How to Make Your Own Light Bulb USB Memory Drive

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Hi! This Instructable will show you how to make light bulb memory drive, with a bit of patience. I got the idea some days ago, when a friend of mine gave me the burned-out light bulb shown in the pictures above...This is my first Instructable, I hope you will like it!

OK, here we go!

What is needed:

- Burned-out light bulb (mine was from Philips, 12V 21W E1)
- USB Memory drive of course (Recon Data 2GB, Hynix module inside)
- Electric pliers
- Electric wire cutters
- Knife
- Cutter
- Some screwdriver
- Pen
- Engraving pen for metal
- Soldering iron and tin wire
- Insulating tape
- Caliper
- Hammer
- Little file

Let's start! ->

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Step 1: USB Memory Drive Disassembling

First of all, disassemble memory drive. We can loosen up the two plastic caps trough screwdrivers of different size, as shown in pics 1 & 2.

In order to take off the two plastic caps, we can use first a cutter and finally the knife, pics 3 & 4.

Now we can remove memory drive from aluminium shell, pic 5.

This time, pull away the two pins from the back plastic cap, pic 6 & 7.

In the last pic the naked memory drive!

Step 2: Working on the Light Bulb: Measurement!

OK, it's time to prepare the bulb in order to hold memory drive.

First of all use caliper to determinate width of memory drive PCB (Printed Circuit Board). Then compare measure just obtained, on light bulb diameter in order to find right point where bulb will be saw... In this case, I got 14 mm width for PCB. Take notice that thickness of glass bulb is around 0.75 mm, so it means that I should have determinate a diameter on the bulb bigger than 15.5 mm in order to be sure that memory drive will go into the bulb. Well, note down measurement...

Step 3: Working on the Light Bulb: Remove and Clean the Cap Sleeve 1

Now we need to remove the electrical contact plate in order to take off the metal cap sleeve. With wire cutter hold the electrical contact plate and at the same time spin around the cap sleeve. The contact will lift and you will be able to remove it.

Step 4: Working on the Light Bulb: Remove and Clean the Cap Sleeve 2

The metal clean cap is blocked by a little vitrite cone. Grab a little screwdriver, put it in the central hole and move it in all directions to break vitrite cone. Now the cap should be loose...

Step 5: Working on the Light Bulb: Remove and Clean the Cap Sleeve 3

Now, you can grab the light bulb and try to separate glass bulb from metal cap sleeve. Pay attention during this operation! Once the metal cap is separated from the rest, you can start to clean it. Use a tool that can do the trick, like screwdriver or cutter, and clean the cap inside from the yellow powder. When done, you have to break the rest of vitrite cone inside the cap. Use screwdriver and hammer to do the job. Be patient, it can take a bit...After that metal cap is completely cleaned

Step 6: Get Memory Drive Housing: Mark and Cut USB Hole

Put memory drive inside the cap in order to mark cutting guidelines as accurately as possible. If you are not precise, remember that it is better to mark USB window too small rather than too big, because if you need to make it larger, after cut the window, you can use a file to reach the right size.

The cap is made in metal that can be easily cut, so you can use wire cutter; simply follow the guidelines and bend the two "wings" inside the cap. As I said before, use a file if needed.

Step 7: Get Memory Drive Housing: Put Inside and Solder

Now you can insert memory drive into the metal cap before solder it to the USB plug. Once you correctly placed memory drive inside the metal cap, assure that USB plug come out perpendicular of metal cap. When done, take soldering iron and solder the metal cap all around the USB plug; after soldering, remove tin excess using file if needed.

Step 8: Saw the Glass Bulb and Glue It

OK, still needs a little bit! This step is the hardest!

Take the glass bulb and wrap insulating tape around the bulb where you have determined at step 2. The tape will help you to cut around the glass bulb with the engraving pen. Be patient and careful, you will have to cut around the bulb many and many times, slowly, in order to make glass more thin so you can separate the two parts. If you will be impatient, you will break glass!

When done, you can paste the empty glass bulb on the rest of housing, inserting memory drive PCB inside glass bulb. If memory drive have difficulty to enter inside the bulb, you can use a file to make thin the edges of PCB and bulb (where PCB and glass have contact). Again, be careful this time also or you will void the project! After that, you can paste parts together; I used universal glue from Pattex

Step 9: You Have Done!

After few hours you can use your own light bulb USB memory drive! See pictures for results

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Hi!
I am making a portfolio for school ( I study advertising ) and was planning to make a digital fortfolio, for which i need this genius lamp usb stick ( really , genius!:) ) One question though - if you want the light bulb to light up when you insert it to your computer, does that mean the original usb stick needs to have a light on it? Or does it light up on itself?

really cool Instructable but I would have glued the usb in so the solder would not touch something

pretty cool but isn't it a little on the fragile side? i'd be scared to put it in my pocket...