Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 20, 2009

VHS Tape Storage Drive

at 10:25 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks

 

This project turns a old VHS Tape into a USB storage drive. It looks like a normal VHS cassette tape except for the USB cable that sticks out of the shell. All of the project guts are hiding in the areas around the clear windows so that when you have a quick look at the front of the tape all seems normal. When plugged into a computer the VHS Tape Storage Drive will act as a normal USB drive except when the drive is accessed the tape reel will turn and the windows will light up. This will keep at least one of my VHS tapes out of the landfill.

The operation is quite simple, the USB cable connects to a thumb drive inside the device. The thumb drive has been cracked open to expose the circuit board, USB power and the drive LED output has been tapped into. These 3 points are wired to a small circuit board, there is a circuit that stretches the drive pulses into an on or off signal that is buffered by a transistor to power the internal motor and LED lights. The pulse stretcher was needed since the USB drive would flash when it was being accessed. This would have caused the motor action to be very jerky and the internal lights would also have flashed.

The cost to purchase all the parts for this project should be between $10 and $15 depending on the deal you can get for the USB thumb drive and assuming that you have a few items in your parts junk box. Construction time should be 3 to 4 hours but it took me longer since I took a ton of pictures along the way and has some belt drive (or should I say rubber band drive) issues.


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Gather the parts you need. (page 2)
Remove the Recycled DC Motor. (page 3)
Prepare the VHS Tape. (page 4)
Open the Thumb Drive and find the LED Drive Circuit. (page 5)
Wire up the Thumb Drive. (page 6)
Construct the Control Circuit. (page 7)
Mount everything in the Tape Shell. (page 8 )
The Device is Finished. (page 9)

 

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