The Bytelight

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Posted in WorkshopLighting

Introduction: The Bytelight

About: Tinkerer, hackster and prankster. Hit me up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kipkayvideos/ Thanks for checking out my Instructables!
Make a high-tech mood light from a flourescent lamp and a bunch of old memory chips.
Thanks go to Ross Orr for the original article in
MAKE MAGAZINE Volume 09


Step 1: What You Need...

1. Some old memory chips. However many you use will determine the size of the Bytelight you build. I used 3 rows of 21, 256K 30 pin SIMMS that I bought as a bulk lot on Ebay.

2. A piece of plexiglass or Lexan. Mine was 12" X 12"

3. Plywood or other wood about 1/2" thick

4. Sheet metal. I used some galvanized sheet metal. Anything reflective will work. You could probably get away with using aluminum foil.

5. Glue. You can use any glue that will work with wood, metal and plastic.

6. Light fixture, lamp cord and flourescent bulb. Any home improvement store will have these or just salvage them from an old garage sale lamp.

7. Assorted screws.

Step 2: Build the Cover

Start laying out the ram on the plexiglass. You want to leave about 3/4" around the edge of the plexiglass because it makes for a better looking final product but the choice is yours.
Then start gluing the ram down on the plexiglass, chip side down. Keep everything nice and straight. Your patience here will determine how the Bytelight ends up looking.

Step 3: Build the Light Box

The light box will consist of 4 sides for the frame and a back cover that will hold the light fixture. Carefully measure out the dimensions of your plexiglass and cut the 4 side pieces to fit just to the edge of your glued on RAM. I made the box frame 4" deep to make sure there was plenty of room for the flourescent light bulb. I used corner brackets to hold the frame together and then painted it flat black. The back cover should be measured out and cut after you have assembled the box frame.

Step 4: Build the Back Cover

Cut out a piece of the shiny material you will be using and glue it to the back cover. Then attach the light fixture centered over the inside cover. I also drilled one hole towards the top of the back cover for mounting.

Step 5: Final Box Steps

Lay the back cover over the box frame and drill some pilot holes in each corner. This is always a good idea to prevent the wood from splitting. Drill one more hole at the bottom of the box frame and run your lamp cord. Test out the lamp.

Step 6: Finish It Up and Fire It Up!

Attach the RAM cover to the box by drilling 4 pilot holes and screwing it in. I used some small rubber bushings to create a tiny gap between the plexiglass and the frame to allow for venting. Turn off the lights and turn on the Bytelight! This is a great conversation piece and high-tech mood light! I hope you enjoyed this Instructable.

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    66 Comments

    I love the name!

    it seems to me that you would get more light out of the thing if you desoldered the chips. than again that would take a long time, mabye if you used a blowtorch? i wonder if old motherboards are semi transparent.

    Sometime in the future, when people have computers with petabytes of memory, they might do this with old terrabyte memory chips. Strange thing to think about...

    10 replies

    yes, something, flammable, mold-able, drillable, or just all around cool-able

    Flammable? Why would anyone want a computer with flammable RAM?

    Your computer would have a real firewall! XD

    lol, a firewall XD

    and it would be hardware now what does this button do after pushing button "Do you smell smoke coming from the computer" "Well do you see the fact you computer is on fire" "Go grab the fire extinguish you let me talk you out of buying" "Call 911"

    do not press.jpg

    our terebytes will be their bytes.

    user

    All your terabytes are belong to us. :) (Apologies to all bases...)

    People already have computers with petabytes of RAM...

    also, think how will the Terabyte chips made, or from what? please make them of something that is hackeable

    You have neglected to say how fast the memory has to be. Is faster brighter, or the other way around?

    4 replies

    is has to have at least 2 MB of fastness per chip, unless you are using more that 73 chips, than they have to be at least 3 MB of fastness

    Actually it is RAM (Random Access Memory) so it forgets everytime. ;-)

    depend whether your chips have the millenium bug, if more than 49% have the milennium bug I only remembers when the last time was you turned it off