Make: Magazine, Volume 23 - PDF

Make: Magazine, Volume 23 - PDF

Make a miniature electronic Whac-a-Mole game, a tiny but mighty audio amplifier and more.


Make: magazine, Volume 23 (PDF), the first magazine devoted to digital projects, hardware hacks, and D.I.Y. inspiration.

In this special GADGETS issue, we show you how to make a menagerie of delightful machines: a miniature electronic Whac-a-Mole arcade game, a tiny but mighty see-through audio amplifier, a magic mirror that contains an interactive animated soothsayer, a self-balancing one-wheeled Gyrocar, and the Most Useless Machine the creepy mechanical box whose only purpose is to turn itself off (as seen on The Colbert Report!). Plus: how Intellectual Ventures made their incredible laser targeting mosquito zapper, how to use the industrial-strength microcontrollers called PLCs, and a lot more.

See the "Specifications" tab for the complete table of contents.

Table of Contents

blue pdf icon = PDF OF ARTICLE red content icon = DOWNLOADABLE EXTRAS orange content icon = EXTRAS


Our New Tool for Community Collaboration by Mark Frauenfelder in Welcome
Make: Projects ( is our brand new beta library of project instructions written by you, the readers. Page 1

Reader Input
Rosy CupCakes, router safety, shocked kids, and pirate booms. Page 10

Smiley Face Technologies by Saul Griffith in Making Trouble
I have an antidote that keeps me upbeat, something special and beautiful that keeps me optimistic about the human condition ... people share their ideas with me. Page 13

Walled Gardens vs. Makers by Cory Doctorow in Make Free
Making is about sharing. The reason we can make so much today is because the basic knowledge, skills, and tools to make anything are already on the ground, a loam in which our inspiration can germinate. Page 16

The Infrared Thermometer: An Essential Science Gadget by Forrest Mims III in Country Scientist
While I've spent 20 years measuring sunlight, haze, the ozone layer, and the water vapor layer using various homemade insruments, a couple of IR thermometers are among the most important gadgets in my science toolbox. Page 26

Summer's Here by Dan Woods in Maker's Corner
Time to get serious about that long-overdue MAKEcation. Page 29

Made on Earth

orange content icon Rolling Like Luke by Keith Hammond
Daniel Deutsch built his own full-sized, drivable landspeeder. Page 18

orange content icon Bright Lights, Big Installation by Laura Kiniry

Firefly 1440 is an LED display of dancing light patterns based on the wind's force, timing, and direction. Page 20

orange content icon Shelter from the Bus by Bruce Stewart
Sculptor Christopher Fennell created a bus stop shelter out of actual retired buses. Page 21

orange content icon Living Walls by Jeanne Storck
Rufus Butler Seder creates animated glass murals. Page 22

orange content icon Hardcore Thread by Shawn Connally
Theresa Honeywell covered an entire motorcycle in knitwork. Page 23

orange content icon DIY Truss Telescope by Bruce Stewart
Dale Sander built a "truss telescoping telescope." Page 24

orange content icon Come On, Sweat! by Laura Kiniry

Waste to Work is a project that explores sweat as a catalyst for energy. Page 25


Fruit Picker
Here's how you can make your own collapsible fruit picker in about 5 minutes. Page 103

Hypsometer by Cy Tymony
Using simple trigonometric principles, you can closely estimate the height of objects with an easy-to-make-hypsometer (hyps means height in Greek). Page 110


Kid Robot by Dale Dougherty
Young makers are seizing breakout opportunities on the wild frontier of Detroit. Page 30

58 Bagley Ave. by Marc Greuther
The workshop where Henry Ford made his first car. Page 37

Slag Social by Joe Sandor
The art and community of the DIY iron pour. Page 38

Hacking Club-Mate by John Baichtal
A popular hacker energy drink gets homebrewed. Page 40

Stone Age Telegraph by Jamie O'Shea
Armed only with information, I turn rocks and sticks into an electronic signal. Page 42

