Hot Hacks, Mods & Circuitry Posts

How To: 10 Unique & Practical Ways to Repurpose Your Old Hard Disk Drives

At one point in the '90s, about fifty percent of the CDs produced worldwide had an AOL logo. About fifty percent of the CDs in my home still have that AOL promise of 500 free hours on them. Though they never got me to join their internet service, I did get a lifetime supply of coasters. Thanks to the rise of high-speed internet access and bigger and better hard drives, there's no reason for companies to snail mail any more of those obnoxious plastic discs.

How To: Convert Your Old Apple iMac G4 into a Cable-Ready HDTV

Most of us have traded our desktop systems for laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, meaning there's a lot of outdated hardware sitting in attics. Want to give your old computer a new purpose? Matthew Chappee turned his iMac G4 into an HDTV using the guide by Dremel Junkie. One thing to note before you take on this project yourself is that if you want to use it to watch cable, you'll need a converter box to get around the MPAA's HDCP restriction. But, a converter box is considerably less expe...

How To: Turn a Playing Card into a Super Simple Solar-Powered Battery Charger

You can do a lot more with playing cards than you'd think, like turn them into gift boxes, fling them like throwing stars, and make them levitate or disappear. You can even make them recharge your batteries. Instructables user Shawn Frayne was sick of having a bunch of dead batteries lying around, so he developed a cheap and easy way to always have a charged one within arm's reach by turning a normal playing card into a super simple solar-powered battery charger for rechargeable AA and AAA ba...

DIY Portable Power Pack: Turn Your Backpack into a Solar-Powered Gadget Charger

A smartphone is pretty much useless with a dead battery. When you're out and about, it can be hard to find a place to plug in (if you remembered your charger, that is). But this DIY solar panel backpack made by electrical engineer Theodore Protasiewicz will help you use the scorching sun to your advantage and make sure that your gadgets are always ready to go. Theodore started with just a normal backpack, some solar panels, 18 gauge wire, and a USB port and hacked it into a traveling solar ch...

How To: Hack Software & Run a Trial Program Forever

With this video tutorial, you'll learn how to hack demo versions of applications such that they'll run indefinitely. You'll just need to modify the date and time on your computer. Learn how to use trials of programs without them ever expiring instead of buying the real thing with the hack outlined in this how-to video.

How To: Hack your electricity meter

This video will show you what you'll need to know to hack a digital electric meter. You'll need 2 magnets, one much bigger than the other, an AC adaptor that you'll cut into pieces, or some speaker wire, distilled water, electrical tape, a knife, some plascic wrap, and a plastic cup. Remember, this is illegal, and shown only for educational purposes.

How To: Hack a Vending Machine in 3 Easy Steps

How to get a vending machine to pay you for its goodies, instead of you paying for them. First off, find a older vending machine, and insert your dollar bill as you normally would. Once you have entered it, you can select which ever item you want. Then quickly, before the item dispenses, hold up on the gate to prevent the item from falling. When it falls, it should rest on the back of the gate you're holding up—don't let go yet. After a long wait, the vending machine will think nothing dispen...

How To: Make an Infrared Mask to Hide Your Face from Cameras

This how-to video shows how you can hack a standard baseball cap into a cool invisible IR mask to hide your face from cameras anywhere, and look perfectly normal to the human eye! You have to admire a technically accomplished hacker. Now don't go out a rob a bank or anything. Watch this video tutorial and learn how to camera-proof your face with a creepy infrared mask.

How To: Make a Secret Car Compartment

Nowadays, protecting your valuables can be challenging especially when you're on the go. That's why I decided to make a little secret compartment inside my car. Only you'll know it's there because nobody will be able to find it. Not only that, but you'll have easy access to it. It's fairly cheap and the total cost was under $5.00. Let me show you how to make it. You can watch the video or scroll down below for the written guide.

How To: Make home made night vision goggles

OK master spy, it's time to get your lurk on. If you're going to be spying, you'll need to be able to spy at night. This video will show you how-to make your very own night vision goggles so you can keep up with your mark well after the sun goes down. You'll need a 9V battery, an infrared LED, some wire cutters, a small screw driver, and some wire with a battery clip. You can easily find your needed infrared LED in any old TV remote control. Try it, and make some home made spy gear today!

