a DE-9 connector, so no need to send me letters this time!), but you can also use a soft terminal running on a computer via a USB connection, or even Bluetooth....

The second big improvement is that the Altairduino comes loaded with a lot of software. You can call up some programs purely by flipping various front panel switches, such as Kill the Bit, a game that hacked the Altair’s memory-address indicator lights to act as a 1-dimensional display.

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Make your own Alexa-controlled toilet

Inspired by the $6,000 Alexa-controlled toilet at CES, Jonathan Gleich hacked together his own one-tenth the cost. The base of this smart throne is the Brondell Swash 1400 Luxury Bidet Toilet Seat, available for $650 from Amazon. The other components are a $46 auto flusher, $23 infrared link, and $17 Adafruit Feather HUZZAH microcontroller.

Gleich posted directions to make your own over at Instructables: "Alexa Controlled Toilet"

(via Make:) Read the rest

Placing other people's poop in your person is a piss-poor plan

I can't believe I have to write this, but maybe jamming other people's shit up your ass isn't a great idea.

When done by medical professions, under very specific circumstances, a fecal transplant can mean the difference between life and death: implanting feces containing healthy gut microbiome into a patient's body has been used by doctors as a way to help fight antibiotic-resistant super bugs, like Clostridium difficile.  A lot of folks online have been blathering away about how research shows that the same sort of treatment could also act as a cure for obesity. As reported by The Guardian, on hearing this news, people are now shoveling other people's crap into their bodies without a doctor's supervision.

What's the problem, you say? Well, before the treatment is administered in a clinical setting, the fecal matter used is screened for disease and other nasties in an effort to make the transplant as safe as possible. Without proper screening, the risk of transferring diseases like Hepititus or HIV from one poo owner to another is pretty high. Additionally, a DIY fecal transplant conducted in the name of losing weight could have the opposite effect. A case study from a few years back illustrated that a woman who underwent a fecal transplant to deal with a drug resistant super bug ended up becoming obese as a result. Oops.

So, if you're feel that you could stand to lose a few pounds, take a look at your eating habits, exercise more or visit a doctor for help in losing weight before reaching for a bag of liquefied shit. Read the rest

Build your own Boring Company flamethrower!

I'm not saying that building a flamethrower is a responsible use of your time – but I'm not saying that you shouldn't take the time to build one, either.

In January, Elon Musk's Boring Company built 20,000 $500-flamethrowers and sold them all to the tune of $10 million. $500 is a lot of cheddar to throw at what basically amounts to a fancy tiger torch. Provided you've got the right tools on hand, as you can see in this video, it's possible to build one for considerably less.

Disclaimer: Despite the fact that you can totally play with it, a flamethrower is not a toy. Always use fiery weapons that are the stuff of nightmares responsibly. Read the rest

Learn to 3D print your own sneakers in just a few minutes

This modern cobbler shows us how to make a smart pair of sneakers using a Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer, some fabric, and a few other household tools and materials. Definitely worth a try! Read the rest

DIY cat scratching post, fun but spendy

I made my own cat scratching post out of sisal cord and a poster tube. It cost more than just buying one.

50' of 3/8" sisal rope ($0.25/foot) winds almost perfectly around a 30" by 2" diameter poster tube ($3.33.) My daughter and I had a wonderful time wrapping the tube up, securing the ends with binder clips, and then using a strip of old bedsheet to hang the scratcher from a doorknob! Rubbing a little catnip on it encourages our Maine Coon to scratch away!

Total cost invested was around $15.00.

Even if reusing the tube, binder clips, and sheet I can easily find an equivalent scratcher for less. Even using cheaper cord only changes things by a few cents.

I'll put the two side-by-side and we can see the wear over time and judge which is more popular. Perhaps my cat will appreciate the love and effort that went into making him a toy.

Riiiight.

Petlinks Hanging Rope Relief Cat Scratcher via Amazon Read the rest

Woman learns how not to cut her bangs

I've been cutting my own hair since I was 18, so I learned not to do this a long time ago.

Instant regret

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A mini boat you can build yourself with zip ties and epoxy

Your dreams of captaining your own tiny-but-shiny electric boat are about two grand and a fair amount of elbow grease away.

Donald Bell (previously) of Maker Project Lab shared Rapid Whale's Mini Boat with me yesterday and I'm already sourcing a captain's hat.

The Mini Boat is a kit you can buy for $950 and then assemble with cable ties and epoxy. No, really, look...

It'll cost you another $510 to $1140 to complete it. From there, it's all smooth sailing.

photos by Rapid Whale Read the rest

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