Flashback: Mod Your Rod

Cars Computers & Mobile Technology
Flashback: Mod Your Rod

Straight out of the 2005 archives, the Mod Your Rod special section in MAKE Volume 03 has got to be one of my favorites of all time. The section opener folds out to reveal the cool illustration above (by the super-talented Nik Schultz).

James Bond depended on Q to trick out his cars. But with MAKE’s guide to car hacking, you’ll learn how to turn your ride into a fully loaded, grease-eating, MP3-blasting, wi-fi transmitting monster machine.

The five projects in this section:

HACKABLE PLATFORM ON WHEELS: Damien Stolarz teaches you how to install a computer and a relay box for throwing switches to control almost every component in your car, from the power windows to the engine, even when you’re not in it. (Plus, read how Matt Turner installed a Mac mini in his VW to make the Macswagen.)


UBER TESTER: Dave Mathews walks you through making your own 9V-powered, handheld, 4-in-1 car wiring diagnostic system.

STOMPBOX MOBILE HOTSPOT: Tor Amundson offers up step-by-steps on turning your car into a wi-fi hotspot and then takes it further to use GPS and webcam input to map your location online and auto-generate a photo travelog.


MAKING BIODIESEL: Rob Elam shares the best way to learn how to make your own backyard biodiesel, starting with a one-liter batch.


HARDWIRED IPOD: Cut the static by connecting your iPod to your stereo’s aux jack. Damien Stolarz shows you how.

Granted, technology has naturally progressed over the past 4 years, so some of the tech used in these projects may be outdated, but you should be able to easily figure out what current components to use in place of the older hardware. How would you re-MAKE any of these projects today, 4 years after this issue was released? Let us know!

If you don’t have this classic back issue, you can pick one up at the Maker Shed. Volume 03 also features everyone’s favorite projects: the VCR cat feeder, the Night Lighter 36 spud gun, the Haunted House Controller, and more.

In the Maker Shed:

Cover of Volume 03.


Backyard Biodiesel on Make: Projects

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at snowgoli@gmail.com or via @snowgoli.

View more articles by Goli Mohammadi


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