Introduction: Mini Hovercraft From a Dead Computer!

Picture of Mini Hovercraft From a Dead Computer!

Hi! this will be my entry for the dead computer contest. In this instructable I will show you how to make a small hovercraft using parts from a dead desktop PC!

Step 1: Step 1- Parts & Tools


>A 12 volt, 0.14 amp cooling fan
>Fan pipe thingy (in the picture it is the bottom black round thing). or a plastic can of equal diameter to the fan. (has to be at least 3 inches deep).
>erector set pieces (optional)
>4 9-volt battery clips
>4 9-volt batteries
>electrical tape


>Swiss-army knife
>soldering iron (or tin foil and even more electrical tape)

Step 2: Step 2- Aquiring Parts

Picture of Step 2- Aquiring Parts

To get the parts out of the pc you have, unless you already have, is pretty simple.

>open up the computer with the screwdriver (or Swiss-army knife)

>locate the part inside and remove it or rip it out violently. (the former is preferred as ripping can cause damage to parts)

>the erector set pieces I used are mostly for show. you can use screws instead of them or even glue if you like. it doesn't really matter.

>the 9 volt clips can be gotten at your local radio shack

Step 3: Step 3- Assembly

>the fan can be glued on top of the fanguide thingy/can.

>if you have the other rector set pieces you can put them on the hovercraft

>the 9 volts can be glued to the side of the fanguide thingy/can.

>now use your soldering iron to attach the 9 volt clips in parallel so the voltage is coming out at 36 volts. that will run the fan way higher than it is supposed to be but it is worth it.

>if you have done all this, it should be able to float about a milimeter above the ground. if not increase or decrease the the distance between the fan and the ground.

Step 4: Step- 4 Have FUN

when it is all complete you can take it to a basketball court and kick it around like a gigantic game of air hockey. HAVE FUN!


darrenhall (author)2013-04-04

Now that's cool - I love folks who make stuff from trash or revamp broken things.

Big respect.


azrathud (author)2012-05-14

Attach the batteries in series to create a higher voltage. When you attach the batteries in parallel you increase the amperage but the voltage is the same as one battery. see

martzsam (author)azrathud2012-05-14

oops. I forgot this instructable was even here. I was thinking of deleting it because it is so bad.

azrathud (author)martzsam2012-05-15

The creation itself isn't so bad, but your explanation(pictures / video) is a little lacking.

wamper95 (author)2011-08-13

what kinada fan is that?

martzsam (author)wamper952011-08-20

It's a fan ripped from an old computer. I've since found that either styrofoam plates or a disposable pie pan work great for hovercraft. The styrofoam is cool because you can shape it into cool crafts. Just make sure you run the fan at the minimum twice its nominal voltage.

wamper95 (author)2011-08-13

i really want to know so that i can make one but with Styrofoam plates.

akeeksha (author)2011-07-12

can we replace the 9 volt clips with any wire?

akeeksha (author)akeeksha2011-07-13


martzsam (author)akeeksha2011-07-12

If you have to you can solder the wires straight to the battery...

BUT- there is a specific danger to soldering directly to batteries. Batteries will heat up faster than you think and EXPLODE. I recommend just buying the 9 volt clips at radioshack for 3 dollars.

Doctor Freeman (author)2010-07-17

does both old desktop and or laptop or just one

martzsam (author)Doctor Freeman2010-07-19

What are u trying to say?

Doctor Freeman (author)martzsam2010-07-19

what im trying to say is do you have to use a desktop, laptop or can you use both

martzsam (author)Doctor Freeman2010-07-19

Oh, i see. I havent used one from a laptop, so I wouldnt know. I imagine u could.

eulaliaaaa! (author)2010-03-13

This looks like something from an old Macgyver episode.

martzsam (author)eulaliaaaa!2010-03-16

Why do you say that?

eulaliaaaa! (author)martzsam2010-03-27

Because there was this one episode where he was trapped in this top-secret-underground-base-type-thing and that looks like the little laser-shooting-heat-seeking-security-robots.

martzsam (author)eulaliaaaa!2010-03-27

oh. cool. Go Macgyver!

Mudbud (author)2010-03-13

 This is awesome! But I dont have that round top thingy. What could I use to replace that? Anyyway Its still cool

martzsam (author)Mudbud2010-03-15

the round top thingy is just an extra bit to keep your fingers from being sliced off and is totally optional.

Mudbud (author)martzsam2010-03-15

 oh ok thanks!!  I'm making one now!!!.............

martzsam (author)Mudbud2010-03-16

have fun! and watch your fingers...

Misac-kun (author)2010-03-11

With a video, you will surely get some more votes

The Ideanator (author)2010-03-06

I'm almost --- no, I am certain that that fan, or any generic computer fan won't be able to move enough air to lift itself. Though I am all for being proven wrong, a video should be in order.

I think it might work; hovercrafts use compression, not air displacement, to achieve lift, so not much power is needed. I'd like to see a video.

martzsam (author)JamesRPatrick2010-03-07

Your right. the hovercraft I built uses compression of the air to lift itself. I have to run the fan at 36 volts so the air doesn't come back out of the top.

agis68 (author)JamesRPatrick2010-03-07

 I have seen a game of air hockey that lifts the ball with a small fan like this computers nothing suprise me anymore

martzsam (author)The Ideanator2010-03-07

keep in mind the fan is being run at 36 volts. that is way more than usual. It burns out the motor after a while. I'll try and post a video as soon as possible.

kelseymh (author)2010-03-06

You need pictures on the rest of your steps.  Preferably pictures showing the intermediate steps in assembly.  Separating Step 3 into multiple steps, each one showing one actual step of the process.  Spelling and punctuation are nice things to include so people can understand what you mean.

Kiteman (author)kelseymh2010-03-06

Plus, a video of it running would be good.

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