Hacks, Mods & Circuitry Features

How To: Hack a WiFi USB Adapter for Better Reception

This video tutorial demonstrates a simple hack for improving the WiFi reception of a USB adapter. To replicate this hack yourself, you'll need the following materials: (1) a WiFi USB adapter, (2) a USB extension cable, (3) a metal strainer, and (4) a pair of scissors. For detailed, step-by-step instructions on improving your WiFi adapter's signal levels, watch this how-to video.

How To: Build a portable personal heater

In this video, we learn how to build a portable personal heater. This is a great weekend project that is easy to make and will keep you warm during a freezing winter. You will need: two double a batteries, charger, twin double a battery charger, winding wire, and balsa wood. First, cut the wood the size of the battery holder and cut it out. Now, reel off 30 ft of winding wire and hold down with duct tape. Wind the wire around the piece of wood and tape down the other end of the wire. Scrape o...

How To: Hack a dead laptop battery

Is your laptop not holding a charge anymore? Don't buy a new one, hack the old one! Laptop batteries can cost upwards of a hundred dollars, but with new lithium batteries and some soldering tools, the new one works just as well. Watch this video computer circuitry tutorial and learn how to hack a dead laptop battery.

How To: Make a Super Secret Batman-Style Bust Switch for Your Batcave (Or Just Your Lights)

Remember the 1960's American television series Batman, with Adam West as Bruce Wayne? It was waaaaay before my time. The caped crusader that I'm more familiar with is actually this one... When I first heard of Adam West, it was him doing the Batusi on The Simpsons. I had no idea what was going on, so I looked up Adam West and his sensual dance and found myself face to face with the 1960's Batman.

How To: Build an eco-friendly directional WiFi antenna

Learn how to build an environmentally friendly directional WiFi antenna with this simple video guide. To follow along at home, you'll need the following things: a copper wedge, an N-type connector, some screws, a clamp-on N plug, a pigtail, and a wireless card. You'll also need a drill, screwdriver, and soldering iron. For comprehensive, step-by-step instructions on hacking your own directional WiFi antenna from a tin can, watch this video tutorial.

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: 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 flashlight into a laser

Kipkay demonstrates how to extract the laser from a DVD burner and mount it in a small flashlight to create a handheld laser burner that can light matches and burst balloons, all in this how-to video. All you need is a 16x DVD burner, a laser housing, and a flashlight. Watch this video tutorial and learn how to modify a flashlight into a relatively strong laser.

How To: Make a DIY vehicle immobilizer to stop car thieves

We all know the G-spot as that sensitive area that drives women crazy, but for auto enthusiasts, it has a whole new meaning. The G-Spot, designed by Daniel Davies, is a vehicle immobilizer, which keeps your vehicles safe from car thieves. And you don't need to pay a huge amount of money to get one, either! You can make on yourself, right at home, provided you have all the right materials.

How To: Make a Wi-Fi extender from Asian parabolic cookware

Want to boost your WiFi reception? Have an extra wok or parabolic collander? This video tutorial demonstrates a simple hack that will allow you to build an effective radio antenna that will significantly increase the gain of your WiFi signal. To replicate this hack at home, you'll need the following items: (a) a piece of parabolic cookware, (b) heavy tape, (c) a USB WiFi stick, (d) tin snips, and (5) a USB extension cable. For detailed instructions on building your own wireless signal extende...

How To: Make traffic lights change w/secret code (FAUX-TO?)

Nobody likes having to stand at the crosswalk waiting for the light to change so you can cross. This seems to happen more times then not these days. A way has been discovered to eliminate this problem with ease. The first thing you are going to want to do is go to the pole that has the button to push for the crosswalk. Once you get there you are going to want to enter a combination of long and short clicks to get the light to change so you can cross. The first combination is going to be three...

How To: Make a rechargeable, solar-powered USB battery

An emergency battery charger for your mobile phone comes in handy, but it's not the ultimate solution; once it's dead it's useless (what a waste). If you want to really get off the metaphorical grid, you can follow the steps in this video to construct a more robust circuit that will not only bail you out of an inconvenient situation but also recharge in between uses. The simple addition of a low voltage solar panel and rechargeable batteries makes this possible. Enjoy!

How To: Make your own DIY film projector

Finding a film projector for those who still shoot film, or those who still house film can be tough. They're either sparce or extremely expensive. In this six part tutorial, learn how to make your own DIY homemade film projector for your home without shelling out tons of cash. This presentation is hosted by Dan Mikesell at Pratt Institute.

How To: Hack a camera

If you are a photographer and are handy with a screwdriver and electrical tape, this is a really cool project to do. Basically, you "Frankenstein" a camera, taking a camera apart and rebuilding it with different lenses and the like, which makes for really cool photo effects.