Solenoid motor from a VCR head

Here’s a solenoid motor you can build from a VCR head and some common components. It uses an LED and a light sensor, paired with an LM311 comparator to manage the switching of the motor. As the head turns, the LED shines on the sensor through a hole and triggers a TIP120 transistor to turn on the motor during the power stroke. Once the beam of light is broken, the transistor turns off the motor and the momentum carries it through its revolution until the next power stroke is activated.

We often say that “why” is the wrong question. [Bd5940] must feel the same way because he ends the video by saying: “it has no use, but definitely a conversation piece”. Yep, we’ve seen that before.

[Thanks James]

2 axis joystick from VCR parts


[eric] has found that he can build a pretty nice 2 axis joystick out of some VCR parts. Specifically, he’s using the idler wheel. When you disassemble the idler wheel, you’ll find that it has a bevelled washer in the perfect location to help with smooth joystick operation. Add a spring and a hole in some wood and you’ve got the basics. All you need to add now are the switches. This is a fantastic example of recycling parts, you never would have guessed that it was made from trash.

VHS toaster

Though the inspiration was said to have come from a clip of The Young Ones, we all know this was bound to happen eventually. [lemonie] has turned a VHS deck into a toaster. They’ve done a fantastic job, it looks almost perfectly stock. We can imagine that maintaining the look of the VCR was pretty difficult especially getting everything to line up correctly. Finally, we have a use for our old VHS deck. You can see a video of it in action after the break.

Continue reading “VHS toaster”

Scratch built jog wheel

[whatsisface] sent in his scratch built clone of a Griffin PowerMate. The PowerMate… is just a big knob, so it’s easy to see why more than one person has attempted this. [whatsisface] was inspired by a bit-tech post that did nearly the same thing, only they used the head out of a VCR for the knob. All the other components, like the optical encoder, are salvaged from a mouse, which we talked about in our scavenging How-To. He used a RC car tire for the actual knob. While we’re sure it works great in dirt, we’d probably go with the weight and inertia of the VCR head instead. Have a look at the video below to see the knob being used with the Volumouse software.

Continue reading “Scratch built jog wheel”