How To: Hack Your Mini-Fridge into a Vending Machine to Take Care of Freeloading Friends at Your Next Party

It always sounds like a good idea to throw a party... until the party gets there. Next thing you know, you're running around hiding anything breakable, and once everyone leaves, you're stuck cleaning up the mess. But the worst part is footing the bill for everything, and if you don't charge at the door, your chances of getting anyone to chip in are slim to none once the party starts.

How To: Hack a UPS with a car battery

Find the ins and outs to UPS hacking in this video from Systm! And were not talking about the parcel service here—we're talking about your UPS system—your uninterruptible power supply, which can be pretty weak. That's why you should hack the tiny battery out of it and replace it with a giant car battery! Your UPS will last a lot longer, which is important when it comes to power outages. Though Systm doesn't recommend swapping out batteries, they do walk you through the process so you get it d...

How To: Make a Blu-Ray Laser Phaser

Build your very own Trek-style Blu-Ray laser phaser with this hacker's how-to video from Kip Kay of Make Magazine. To replicate this hack at home, you'll need the following materials: (1) a PS3 Blu-Ray laser assembly (which can be had on eBay for roughly $45), (2) an original series-style Star Trek phaser gun (a good quality replica of which can be found for roughly $30), (3) a 9-volt battery, (4) a 9-volt battery snap, (5) a 150 Ohm resistor, and (5) a new switch to replace the phaser trigge...

How To: Build a solar powered USB charger

Want to stop wasting energy charging your USB devices? Transform some cheap solar-powered garden lights into your very own solar USB charger. For step-by-step instructions on replicating this hack yourself, watch this video tutorial. Just watch to see how to build your own solar-powered USB charger with a few solar panels from those garden lights and some floppy disk wiring.

How To: Make a cheap heads-up display (HUD)

It may be intended as a toy, but this gizmo can be hacked for more than just watching a remote-controlled car's video spy cam. This HUD (heads-up display) comes with the Wild Planet Spy Gear Video Car, but it's said that you can purchase the video headset separately. And it's not really a HUD, because you can't see through the video images, but it's close enough to be handy for all sorts of things, like computers, iPods, robots, wireless cameras, and gaming. Who wouldn't like to Call of Duty ...

How To: Make a solar cell with a condom

Make a solar cell from a condom with this video tutorial. Solar energy is plentiful and better for the environment, so why not take an easily accessible commodity (like a condom), and use it to harvest the power of the sun. To replicate this hack at home, you'll need the following materials: 12 iron hairpins, 2 pennies (pressed before 1982), 2 electrical wires, 1 sheet of aluminum, 2 strong magnets, a condom, and mineral water. For more on making your own condom-based solar cell, watch this h...

How To: Hack a call center telephone system

Tired of touch-tone hell? Get human with our cool phone hacks and cheats with the tips from this how-to video. Become a life hacker - we'll show you how to find phone numbers, cheat the computer and hack the call center system with our hacking tools. Watch this video tutorial and learn how to hack a call center telephone system. Hack a call center telephone system.

News: Door Locked? Send a Text Message & Open Sesame

When choosing a security system for the office, Billy Chasen decided to ditch the traditional lock & key barricade for something a little more 21st century. He hacked together a device that uses a web server, servo motor and some parts from Home Depot to enable locking & unlocking via text message. Chasen maintains a list which gives access to green lit office workers, who enter by simply texting "lock" or "unlock"... and voilà, open sesame.

How To: Trigger traffic lights to change from red to green

This instructional video shows how change traffic lights from red to green, using science, and without actually having to know anything about magnetic fields or properties! Save gas, time, and frustration in your car and during your commute! Works great! See the test results! Yay for Kipkay! The trick in this video hacking tutorial will teach you how to get green lights on your bike or motorcycle that is too small or light to trigger the traffic light.

How To: Block RFID Signals, Build an RFID Reader Detector, and Make Custom RFID Tags

RFID chips are everywhere. They're in passports, credit cards, and tons of items you've bought in the last 5 years or so. Big retailers like Walmart started using tracking products with RFID as early as 2004, and today, they're used in everything from mobile payments to hospital record systems. Chances are, unless you're a hermit (in which case you wouldn't be reading this anyway), there's an RFID tag within a few feet of you. Photo by sridgway

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