Build Your Own PC Remote Control

PC RemoteWho wouldn’t want a killer PC remote control, to use with a Media Center PC or otherwise? Granted, you could buy one of the pricey Creative Labs models, but [Odin84gk] went a slightly different way. He built his own version out of an old XBOX DVD playback kit and some freely available, clever scripting, with a cost of nothing but his time. Check this one out, with full instructions, photos, and links to all required tools.

Build Your Own Flashlight iPod Boombox

Flashlight PodCheck out this monaural (but still plenty impressive) boombox built into the housing for a big Eveready flashlight. The speaker fits over the mouth, and it sits over a miniature amp scavenged from a set of desktop speakers and an iPod Nano with a wireless remote. Details are sketchy, as we only have links to the Flickr set, but check out the parts list and the finished product.

How to Open Your XBOX 360 Without Voiding Your Warranty

Xbox KeySo, maybe you want to pull apart your brand spanking new XBOX 360 to, I dunno, experiment with larger hard drives, put in a wireless hack, or some kind of freaky modchip. But it would be a shame to scratch and chip up that beautiful white plastic, so what’s a GiYer to do? CleverMod.com has your answer, with their dead-simple solution for making your own XBOX 360 case-opening tool. Now, you too can gain access to your 360’s precious innards, without a soul knowing you were ever in there mucking about. Got an old empty spindle of blank CDs laying around? You’re halfway there.

Convert Your Nintendo Wii into a Free Tivo-Like DVR Box

tivowii.jpgThe widespread availability of digital video recorder boxes through your local cable company means that paying for a service, such as Tivo, makes little to no sense. For as little as six bucks, most cable companies will now supply you with a DVR box, allowing you to record and “pause” live television. But what if your cable service hasn’t gotten with the times, or (gasp!) you get your television through another means? You’re in luck. Using an unholy hodgepodge of free software, you can turn your Nintendo Wii into your very own wireless digital video recorder, entirely for free. Because, really…weren’t you getting a little tired of Wii Tennis?

Turning your Wii into a media-recording powerhouse is pretty straightforward, but there are some steps involved and a lot of software to get acquainted with. Here’s the GiY guide to using your Wii as a Tivo, in a nutshell:

1. Get a BitTorrent client up and running on your home PC.Search for torrents using your favorite Bittorrent client. Chances are, you’ve already got this step covered. We use the original client for downloading, but there are several options available, including uTorrent, which has some nice additional features and is a little lighter-weight.

2. tedscreen.jpgUse TED to schedule your BitTorrent downloads.TED is a super-slick downloading scheduler, that allows you to search for any episode of any show you would ever want to watch. TED uses RSS and multiple site searches to make sure that when new torrents of TV shows or movies are uploaded, they begin downloading immediately without any extra time or searching on your part. There is even a nice little interface (shown at right) with a few of the more popular shows pre-configured.

3. Stream your newly-acquired video files to your Wii using Orb.Okay, so Orb calls it, “MyCasting,” but that market-friendly term is uber-lame. Their software, on the other hand, is not. Orb provides 100% free streaming from your PC to any device in your home. Once the Orb software is installed on your  PC, your computer acts like your personal broadcasting system. You now have the ability to stream content through any internet-connected device like a mobile phone, PDA, laptop…or Nintendo Wii.

And boom. You’re done. With only two pieces of software, you’ve transformed your Wii into a low-resolution, but free, personal video recorder. Beats the pants off having to look at that Tivo logo, doesn’t it? (Thanks, Dan!)

Build Your Own Remote Control Alarm Clock

Alarm ClockOkay…so this one’s not for the faint of heart, as it requires a fairly heavy amount of circuitry hacking. But once you image the practical applications of a remote control alarm clock, we’re sure you’ll want to give it a try. The premise is simple: configure an ordinary alarm clock to work with a dime-store universal remote. Seem like a tough task? GoggleMarks does their best to remove the mystery. And with parts, schematics, and a good build description, you can do it. We believe in you.

Build Your Own Giant Dry Erase Board

Dry EraseSuppose, for a second, that you are getting ready to outfit the offices of your brand new startup company. You need a place to jot down ideas, right? You could, of course, drop over a hundred bucks on a 3′ by 4′ dry erase board over at Staples. That is, if you wanted to buy just one. But why not make an entire WALL a dry-erase board? ElephantStaircase provides a full build log with instructions and parts list for building your own, so you can make it any size you want, for a fraction of the cost. Check it out.

Build Your Own Pirates of the Caribbean Clock Tower

Pirates of the CaribbeanTo mark the release of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, Haunted Dimensions  a FREE papercraft model of the clock tower that stands outside the ride at Walt Disney World. You know the drill…print it out, fold it up!

Be sure to take a poke around the rest of the site, as well. There some interesting insights into the papercraft design process itself, as “Ray” realizes his goal of creating a complete “Haunted Mansion” papercraft kit.

Build Your Own Video Game Console

XGameStationXbox 360? Playstation 3? Nintendo Wii? Spare me the hype, please. You can have your triple-core processors, motion sensing controllers, and Blu-Ray…but I can kick your ass at Joust.

Meet the XGameStation. For the low price of $199, anyone can get started with the basics of videogame design, programming, and publishing. From the official website:

“The XGameStation Micro Edition (XGS ME) Video Game System development kit… is a retro-inspired educational video game console designed specifically for both hardware and software hackers. The system is powered by an 80 MIP RISC processor, has direct raster controlled graphics, 3-channel sound, built in programmer, and is capable of outputting both NTSC and PAL composite video. Additionally, to round out the retro-roots of the XGS, it’s directly compatible with vintage Atari 2600 joysticks as well as custom-designed game pads.”

From the looks of some of the games displayed in their online gallery, they’re not too primitive to be fun. Look, you’re not going to be creating the next GTA…but your own hacked version of Tetris? A basic Pole-Position-esque racing game? Go check out the site. Now.

Build Your Own NES Alarm Clock

NES ClockNow, we know you would never destory working vintage hardware. But if you happen to have an old, broken NES laying around, “Aaron” can show you how to mod it into a working alarm clock. In his version, the power button controls the status of the alarm, on or off. And the Nintendo controller has been rewired to allow the clock and alarm to be set. While there’s no schematics, Aaron has provided good photos and a fairly descriptive build log, so you should be able to figure it out.

Build Your Own Pneumatic Toilet Paper Cannon

Toilet Paper CannonThrowing toilet paper up into the trees of your 7th grade history teacher (even if you happen to be 35) is so old-school.

Xinventions.com, however, has plans to build a pneumatic version, that can launch rolls of toilet paper up to 150 feet, with the paper unfurling the whole way.

Unfortunately, the plans aren’t free…but isn’t $15 bucks a small price to pay to see toilet paper sailing through the sky at unheard of heights, possibly (as the site warns) catching fire as it goes?