Instructables

Stylish Light Switches

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Picture of Stylish Light Switches
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From now on, when ever you enter your home and turn the lights on, you are going to remember this instructable.

If you like electronics, you definitely going to like making a stylish dimmer switch out from a dead hard disk platter.

Enjoy...
 
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Step 1: Materials

This project will cost about $3 and these are the materials and tools needed:

1. Hard disk drive.
2. Rotary tool. (with  diamond bits)
3. Dimmer switch.(you can make this but its easier to buy one)
(any way, I've used two types in this instructable for two different switches. A touch switch and a normal dimmer switch)
4. Epoxy
5. duct tape
6. Wires
7. Screwdriver. (better to be an electrical tester)
 

Step 2: Disassembling the HDD

First, you don't have to get electrocuted doing this instructable. If you don't have a decent knowledge of electronics, DON'T do this. Have an electrician to fix you a dimmer.

Read the first two lines again and then start by taking your hard disk apart. What you need from the hard disk is the platter. After you take the top HDD cover you will notice the Spindle. On the top of the Spindle are a couple of screws you must remove as well. Then you will be able to take the platters off.

In this instructable, i used two platters, one from a dead 80G WD HDD and another from a mummified 5M 1985 hard disk. It has a huge and beautiful platter.
TStryker4 years ago
Nice project. I have a similar one where I want to have a touch on/off switch and a manual dimmer, like the ones on the walls. Could I use the same dimmer you used?
samia24 years ago
very nice fits my room perfectly
 Please get someone else to solder that for you.
hahah agreed
I would imagine that soldering to the platter isn't exactly easy as it would dissipate the heat too fast!
 Several things can be done to make it simple if the platter alloy is not too hard (softer Al alloys are easier to solder). 1) remove the plating, as he did. 2) heat platter from opposite side with heat gun and tin the exposed surface where the plating was removed. 3) With heat gun still keeping things hot, solder the wire (after tinning it) to the platter using a soldering gun, 150 watts or so. Easiest of all would be to heat the platter from the back with a torch and use a good organic paste flux in addition to the rosin core solder. 
bo3bo3 (author)  emerson.john4 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
 That was a very good instructable, by the way. A clever idea, and I do see your reasoning about preserving the finish on the front side. Using a heat gun would not have marred the finish - it's just heated air, and would not damage the plating. A torch would probably discolor it, which would ruin it for your application.
defiant14 years ago
Where did you get a dimmer switch for less than 3 bucks?
Cool, This would be really awesome if installed in a wall
you can use it as a mirror also
smarter4 years ago

this is a unique design
very attractive and fashionable
wait until it reaches china they will produce millions

jewbare4 years ago
Nice soldering job ;) looks like something outta left 4 dead.
I SWEAR I hear gahreesen music in the background. do you play Uru?
justrelax4 years ago
why did you use a HDD ?Can we use a normal CD?ilike the project but i donot have a HDD:(
Call the local computer repair shops and ask if they have a dead hard drive you can have.
They usually send them to the landfill, or if there is a place locally, for recycle.

The magnets inside the hard drives are nothing short of AWESOME!!!
bo3bo3 (author)  justrelax4 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
the important thing is conducting material, i understand:)) is there any other conducting material may be used that you can offer?
you can grab a cd and coat it with conductive paint...
will64 years ago
nice design :)
freenice4 years ago
very nice and stylish indeed one question why the skull?
 
extratooth24 years ago
 If you didn't want the screws for the manual dimmer switch, couldn't you use some super glue or something?
bo3bo3 (author)  extratooth24 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
 Ok, thought so
 thanks
jimboi$best4 years ago
 Sorry, I don;t have much of a background of electronics.....but would light work  to turn it on? For example, could I turn it on across the room with a laser pointer?
With a circuit to do that yes, but this is hooking up to a touch switch - a circuit designed to sense touch (a very similar way to how an ipod touch screen works).


Th3H4rRy4 years ago
I can see these being of use to the visually impaired or others with disability, Some touch sensitive dimmer switches I have seen have about a 2CM size touch pad. This is amazing. Another great use for a HDD platter!
When I saw visually impared I automatically thought of someone with no vision at all and then thought  what the heck does a blind person need lights for anyways.  heh   my bad .. yes i know there is partial vision
eu4euh4 years ago
How  did you get that pixel skull on the wheel?
noobiefied4 years ago
 Very Modern stylish look to apply on to something that can be very bland!