Nowadays, it’s hard to keep up with the tech-fascinated culture and the need to constantly upgrade electronics every time a new version hits the market.
Let’s face it, why waste a gadget that’s still useful? Remember, throwing it away contributes to electronic waste.
If you’re still planning to chuck the older version of your electronics, there are plenty of creative ways you can convert them into future technology. Here are eight exciting projects to make use of your old tech relics.
1. DIY Cellphone-Powered Robot
Most smartphones nowadays are based on Android OS. These phones feature different inbuilt apps that exploit features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to control other devices. In this project, you’ll create a robot controlled by a running app. The control commands are issued via Bluetooth.
Some of the cool features of this cellphone-powered robot include:
- You can control it by voice/touch commands from Android applications
- You can measure the speed of the robot
- The robot will send information about the directions it moves
The project can also be made using micro controllers (Arduino/Atmega), but that requires coding.
2. Old Phone to a VoIP Handset
A VoIP handset can be a convenient and inexpensive alternative to land-based phone services, but you’ll need an internet connection. Buying VoIP-enabled phones to replace old analogue devices can be costly.
As such, many router manufacturers and VoIP service providers have incorporated VoIP features into their routers or created analogue-to-VoIP adaptors. These devices allow you convert an analogue phone to a VoIP handset with a plug-in.
The only additional equipment required for this project is a microphone, speaker, and an adapter for connecting the phone and modem together.
3. Old Router to Wireless Internet Radio
What better way to use your old wireless router than to convert it to an internet radio?
With your wireless router, you can stream thousands of songs and radio shows. Unlike most FM radio stations, internet-based radio is dedicated to specific genres of music. In addition, there are fewer advertisements meaning that you’ll enjoy content without unnecessary interruptions.
While the actual cost of buying an internet radio is expensive, building one yourself using on old router will save a few dollars. You’ll need materials such as a USB sound card, speakers, an amplifier, and knobs.
4. Book Scanner From Old Projector
Although books are a great source of knowledge, storing many physical copies will clutter your room. If you already have a bunch of old books filling up your limited living room space, this project will help declutter.
Scanning most of your books will let you to walk around with your entire library because you can save the digital copies on your phone and laptop. You’ll free up space in your study room, and use it for other purposes. The scanned books can be donated to needy students or charitable organizations.
An old projector and a good camera are all you need to get started.
5. Old Netbook to a Touchscreen Tablet
If you still have your old netbook on the shelf, you probably know that their popularity isn’t coming back any time soon. However, you can turn the gadget into a tablet and enjoy the benefits that come with a modern touch interface.
With a cheap overlay touchscreen and some software, you’ll refresh the netbook giving it new functionality. The setup will help you save cash if you were considering to buy a new iPad or tablet.
6. Home Automation with an Old Router
Here’s a clever way to automate your home with one of those old internet routers you bought years ago but no longer use. The electronic components in the router can easily be repurposed into a smart home hub with internet connection, Ario software, and a USB sound card.
Connect your phones, tablets, TV, music system, and other smart devices to the router. The system will be easy to operate as you can control it from an Android or iOS device.
Now that you’ve made a few operations easier in your home by automating them, why not tackle another project to improve entertainment. Here’s how you can build a home theater on a shoestring budget.
7. DIY Self-Closing Hinges
Besides providing a quiet environment and reducing the level of wear and tear on your doors, self-closing hinges protect your kids from injuries. The mechanism behind this project isn’t so technical that you’ll have a hard time figuring out.
It’s an easy project you can finish in an hour or two, especially if you’re replacing old hinges since you already have the measurements.
8. Mobile Phone Charger From an Old PC fan
Do you have an old PC that you don’t use because it’s too slow or virus-infested? Here is a chance to convert it into a power source. Every desktop computer has a fan for cooling the CPU. Like any other motor, the fan will generate an electric current if it spins too fast.
The PC fan can be connected to a bicycle, so you can charge your phone and other devices such as walkie talkies while riding it. However, the project can be improved if you use a solar panel. It’s worth noting that this module can’t charge devices that require over 110V.
You only need one 12V DC PC fan, 5V step-up module, and a charging cable for this project, but that doesn’t mean that your other old PCs should end up in the landfill.
Repurpose Old Gadgets, Save Money
There are several obsolete gadgets in your house that you don’t want to get rid of, but you have no idea how to repurpose them. With the above ideas, we hope you’ve be inspired to tackle at least one project.
Most of the resources you’ll need are probably lying around your home or can be bought for cheap. More importantly, you’ll create a gadget that won’t need replacement any time soon.
Short of ideas for projects this summer? These DIY projects are ideal for DIYer, whatever your skill level.
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