Picture of USB-Powered Apple
Well, the holiday season is quickly encroaching upon our otherwise uneventful and pleasant existences. Soon most of us will have to sit through many long meals with our family (or someone else's) and try to keep our sanity. I don't know about you, but during this time of year I could use some stress relief.

To keep with spirit of the season I made this USB-Powered Apple. It is really quite a simple device. It vibrates when a person grabs for it and does not vibrate when a person does not. Unlike your family, this apple is predictable and may relieve stress.
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Step 1: Go get stuff

Picture of Go get stuff

1 - Apple (real or otherwise)
1 - Vibrating motor (preferably 1" diameter... DIY vibrating motor)
1 - 1+1/4" diameter PVC pipe (or to fit your motor)
1 - Water bottle cap (should your motor not fit snug inside the pipe)
1 - Copper foil (the thinnest sheet of copper you can find)
1 - USB cable
1 - QT113H capacitance sensor chip
1 - 8 pin socket (optional)
1 - 0.047uF polyester film capacitor
1 - 2222 transistor
1 - 1N4004 diode
1 - PC Board Grid-Style (Radioshack 276-150)
1 - 5" shielded wire
1 - red and black 22 AWG wire
1 - Electrical tape


- Soldering iron
- Exacto knife
- Pocket knife
- Hot glue gun
- Drill or awl
- Needle nose pliers

Step 2: Carve a lid in the bottom.

Picture of Carve a lid in the bottom.
Carve a lid in the bottom of the apple as though you were carving a pumpkin. In other words, cut with the point of the blade pointing into the center of the apple so that when you hollow it out the lid won't fall back through.

The lid should be slightly wider than the PVC pipe that you want to encase your motor inside of.

Step 3: Hollow out the apple.

Picture of Hollow out the apple.
Whether your apple is real or fake, you are going to want to carefully carve out a cylindrical hole. You should try to go deep enough so that the motor can drop in with at least an inch to spare. For this you may want to use a blade that is a little stronger than your exacto knife (such as a pocket knife).
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jsine2 years ago
If heard of Apple software but this is ridiculous
randofo (author)  jsine2 years ago
This is Apple hardware.
Its Apple FRUITware
plmqaz12433 years ago
I see you have an apple of the styrofoam variety.
vishalapr3 years ago
At first when I just saw this I thought what on earth is a USB apple, butthen after a little bit of reading, I found out that its a really cool instructable!
tigerbomb83 years ago
i give Steve Jobs a month be for he take this and makes a sound system to sell for 250$
sattu943 years ago
You know a cross-sectional Image(drawing) of where everything should ideally be(inside the apple), will really help the beginners like me. Nice Instructable though.
Hawaii000007 years ago
Hey it would be funny if someone ate it lol how many volts come out of a usb port?
randofo (author)  Hawaii000007 years ago
5 wonderful volts... at I think somewhere between 300 - 500mA. I forget.
How many milli amps will kill you (and how much does it take to feel)
randofo (author)  Hawaii000007 years ago
The US Army torture manual says anything over 500mA will harm a person and anything over 1 amp will kill a person. Although, it is unlikely that 1 amp will kill a person unless the voltage is high or they have a heart condition, but it's good to keep in mind that it may not take all that much to zap a person out of existance....

The USB port puts out about as much current as 3 AA batteries in series... I wouldn't worry too much about it.

When I made Tazer Tag (, people were getting shocked by 80 - 120 volts at around 10mA. I couldn't ever recommend doing such a thing to yourself or others.

