View Full Version : Sparky's Project

19th January 2017, 04:58 PM
So I figured rather than spamming the hell out of the photo thread with my projects I figured I would just make a topic with all of my projects compiled into it! It's not so much a journal of my life but rather a log of my projects, past and present.

I won't double post so look for a LOT of edits on some of my posts in this topic. I already am working on another project but will update either this post or make another one to make it clean and organized.

So to start off, if you've been on the photo thread recently, I built a computer desk out of real copper pipes and pine boards. I wanted to do this mainly because of how big my desktop is, it will not fit in typical computer desks you find at a store. Plus store desks costs so much and have very little storage or table top space. I wanted to customize my desk for my area in the basement. 485

This was the rough sketch I drew initially. My wife found the idea of using copper and real wood for a computer desk on Pinterest. The copper and the dark wood worked with our basement finish so I was gung-ho for it!

I used 3/4" copper pipes and fittings such as Tees and Elbows for connecting the pipes themselves. Added an adhesive on the outside of the pipe ends so when it fits into either the tees or elbows it will stay. I bought a cheap $5 pipe cutter to cut my copper pipes to length; if you're doing major plumbing jobs I'd highly recommend getting a better cutter; but for a small job like this, it's not necessary to be exact, it did the job.


I did a dry run of just putting the copper together but not adding the adhesive to it just yet. I wanted to see the frame together but to also check and see if I needed adjustments.

Thankfully I did the dry run because I realized that some of the support of the copper piping was not as strong as I wanted it to be. Too many pipes left not connected to ensure better support. So I then took apart the pieces, made the necessary measures and cuts, and put it back together for another dry run to see of any more imperfections.


I liked it much better this time around. Added support to the top of the computer side frame and to the connecting pipes from the shelves to the desktop side. Added the adhesive to it to make it final and let it sit overnight.

Finally I bought two big pieces of pine wood and cut them to length for the shelves and the desk top. Put them on top to make sure they fit properly. I drilled a hole big enough into the back end of the desk top wood to make a hole to feed my keyboard,mouse, and monitor chords through with it looking clean. Once all was good, I stained the pieces on all sides with a Kona stain. Let it dry then added the wood to the frame.

I didn't take a photo of them during the building process but I had U-brackets for connecting the wood to the copper pipes. I sprayed them with a Rustoleum copper color spray paint. Then I took the screws and screwed all of the brackets into the wood while it was wrapped around the copper. After all that was said and done, it was now finished!


The computer desk is now fully operational!

Looking back at it I could have adjusted and measured the shelves better. I left about 3 inches from the top of the desk with a Tee underneath. I could put a piece of wood there and make a shelf, but other than putting paper on the shelf, it couldn't hold anything else. But regardless it wasn't much of an issue. I still got two shelves and some space underneath the bottom shelf to put things on.

Overall I'm very satisfied! I would make some adjustments if I ever did another one but it works for my work space.

19th January 2017, 08:10 PM
Part of me feels like this'd fit in Starwind and Hawking Enterprises (the thread, I mean- though with the awesomely cool desk, the crew might not mind using it!) I'm impressed with your handywork. I wonder if we still have one of the computers here in the house that dad and I built together when I was a kid? I never did much in regards to furniture DIY, like this...

That said, it kind of makes me want to. I did take metal and wood shops in school...Ten years ago...:O

20th January 2017, 10:27 AM
Thank you for the complements! I could post it there instead? If Mantis wants to move it there I'm all good with that.

And it really wasn't that difficult. I never took a metal or wood class, ever! I wish I did but this is easy intro stuff. No special training required!

My current project is actually doing a complete overhaul on a Nintendo 3DS. One of my co workers (and a good friend) gave me one of his kids old 3DS that had damage to it.

Initially I thought I needed a new upper LCD Screen and just a new case since one hinge was broken but after taking the console apart I found that the hinge that was broken just had the cable/ribbon for the upper screen to to just be unplugged. I plugged it back in and re connected everything then turned the 3DS back on and voila! Screen worked just fine!

Unfortunately for me, I already jumped the gun by buying a new LCD screen and hinge parts prior to taking it apart and checking this out. The hinge pieces were still present so they weren't necessary either.
Also, when I had the entire 3DS deconstructed, I found more issues. 490491

So the entire fix-it list became as follows:

-Need replacement case for 3DS
-Charger Port needs to be soldered back onto the motherboard (bought a replacement port just in case of the port itself being faulty as well)
-Needs replacement Camera due to the cable/ribbon being ripped
-Needs replacement Wifi Antenna due to the cable being ripped
-touch screen is scratched but functional, might possibly replace down the road if all other repairs go smoothly

I will admit I did spend about $45 total in parts, and I probably could have gotten better deals from other sellers/sites but I wanted reputable sellers so I know that the pieces I got worked for the model I was repairing. Plus, the way I looked at it, its about $160 for a new one and this one will practically become new once I make all of the necessary repairs so I did save about $115 and I get to learn how to repair something!
So far only the black case I ordered has come in. It's good because I can transplant the motherboard and upper LCD screen into it but I still can't do much at this moment with it. I'm playing the waiting game at this point with the repairs until the parts come in. I'll have updates on the repairs hopefully soon. The parts will be coming in sporadically but hopefully sooner than later. Might have to wait a while on the wifi board/antenna but everything else should be in within the next week or two.

I'll keep you all in the loop!

