Introduction: Magnetic USB Card Reader

Picture of Magnetic USB Card Reader

USB memory card readers always seem to disappear. In our modern life, once you copy the pictures to your computer, where does the card reader go? In a drawer? Behind the computer in the mess of cables? Back in a bag with the camera?

Glue a magnet to the card reader and attach it to your drawers, fridge, or other magnetic surface. Magnets always seem to make people smile, so you and your friends and co-workers will find the card reader magnetically attached to some surface, smile, and always remember to put it back in the same place.

Winners of the September project contest will need these instructions to assemble their prizes.

Step 1: Assemble Parts and Materials

Picture of Assemble Parts and Materials

1. [ SanDisk MobileMate SD Plus 5-in-1 Reader]
2. Rare earth magnet (a 1/4'' x 1/4'' x1/2'' NdFeB from Amazing Magnets works great)
3. Epoxy (prize winners will receive one mixer cup of fast cure epoxy and a wooden stirring stick)

Step 2: Glue on Magnet

Picture of Glue on Magnet
Open the USB reader's stupid plastic case (this is probably the hardest part of the entire Instructable). Mix up the epoxy and glue on the magnet.

Here's a video taken by the workshop cam.

Step 3: Enjoy

Picture of Enjoy

In my experience, the magnet has no effect on data on the memory card.


Achordian (author)2008-01-05

Nope, won't wipe your memory, though EMPs probably can. I've accidentally gotten my jump drive stuck to some pretty strong magnets (I think even an N50 neodymium cyllendrellical magnet about 4cm long with 2 cm radius) But the reason is because they use static charge to store memory. While magnets can affect the alignment electrons in materials that can be magnetized, they cannot initiate flow unless there is movement. Since the magnet is glued directly to the flask drive, it should have no effect. (Making electrons pull to one side of an atom doesn't create current) Also, it'd take a strong magnet to create enough voltage to affect it, and sheet magnets often are assembled in strips with reversing polarity (or at least some are), so there shouldn't be any problems. Yes, this seems like it should go on wikipedia instead, but a lot of people were asking. Thanks for listening!

Treknology (author)Achordian2010-03-18

A genuine EM Pulse (sudden burst of high magetism) is extremely unlikely to affect a flash drive. The "nuclear" version which is actually a CHARGED PARTICLE emission means that randomly confused electrons and protons disturbed the fine balance in the silicon junctions, but realistically, if you're close enough to nuke for that to be problem, you're going to be too busy evaporating into puffs carbon-monoxide and ozone.

ubercurious (author)2009-12-15

Huh, seems pretty good, but I would keep it stored so that it can't stick to your computer.  Most desktops and laptops still use hard drives, and those could be affected by magnetics if your flash drive magnets finds the right place.  Unless you splurged and got an ssd for your computer... then you should be okay.

waffleman (author)2009-11-30

uhhhh cant the magnet erase the memory on the flash drive? or maybe thats just like an electro magnet.

Musicman41 (author)waffleman2009-12-14

Before you post a question, Waffleman *cough*, why dont you read the many questions before to see if that question was already answered.  Im sure the author has better things to do than to re-answer questions that have already been asked.

PCfreak (author)2009-04-08

Use Velcro you wouldnt have any issues with data loss besides that's what I use!!!

fwjs28 (author)2009-02-27

NO! magnets don't effect ssd

awawawaw (author)2008-12-02

I used to do the same thing with my floppy disk, but they only work once............ nice idea, I've had magnets on two of my thumbdrives for about two years now. I put them on the end of the 3" tether so they swing everytime I open my file cabinet.

abadfart (author)2008-05-22

wont the magnet mess with the memory?

kitsuken (author)abadfart2008-05-23

Flash memory is solid state rather than electromagnetic (like the hard disk), it should be fine.

Klappstuhl (author)kitsuken2008-08-13

And the cards you put into it? Last time my cousin was messing with a neodym magnet near a Memory Stick ProDuo its data got wiped off clean.

Elementix (author)2008-05-14

You know...if you were to open your pc case and cut a wire that runs to your power button and attach a reed switch in between the two ends of that wire, then taped to the inside of the case, you could combine it with this to have a sort of lock on your pc that only you could turn on when the magnet is there. Hmm....there's a bonus for you to try. cya! :-) (sorry for that huge sentence,lol.)

Derin (author)Elementix2008-06-17

already done but that mod would be awesome

munchman (author)2007-12-12

Just guessing here but I don't think that the magnet would wipe the data because it is stored in flash format and not magnetic format. For more information on flash memory, the guy's did this podcast on flash memory.

ewilhelm (author)2007-11-25

I've used this thing for months now, and so far it hasn't wiped any of my data.

aiden120000 (author)2007-09-11

could stick it on the side on an iMac on the left side where the remote goes

ceridan (author)2006-09-20

You might want to be careful with this one, some unshielded usb drives can become corrupted by a strong magnetic field.

Neodudeman (author)ceridan2006-09-20

lol,everything can becorrupted by a strong magnetic field. Crap, if aliens invaded Right Now weilding only a Gigantic Magnet, they would win.

ccddkkuu (author)Neodudeman2007-06-12

If someone will post a workable instructable for the alien magnet, this reader will certainly "plus" it ! Pretty please.

royalestel (author)Neodudeman2007-04-11

That's awesome! I'm going to steal that quote. Behold the Neodudeman quote:"If aliens invaded right now wielding only a gigantic magnet, they would win." You read it here first, folks. :) :)

Roflolommo (author)Neodudeman2006-12-08

couldnt we like nuke them i mean the nuke wouldnt even be able to miss if we tried.

jswilson64 (author)Neodudeman2006-09-21

>>if aliens invaded Right Now weilding only a Gigantic Magnet, they would win Not if they taste good!!!

finallytomorrow (author)ceridan2006-09-20

I heard that magnet fields effects hard drives but not memory devices that uses "flash memory"

ccddkkuu (author)2007-06-12

Thanks, EWilhelm. I like the idea, and sit reassured by the discussions about magnetism. Nonetheless, i want to thank you for the inspiring idea of mounting a camera over the workbench. That's appropriate technology, and may finally precipitate my first use of a webcam soon. (Hopefully someone will post an instructable about that gigantic alien magnet thing harkened to by Neodudeman.)

lemonie (author)2007-01-14

Also sticks to keys (in yer pocket)...

trebuchet03 (author)2006-09-20

oh Eric... I should have known better... when you were talking about a magnetic memory reader.. I was thinking (for some odd reason) something more exotic -- like reading magnetic data off a card strip :P But that makes no sense :P

ewilhelm (author)trebuchet032006-09-21

This is pretty simple, but don't worry, we've got some totally awesome, "can't buy these anywhere" prizes in mind for future contests. Considering what the rest of Squid Labs is up to, it shouldn't be too hard to guess.

cheezstake (author)2006-09-20

Couldn't you just have used magnetic tape? Then it would still fit into a pocket rather easily.

gigman (author)2006-09-20

I like it! Good idea!

About This Instructable




Bio: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through ... More »
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