Daves Web Site – Use At Your Own Risk

Dave’s DIY Projects & MAX

Dave’s Custom DIY Building and repair, and pics of Dave’s electronic projects.


I started building with K’nex a couple of months ago, I usually order them in 10 pound box assortments. Ordering this way may get special pieces or ones that are expensive separatly, but also contain unwanted pieces and objects that are not K’nex. But recently found it to be easier to buy in bulk lots of only the parts I need. The pictures show the 2 current projects I am working on, I will update these pictures frequently. …John from eBay, here’s why I order soo much.

The First Picture shows the two K’nex builds, the SkeeBall machine is 6.5 ft long.

K'nex Builds 2013

Complicated K'nex Game 2013

K'nex SkeeBall Under tabletop Backside K'nex Game Ball ReturnBackside K'nex Game Ball Return


2012 Hotel Phone Experiment: Uses 6 ‘425b series’ hotel phones with no rotary dials and a hacked VoIP adapter. I created a network in which you can turn off or on any phone configuration. Example: see picture 2: I used 6 3-position dual pole switches, which can connect each phone individually to either line 1 or line 2 or turn off that phone. The system is set up so that picking up a phone connected to line 1, will ring the phone or phones that are connected to line 2, and vise versa. So a network can consist of 1 and 5 phones, 3 and 3 phones or 1 and 1 phone, etc. You can have all phones connected to the same line, but no phones would ring. Why did I make such a useless system mounted on a single wall? – Had some free time after graduation, bought some phones and experimented. Also adds functional decor to a plain white wall. Each phone sounds different, and by picking up the ringing phone a communication path is created between the phones. The control box sits on the floor. This also turns it into a mystery guessing game for kids. Since I built this I’ve added another phone in the basement, which works great as a floor to floor communication device. Click the smaller images to enlarge.




Gear Hauler which doubles as an emergency stretcher: This was a one day project, I only used materials from the garage and attached shed. It carries our cooler, all camping gear and anything else you might want to bring camping. As with most random building projects, I browsed the internet looking for something like this. An online hunting store had a Game Cart used for hunting deer, priced about $65 after S/H. I searched until I found an alternative similar to mine, and designed it using the available materials. All metal parts right down to the 4 nuts and bolts have been sitting in the back of our garage. It uses 3 ratchet straps; one for the cradle and 2 for holding down the gear. Things in the picture: cooler, 4 person tent, camping pack with gear inside, tarp, a folding pad to sit on, lantern and a rain coat. Notice the device takes the full weight of the cooler, and half the load of the other items. The hardest part is getting the gear on without tipping it over and balancing it on its 1 wheel. Can’t wait to test it on the trail…. Tools used to build it: Air powered cutting wheel, cordless drill w/drill bits, hammer, tape measure, and 2 ratchet wrenches.



DVD, NES Game and CD Shelf: two-day project, although it is not completely level, it serves it purpose. This is an old picture, the number of DVD’s has tripled. It is made of pine and plywood. Tool used to build it: chop saw, cordless drill w/drill bits, hammer, air powered brad/staple gun, jigsaw, and circular saw.


Christmas Light Starter for vixen: We wanted to start the christmas light display this year off with a giant switch. I had a broken mouse with missing mouse ball so I disabled both buttons. Since the mouse had no ball it could not move the cursor. I soldered two long wires to the circuit board of the mouse, which would by-pass the switch, then I happen to have a giant homemade switch (kind of like Frankenstein.) Since the mouse could not function a second USB type mouse will actually start vixen and place the cursor over the start sequence button. Then the switch could activate the sequence from outside (after a drumroll of corse). See pictures below, first mouse is custom, second is a regular USB mouse. Tools used to build it: wire cutters and wire stripper, hobby screw driver set, and a solder gun.



Fan Switch Replacement: We have  a box fan older heavier design, unlike cheap ones bought today. The knob was missing, so I found one and tried to attach it but in the process I broke the switch and it was not repairable. I soldered a new switch on, pictured below. Note the first picture; the wiring, red and white are high and low-speed, yellow is common, and the white wires are power. Leave the yellow and white together. Tools used to build it: screw driver, cordless drill w/drill bits, and a wrench.



Above is the two completed Projects, one is a “Night Rider” light, and the other a police light (very bright.) These circuits worked on the first try, luckily. Below is the inside or the projects, messy but effective. Each costs around $20 to build. I have my own way of soldering, I call it rebel soldering.

____________________________( (( MAX II )) )______________________________

The controller that was originally built no longer suits my needs. I have built a new controller with 32 channels instead of 16. (I will be using the same components rewired and redesigned in a different housing.) Instead of using a solid (fixed) design, I have designed a ‘module’ type controller. Which was inspired by the Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) class I took at my College.

There are 3 modules; one power block, and two output controllers (16 channels each).

The power block connects both 110v and 12v to the output modules. It also holds the 12v 4amp power supply. Seem like a little too much power? – Not enough power, will result in the power supply blowing or catching on fire, whereas the power supply will only generate the power the circuit is using. Plus with extra power available I can add future additions.

Each output module has two 8 channel output boards, each board is connected to the computer via a parallel port. (So there are 4 parallel cables connected to the PC.) The 16 outlets are mounted above the output boards. I have also wired 2 quick access parallel ports next to the outlets, this makes it easier to connect the parallel cables. The 2nd output module sits on top of the first one, it allows enough room in between modules to plug all cables in.

All modules fit tightly within a toolbox on wheels. (3rd and 6th picture shows incomplete top module)


This page will be updated as more are built, please Check Later.


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