Instructables
Picture of Roof Coffee Cup
After reading a post on Gizmodo about a researcher who sent a student riding through college campuses dressed as a clown riding on a unicycle, and how he found people who were on cell phones/using electronic devices were 50% less likely to notice anything unusual happening, I got an idea. 

People maintain driving with a cellphone doesn't distract them.  I decided to see if that was true.  I thought and thought about what I could do to prove it.  Then it hit me.  If I put something on my car roof, I could see if people notice.  I decided a coffee cup was the best choice, and after consulting my friends, they said to go with a StarBucks cup w/attached "cup condom".  I did , and the reaction was good enough for me to give the cup its own Twitter feed( twitter.com/RoofCoffeeCup ), where I jot down what people do while driving, then Tweet a recap later.  It's hilarious because I can be driving at 65 miles per hour, and people don't consider how a cup could still be on my roof.  When I take turns in front of them, and the cup doesn't move, they still tell me.  Even at stop lights, when people get out of their cars and try to take it off, some people don't figure out it's not real.

With how hard it is to keep a straight face because I'm laughing so hard, I knew I couldn't keep the fun to myself.  I also wanted to see the RoofCoffeeCup spread out from the small area of New Jersey I drive, and go across the country.  Thus, I'm making my first Instructable.  All I ask is that if you do make a RoofCoffeeCup, please tweet what reactions/where your cup is using the #RoofCoffeeCup hash tag, so we can all share the adventures.

Now some "legal" stuff.  Even though the cup weighs 3oz, the magnets used are hard, and could damage should it fly off, and someone is tailgating you.  Check your local laws before attempting.  The magnets I use are stronger than the ones on those "tear-drop" lights some people put on their roofs, and this cup is lighter than those lights, so if those lights are legal, I don't see why this isn't.  I take no responsibility for anything that happens to you if you try this.  I'm only responsible for when I do it with my own car.  I'm not responsible for any damage to your car through possible scratching or dents if you drop it close to the car.  Don't be a hazard to others on the road.  The reason I went with a coffee cup is it's not that out of the ordinary, and it's not a danger to anyone, like if I attached a laptop or something else heavy.  It also will not cause a panic/calls to police, like doing this with a baby carrier or car seat would, which I DO NOT endorse trying. 
 
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ntslaca5 months ago

I think i had the bests laugh....it was real...I stay in a condo block where the rubbish bins are located next to the condo exit. Most people would just walk there and dispose their garbage...in my case I was lazy...I place my garbage on top of my car, drive to the exit and dispose it...One day I took the garbage ,placed it on top of my car and drove away, forgetting to stop to dispose.....wow!!! can you imagine what happen!! I didn't realize it until i reached my school....THE WHOLE WORLD WAS LOOKING AT ME!!! What an embarrassment !!!!

nemoyoder5 months ago
once i left a no fall band on the step for a car and i drove for about 1hour and nothing happend it stayed there
DavidKaine5 months ago

I made one of these years ago, and was amazed by the kind of reactions I got from people. You would think that a flat tire, a headlight out, a midget axe murderer hanging onto the back of your car, etc would garner a lot of attention. You'd be wrong.

A coffee/soda cup on the top of your car will drive other people absolutely bat-crap insane. I had people follow me for miles, honking and waving to get my attention, just to tell me I had a bit of styrofoam on my roof.

Wroger-Wroger5 months ago

I wonder if there is a way to do this on a motorcycle helmet - without affecting the helmet... structurally or legally.

At the lights - "Ohhhhhhhhh that's where it is? I have been looking for that everywhere!"

