You’ve seen our strangest DIY gadgets list, now check out the “Top 10 Coolest DIY Gadgets”. Which ones are your favorites?

10. 500-lb Potato Battery

Here’s a first: someone built a 500-pound potato battery to power his sound system. The potatoes — each generating 0.5 volts and 0.2 milliamperes — were put into groups and then connected inside of a truck.

In this case the potato provides phosphoric acid, which enables a chemical reaction causing electrons flow from copper to zinc. The zinc came from galvanized nails and copper came from small pieces of copper


9. NES (Famicon) Drum Machine

Constructed from eight NES (Famicon) consoles and a Roland 606 drum machine, this thing definitely rocks. Its creator wasn’t worried about the cost, the real headache came when building a “flightcase” that actually fit everything . This also wasn’t a project that he thought up overnight, its been in the works since the late 90’s! [Source]

8. Playstation 2 Computational Cluster

This Playstation 2 Linux cluster consists of 65 compute nodes, 1 prototype node (software installation tests), and 4 user login/development nodes. Based on an earlier version of Red Hat Linux, this distrubution uses Linux 2.2.1 ported over to the PS2’s Emotion Engine CPU. Click image for a full-sized version.

All the nodes run the Sony Linux distribution for PlayStation 2. The compute nodes fill a 24-inch rack; 5 shelves at 13 per shelf


7. MacMini Portable MkII

Peter Green took a Mac Mini, stuffed the internals into a custom enclosure, attached an LCD screen, battery pack, thumb board, and trackpad — to create the “MacMini Portable MkII”.

…which makes numerous improvements upon its predecessor such as mounting the thumb board flush with the case, significantly reducing the overall size of the device, and generally making it look more like something you’d want to take out in public


6. Connect Four Lego Robot

TeamHassenplug created this interesting Lego robot that plays Connect-Four. It’s powered mainly by 2 x RCXs w/AC adapter, 4 x motors, 2 x rotation sensors, 5 x Mindstorms touch sensors, 1 x 16MHz processor, 1 x light, and 5 x Cybermaster touch sensors. Video demonstration after the jump. How good is it at playing? This is what its creator had to say:

During most days, where it will play for up to eight hours at a time (close to 100 games), I can usually count the number of times it lost on one hand.


5. Touchscreen Boombox PC

This Touchscreen Boombox PC combines a Hitachi TRK-8200HR and Fujitsu Stylistic 1200 Color Tablet PC into the sleek retro package you see above. Powered by Windows 98, this PC features a 20GB hard drive, 802.11b Wi-Fi, internal webcam, 4 USB ports, and a “custom desktop to keep original aesthetics”. [Source]

4. The Painstation 2

Created by Volker Morawe and Tilman Reiff, the Painstation 2 is an arcade machine that inflicts pain via electric shocks in a Pong-like game. The latest version features modular construction, an integrated PC, 15-inch monitor, Atmel microprocessor, PainControlUnit (PCU), and a 2.1 speaker system.

Pain level can be adjusted via the PCU from 50 to 150% giving the possibility to challenge an opponent on a certain level.


3. Jet-Turbine Powered Bicycle

This crazy bicycle is powered by two Jetcat model aircraft jet-turbines and looks fun to ride — as in dangerous.

2. The 60-inch Subwoofer

For earth shattering bass you can’t beat this custom made 60-inch subwoofer which has the ability to produce SPL levels above 180 dB. This monster has ouput displacement comparable to 160+ ten-inch woofers! More after the jump.

The motor is capable of producing 6,000+ pounds of linear force, which is necessary when considering the very large surface area and displacement volume required to produce high SPL levels


1. Touchless Lightswitch

Ryan, creator of the “DIY Nerf Rifle“, is back at it again, with “a microcontroller based capacitive sensor”.

I’ve found lately though that capacitive detection doesn’t have to be so scary. With a few simple design rules and a little signal processing, you can do some immensely cool stuff with basically no effort at all.

[via HackedGadgets]

Honorable Mention – USB Floppy Disk Striped RAID

What should you do with a bunch of old external floppy drives and USB hubs? You RAID them of course. Here’s the setup:

iBook G3/700MHz. 384 MB of RAM. Running OX 10.4.3. 13 VST Floppy Drives. 6 USB 1.1 Hubs (Not all ports were used though)


Write A Comment