Picture of DIY DJ Turntable from old Computer Parts

How to make a DJ turntable from old computer parts.

Some time ago I have discovered a piece of software that is using the mouse movement (up-down / left-right) to make scratch-alike effects on a virtual turntable, the way the DJs are doing it in clubs. It is the TerminatorX software, developed by Alexander Koenig (

But using the mouse is not even close to a real turntable. So here is a way to make from an old mouse and other parts a more realistic turntable.

I have tried several models made from recycled computer parts, and I will present you all of them here.

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Step 1: Preliminary information

Picture of Preliminary information

The first think you should know is that TerminatorX runs on Linux. There is no windows version yet. I have tried it in Ubuntu and worked fine. It is in the repositories, so it is very easy to install.

The software is designed to use the movement of the mouse on the X and Y axes and execute a custom chosen action. Usually I use one ax for scratching and the other one for volume control. Also each of the three buttons has a specific function. Left for grab (and scratch), middle for mute the current virtual turntable and right button for change to next turntable.

The turntable consists of 3 parts:
-a mouse with ball and 3 buttons (NOT an optic one)
-a spinning plate
-a table or support for them

Functioning: The spinning plate rests with one edge on the mouse’s rollers and they will spin together. When you spin the plate the mouse will detect it and will send the information to the software.

Materials that I used: one old (but functioning) mouse with 3 buttons and ball, an old CD-ROM, an old hard drive, an old keyboard, a CD, a floppy disk and a vinyl record. For putting the parts together I used double sided adhesive strips and magnets.

ajalademola2 years ago
can i use a laser mouse?
Can't realize you used a Lou Reed Vinyl for the spinning tool... And Berlin, especially...

But the project is nice and I do love it. Do you think it could be used as a parallel controller, such as a volume controller or something ?
"You will need a screwdriver with a six pointed star shape..." It's called a Torx-6 screwdriver.
It's not necessarily a Torx-6. All Torx drivers have 6 points, but the sizes range from T1 to T100. Most hard drives require a driver bit that's somewhere from T6 to T10. Some drives may even have screws with a variety of different head sizes.

Best bet is to buy a cheap set from Harbor Freight tools or Fry's electronics.
MystBoy4 years ago
Hey i made the same some time ago!
jgfresh4 years ago
Yall need to chk out mine its a different take on this.
Brunomaster5 years ago
i don´t understand...what is that, what does it do, do something?
 linux isnt a gui program there for you need to understand computer programing
No, there is a gui, you are just too stupid to know
classici linux doesnt have gui
Here is proof:

Some don't, but those are FLOPPY based distros

did i say all? nope
The Linux kernel is GUI free, but you need to know know how to program to make a Distro, but that is not the debate, you seem to be saying that the mainstream Distro he has here has no GUI
jli1 roland9854 years ago
 Linux does not inherently have a GUI. Any GUI for Linux is a separate desktop manager, most of them running off of X (Gnome etc.).

A lot of small or server distros do not have a GUI, as it is not needed or practical.
Istarian jli14 years ago
The point is that most desktop Linux distributions ship by default with a particular window manager and they are often referred to simply as Linux. This behavior means that it is sufficient to say that Linux has a GUI.

If you'd like to nitpick though, I'll point out that Linux is not an OS technically. To be specific most are GNU/Linux where the GNU tools are combined with the Linux kernel to produce an operating system.

Server distros do not have GUIs because they consume system resources that could be used instead for the server's purpose. They is also not used because the sys admin often needs more granular (finer) control over the operations which is harder to accomplish using a GUI (without a terminal window). Because all they wanted with the GUI was the terminal window it is simpler, easier, and more efficient to utilize the terminal without the GUI. This frees up memory space for application use and reduces the network bandwidth needed to access the system (even remote x windowing is resource intensive compared to a shell).
tomigm4 years ago
the people want a video!
Geli124 years ago
Can i play games like beatmania whith this? or anybody has a solution?
jli15 years ago
 Interesting idea... I'm not entirely sure how practical this is, but still its pretty cool. For an even better version of this you could theoretically make a simple program to output midi cc messages from this to any actually nice DJ software (Traktor etc) to make it slightly more practical.
PXYZ jli14 years ago
 I really like your thinking here... theoretically we could set the turntable up as described above and have the mouse wheel for a crossfader...
You could also set up your keyboard keys for cue control etc.
If you have any links for me to check out surrounding this type of information it would be much appreciated (I am a professional dj and would love to hit up a club with personally made equipment)
I made one, and my friend currently has my Ubuntu computer. So I found a Windows program called SoundCraft. Check it out:

iurmarius (author)  declanthedork5 years ago
Nice one! both the turntable and the software.
You can download it from (works on linux too - with wine)

If you fast forward to about 0:30 I turned the volume up
KillaDilla5 years ago
Wow. Now the hard part, how do I get linux????
eneergcam5 years ago
This is an awesome idea :) but you should try to make a clean version, and myabe incase it in some kind of container or something. my mom has a bunch of CDs that look like vinyl i wanna try to use with this!
iurmarius (author)  eneergcam5 years ago
I have tried to keep the design simple but variable; with a minimal use of tools.
For a clean design read only the steps 2, 4 and 7 ;) that's the most stable one.
For a container use a box; with the lid opened  it will look more like a real "record player" and will be safe for transport.
alexand3rS5 years ago
Addition: It would be extra sick if you could have the disc turn by itself too...
alexand3rS5 years ago

I've been looking for *good* *affordable* DJ equipment for some time, and this whip from old parts is a godsend until I can save up for better gear.
playmoboy5 years ago
Cool. Heres a tip, if the disc isnt making a good grip on the roller add some hockey grip tape to the side of the disc that touches the roller.
ubr.bzkr5 years ago
I like the ghetto look of this is cool. I have a bunch of old parts like mice and keyboards and HDD disks which arnt as useful for most projects so now i can put them to good use. good thing i saved them, cause usually i just keep the power supplies, HDDs and cd/dvd burners. I assume it will work on puppy linux?
This is awesome! Now, to get a Linux computer...
This is is one I have to try!