Your Comments

Computers & Mobile


And we’re back with our fourth installment of Your Comments, the weekly feature where we share our favorite comments from Make: Online, our Facebook page, and Twitter. We hope you will find these little snippets informative, inspiring, and entertaining. So, without further ado… Your Comments!


Seeing the Makeshift mobile parabolic antenna reminded Craig of a project he used on on:

This reminds me of a project I made back in the 90s when we used to CB chat amongst friends. Some kids were in their dad’s camper talking trash to us, no matter where we went on the CB dial. So I made a parabolic dish antenna (directional antenna) and spliced it into my CB antenna with an A-B switch. As soon as the kids keyed up, I would switch to the dish and get the strongest signal in one direction. I found the kids in the camper as I drove down the alley and saw them in the parked camper. I announced I had found them at such-n-such street and the kids bolted, never heard from them again. This leads to ‘foxhunting’ which is a game played by several friends to find a transmitter at regular intervals. Triangulating a signal with a compass and lines on a map is more fun than geo-cache if you ask me.

Collin’s Make’s Circuit Skills: Perfboard Prototyping video got lots of attention when it was posted over at Boing Boing. rks1157 was impressed with the technique:

I can’t say much about the final effect but, taping the external components to the table for testing…. brilliant! Forehead smacking moment to follow.

and nutate was inspired to give prototyping a shot:

I’ve made a couple of pedals from kits, but seeing this kind of opened my mind a bit to using the perfboard I’ve bought but just stared at. I can never find the time, but seeing it done makes it seem more doable. Nice music too!

mpechner appreciated the design of the Bare-bones evil from EMSL:

I wish more folks did things to their PCB’s so we want to truly want to put our circuits on display. I can’t wait to get mine.

There was a strong reaction to the Make: Time & Space: 7 good ways and 3 bad ways to organize your Lego post, with many people chiming in to share their experiences. Commenter Prof. K. explained their method:

I started out with Meccano and then Lego. Even with OCD there has to be a limit on how far you go with dividing parts up into ever smaller categories. Separated by size and color might look wonderful and be really easy to find everything you want when constructing, but you will find putting everything away after taking a model apart again will suck all the joy from building, especially for enthusiastic children. I’ve tried literally dozens of storage systems over the years, even to the extent of making trays and my own custom dividers. Great until you add significant parts to your collection and it all fails there. Meccano you do have to be a little careful with, as you do not want to scratch the painted parts any more than you really have to, but that is less of a concern with Lego of course. The only solution I’ve finally been happy with is the one industry uses for small parts storage – Stackable plastic storage bins (although mine are wall-mounted). I suppose if it is what industry finds most convenient, then it should not come as any surprise to me that I found it by far the best trade off of finding things Vs. sorting them out again afterwards. The sort of storage I mean are these sorts of bins: But please note that many companies make and sell these sorts of plastic storage bins, it was just that these two companies had good pictures when I did a search… If anyone knows of a good and cheap supplier of them in the US though?

Andy Johnson explained the motive behind his sorting method:

My first ‘real’ (non duplo) lego set was a house/windmill that came out in the late 80s. I had a tackle box, and I’d force mom and dad help me sort each color into each bin until it was all sorted. Really, I was just trying to get out of going to bed on time. I have the bin method now, I gave my 3 year old my old collection, minus the technic sets of course. I’d like to reorganize them now into the containers with dividers section, keeping gears, pulleys, connectors and other small parts in the top of a tackle box, and the larger beams divided below. I still rob parts from my son’s collection now and then, and he and I sure love playing Lego together. Though, he doesn’t like to share parts!

and the creator of BOX4BLOX took a moment to defend their method:

As the inventor of BOX4BLOX, I have just found your post, and have to admit to taking some umbrage and question you categorizing our product as a “bad” way to organize your Lego. Firstly I invite you and your readers to “google” BOX4BLOX and read any of the many independent product reviews carried out on our product. Secondly, I invite you to ask any mother or parent what would be their preference in seeking suitable Lego storage. Hours of sorting each Lego piece into an individual container, or a quick neat organized solution that can be achieved quickly, in most cases less than a minute? I appreciate for the Lego enthusiast that the BOX4BLOX may not be large enough to store their many thousands of Lego pieces, but I know from our customer feedback from these enthusiasts, that the BOX4BLOX is invaluable as a way to help them sort their Lego, as mentioned by the AFOL BrothersBrick web site in their product review. However, our core market is your normal family home, with the biggest attribute of the BOX4BOX being that, because all the Lego does not get tipped out on the floor, parts don’t get lost from expensive Lego sets and this is the reason why Lego hate the BOX4BLOX. Apparently the Lego company’s biggest competition is second hand Lego, so understandably, it is not in their interest for Lego sets to stay intact. Which, unfortunately for their sake, is something the BOX4BLOX is very good at and we can attest to. Yes, our kids are now past the Lego stage, but we do have two full BOX4BLOX in the attic ready for the grand kids, whenever that day should arrive.

Over on Facebook, Matthew Brian Van Etta is ready for the Tron-ifying of everything:

Must be the geek in me, but I LOVE the futuristic style and neon, blue glow that is incorporated into this stuff! :)

Also on Facebook, Judd Dulick expressed appreciation for the Handicapped “grabber” door opener hack:

This is cool. The answers to problems aren’t always CNC and Arduino. There’s an elegance to problem solving with low-tech found objects

Like these comments? Be sure to sound off in the comments! You could be in next week’s column.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.