A retro USB case mod, using an old cassette data tape.
I had several old data tapes lying around, and decided to make one into a USB case, tired of the LEGO brick mods. Cassette tapes are the perfect size for this, just thick enough, and light enough so that it won't bend the USB part too much.
This mod is very simple, it doesn't do much more than protect the inner workings of the USB from damage. It also doesn't require many tools, I made mine with a screwdriver, hot glue gun, plastic glue, pliers, and the saw and scissors from a pocket knife.
WARNING: this mod involves mucking around with the actual USB, so back up any data on it before you start.
Step 1: Preparing the Cassette Tape.
My tape was held together by screws, it was simply a matter of removing each, and lifting the front piece of the case off. Make sure you get all the screws, I missed one and nearly broke the case.
Once you do get the front off, be careful, the tape might fall out and tangle. We want to keep it reasonably wound up, so that you can see it even while the USB is in there.
If you want, cut the tape, gluing the end to the main roll. Then, cut enough on the other side to wrap around the place tape normally goes, so it still appears to be intact. Repeat on the other side too.
That's all for now, we'll come back to the cassette later.
Step 2: Preparing the USB.
The USB should be easier to take apart, with no messy tape inside to spill.
Mine was easy to take apart, just bending the case to let the little circuit board squeeze out.
Step 3: Cutting and Fitting the Case.
Now we have to mark and cut the hole in the cassette for the USB to fit in.
Have a permanent marker handy, preferably fine-tipped, to make the marks.
Hold your USB so it can stick out enough to fit in a computer, and not interfere with the wheel thing. Then, make a dot on each side with the permanent marker.
Now, start cutting with your preferred tool. I used my pocket knife's saw, it worked very well, but a dremel-type thing would make a cleaner cut. Make sure you have gone far enough down, I cut all the way to the bottom.
Finally, use the pliers to snap the nub of plastic off. If your tape is made from particularly brittle plastic, cut it off rather than snapping it.
Finally, fit the USB in to make sure it's ok. It should be snug, not too tight because you will have to remove it again, but not too loose.
Step 4: Securing the USB Piece.
This step is optional, you could leave it out without too many side effects.
With mine, I found that the USB part wobbled a bit when it was fitted into the case, and would be pushed out if I tried to put it in the computer. My solution; hot melt glue. WARNING: this may destroy your USB, as they sometimes object to heat, so back up any data before you start.
Position the USB in place, and pipe glue just behind it. If you do it carefully, it will only just be touching the end, and be supporting it. This should hold the USB in place, although it does make removing it afterwards quite difficult.
Step 5: Putting It All Together.
The final step is putting all the pieces back together, and screwing it in.
The two wheels should sit in small indentations on the plastic, the fuzzy piece slides into a slot at the front. Finally, screw in all of the screws, and test it in your computer. (Important that it actually works.)
Have fun, thanks for reading.