Category Archives: DIY

Do It Yourself has never been so much fun, or so dangerous.

Pi Projects: PiCade 2018, the DIY Retro Arcade Machine…

If like us you love DIY, retro gaming and want to tinker with a Pi then there is one project that combines them all, and is well worth considering, the PiCade X HAT. The 2018 update of this excellent do it yourself project provides a relatively simple build that produces an incredibly cool result, an awesome desktop retro arcade gaming machine complete with arcade joystick and display that fits into a little cabinet worthy of even the grandest man cave.

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The DIY Nuclear Battery…

The constant degradation of some particles might suggest that matter eventually returns to its natural state, energy. We clever humans have learned to take advantage of this constant, to make one hell of a bomb, but there are many less deadly and equally as cool uses. Uses that you can build yourself in your very own shed.

Making a nuclear battery may not be the first DIY project that jumps into everyone’s mind but it is actually 100% real and easy to do. Tritium is the key ingredient of the battery and one of the safer radioactive elements used for power generation. In many ways Tritium could have been the correct answer to the worlds energy problems in the 70’s, but that’s a whole other story.

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Vampire II: Bringing the Amiga Back Again…

The Commodore Amiga is one of many iconic computers to dot our rich computing past, especially for children of the 80’s. Fans of the iconic Amiga have been excited of late with talk of a new accelerator that is turning dusty old Amiga hardware into blisteringly fast internet connected retro gaming machines.

The fastest running Amiga hardware on the planet at the moment is a Vampire II equipped Amiga 500 or 600. The Vampire A600 V2 and the A500 V2+ accelerator kits are transforming the slowest of all the Amiga’s into retro gaming legends, one card at a time.

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The King of Random Survival Hack, Start a Fire with a Sandwich Bag.

The King of Random Grant Thompson has returned once more to present a DIY hack that MacGyver would be proud of, the sandwich bag of fire. For today’s lesson you will need to collect an empty sandwich bag, some liquid and stuff to set on fire. Now lets all learn how to start a fire with a lunch bag and some water, urine is optional and yes you take the sandwiches out first.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the clever hack that provides you with a sandwich lunch then starts a warm fire. Sit back relax and prepare to be amazed by the mighty sandwich bag.

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The DIY LED Flashlight, the 1000 Watt Torch…

Have you ever been hiking and needed to light up an entire side of a mountain, nup me either, but if you ever do YouTuber and compulsive DIY’er rctestflight has built a torch for such an occasion. Using 10 massive LED chips each drawing 100 Watts of juice this monster torch can throw out 90,000 Lumens of pure white light. A standard home LED bulb uses between 15 -30 LED chips (depending on the bulb) and uses between 10 and 20 Watts of power to produce a measly 800-1000 Lumens of light.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is one of the most extreme home-made torches seen in many years. Now that the hard work designing and assembling the torch is complete the fun can begin, working out what the hell to do with 90,000 Lumens of light power. Sit back relax and don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave.

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The Knife Wielding Tentacle.

Some inventions are born of a good idea that might just make life a little bit easier while other man made contraptions are simply the result of an idea that tickles the funny bone. The Knife Wielding Tentacle definitely falls into that later category and tickle the funny bone it does.

This Frankenstein contraption was constructed by YouTuber outaspaceman using nothing more than an Arduino board, a littleBits Protobit and some left over parts. With these simple parts outaspaceman has managed to create a contraption so evil that even sharks with lasers keep their distance. Now the only problem left is how to turn off the crazy contraption.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the most evil funny contraption to be invented this year. An invention so evil that the CIA are investigating hiring the tentacle as their new receptionist. Sit back relax and remember the tentacle knows all, let’s just hope the battery runs down soon.

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Mechanical Techno, Unconventional Audio.

Often times the musical instruments we use to produce music are every bit as artistic as the music being made. But when an art piece is a musical instrument and produces its own musical performance is it like an artistic double dip? Take for example London based artist and musician Graham Dunning and his Mechanical Techno video, a video that sees his techno producing machine as both performer and instrument.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the quirky cool video that demonstrates a whole new way to make use of that old turntable and vinyl records. Sit back relax and let the beats roll on.

