The Big Book of Hacks (Rev. Edition): 264 Amazing DIY Tech Projects

The Big Book of Hacks (Rev. Edition): 264 Amazing DIY Tech Projects

by Doug Cantor (Artist)


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In this reboot of the popular 2012 title, readers will find a collection of the most up-to-date and thrilling DIY tech projects around—straight from the experts at Popular Science magazine. Updated with new and more modern projects, the Big Book of Hacks the perfect book for aspiring makers, curious young techies and old-school enthusiasts alike ... especially any who love using a soldering iron!

Charge up that drill, fire up your soldering iron, and get ready to hack! Starting with a robust introduction to basic yet essential maker skills and followed by four comprehensive chapters of hack projects, this book has everything you’ll need.

BASIC MAKER SKILLS From setting up your workspace to using basic hand and power tools to tinkering with robotics, find the top tips and essential skills every maker and maker-in-training needs to be successful. Other skills include 3-D printing, lasercutting, CAD design, and more!

GEEK TOYS Be the life of the party with quirky drinking amusements, amazing pyrotechnics, and robots. Includes projects for installing a shower beer caddy, freezing LEGO ice cubes, wielding a potato launcher, building an LED-light dance floor, and constructing a light saber, with updates like a sword that detects free Wi-Fi, a solar-powered rover that really goes, a replica of a Roman catapult, and more!

HOME IMPROVEMENTS Pimp out your pad with a laser-security system, an improvised sous-vide cooker, a secret door, an aquarium in an old TV, the perfect gaming chair or a life-size cardboard display of anyone you want. New projects include a sensor that lets you control your home’s temperature and energy use from afar, an automated pet-feeder, and a light made with pennies!

GADGET UPGRADES Want to use an XBOX 360 controller as a phone case or build a polygraph test? Looking to brighten up a standard flashlight or charge your phone with solar rays? Improvise a fisheye lens for your camera or dye your laptop? Now you can upgrade many household items without breaking the bank. Look for updated content, such as a hacked radio that lets you listen to meteor showers, your very own DIY particle detector, and a cool soldering stencil.

THINGS THAT GO Give your motorbike a Tron vibe or make a unicycle out of an old bike, deck out your car with an action-figure hood ornament or install a bed in your van, upgrade your kayak to a sail boat or take aerial photos with a balloon. Find these mobile projects and more—plus new stuff, like a heart-rate monitor you wear on your sleeve, a bike jacket with flashing turn signals, goggles with prescription lenses, and a bicycle-powered generator!

With its clever tone, step-by-step instructions, and useful diagrams, every project is accessible to people of all ages. Find all the ingenious and hilarious projects that every techie will enjoy, in the upgraded The Big Book of Hacks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681880426
Publisher: Weldon Owen
Publication date: 04/19/2016
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 765,937
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Founded in 1872, Popular Science is the world’s largest science and technology magazine, with 6.7 million readers. Each month, Popular Science reports on the intersection of science and everyday life, delivering a new look at the future now. It’s the ultimate guide to what’s new and what’s next. Popular Science is one of the oldest continuously published magazines in the United States, and is published in five languages and nine countries. Its web site,, has been readers’ first stop for up-to-the-minute science news since the site first went live in 1999.

Read an Excerpt

Tip 232: Hack an Emergency USB Charger
On the lam without your car charger? Splice some wires and be on your way.
STEP 1 Cut the USB end off the cable for your device and strip the insulation. You’ll use the black and red wires to connect to the adapter. Twist together the other two wires.
STEP 2 Cut off the end of the cigarette lighter adapter that does not plug into the cigarette lighter. Use the knife to strip the insulation to reveal the black and red wires.
STEP 3 Twist the two red wires together and the two black wires together. Wrap tape around the joints to insulate them.
STEP 4 Plug it in and charge up your phone in the car.

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The Big Book of Hacks: 264 Amazing DIY Tech Projects 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Noreiarain More than 1 year ago
I think this book is worth having around the house, especially if you have a little money and time on your hands for many of the more complicated projects. If you don't have money to spare, and you're not savvy with electronics, however, your choices of projects will be rather limited. Although, it is a popular science book, so I guess you should expect some money and know-how to be required in order to carry out the instructions for most of the projects. I did, however, find several projects that required little to no shopping or technical knowledge, including the pill bottle sparkler (project 038), the plastic cup chandelier (020), the mint-tin guitar (052), the steampunk-inspired laptop case (176), and the customized welcome mat (081). I am also excited to try my hand at some of the more complex ideas, like the pocket theremin (080). This book is worth it even for the ten or so projects I might realistically get around to doing, but it's also simply inspiring and interesting to read, and I like to think that, over time, I'll try many more of its unique suggestions.
NatoshaM More than 1 year ago
I really love that there are so many different projects for creating some fun and cool looking tech toys. These are something that I fancy with the DIY and use of technology to build. It's like a fun science project book in one! The many different things, which there is 250 total inside is going to keep me and anyone interested in this book busy. It's just so cool that I can put my soldering iron, drill and so many other tools to use! Now that I just about to move, I'll enough room to create some of these projects inside. Some of them are the make a cotton candy machine, matchstick turned into a tiny rocket, build a home sensor, rig a DIY polygraph test, Hang HDTV Antenna Art and so many others.I mean there are 250 so it's packed with projects! Finally, I really love this DIY Book, since it takes technology and DIY in one! I do love DIY, but with the use of technology together it's so much fun!
Mom_of_3_girlsVA More than 1 year ago
Bought this for my husband as a Christmas gift. He prides himself on being a little geeky. He absolutely loved it. The book is full of cool things to do for varying budgets. For any geeks out there, men and women....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago