Are you at home on the weekend and have nothing interesting to do? If you enjoy tinkering with microcomputers and have a basic knowledge of soldering and circuitry, the ten great DIY gadget projects below are a great way to pass the time.
From a makeshift penny battery powerful enough to power your kid’s calculator to a monitor flipped onto a laptop screen, these DIY gadgets are easy to make, functional and sure to stave off boredom. beat the weekend.
1. Make a 3 cent battery
Did you know that you can turn almost anything into a battery? Batteries are devices that hold energy, meaning that as long as you know how to achieve the right chemical reaction, you can make one out of anything, including spending money or the pile of pennies in your garage. You’ll need three for this project, and it’s so easy you can even get the kids involved.
Once complete, this 3-penny battery can power your watch, calculator, Christmas LEDs, children’s toys, or other low-current gadgets in your household. So go ahead and watch the video above if you’re interested.
2. Junior Wind Turbine
Junior wind turbines have come a long way. We used to twist a wire around several nails to make one in the old days, but now you can even make an LED like this one for just $2.
This junior wind turbine is quite easy to make, despite being more functional than the standard wire and nail turbines. It requires easy-to-find items such as a solar-powered toy car engine, bamboo, and superglue. Check out the step-by-step guide on Instructables to work on this project.
3. Flashlight without batteries
Ever heard of a flashlight that works without batteries? If not, not only will you but you can make one to beat the weekend boredom by following this guide on Instructables. It generates energy from stepper motors and stores it in capacitors. The best part? Most of the materials in this project are recyclable, so you can save Mother Nature from extra waste and a flashlight that can last forever without recharging.
4. DIY Solar Phone Charger
If you’re always unavailable for activities like camping and hiking, festivals held in the middle of nowhere like Coachella, or for reasons most familiar to you, a solar phone charger will be a complete game-changer. It uses solar energy to charge devices, meaning you don’t have to worry about power outages or your phone running out of power.
You can easily make one to beat the weekend boredom and save the money you’d spend on a new one by following this detailed guide on Instructables.
5. Emergency lighting powered by fire and water
If you want to make an emergency power kit or live in an area where bad weather is the order of the day, emergency lighting makes all the difference when the power goes out. While you can always buy one, a DIY emergency light will save some money and ruin the boring weekend getaway.
And note, this is not just any ordinary emergency lighting. It uses electrical energy from heat energy generated by fire and water. In addition to lighting, this emergency lighting can also serve as a battery charger. Follow this guide on Instructables to hack this project.
6. Make a 35 watt solar panel from broken solar cells
Although broken solar cells can still produce power, they are often not as effective. So, if you’ve recently broken or damaged a few cells on your solar panel and don’t want to throw it away, check out this guide on Instructables for tips on how to reuse it in a 35-watt solar panel.
You have a powerful solar panel for exchanging money while reducing energy costs. If you’re looking for more DIY projects using old or broken gadget ideas, check out our guide to great DIY projects made with old phones.
7. Smartphone charger powered by fire
We’ve heard of a solar-powered phone charger, but what about a fire-powered one? Well, that’s a new one and, admittedly, quite innovative as well. You can use any heat source for this project, including the gas burner you always take with you on your camping adventures. It uses the temperature difference between the hot and cold sides of a Peltier element to generate electricity.
This charger is surprisingly easy to make, because in addition to the Peltier element, all you need is a heat source (from a gas burner to a campfire), a temperature gauge, controls, and a cooling fan. Check out this guide from Evoluzion on Instructables to work on this project.
8. Bark Activated Door Opener with Raspberry Pi
Imagine not having to sacrifice comfort when your dogs have to go outside because the door opens automatically when they bark? That’s exactly what you can achieve with this DIY gadget project. It uses Raspberry Pi connected to a noise detector to detect the sound, a circuit-driven actuator to unlock the door, and a pulley system to swing the door open.
While it’s a bit more technical than the other DIY gadget projects on our list, the how-to guide on DavidHunt.ie is quite detailed and easy to follow. If you like this project, you will also fall in love with these best DIY automatic pet food bowls.
9. Make a water battery
Looking for a more functional battery than the 3 cent powered battery? Make a water battery and thank us later. It uses a liquid saltwater solution to generate, store and discharge energy, so it is safer to use and more environmentally friendly than commercial lithium-filled battery cells.
This battery can go for days without a charge and will work seamlessly again when you finally charge it, meaning longer life and less maintenance. Just follow this guide on Instructables to make this awesome water battery.
10. Turn the old laptop screen into a monitor
If you have a laptop that is too old or damaged to be functional, rescue the components and turn it into something useful. For example, use the laptop screen to use a monitor instead of throwing it away.
You will save money you would have spent on a new monitor, recycle a non-functional item into something functional and, most importantly, prevent additional e-waste from entering our environment. Check out this detailed guide on Instructables to complete this project with ease.
Spend your free time creatively with these DIY projects
Watching your favorite TV shows or playing games on your PlayStation is fun, but it can quickly become monotonous, especially if you have a whole weekend ahead of you indoors.
Luckily, you don’t have to put up with the monotony as there are plenty of fun, easy DIY projects you could try to pass the time.
We’ve listed ten great DIY gadget projects above to help you beat the weekend boredom. Try them out as they are, or use them as inspiration for your next innovative DIY gadget.
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