The Big Book of Hacks Revised and Expanded: 250 Amazing DIY Tech Projects

The Big Book of Hacks Revised and Expanded: 250 Amazing DIY Tech Projects

by The Editors of Popular Science


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In this paperback 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 is 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: 9781681884110
Publisher: Weldon Owen
Publication date: 07/17/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 760,379
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Popular Science is the world’s largest science and technology magazine, with 6.1 million print readers and 10 million monthly page views on The publication explores the intersection of science and everyday life, providing science and tech news along with tons of fascinating DIY projects for beginning tinkerers and pro builders alike. Founded in 1872, Popular Science is one of the oldest continuously published magazines in the United States, and is published in five languages and nine countries.

Read an Excerpt

5-Minute Project
Project 51 - Make a Mini Catapult
STEP 1 Lift up and rotate the nail clipper’s little lever.
STEP 2 Glue the bottle cap onto the lever, leaving a little room for your fingertip at the very end.
STEP 3 Load it up with supersmall ammo, pull it back, and let go to launch.

Table of Contents

How to use this book

Maker Basics

001 Get to Know Basic Woodworking Tools

002 Make a Straight Cut in Wood

003 Assemble a Mortise and Tenon Joint

004 Master the Butt Joint

005 Drill a Hole

006 Suit Up with Metalworking Tools

007 Cut Metal Pipes and Sheets

008 Learn to Weld

009 Put Together a Soldering Kit

010 Learn to Solder Wires

011 Solder to a Circuit Board

012 Study Circuit Components

013 Bund a Circuit

014 Learn Programming Basics

015 Get to Know Microcontrollers

016 Program an Arduino

017 Get Familiar with CNC Software

018 Meet the Lasercutter

019 Start Lasercutting

020 Discover the World of 3D Printing

Geek Toys

021 Make Your Own Cotton-Candy Machine

022 Turn a Matchstick into a Tiny Rocket

023 You Built What?! The Ultimate All-in-One Beer-Brewing Machine

024 Drink Booze from a Melon

025 Break into Your Beer

026 Install a Shower Beer Caddy

027 Chill Your Beer Really, Really Fast

028 Disguise Your Brew

029 Reuse Those Red Party Cups

030 You Built What?! The Drink-Slinging Droid

031 Create Powdered Booze at Home

032 Make Drinks Glow in the Dark

033 Freeze LEGO ice Cubes

034 Cook a Hot Dog with Electrical Current

035 Mod Your Toaster for Crazy Toast

036 Build a Flameless Hack-o'-Lantern

037 Blow Safer Smoke Rings

038 Wield a Potato Launcher

039 Improvise a Planetarium

040 Put On a Liquid Light Show

041 Jam Out to a Sound-Reactive Light Box

042 Wave an LED Lighter at a Concert

043 Party with an LED Glow Stick

044 You Built What?! An LED-Lit Disco Dance Floor

045 Make a Sonic Tunnel of Fire

046 Turn Your Campfire Green

047 Hold a Flaming Ball in Your Bare Hand

048 Set Off a Spinning Fire Tornado

049 Ignite a Homemade Sparkler

050 Wreak Havoc with a Squirt Gun

051 Make a Mint Catapult

052 Play with a Bike-Part Spirograph

053 Turn, a Rainy Day into Art

054 Set Up a Turntable Zoetrope

055 Fold a Paper Robot with an Arduino Brain

056 You Built What?! The Real Iron Man Suit

057 Mix Magnetic Silly Putty

058 Cook Up Ferrofluid

059 Build a Sled for Slinging Snowballs

060 Set Up a Pinball Game at Home

061 Play DIY Skee-Balt

062 Build a Mint-Tin Racer

