Saturday, December 7

Ghetto Engineering

So I'm not terribly rich. And as they say, necessity is the mother of all invention. And I'm resourceful.

Where am I getting with this? Well, a little back story first. All my life I've wanted a gaming laptop capable of playing anything I throw at it. I bought a laptop at a pretty decent deal on craigslist but I quickly grew bored of it after the thrill of having a new laptop wore off. It was much too slow. I play lots of games (maybe I'll post on that later) and even the lesser demanding games made it chug. So I sold that one and bought an Acer notebook off a friend. It worked fine for a while, but again I got bored of it. I upgraded it with a solid state drive and that made it feel like an entirely new laptop.

Then by a combination of luck and timing, I traded myself a new laptop. It's a Samsung RC-512A. It's got a core i7 in it and has dual integrated graphics cards. It's not extremely powerful, but it's by far the best machine I've ever owned (refer to line one).

i7's, the new leg burners. Pic source
If you've ever used a laptop equipped with basically any generation i7, you probably had heat issues at some point. My laptop overheats when I play Batman: Arkham Asylum for too long. Thus, I needed some sort of cooling pad for it. So I figured I'd build one (refer to line one).

In my stash of computer parts I found an old CPU fan. Typically CPU fans are 12 volt. USB is 5 volt. The fan, if ran off of USB, would run at about half speed but it would function. I found an old USB cord and stripped it. Now what? I don't have a soldering set of my own yet. Well, refer to line one.

Ghetto Soldering Iron. For real.
What you are looking at is a model GSIM version 1.0. GSIM (Ghetto Soldering Iron, Man) is made with a lighter and a bit of 10 gauge wire. The wire wraps around the lighter for stability and coils at the top around the flame. The flame heats up the coils and the coils hold the heat for use as a soldering iron. The hardest part was getting it to tin but once I did it worked fine.

My sources tell me that those coils are not to be touched.
Granted, it's a huge tip and gives you some seriously sloppy joints (believe you me, I know sloppy soldering - I used to do micro soldering for PCB assembly) but it gets the job done in a pinch. My joints were... stable... and functioned as they should.

I electrical taped her all up, plugged her in, and whizz goes the fan. Pretty slow of course but it worked. I was moderately pleased.

So after all that what did I do? I gave in and bought a cheap laptop cooler on amazon. Here's what I bought. It hasn't come yet but I'm pretty excited to get it. I'll make a sort of review post when I get it.

What did we learn from all this? Refer to line one, and then go buy a laptop cooler. At least that's what I learned. It was a fun project even if I'll never use it again.

And that about wraps it up for today. Remember: don't swear and wash your hair.

Johnny Miracle Shoots


  1. Whats PCB? Pepperoni Cheese Bread? I love that stuff!

    1. Nope, PCBs are printed circuit boards. You get a slab of silicone that doesn't have any components on it. Just a board. Like this:

      You then solder all the resistors and all the components to it and then it's a usable circuit.

  2. I like the GSIM :D Thats probably the stuff Im gonna be making when I don't have any tools

    1. It's my favorite kind of tools! Cheap and operational.

  3. Now THAT is a serious soldering gun. Sick tricks! Im hoping my little bros make their own now to fix busted gameboys and stuff! Loving the blog, by the way. Clean, clear, and fun. Keep it up!

    1. I'll try to! This blog is my pet project at the moment. It's crazy fun.