The Steampunk Data Storage "METROPOLIS I"

Introduction: The Steampunk Data Storage "METROPOLIS I"

Dear Steampunkers, dear friends and followers

This time an instructable which you can finish in just one hour or while you drink a beer. It's not always so difficult to build something unique and special. May you will discover some tricks to speed up your building.
After I finished the Steampunk "Wildbad 7" I needed a nice storage device for the music files. That's why I created this unique device.

I present you today the Steampunk Data Storage "METROPOLIS I".

Step 1: What Do You Need for This Steampunk Creation

As you may know I get my stuff from junk yards, so you have to be creative to find some parts which could fit to this instructable. I don't know where you can buy this stuff - and Steampunkers don't buy: they UPCYCLE!
So that's what I used from my junk box:
  • A huge brass valve - it looks like a water valve
  • Two old vacuum tubes
  • an old USB cable
  • two brass rings
  • a memory stick - with or without plastic case
  • a wooden plate - it was used to place your drink on
  • a zip tie
To build fast I use Super Glue and Hot Glue, depending on the needed function.

Step 2: Mount the Smaller Old Vacuum Tube to the Brass Ring

To mount old Vacuum Tubes to brass rings or fittings I use always the same technique. It's very simple, fast and it keeps forever.
Hold the tube upside down and bend the pins carefully a little bit to the inside.
Then place the ring on the tube base and hold it with your fingers. Now fill up the ring with hot glue until the pins are covered.
Be careful!! The ring will become hot now!! Hold the tube in front of your eyes and turn it, while you check the perfect alignment. The hot glue will become slowly cooler and you have a lot of time to check the perfect fit.

Step 3: Mount the Big Old Vacuum Tube to the Brass Ring

With the big tube you will make the same as with the small one. On the pictures you see very good the hot glue and how it covers the pins.

Step 4: Prepare the Brass Valve

Drill a hole for the USB cable into the valve and slide in the cable.

Step 5: Mount the USB Memory Stick

Prepare the cable to solder it to the memory stick. On the third picture you see the right pin. Sorry for my bad soldering :-( my soldering iron was broken and there was not enough heat...
After that you protect the memory stick with some tape, because the valve is metal and there could be short circuit.

Step 6: Building Up the "METROPOLIS I"

Now take the wooden base and mount the heavy valve with super glue. Then place the smaller vacuum tube with its socket in the same way.
Be careful when you work with super glue and metal. The glue is very fast and usually there is no possibility to move the part after you placed it! So you have to work very exactly. My super glue from UHU is so strong that it's not even possible to separate two metal pieces without to damage them...
So put the glue - hold your breath - and place the piece!!!
Now use the cable tie to attach the USB cable in the valve directly before the hole. Check again the position of the memory stick.
Then mount the big vacuum tube with its ring, again use super glue...

Step 7: That's It! a Steampunk Gadget Made in One Hour or While You Drink One Beer :-)

So, that's it. How long did you have to finish? It's a very fast build which I use often during my workshops with young people. The workshops take usually two hours and the use of Super Glue and Hot Glue are ideal for this type of event, because you can quick continue with the work.

I hope you enjoyed this build and may it gives you some ideas for other "fast" projects, while you drink your afterwork beer...

Sincerely yours

The Chocolatist

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    9 years ago on Step 7

    Very cool and looks so simple to make!
    I would like it even more of the tubes would actually light up...
    Do you know a simple idea to do so?


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 7

    Thanks a lot for your comment. There are actually two solutions how I let light up old vacuum tubes. The first one is very simple and could fit to this project. Choose a USB stick with integrated LED. Usually this LEDs are located at the end of the stick, so if you place the stick into the right position under the tube, then it will light up when the LED is flashing. This version I use for gadget like this:
    The other solution is to use the 5V power from the USB and let light up a LED when you plug in the USB cable. The good thing is, that there is enough power to run a lot of LEDs – but they are not flashing, when the memory is in use….
    Cheers The Chocolatist


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks a lot for your comment. Nice that you like this device!


    9 years ago on Step 4

    I love your posts! Thank you for sharing. Brilliant :)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    It's great to see that the people out there like my posts. Thank you very much for your comment! Greetings from Switzerland!!!