063 Shake Up a Martini in a Mint Tin

064 Strum a Mint-Tin Guitar

065 Carry a Pocket Billiard Set

066 Build a Bristlebot

067 Make a Mini Whirling Motor

068 Kit Out Your Own Solar Rover

069 Make a Mini Hovercraft

070 Modify a Magic Mystery Bulb

071 Make a Smartphone-Powered Hologram

072 Turn the World Upside Dawn

073 Hack Your Magic 8 Ball

074 Co Anywhere with Virtual-Reality Glasses

075 File-Share with a USB Dead Drop

076 You Built What?! The Electric Giraffe

077 Turn Garden Beets into a "Beet Box"

078 Scratch a Pizza-Box Turntable

079 Pirate a Vinyl Record

080 Craft a Boom Box Duffel Bag

081 Make Your Tie Glow in the Dark

082 Put Headphones in Your Hoodie

083 Use a Glove on a Touchscreen

084 Pump Jams through a Phonograph

085 Make Speakers from Sticky Notes

086 Put a New Spin on an Old CD

087 Make Sweet Holiday Music

Home Improvements

088 Build a Smart Home Sensor

089 Set Up a Laser Security System

090 Snooper-Proof Your Wallet

091 Install an Electrical-Outlet Wall Safe

092 Carry a Film-Roll Keychain

093 Make a Musical Stash for Your Cash

094 Turn Your Roomba into a Sentry

095 Make a Robotic Artiste

096 Hang a Liquid Lamp

097 Mold a Retro Lamp Base

098 Make a Modern Mag Rack

099 5ew an Easy eBook Reader Case

100 Make a TV Oscilloscope

101 Hack a TV Console into a Seat

102 Install an Aquarium in an Old TV

103 Build a Boob-Tube Bar

104 Set Up a DIY Drive-in

105 Make a Rubik's Cube-Inspired Chest of Drawers

106 Sand Tiny Trim with a Razor

107 Kit Out an Instant-Charge Screwdriver

108 Make a Mini Screwdriver

109 Remove a Stripped Screw with a Rubber Band

110 Make Duct Tape Do Double Duty

111 Hang a Magnetic Stud Finder

112 Turn Your Hard Drive into a Tool Grinder

113 Capture Screws with a Magnetic Wristband

114 Rig the Poor Man's Laser Level

115 Remove Rust with Electricity

116 Clean with a Toy-Car Broom

117 Rig a Superpowered Scrub Brush

118 Construct a Toilet-Powered Zen Fountain

119 Double Your Showerhead Action

120 Craft a Toilet-Paper Dispenser

121 Track Your Food's Freshness

122 Turn a Tea Bag into a Lantern

123 Harvest Fridge Magnets from an Old Hard Drive

124 You Built What?! Dinner to Go in a Nitrous-Injected Dining Table

125 Rig a Coaster that Prevents Mouth Burn

126 Put an Old Coffee Can to Good Use

127 Improvise a Sous-Vide Cooker

128 Build a DIY Smoker

129 Set Up an Umbrella Solar Cooker

130 Do Stuff with Bottle Caps

131 Create a Life-Size Cardboard Cutout

132 Lounge in a Cardboard Hammock

133 Chat on a Cardboard Telephone

134 Hang Up Cardboard Blinds

135 Put Together a Homemade Wind Mill

136 Hook Up a Solar Charger

137 Set Up DIY Crow Lights

138 Build a CD-Case Greenhouse

139 Hack an Umbrella Stand to Predict Rain

140 Set Up a Remote Pet Feeder

141 You Built What?! Men's Best Friend Gets a High-Tech Home

142 Light Up Your Dog

143 Build a Cat Door

144 Make the Lazy Man's Mower

145 Make a Geodesic Dome out of PVC Pipe

146 Reuse an Old Garden Hose

147 You Built What?! The Ultimate Snowblower

Gadget Upgrades

148 Rig a Diy Polygraph Test

149 Listen In with a Foxhole Radio

150 Tack Up a Dipole Antenna

151 Craft a Cell-Phone "Cantenna"

152 Boost Wi-Fi with a Steamer

153 Hang HDTV-Antenna Art

154 Hack a Toy Sword to Detect Free Wi-Fi

155 Rig a Smartphone Projector

156 Charge a Phone with Solar Rays

157 Make a Smartphone Tripod

158 Illuminate Sketches with Homemade Conductive Ink

159 Hack Infrared Goggles

160 Fashion a DIY Stylus for Your Touchscreen Device