Maker Faire 2010: Going East
Born in 2005 as a maker meetup, Maker Faire ( is the world's largest DIY festival, celebrating homegrown technology from robots and rockets to food, arts, and crafts. Page 45


orange content icon Beam Weapon for Bad Bugs by 3ric Johanson
How to make a Mosquito Defense Shield. Page 48

red content icon orange content icon Magic Mirror by Al Linke
Make a know-it-all animated reflection that talks back. Page 54

Mystery Electronic Switches by J. Tregre
Page 60

red content icon My Favorite Gadgets by Larry Cotton
Three handy gizmos that snap, magnify, and play. Page 62

One-Way Ticket by Jon Thorn
Pressurize with a plunger that pushes but doesn't pull. Page 68


red content icon Squelette, the Bare-Bones Amplifier by Ross Hershberger
Squelette is a see-through amplifier that sounds ridiculously good while showing off your soldering (it looks nothing like a typical audio product). Page 70

red content icon orange content icon Gyrocar by Matthew Gryczan
Outfit a toy gyroscope with an electric motor to make it run continuously, and add an adjustable drive wheel that lets it chug along a monorail, balance on a string, circle the rim of a pot, and perform other tricks. Page 84

red content icon orange content icon The Most Useless Machine by Brett Coulthard
Make a machine that, when you flip the switch on, an arm reaches out of a door to turn the switch back off. Page 94


Building with PLCs by Tim Hunkin
Programmable logic controllers never fail. Page 104

DIY: Workshop

Wilderness Workshop by Charles Platt
Build your own inexpensive yet sturdy worktables and shelving. Page 111

CD/DVD Parts Container by Steve Stofiel
A new twist on the old baby-food jar organizer. Page 115

DIY: Home

Compressed Earth Block Floor by Abe Connally, Josie Moores
Lay your own earthen brick floor for about $60. Page 117

DIY: Science

The Microdoodle by Mister Jalopy
Convert an old-school microfiche reader into a magnifying machine. Page 120

DIY: Imaging

red content icon Time-Lapse Photography by Nir Yariv
Make mini movies from a command line. Page 122

DIY: Music

Solar Car Subwoofer by Henry Herndon
Self-sufficient station-wagon sonic splendor. Page 124

Easy Pitch Control Hack by Peter Edwards
Make audio circuits sing higher and lower. Page 127

DIY: Outdoors

Lily Pad Pool Warmers by Edward Hujsak
Use hula hoops to heat your swimming pool using the sun. Page 131

red content icon College Bike Trunk by Frank E. Yost
Make a lockable carry-all box from sheet metal. Page 135


red content icon Crash! ... and Burn? by Lee D. Zlotoff
The creator of MacGyver challenges you to get an unconscious person out of a crashed car. Page 138

Electronics: Fun and Fundamentals

Zap-a-Mole by Charles Platt
The first of a series of columns for readers who have relatively little knowledge of electronics and would like to know more. Page 140

Toy Inventor's Notebook

red content icon orange content icon Guitar Amp Bulletin Board by Bob Knetzger
Use a piece of vintage speaker cloth to make a mini "guitar amp" bulletin board. Page 147


Howtoons: Mus�e du Dodecahedron by Saul Griffith
Depicting a subject from multiple viewpoints gives it greater context. Page 148


orange content icon Droid Factory by John Baichtal
Milwaukee's Firefly Workshop Page 158


blue pdf icon orange content icon Gadget Brothers Reunion by Michael H. Pryor
Gadget Brothers Reunion Page 163

Heirloom Technology

Tree Moving by Tim Anderson
Transplant a big tree with a giant two-wheeled dolly. Page 164

Drive a Car by Gever Tulley
Take command of 5,000 pounds of metal. Page 166

Remaking History

Samuel Morse and the Telegraph by William Gurstelle
Despite the fact that Morse had little knowledge of electricity, he plunged ahead as only a man in the throes of a serious midlife crisis could. Page 168

Make Money

Pennywhistle by Tom Parker
Sometimes it costs more to buy it than to make it from the money itself. Page 171


My Embedded Entertainment System by Luis Cruz
In October 2009, just one year after I started studying electronics, I decided to build my own video game system, applying everything I'd learned about microcontrollers and game programming to a single system. Page 176