VCR Centrifuge

vcrCentrifuge

VCR’s practically scream “tear me open!” with all those shiny, moving parts and a minimal risk that you’re going to damage a piece of equipment that someone actually cares about. Once you’ve broken in, why not hack it into a centrifuge like [Kymyst]? Separating water from the denser stuff doesn’t require lab-grade equipment. As [Kymyst] explains: you can get a force of 10 G just spinning something around your head. By harvesting some belt drives from a few VCR’s, however, he built this safer, arm-preserving motor-driven device.

[Kymst] dissected the video head rotor and cassette motor drive down to a bare minimum of parts which were reassembled in a stack. A bored-out old CD was attached beneath the rotor while a large plastic bowl was bolted onto the CD. The bowl–here a microwave cooking cover–acts as a protective barrier against the tubes spinning inside. The tube carriers consist of plastic irrigation tubing fitted with a homemade trunnion, which [Kymyst] fashioned from some self-tapping screws and a piece of PVC. At 250 rpm, this centrifuge reaches around 6 G and best of all, gives a VCR something to do again. Take a look at his guide and make your own, particularly if your hackerspace has a bio lab.

29 thoughts on “VCR Centrifuge

    1. Michio Kaku taught anyone on the Internet willing to read how to make them without a whole lot of centrifuging. Still, most people don’t have them, and IMO Iran knows the region’s weather patterns better than to start something they won’t be able to finish.

    2. Too late!

      I’m from Iran and now I know how to convert VCRs to centrifuges. I’ll use them to make peaceful atomic bombs! Please don’t judge Iranian people by their government.

      FYI, about 10-15 years ago, owning a VCR was illegal here in Iran, as owning satellite receivers are still illegal. Hackaday is inaccessible in Iran because of the word “hack” in it! Do you see what idiots are running our country?

  1. What is this crack, “minimal risk that you’re going to damage a piece of equipment that someone actually cares about” supposed to mean? I still have a VCR I use here.

      1. You’re too kind, thanks. I didn’t say I put a whole lot of miles on my VCR anymore. It’s not bad when I do run it though. I have it hooked up with that composite video cable, so when I watch it I think it looks good. I can buy VCR tapes in thrift stores for 25 cents a piece now.

    1. But do you care about *his* VCR? Do you think most people are interested in keeping their old VCRs around? I don’t think it’s an unreasonable comment to make, and come on… you have to be trying to take offense to that.

      1. My VCR isn’t that old. I only bought it a few years ago now. It is a Sony combo drive, DVD/VCR I think it cost something like $70 in Wallyworld.

  2. Interesting that people aren’t making these out of washing machines…
    It has a nice heavy-duty bearing, the samples can be much further from the center, that combined with the fact most of them are capable of 1000+ rpm gives you tens of Gs instead of several.
    Also, it has a double walled debris shield already in place ;-)

  3. 1. the vcr is so cheap that you find the combined with the dvd player and even a tv and if you live in a university town you can get them from the dumpsters of apartment complexes.

    best time is in around graduation day and around the finals.

    2. the brushless motor that spins the drum happens to have the driver chip on board so you can connect to it and use the video drum as is.

    if the motor isnt powerful enough you could remove the driver board and use an rc esc to drive it.

    the only thing you do have to be careful about is the power supply as there is a main voltage capacitor that can still have a charge in it so handle the board with care.

    if you have a electronics repair shop they may be able to get you a junk vcr.

    like i said they are so cheap most people throw them out when they quit working.

    1. It was made to extract microscopic organisms from water, and they will be crushed to a pulp at 1000 RCF. That is why it runs at 6G.

  4. i thought of making one with a hard drive,.. spins much faster
    the tricky thing with centrifuges though is that they need to be balanced very precisely

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