161 Protect Your Touchscreen with Thin Vinyl

162 Turn Your Laptop into a Whiteboard

163 Dye Your Laptop

164 Make a Steampunk Laptop Case

165 Stash a Flash Drive in a Cassette

166 Make a Pink-Eraser Flash Drive

167 Fake It with a Sawed-Off Flash Drive

168 House a Flash Drive in a LEGO

169 Hack a Foot-Operated Mouse

170 Trick Out Your Computer Tower with Engraving

171 Turn On Your Computer with a Magnet Switch

172 Print Secrets with Invisible Ink

173 Fake Out Thieves with a Desktop Hack

174 Shield Your Screen from Prying Eyes

175 Set Up a Laptop Cooling System

176 Control Your Mouse from Afar

177 Make an External Hard Drive

178 Craft Keyboard Thumbtacks

179 Rig a Superportable Keyboard

180 Create a Glowing Mousepad

181 Upcycle an Old Circuit Board

182 Make a Laptop Stand from a Binder

183 Build a USB Hub into Your Desk

184 Stash Your Printer in a Drawer

185 Mount Stuff Behind Your Monitor

186 Organize Loose Cables

187 Make a Floppy-Disk Box

188 Get Pumped with a CD Dumbbell

189 Assemble a Cereal-Box Spectrometer

190 Rig a Supersimple Radiation Detector

191 Build Your Own Particle Detector

192 DIY a Soldering Stencil

193 Rig a Cellphone Blocker

194 Build Your Own Fossil Sifter

195 Repurpose a Radio to Listen to Meteor Showers

196 You Built What?! A 3D Printer that Runs on Sun and Sand

197 Run a Flashlight on Dead Batteries

198 Repurpose Foil for Techie Use

199 Improvise a Tripod

200 Mount a Camera to Your Bike

201 Build a Time-Lapse Camera Stand

202 Rig a Plastic-Bottle Diffuser

203 Make Your Camera Waterproof

204 Create a Peephole Fisheye Lens

205 Adapt'a Manual Lens to Your DSLR

206 Turn a Can into a Sun-Tracking Camera

207 Grow Your Own Photo

208 Snap a Self-Portrait with a DIY Remote Shutter Release

209 Turn Your Camera into a Photosynthesis Detector

210 You Built What?! A Camera that Shoots Huge Photographs

Transportation & Fitness

211 Light Up Your Bike Wheels

212 Ride with a Crease-Free Pant Leg

213 Reinforce Your Tire with a Seat Belt

214 Stay Safe with a Beer-View Mirror

215 Keep Your Handlebar Grips Tight

216 Bring the Party with a Bike Speaker

217 Stay Warm on Chilly Rides

218 Make a Unicycle Out of a Bike

219 Navigate with an Old-Fashioned GPS

220 Make Your Bike's Tires Snow Proof

221 Protect Your Bike Saddle from Theft

222 Reuse a Busted Bike Tube

223 Shred on a Fan-Propelled Skateboard

224 Give Your Motorcycle a Futuristic Vibe

225 Light Up Your Motorcycle Helmet

226 You Built What?! The Vrooming Hot-Rod Hauler

227 Mount a Rad Hood Ornament

228 Hang a DIY Air Freshener

229 Black Out Your Taillights

230 Install Air Horns in Your Car

231 Fend Off Fender Benders with a Sonic Distance Sensor

232 Hack an Emergency USB Charger

233 Shift with a Custom Gear Knob

234 Hit the Trail with a Solar-Charging Bag

235 Create Emergency Candles on the Go

236 Take Aerial Photos with a Weather Balloon

237 Set a Tiny Helicopter Awhirl

238 Launch a Mini Rocket

239 Make Your Own Drone

240 You Built What?! The Incredible Amphibious Tank

241 You Built What?! A Tilting Ping-Pong Table That Throws Off Opponents

242 Make Your Own Prescription Goggles

243 Hack an Oversize Air Hockey Puck

244 Score with Ping-Pong Paddle Gloves

245 Assemble a PVC-Pipe Soccer Goal

246 Transform a Bike into a B-Ball Hoop

247 Serve Up a Tennis Ball

248 Wear a Heart (Monitor) on Your Sleeve

249 Build a Sunscreen Reminder Hat

250 You Built What?! The Motorized Easy Chair



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