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Out of the High Tech Man-Shed comes the Homemade Rail Gun and the Homemade Plasma Rifle.

Many a great idea has moved from concept to working prototype under the roof of a modern man shed, a fortress of solitude for many. Two very good examples of the creativity that takes place in the shed have recently been demonstrated to the world. Two variations on the always impressive electromagnetic rail gun.

Ziggy Zee and his band of electromagnetic enthusiasts are fist up with their rail gun powered by a series of 9 volt batteries. Don’t underestimate the power of the Duracell however, the heavy weight gun fires chunks of aluminium with 27,000 joules of power. Still not up with BAE’s rail gun that fires with 33 mega-joules of power but it is enough to wreak havoc on pumpkins and mobile phones. Certainly enough power to make you want to stand clear when firing.

Next up Alex Smyth and friends assembled something a little bit different, a rail gun that fires plasma bullets. Instead of using a slug of lifeless aluminium as the projectile the Alex rifle uses a coper sleeve with a capsule of Zeon gas inside. As the Zeon capsule passes through the rail gun it becomes excited and turns into a plasma gas able to piece steel plate. An altogether impressive piece of home-made kit.

Presented for your viewing pleasure are the spectacular test firings of two new home-made rail guns. Demonstration videos that highlight the power of a good man shed and some electricity. Sit back relax and prepare to be impressed by the magical power of magnets.

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A Working Paper V6 Engine.

Engines are the machines that power our world. Designs and concepts that have been developed and refined for hundreds of years. Interpreted and improved generation after generation to the point that we now we have the internal decompression engine made of nothing more than paper, along with hours of toil, sweet and imagination.

Constructed from nothing more than paper, cardboard, sticky tape, paper clips and super glue Aliaksei Zholner has managed to adapt the designs of a working V6 engine to create one stunning piece of paper craft. Running on breath stored in a balloon the engine spins to life when the compressed air in the balloon is fed through the cylinders.

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Turning Your Smartphone into a 3D Holographic Projector, Stunningly Simple.

Bringing photons to life in a stunning 3D holographic display has till now been then the domain of men in white coats with immensely powerful lasers and a myriad of mirrors. Typically not something that we all have access to and let’s face it not many of us could get away with it in our living rooms.

Holograms however don’t need to be that complicated, there is an easy way that anyone can do and the results are simply stunning. YouTuber MrWhosTheBoss has put together a little DIY tutorial that will show anyone how to build the simple Holographic projector with a few bits of clear plastic and some sticky tape.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the DIY tutorial that will lead to hours of oows and ahhs in your living room. Sit back relax and prepare to amaze your friends and family with the Star Wars display made from spare plastic and sticky tape.

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Experiment at Home: How to Reveal Subatomic Particles.

The universe as a whole is made of many many layers, the physical world that we recognize is somewhere in the middle with many layers below and many layers above. Stepping down a couple of layers from our physical world is the domain of the subatomic particle, a world of highly strange particles that combine to make atoms which combine to make molecules which in turn combine to make up us.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is an incredible home experiment that will before your very eyes reveal these tiny particles in action. Sit back relax and prepare to be amazed by the incredible world of subatomic particles as viewed from a kitchen bench.

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Making Your Own Electric Arc Furnace, DIY Metal Melting Madness…

Grant Thompson the King of Random has ventured into his man shed once more; this time around he has destroyed a microwave and ruined all of the batteries in his house in order to produce one hell of a homemade electric arc furnace. A surprisingly simple DIY project that’s able to melt steel in seconds and reduce stone to liquid lava worthy of any volcano.

Traditionally Electric Arc Furnaces have been large pieces of industrial equipment that process massive amounts of raw material to produce slabs of metal ready to use. It turns out that anyone with access to electricity can have a go at the modern version of alchemy with a only a little know how and a lot of nerve.  Never before has something so simple been so dangerous and handy.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the latest DIY project that allows anyone to turn hardened steel into a pool of fiery liquid. Sit back relax and prepare to be amazed by what can be achieved with stuff you can find around the house. Although it may be hard to explain to the wife what happened to the microwave and where all the batteries went.

