Introduction: Capsicum Computum: Serrano Pepper USB-stick
Yet Another USB Memory-Mod: my first Instructable is probably the most simple 'mod' for a USB memory card ever. This is how it came about.
Over the summer I visited an MBA fair somewhere here in The Netherlands. After a nice conversation with the people from the Univerity of Phoenix they gave me a USB-'powered' ballpoint. It looks like your ordinary run of the mill freebee pen, but if you twist it open there's a USB connector, pretty cool. It's only 64 meg's but hey, it was free. The thing is, as a result of the added memory the casing of the pen is quite bulky - actually for me it's way too 'fat' to comfortably write with it at all.
I thought of modding USB memory sticks after getting inspired by all the Instructables on this subject. I even bought one to crack open and try out one of the cool instructables (the Lego brick-stick is my favorite!).
Of course I had to dismantle the pen right away to see if the memorystick woud be of any use, and I have to say: it's great! It's very flat and it even has a little LED. Unfortunately, that same light makes it a bit too long for many of the projects. I'm afraid I can't just cut away the diode because it might have an extra function.
I am a huge Jalapeno pepper fan, I even grow them myself (unable as we are in North-Western Europe to buy them in the grocery stores like you lucky Americans). I am such a big chili lover that somebody gave me the coolest lil' thing: a bag of (I guess they're made out of PVC) chili covers for the individual lightbulbs of a standard string of X-mas lights. This will turn them into great patio party lights.
Since I had that bag laying around while I was 'operating' on the USB-pen I came up with the idea to squeeze the memory stick into one of those covers. It really is the cheapest and easiest 'mod' one can think of. As a matter of fact, since it's not very high tech I believe it can not even stand in the shadow of 99% of the great instructables on this site. But the result looks funny, and that's why I posted it.
Step 1: Gather Materials
First, get your own free USB-pen and a bag of pepper x-mas lights string covers.
Step 2: Disassamble
Take the pen apart. Be careful with the USB memory device. I had to use a skinny and relativly sharp (but not potentially damaging) stick to gently push the memory stick out of the pen casing. A chop stick did it for me.
Step 3: Assamble
Now "reassamble" the lose ballpoint parts again - it is kind of a waste to dispose a brand new and (to some) nice looking pen. My nephew was happy with it. On the outside nothing indicates that once a USB-stick was hidden in it anyway.
Next, squeeze the PVC pepper cover a few minutes to heat it up. This helps to make the opening a little more flexible. Now gently squeeze the USB stick inside the cover. If the stick you use is significantly shorter than the cover, be careful not to lose the whole thing inside it - make sure to leave enough USB-space out.
Step 4: Done
Since making the first one, I've converted three more (different shaped) USB-sticks into orange peppers. I'm still looking for the red and green covers, because I have a couple more boring looking sticks laying around.
Also, next I'd love to make a string with green wires and some USB-female connectors (if I can find them on the cheap) as a dock for those sticks when not in use. Adding some fake leaves will make it look even more fun.