Larry Scheinfeld: 4 New DIY Ways To Use Tech You May Already Own

DIY projects can be incredibly fun and rewarding. With a little research and ingenuity, many of the everyday appliances and gadgets people use can be repurposed in a variety of ways. From portable chargers to retro recreations, these projects not only encourage craftsmanship and creativity but can also save the average person money in the long run.

Here are 4 DIY tech projects to tinker with:

Portable Solar Phone Charger

Sustainability website Tree-huggers has a cheap and environmentally safe solution for those in need of a phone charger. According to Instructables user ASCAS, the device reportedly works on both Android and Apple phones.

To get started, the project requires a few essential tools: a 30W soldering iron, a hot glue gun, and a leatherman multi-tool.

Additional materials include a 6V mini solar panel, a 12v USB charger circuit, a smart phone and charger cable, and a flexible plastic card. All of these parts can be purchased collectively online for as low as $5.

The entire process takes about five steps, and involves disassembling the charger circuit and mounting it on the solar panel. The plastic card then serves as an optional stand for the new charger.

This is perfect solution for those constantly on the go, or the forgetful types who can’t rely on themselves to charge their phone every night. Now they can charge wherever there is sunlight!

Fire & Water Powered Emergency Light/Charger

Technically referred to as a Compact Water Cooled ThermoElectric Emergency Generator, this gadget is nowhere near as daunting as it sounds to build. Devised by Instructables user David Joohansson, the project calls for some candles, a couple of tuna cans, and a few other affordable and easily obtainable materials.

Outside of the obvious applications, the device also makes for a cool personal project that will impress friends and family. Kids in particular should love the experiment.

The instructions can be found here. For the final result, check out the video below:

Vintage Bluetooth Radio

While this particularly creative project may seem a bit more daunting compared to the last entries, it may be worth the effort. It involves transferring a modern Bluetooth speaker into an antique radio.

The result is an old-fashioned sound box that will blast the latest tunes from your laptop or smartphone. Definitely something that should wow retro enthusiasts.

The task calls for a single speaker Bluetooth unit and a portable radio, at the very least. A replacement speaker, stronger lithium battery, USB charger, and plug connector are needed to craft a device is not only functional but also convenient and aesthetically pleasing.

Click here to follow the full directions laid-out by Instructables user ke4mcl.

Nintendo Cartridge Hard Drive Case

Keeping with the retro theme, this relatively simple project involves using an old NES game cartridge to house an SSD hard drive.

The first step involves opening the cartridge with the use of a flat screwdriver bit. Once inside, the original circuitry must be removed and plastic inserts filed down to clear room for the SSD and USB adapter.

After installing both, screw the cartridge shut and the task is complete.

Watch the video from Inspire to Make below for an illustrated walkthrough: