The Winter season is the perfect time to start tackling some DIY projects. Many of us are stuck inside a lot of the time, and outdoor activities become less of an option. If you’re someone who likes to build new things, especially when it comes to gadgets and other electronics, then you might be looking for some projects to work on this Winter. Below are 5 great ideas you can try that will hopefully keep you busy until the warmer weather comes back.
Solar Emergency Charger (and Radio!)
Have you ever been stuck out somewhere and noticed that your phone was dying? Maybe you even brought a portable charger along with you but found out that this battery died as well. With a solar emergency charger, you don’t have to worry about this. A solar cell phone charger can be made with just a few basic parts like a small solar panel and a tin container. If you want, you can even turn this little device into an emergency radio. You can find instructions for building an emergency solar charger here and instructions for a solar radio here.
For the sports fans out there, wouldn’t it be great if you could have a scrolling scoreboard that displays the current scores from your favorite league? With a small Raspberry Pi device, a few LED boards, and some other minor parts you can build one yourself. It’ll take a little bit of knowledge of wiring and coding, but with some time you can probably learn to build it yourself. Here are some directions to get you started.
Home Media Server
Many of us now subscribe to services like Netflix, Hulu, and now Disney+. These services are great for streaming movies and televisions quickly to our televisions without having to use things like DVDs. But sometimes you want to play your own videos on one screen while they are stored on another device. Rather than transferring over those large video files, which can take hours, you can instead build your own home media server. You can do this on any operating system, and once you have it done it’ll be easier than ever before to play movies and music all around your home. Here are some instructions you can use to get started.
Holiday Light Display
If you want a DIY project that’s perfect for the Winter season, consider improving your home’s outdoor light display. Sure, you could go the basic route and hang up some lights along your roof. Or you can take things to another level and connect all your lights to a timing mechanism that syncs your light display with some chosen music. With a little patience and trial and error, you can create a great outdoor display like one of these. Keep in mind that you if connect a large number of lights to your home, you need a circuit breaker than can handle the extra load, and you may have higher electric bills than you would like at the end of the month.
Build a Personal Cloud Server
Finally, you can spend your time building a personal cloud server. Rather than spending money on services like Dropbox you can build your own server to store all the files you’d like to access while on the go. Building your own cloud server isn’t too difficult, and once you’re done you’ll be able to access your files from any device wherever you go, which is a major convenience. Here is a guide on building your own cloud server.
How to Get Started
To get started with a DIY electronics project you’ll need to do a few things. First, you need to decide on what project you want to do. You should think about the time investment necessary, along with any costs you may need to put out. Once you decide on what you want to build, make sure you have a good guide or set of instructions to following along with. Finally, you’ll likely need some parts. Visit an electronic part finder website to get all the parts you need for your project, then start placing your order.
Make the Most of Your Winter
While you’re stuck inside this winter, you might as well make the most of your time. There are a number of electronic projects you can tackle, after which you’ll have a great new gadget or piece of technology to play around with. Hopefully, this guide gave you some good ideas to consider and before long you’ll be huddled over your workbench creating something new.