pentium powered extra with friggin’ lasers

[Neil] sent along this one and I found this one highly amusing. The latest use for recycling those old cpus: overvolt them a bit with a USB cable and keep your coffee cup warm. Use them as dressing for heat generating resistors.

[nik] came up with a non-destructive way to mount an external wi-fi antenna to his thinkpad. I like it, but I think you need a double height PCMCIA slot to fit it – Maybe a slimmer version could be built for a powerbook/macbook.

[Hybrid] found some interesting diy LASER projects. Including a $10 air laser. Sweet.

[joek1010] noted some interesting webcam laser hacks. The laser tracing webcam has definite possibilities.

[dualbandit] found a similar twist, but this time a laser pointer is used to remote control a mediacenter.

In case you’ve been following it, my DIY HD projector build on Engadget is finished up with the final review. I’m pleased with the image quality, but I’ll probably be tweaking the lamp/reflector assembly a bit.

Oh, and if you were into exploiting vending machines and getting free coke, it looks like they’ve pushed out a firmware patch.

Remember, only 11 more days to get your entry in for the Design Challenge. Just check out the prizes if you need motivation.


  1. Crash says:

    You forgot “beams” if you were going for a doctor evil.

  2. Elliott says:

    is there anyone that would be willing to give me a hand with eagle? my email is elliott.linux[at]gmail[dot]com

  3. Shark500 says:

    They don’t overvolt the processor. there is a heating element under the cpu.

  4. Computer_kid says:

    ohhh! Friggin’ Lasers!

  5. Bryan says:

    the processor one is lame, the only thing the processor accomplishes is just to make it look nice aesthetically. It would work better with out the processor in between the mug and the resistors.

  6. atrain says:

    There was someone a while ago who straped 7 cpus of this era onto a big metal plate, and connected wires to them randomly. It managed to cook eggs, but I think a 360 would be more effective.

  7. Paul says:

    Yeah, when I first looked at the processor mug warmer I to thought that he was somehow running power through the P1 chip, instead he has a couple beefy resistors heating up under the P1 chip with some thermal paste transfering heat to the chip.

    Still a fun idea though.

  8. ironlizard says:

    That video of the vending machine hack is annoying, you’d think he could figure out what to buy first instead of going ummmmmm and looking lost for most of the clip.

  9. monster says:

    paul, the processor hot plate is a fake, if you look at the pics there is a lm7805 voltage regulator hooked up to the hot plate, the lm7805 can only handle 1 watt.

    1w is nowhere enough to cook an egg, unless you were in the desert with a magnifying glass over you.

  10. tevetorbes says:

    Too bad the $10 laser needs a $150 PSU to lase…

  11. fishpoo says:

    ive been doing the vending machine thing for months now….. yeah its theft but my motives are innocent enough :D im just doing it to explore. and its a cool party trick lol

  12. andrew says:

    hmm i don’t see an lm7805, monster. link? how would that work, anyway? usb is already at 5v…

  13. spiderwebby says:

    camera tracking software anyone?
    the git [joek1010] wouldent let me add this to his comments, probably because RR blows his program out of the water…

  14. monster says:

    my bad paul, i meant 1 amp. the lm7805 puts out 5w if its at 100% efficiency

  15. joelanders says:

    i think a 7805 needs 7v input to even work…
    usb puts out 5v?

  16. sly says:

    mmmm hd projector… *drool*

  17. monster says:

    i was talking about the Cyrix hotplate, heres a link:

    5 watts spread out over that much surface area would do nothing, i doubt you would feel it if you held your hand to it.

    the pentium cup warmer on the other hand, has a maximum of 2.5 watts, because usb only puts out 500ma, which is 0.5A @ 5v = 2.5W

    i’ll admit, i did not realize the hotplate one on my own, but the usb one was all me.

  18. madd_matt says:

    Re: The coke machine hack. The vendors have always had the option to disable a refund on “empty”; this patch just makes it off-by-default.

    This information comes from a coke employee.

    All the vending machines in my area were updated as soon as this got on hackaday the first time, because an employee I know reads the site and went and fixed all his machines.

  19. Dayne Batten says:

    Just for the heck of it, I wired one 486 CPU directly to a 250 watt power supply using a supply voltage and ground pin. Gave off no heat. I think you would have to be doing some calculations or something to make it get hot. (You’d probably need to connect EVERY FREAKING power and ground pin too.)

  20. kevinin says:

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