Shadow13!1 year ago
I made one of these with great results. A few of my friends and I came up with a few variations that would work great as well. The first one is for the ladies. Get a cheap thrift store purse, best if it looks expensive, and put the magnets in it. The other would require designing a strong but light weight electromagnet with a push button switch so that as you are driving you can take it down act like you are taking a drink then put it right back on top.
Wazzupdoc4 years ago
I like the magnets I get from dismantling discarded microwave ovens. There are two big, strong round ones on the magnetron that might just fit inside the cup.
BE REALLY CAREFUL ! Microwaves have a large capacitor that boosts the voltage up to 10,000 volts and much more depending on the wattage of the unit . A repair technician was instantly killed when he grounded himself to that capacitor. They can be discharged easily. But I don't recommend messing around inside a microwave unless you are a profesionally trained technician. FYI.
Yep. I collect those too. Discharge with a screwdriver;however, most are dead and I suspect an underlying cause of the demise of the Nuker.
gitemstevedave (author)  Wazzupdoc4 years ago
Well, it's a lot easier for me to get the magnets from hard drives. I can buy old ones from the flea market for ~$1. Plus, if you need to literally destroy a HDD, there is no better way than handling the platters, then scratching them with a awl or something.

But I will keep my eye out for an old microwave for exactly this reason, and see if they are stronger than the HDD magnets.  As it is, even a small HDD magnet can hold up at least 2.5 lbs, as shown in the pictures of a RoofCellPhone.  The picture with the weight is only being supported by one of the magnets.  I didn't go heavier because those magnets were just attached with plain Elmer's Glue.
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triumphman1 year ago



I did this years ago! A guy followed me till I stopped. Then he got out and told me I had a cup of coffee on my roof of my truck. I showed him the magnet inside. He got so angry that we almost got into a punch-out! Guess he had no sense of humor! So beware, this can cause strange reactions in humans.
degan1 year ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrL-23ADfBE

If you think this is cool, I created an entire game out of this. I try to see how many points I can get by people idiotically pointing at the cup on top of my car. Greatly named, Car Cup.
shootr2 years ago
Rookies...Years ago we had an old gas pump handle with about 8" of ragged hose connected. We drove around with that hanging out of the filler neck all the time.

The best is when we would start yelling at the Circle K clerk and burnout - hoping he/she saw the nozzle hanging from the truck.
cchurch12 years ago
A coffee cup is cool, but do you know what would be EPIC? A BABY CRADLE!!! Some with no sense of humor might not see the comedy in that however.
zack2472 years ago
the day i get my car im doing this :D
it could be kind of entertaining to do with say, a cell phone, but perhaps have it "resting" on the edge of the trunk lid :3
id do it with a dummy phone though, you never know if someone would be "courteous" and walk off with your $250 smartphone.

nonetheless, i LOVED reading this. just think of all the things you could up ontop (or maybe even on the side) of your car!

PS: you could do it with a laptop if you took all the internals out and just used the shell ;)
kcls4 years ago
I live around the NY/NJ area, and saw a car with a coffee cup on top the other day. I reached out to see if it was stuck on there with magnets. It wasn't, and then the guy who's coffee it was walked up behind me and said "What are you doing?". Quite embarrassing! Great 'ible, though!
randomray kcls3 years ago
Oh man , I would have thanked you , I hate it when I leave a cup on the roof .
gitemstevedave (author)  kcls4 years ago
That's so sad! I always thank people for letting me know and the cup usually says thank you to people who try to save him.
Dude, why couldn't he just thank you????
gitemstevedave (author)  Macworldwizardz3 years ago
He's a cup...
RedSnertz3 years ago
Best way to separate the magnets from the backing:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-separate-the-Magnets-from-an-old-harddisk/
Wouldn't Super Glue work too? You can just superglue the cup on to the car, but you'll need a solvent to remove it. Wouldn't it work? Oh, and by the way, NICE instructable. I am thinking about doing this to my mom and dad's car next April...
neivadan4 years ago
that cool now i can finelly enjoy coffie up my roof
I'm pretty sure you have to be 13 to sign up for this site. Now go get your mommy or daddy and have them shut off your computer.
ecuadoriana4 years ago
This is a very funny idea! Somebody mentioned using a woman's purse. I have one up- how about an infant car seat with a doll inside!!!!!!!!! THAT would make people sit up and take notice- or, on the sadder side, maybe not!
cap001.bmp
The car seat is a very, very bad idea.  You could actually cause accidents, absolutely FLOOD the 911 system with bogus calls, and potentially be arrested.
and if you go under (get ready for something you've seen on tv) a low bridge it could fly off go through there wind sheild and kill them (ok maybe not the last part)
Read this book to see just how close we are to life imitating art ;)

