PGH: DIY Emergency Speakers, Leather Carrying Case, Xbox Joystick Controller

Murray November 26, 2008 - 12:40 am

There are some amazing people out there. Though they may not be gamers, they sure are practical and, luckily for us, they’re on the internet.

Every now and then I come across some great do-it-yourself projects that I feel would be appropriate for this feature. However, it always seemed a bit bland and lazy for me to simply post a link and call it a day. Yet, it equally seemed to be wasteful to not share these great links. So, in a compromise, I’ve decided to amalgamate a few links into a single post and talk about each one a bit further. I’ve chosen to share these following three DIY projects because they represent different difficulty levels, meaning everyone should be able to find something that they can do over (non-Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend.

The Easy Project: Emergency Speakers

While impossible to reverse the steps of creating emergency microphones, Dmitry Zagga posted pictures of a simple way to create speakers on the fly: just put your earphones into some paper cups! I thought this would be something handy to keep in mind should anyone ever require speakers desparately and immediately. Dmitry reported that the volume increase is quite large. Naturally, if you want to get even more of a kick from your makeshift speakers, use a more parabolic container, such as the reflective bowl of a large flashlight. However, such items wouldn’t be as readily available as paper cups, especially at a coffee shop with free wireless internet.

Normal Difficulty: Leather Carrying Case

Instructables is a great how-to site to visit if you ever wanted to take your practical gamer lifestyle beyond games. This tutorial teaches you how to create a leather carrying case for your iPod, but arguably, you can apply the same technique to create a snug case for your DS or PSP. Note how, on step 2, you can customize your carry case slightly by making indents in the wet leather. You can use this to copy your portable console’s logo or to put your own name or mark on your case.

Hard Mode Engaged: DIY Xbox Joystick Controller

Even though I took Electronics in high school, I’m still hesitant about approaching this project. I’m just not that confident in my soldering skills to try it on the circuitry for an Xbox controller. However, if you are, then by all means go for it. Note that this project is not inexpensive by any means. You will have to gut an existing Xbox controller and buy the components for your personalized arcade imitator. I would also recommend that you follow the blog poster’s example and breadbox your project on cardboard or something similarly inexpensive first before going on to mount it on wood or metal. Naturally, you can ignore the LEDs and save yourself some minor grief, but they are pretty damn cool. Once you’re done, you’ll be ready to take people to school in SFIITHDR, SFIV, or some other game that isn’t Street Fighter.

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