In short, I would venture to say that anything that is both under 800mA and 12v is nothing to worry about.
randofo (author)  randofo7 years ago
Let me reaffirm... DON'T SHOCK YOURSELF OR OTHERS! Especiallly in locations in which the electricity will pass through the head or heart.
Killa-X randofo7 years ago
Yeah. Let's go with that. but i find over 1 amp 320V capacitors that burn you, now those are fun to shock people with! and your self. But u cant say the amps is a problem. Explain this 800mA transformer i got for a train set, 2 figures on, im not dead. EXPLAIN!
randofo (author)  Killa-X7 years ago
Yes, I can say amperage is a problem. 1 amp is all that it takes to kill someone if a combination of factors are correct (this is straight out of the US military field manual on torture). Those features include a high enough voltage and the proper path for electricity to travel through the body to ground. Your transformer was probably not more than 12v. Correct, a transformer that is 12v and 800ma will not harm you. A person could also easily withstand 120v @ 10ma with little more than some slight muscle spasming. It is the combination of a high voltage and a high amperage (but an amperage that could be as low as 1 amp) that will harm you. And yes, a 320v capacitor will burn you and yes, it could potentially kill you. Most shocks that people receive by these are small surface shocks where it just shorts on the skin and at worst leaves a nasty blister. I have, however, had the electricity discharge through my right hand and out my right foot to Earth's ground. That was unpleasant. If it had discharged through my left hand, it would have taken the shortest possible route to Earth's ground which would be through my heart and out my left foot. I'm pretty healthy and don't have a heart condition, so I probably would have survived that, but there is always the chance that I may not be able to survive such a shock passing through my heart. Again, it would depend on a number of factors such as whether I was sweating (skin conductivity), where in the cycle my heartbeat was, dumb luck, etc.... I think the point of what I am saying is that you shouldn't mess around with electricity. I've melted screwdriver tips discharging camera flashes, so as to why you would willingly stick your finger inbetween the leads of a camera flash to shock yourself is well beyond me. Isn't there some better way to be spending your time?
MJTH randofo6 years ago
Its something like 0.01 amps required to kill you, and somehting like 32000 volts.
chadcad MJTH6 years ago
a static discharge on a dry fall day can exceed 1 million volts. Volts don't kill, amps do. My understanding is that the higher the amperage the lower the volts need to be to kill ya. So while 1 amp at 9 volts wouldn't do the trick 1 amp at 1,000 volts would.
Amp (Ampere) is the measurement of current (How fast the electricity is 'flowing'). Static shocks (like of a TV screen, car door etc) can produce any amount of voltage lets say 4000 depending on what the charge (electricity) is stored by. High voltages will only kill you (or hurt) if the current (Amps) is high enough. ZZZZ
I think its amptereage that kills you but you need enogh vaults to geth through the resistance of your skin and all the flesh to get to your heart.
voltage doesnt play a factor in killing you. at the most it makes u spasm and fly against a wall very hard, that might kill you, the wall.....
6mA across the heart will kill you
i'm geek enough to know that there were 5 volts but u sir, even knew the mA....i'm impressed. i commend your knowledge. (idk why, i just felt like saying that whole thing. thank you for your time.)
loltae5 years ago
cool a vibrating apple
dewnorth loltae4 years ago
umm yaaa...
And for your next trick: Bluetooth!
juanvi4 years ago
did you think of this usb apple after loosing your sanity?
REA6 years ago
nice! i think ill make a macintosh!!
tinkerC REA6 years ago
He already has an Apple, with a screen too. A PowerBook G4 laptop, an Apple computer.
REA tinkerC6 years ago
i was actually talking about the mackintosh apple, not the Apple Mac.
tinkerC REA6 years ago
Could you please be clear? Until recently, there were Power Macintosh computers, and that is how Apple shortened the name to Mac. The long name for an Apple Mac is an Apple Macintosh.
REA tinkerC6 years ago
OI! its a play-on word. im talking about these mackintoshes:
tinkerC REA6 years ago
Ah. BTW, that is why Apple chose Macintosh as the name for the apple computers.
REA tinkerC6 years ago
yes it is. Jobs and Woz used to be all about fun. also, the Lisa was named after Jobs's illegitimate daughter.
cj72396 REA5 years ago
I have a powerbook G4. I hate it so much and I want to get a macbook pro.
REA cj723965 years ago
to be honest, the only thing i like about apple's computers is that the default graphics card is built for gaming and the screens are large. other than that, its a waste of money. OS X Leopard is also good and i can say after using both, Leopard beats Vista.
tinkerC REA5 years ago
Other than that, the processors are based on a strong architecture, so are fast; they have built-in sound, so you don't need to mess with sound cards; and the operating system is stable.
REA tinkerC5 years ago
yes, for got about that. the only problem is, since all of that is built into it, if you want better things in it, its hard to do it. i saw the inside of a newer mac and it looked confusing compared to a tower. but still, this round, Apple wins. just wait till M$ makes the Microsoft Surface available to the general public.
tinkerC REA5 years ago
You could probably still add a sound card to it. The thing is, the things inside the computer are the best, with Digital out and in, analog in/out and built in speakers. None of this annoying "The only thing my computer can make for sound is a beep" business. Your talking about the MacPro, so I'll tell you why. There are no wires. You slide the optical-drive in, and it goes 'click' onto the logic board. There are four trays. You slide one out, put a hard-drive in, and close it. Your drive is now connected. The RAM is on a board you plug into the Logic board. No wires, more compact. What is Microsoft Surface?
tinkerC cj723965 years ago
Are you a gamer? G4s are great, for me.
yeah, uhh... nice... but anyways, for the vibrating motor, you can get one out of an old cell phone. (they have them because of the vibrate function)
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