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DIY projects: 5 Back to the Future devices you can make

20 Oct 2015  | Suzanne Deffree

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DIY Prop Shop brings us this $30 bill of materials flux capacitor that sadly won't take you through time, but should take little time to create. It's also made up of common household items including a cardboard box, duct tape, washers and LED rope.

Here's the instructional video:

Biometric lock

When Jennifer Parker is found by police in Back to the Future II, presumably intoxicated, they bring her home and use her thumb to open the front door (sans door knob), where she is greeted by a cheerful computerised voice saying, "Welcome home, Jennifer."

This DIY fingerprint door lock won't greet you upon entry but is a mid-range skill build. Based on a Crowduino Arduino-compatible board, the lock includes only six items in its materials list and five steps to production.

One word of caution when building any door lock: It's wise to keep the power supply and hackable components inside the door and out of potential criminals' reach.

Time circuit clock

Every time traveller knows the first thing you do when readying your DeLorean is turn the time circuits on, so you better have them right.

Adafruit's Phil Torrone posted his time circuit recreation made using parts sold by the company. Among other components, he used 4-digit LED displays and a Teensy MCU to keep the clock slim.

Although he admits to "copious amounts of hot-melt glue, tape, and swearing" being used, the design is simple and elegant, worthy of Doc Brown's approval.

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