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Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest Kits, Build Your Own Amazing Wind Powered Creatures…

Few people can claim to have created their very own form of synthetic life but Dutch artist and engineer Theo Jansen takes great pride in his creations called the Strandbeest, an autonomous robotic form of living sculpture. Jansen has always been fascinated by the life of mechanical creatures, he dreamed of creating natural robots that have a life of their own. This obsession has become a very close facsimile to the dream.

Now Theo has released miniature Strandbeest kits that anyone can purchase and build, bringing these miniature living sculptures to life with a little patience and a gentle breeze. Two of his famous autonomous sculptures are now available as DIY kits; the Strandbeest and Rhinoceros are real working versions of their larger original big brothers.

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Worlds Simplest Electric Train is Just Too Cool…

Sometimes in life the simplest things are the most incredible; take for example the world’s simplest electric train which consists of dry cell battery, a coil of copper wire and some powerful magnets. Ingredients that produce an incredibly simple form of locomotion as demonstrated by YouTube channel AmazingScience.

The train itself is propelled by the magnetic field generated by the electricity passing from the battery through the magnets and to the copper wire. This field then acts upon the poles of the magnets which are attracted in and repelled out of the magnetic field created as the permanent magnets touch each coil of the wire.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the incredibly simple electromagnetic train, an experiment that anyone can try and will amaze everyone who watches it. Be assured this is no fake trickery, just plain old physics in action. Sit back, relax and be sure you’ve bought a ticket to ride the World’s Simplest Electric Train.

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Electronics Projects with LittleBits via the King of Random…

Here at Highpants our favourite little electronic gadget is undoubtedly the LittleBits electronics kits. Prolific YouTube video producer Grant Thompson seems to agree with us and has produced a video of the amazing things that can be done with these very clever little electronics kits.

For his latest video Grant has put together a number of incredibly useful little projects that literally took 5 minutes to complete. From home automation to keeping an eye on his kids TV watching habits and warning him via SMS that his home safe has been opened these practical projects couldn’t be more useful or simpler.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is a small sampling of the amazing things that can be achieved by simply snapping together parts from the LittleBits kit, no soldering required.  Sit back, relax and prepare to be amazed by these little bits of incredible in action.

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The DIY Match-Head Rocket, Evil Genius!…

As children almost all of us experimented with matches, some just burnt things while others attempted to launch themselves into space by making match-head rockets. Possibly the most effective and efficient design of match rocket has recently been released onto an unsuspecting world by YouTuber Grant Thomas. Using only a single match head and some aluminium Grants Match-Head Rocket design is able to launch up to 40 feet.

Join Grant for his DIY instructional video as he runs us through the manufacture of these incredible little flying machines. He has even fine tuned his manufacturing process to the point that he can produce dozens of pre-assembled rockets in mere minutes. Also included for your view pleasure and continuing the rocket theme is one of the funniest butt rocket compilations ever to make its way onto YouTube. Sit back relax and prepare to be educated and entertained.

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The Glow Table, the Coolest DIY Self Illuminating Table…

DIY instructional website the Instructables have recently released the designs for making your own Glow table, possibly the coolest self illuminating table ever. Lighting up your next dinner party indoors or out the Glow table shines a light on any occasion.

In the daylight the glow has an eye catching luminescence, not blindingly bright but it draws the eye capturing attention. In the dark, after time in the sun the tables glow really shines. A simple idea that is amazingly effective and bound to be the centre of attention at every get together.

With complete instruction on their site and an instructable video to follow this may be the Christmas project that many people decide to tackle.

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Don’t Try This at Home: How to Make a Taser (Stun Gun)!…

Mehdi Sadaghdar is back once more with another lesson in electricity and pain. This time Mehdi has turned his attentions to making his own Taser, generating many definitely don’t try this at home moments.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the funny man of science helping us all to learn through his mistakes, and pain. The high voltage educator in physical comedy here to pass on his hilarious wisdom. Sit back relax and please turn to page 55 in the electrical pain guide.

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