Posts Tagged With: reuse

ScrapHappy June 2021: One becomes Two

A pile of slightly fuzzy scrap…

One of the new things we have tried at Chez Snail as a result of lockdown is being part of a virtual audience on a radio show. In the past, we have on a couple of occasions gone to a recording of “I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue” which, for the benefit of my international reader, is probably the original unscripted panel show in which the panellists are “given silly things to do”. It was a part of my childhood and is still going a hundred and fifty years later.

As part of a virtual audience, you need a ubiquitous computer with a microphone and a set of headphones, or two, if there are two of you. And therein lies the problem. Most laptops only have the one headphone socket, and won’t allow you to use, say, one set of headphones and one set of Bluetooth connected ear buds. What you need is a gizmo to make one socket into two. I feel a ScrapHappy coming on…

To create a headphone splitter, first carefully select* an old CD player which has two of the required stereo 3.5 mm sockets (usually one is labelled “Line” and the other with the headphone symbol). Then, remove the sockets from the board, plus any other components that look like they may be useful for something one day (and will come off without too much effort).

Shiny soon-to-be used socket

Shiny soon-to-be used socket

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Not-so-shiny soon-to-be used socket

 

Removed and ready for action!

Removed and ready for action!

Now, carefully select one wire from the tangled mess of wires that is my collection of broken headphones – the wires break in the cheap ones** all the time because they are, you know, cheap, and very unmendable. Fortunately, they tend to break in the unopenable earphone bit, or in the moulded plug bit so if you can find one that has broken in the former way, you have the right thing: a bit of wire with a plug on the end. All you need to do now is solder the wire to one of the sockets and that socket to the other socket and bingo! You may want to elicit some help…

Wires. Four of them. Stop me if this is too technical.

Wires. Four of them. Stop me if this is too technical.

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JonBeastie at the ready with his soldering iron

Finally, I decided to make something to hold the sockets so that they weren’t, to use a technical phrase, “flapping about all over the place”. I started with a piece of clear plastic that I carefully removed*** from the front of the CD player but that shattered when I drilled it so I cut a piece of the casing off instead, and drilled that.

A hacked-off CD player

A hacked-off CD player

Possibly a hammerhead shark

Possibly a hammerhead shark

And almost immediately after completion, those Beasties had nicked it and were listening to their grimy hippity-hop music by some popular beat combo.

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Beasties chillin’ to the groove – apparently

oOo

* It was the nearest one.

** And expensive ones as well.

*** It fell off.

Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

 
 

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 20 Comments

ScrapHappy January 2021: Let there be light!

Fully working bright light

Fully working bright light

First, a ScrapHappy New Year to you all!

To start the year, here is an easy ScrapHappy mend of an LED lamp which the Snail uses for various crafty activities. In fact, we have two of these lamps and, although they weren’t cheap, they are well made and very useful. They feature a ring of LEDs as well as a magnifier in the top, and will run from batteries or a mains adapter. The Snail uses the mains adapter for both – the batteries are housed in a detachable box which I may well use for something else one day (watch this space!).

This particular lamp started to be like me – a bit dim. This is a strange thing for LEDs to do as they aren’t like incandescent bulbs that have separate parts that can fail independently (so one of several filaments might break but the others would keep on shining). It probably meant that the power supply wasn’t doing what it was supposed to, so I started there. A quick check with my rusty voltmeter told me the truth – the supply was only half decent. It was producing a little over 3 volts rather than 6 volts to be precise.

Half the supply it was

Half the supply it was

In the last 20 years, I reckon every household has probably had about a million* mains power supplies that have long since become pointless because the device they were supposed to power has broken. Many have (shamefully) been put in landfill, but many reside to this day in old boxes at the backs of cupboards/wardrobes/sheds. Mine reside in my office/workshop/studio, liberally scattered across shelves/boxes/drawers.

Could I find one that was suitable?

Could I find one that was suitable? - SPOILER ALERT!

Could I find one that was suitable? – SPOILER ALERT!

Yay! I could! This is the supply from an old set-top box, for receiving the Freeview digital signals (for my non-UK reader, Freeview is the UK’s contribution to the vast thousands of utterly unwatchable TV channels around the globe). We stopped using the box it powered about ten or so years ago but *I KNEW* it was worth keeping.

Of course, it didn’t have the right bit on the end of the wire so I had to chop the end of the defunct power supply and solder it onto the “new” supply. Once done, voila! LEDs that are properly bright. And perhaps a hint of a smile in the magnifier too? Perhaps…

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One happy lamp

oOo

*  I checked with Twitter – it is a million.

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

ScrapHappy April 2020: Face Time

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Optimistically, it says “Man” on the pattern…

Ah, another “soft” ScrapHappy – I promise I’ll be all power tools and hammers next time*! The Snail found an “easy” pattern for face masks on t’interweb and, like the fool I am, I said I would have a go at making my own. AND there were scraps of material left from my first sewing exploit (see here for, frankly, way too many details), making it a perfect subject for a ScrapHappy post…

Hover over the pictures for the captions, by the way (like you didn’t already know that). I cut things out, only one of them incorrectly. There are three layers – an outer, an inner (both regular material) and a middle bit made of vilene, which is ironed onto one of the other layers and acts as a filter. Now for the sewing bit… I fired up the trusty Singer and, with huge amounts of guidance from The Snail, managed to make a face mask (well two in fact)!

It wasn’t easy easy, but it wasn’t too bad either. The top stitching was difficult as it was really hard to see the seam and therefore the path of the stitches, but I managed that with minimal swearing. I found using the Singer much easier than before, so I guess I am becoming used to it!

You can read The Snail’s take on this project here.

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A distinct improvement to my face!

oOo

* Depends, but next month’s might be a bit electronicky…

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: ScrapHappy, Sewing | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

ScrapHappy September 2019

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Not a very inspiring post this month, but where I work throws out these empty coffee containers rather than clean them out and let people come up with uses for them.

Me? These tins have lids that close tightly making them perfect to be reused as a food waste* bin for the kitchen – as the one I liberated a week ago is currently used for. I collect food waste in the flat I live in during the week and then take it home to the garden compost heap at the weekend. AND this replaces my old food waste bin whose lid decided to stop closing properly, with predictable results.

Scrap and Happy!

oOo

* Not actually food waste, more food-to-be-repurposed

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

ScrapHappy June 2019: Love Triangle

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You can keep your Bermuda, your isosceles and your musical varieties – my warning triangle is the best. Unfortunately, like a lovelorn triangular heart, it broke. I think it lurked around in the boot of the car and was squished by either some luggage, a dog or a person. What it needed was some scrap – chiefly, three bits of old computer.

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I just happened to have this old PC lying around…

The metal braces were once the covers to be found on the back of desktop-flavoured PCs, to stop small fingers and the wet noses of dogs intruding whilst allowing for extra gizmos to be added. Removable, handy pieces of metal once the PC has reached the end of its life – in this case, due to a combination of software obsolescence and reluctance of the power supply to start up first thing in the day (that I can relate to!).

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Some strong glue, tins of coconut milk for a bit of pressure on the braces while the glue was drying et voila! One triangle as opposed to six straight lines. Add an old knitting needle in the case to stop the whole thing bending quite so readily when sat on, and the job was done!

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Hopefully, I’ll never need to use it!

oOo

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

 

Categories: computers, recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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