http://www.randomhouse.com/doubleday/palahniuk/rant/
 This was my exact thought
baudeagle4 years ago
Interesting idea, have you ever been pulled over by the cops with this thing attached?  My thought is that this may be a distraction and be a potential cause for an accident.  Of course all of those people on cell phones are an accident waiting to happen.

Maybe your next project should be a magnetic doughnut.
gitemstevedave (author)  baudeagle4 years ago
Closest I came was when trying to enter the Holland Tunnel in traffic, like 3 cars were honking at me, and a Port Authority Cop walked over to me and asked what the cup was.  I didn't have my inspection up to date, so I took it off and he told me to get my inspection fixed.  Other than that, I have had one State Trooper laugh at me when he saw me pulling into Wawa and I explained what it was, had one cop point at me from the side of the road as I drove by, and one follow me until he turned onto an offramp.  I'm getting my inspection done tomorrow(needed brakes and a muffler), so once that's done, there should be nothing illegal with my car.

I really don't think it's that much of a distraction, it's like those stupid half balls/pucks/fish through the window, truck antlers, or tow-behind television ads.  The cup is intentionally light(under 3oz) and can hold a 10lb barbell up.  I'm gonna test it soon with a leaf blower, so that if it ever DOES come to it, I can show exactly how safe it is.  I wouldn't have been able to do that with RoofCoffeeMaker! ;)
Here in the SSA (Southern States of America) a new and rather disturbing/ disgusting vehicle decoration has become rather popular. People (specifically redneck men) will attach fake testicles to the bottom of their car, underneath their trailer hitch. I'm surprised this isn't illegal, as many people find it very distracting.

I might try your idea with something other than a coffee cup, maybe a happy meal box or something like that.
Gaark H3xx4 years ago
Ive only seen one set of these testicular monstrosities here in New Zealand, hope I don't see more.  Was gross!
lalunette H3xx4 years ago
Don't worry, redneck men also exist in Canada as I have seen the fake testicles hanging from lifted trucks here in Central Canada.
Canada's very wet (currently) left coast has these as well. Have to wonder how this relates to the "Big Vehicle Compensatory" theory.....

Other possibilities for roof top fun - wallet or purse, pizza box, KFC bucket, the options are endless.
H3xx turnhandle4 years ago
Take a cardboard box, decorate it with icing and let it harden. Then stick the whole cake on top of the car! the people who notice will be like (0_0)
H3xx lalunette4 years ago
Somehow this doesn't comfort me... strange.
roof ipod 3G, roof PSP, roof burger, roof Laptop, roof..................
Its smaller than the signs that pizza restaurants put on their delivery cars, and lots of those light up so, how is this any more of a distraction then those signs?
For me it would be very distracting and sort of disconcerting to see a regular coffee cup on a roof of a car doing 60 mph down the road.  Being a somewhat a distractable person to start with, I would be staring at the stupid cup on top and forget to look for the break lights of the car in front of me.  Knowing my dumb luck, I would try to explain to the officer this scenerio.  He would never believe my story.  Besides, in my state is is illegal to hang stuff from the mirror while driving, so why would this be so different? 

How many of coffee cups have you seen on the roof of a car traveling down the highway?


alright, so it was a bad example, but its way different than hanging stuff off of your mirror. If you hang stuff on your mirror it can swing out and hit other cars, it also is just hanging and could flip off, the cup doesn't swing, and apparently is fairly difficult to slide off.
But i suppose your right it would be fairly distracting to the easily entertained ex. all high school and college students
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