20th January 2017, 08:25 PM
Do you take commissions to fix things?! I have a heavily damaged 3DS myself that's literally hanging by a wire (its 99% broken in half). Your work is inspiring. Also kinda looks fun. Seeing the circuitry reminds me of my childhood building computers with dad...xD

20th January 2017, 09:33 PM
Ha never thought about commission base with this! I'll let you know if this repair goes as planned. Otherwise you might want to rethink me as being your technical support hahaha. What's wrong with your 3DS? If you have pictures or can post them on here let me see and let me know what's going on with it. I might be able to help you.

Plus, if you want to try to fix it yourself, I use this site called ifixit.com and it has all of the Nintendo 3DS tutorials on taking a certain piece off and replacing it

21st January 2017, 01:45 AM
When I say hanging by a wire, I mean literally...the top and bottom halves are mostly separated, held together at all by wires.

21st January 2017, 01:48 AM
Damn, you're really good at these kinds of things, Sparky. :oldmanlaugh: I have an effectively bricked 3DS XL, but maybe there's some way to fix it since the screens just stay black for no apparent reason. Seems more like a software problem than hardware, but Nintendo's customer support is awful. Nice progress on your patching up the 3DS. I wish I could borrow you here in England for this netbook I imported from Japan:


One of the screens stopped working. I did take it to a repair shop, but they told me the problem was a defective video cable and they couldn't find a replacement, but since they said they'd never done anything like this (then again, you don't get many dual-screen laptops), there's probably somebody who can sort me out.

At any rate, I look forward to your future DIY posts, as well as a new update on your spiffy desk. ;) You need to put some stuff on it.

21st January 2017, 04:32 AM
ops. The repair job goes well, my friend!
The same thing happened to me 3DS years ago, here the top screen would only work atcertain angles. I kept it until the Persona Q 3DS came out and I bought that(and I LOVE it. I'll t up a pic of it later on. ch aa good looking system) I still have the old one, but obviously don't use it lol

21st January 2017, 05:13 PM
Thank you for the kind words everyone! As for your top screens it might be either a pinched cable or the cable itself detached itself. The same thing happened with this one. The ribbon cable goes through the hinge near your left trigger button so after a while of opening and closing the 3DS it might have been overworked and came loose or the cable might have been snapped. Either way it's a simple fix. Top screens for a typical 3DS screen ran me around $8 and it's a simple plug and play. Just have to be careful about putting the ribbon/cable onto the motherboard correctly as well as how the ribbon runs through the hinge so the open/close of the 3DS doesn't damage it.

As for my desk:

It is also currently running as my repair shop for that 3DS hahahaha

A bit of an update on the repair anyways, I am supposedly getting the camera and wifi antenna in the mail today so if they come in I should be able to fully repair this by tonight!

I'll let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed!

UPDATE!: 1-22-2017

The parts did come in and I replaced all of the old parts with the new. And drum roll please:


Boom! A success!(for the most part). Top screen works wonderfully, volume controls and sound is still good, wifi now works again, and what broken hinge?!

The only issue I am still having is the camera. I got a new camera all together and the front facing camera works but the 3D rear facing ones do not work. I have to take it apart again to ensure the cable is properly inserted completely into the port.

I did a real crappy solder job but I did manage to get the charger to work once again!


You might have noticed at the photo I show with it on in this post has the top screen component sort of exposed. This is only because of me needing to tweak the screws for the 3D toggle. It's really tough to switch between 3D and 2D. Plus if I toggle the switch all the way to 3D, it goes to being really blurry and not much of a 3D effect without hurting your eyes. I put it slightly in the middle and it works fine.

Also, the case is black but the controls are red. It wasn't technically a design choice. The case I bought online didn't come with the buttons and switches so I had to reuse the ones from the previous case. Just a tip in case you try to do this as well. I'm sure you can find someone on eBay selling the switches and such with the case as well but just make sure to read the fine print before you bid or buy.

Just a few minor tweaks here and there and I should be all good to play some games on it!

Other than the camera issue and that 3D switch it runs really smooth!

23rd January 2017, 05:27 AM
Is that... Oogie Boogie I see?! :aishawtf: Looks like he's getting down to some sick beats. Man, all of this talk about broken 3DS's is making me wonder where the days of Nintendium have gone.


23rd January 2017, 01:22 PM
You are correct sir! It's my candy dish that currently holds some computer stuff hahaha. I'm a big fan of Nightmare Before Christmas so I got a lot of stuff pertaining to it. And I have seen that article and that is insane.

So after a few times over and over I am unable to get the 3D cameras to work. It runs on the same cable as the front facing one and that one works just fine. It's not an important component to play games so I'm not worried about it but it is discouraging to get everything but that to work. I tried taking out the cable and reapplying it to the port/flap it sits, thinking it might have just been not in entirety. But no, it's fine. Oh well.

The solder job was bad but the battery can now charge without a problem. The case doesn't sit properly due to my crap solder job but it is only slightly noticeable if you are looking for it.

All in all I'm happy and I bought Ocarina of Time 3DS to test it out and it runs perfectly. Buttons work as they should be and very responsive.

Now I can finally play 3DS games! Next stop Pokémon Sun/Moon!

23rd January 2017, 01:42 PM
Same here, say what you want about Tim Burton but his style mixed with stop-motion animation is a thing of genius. Best Halloween/Christmas film ever!

(This picture seemed oddly appropiate. :D)

Ocarina of Time 3D is a great remake, I'm still hopeful that Nintendo will release a HD version somewhere down the line. A HD Zelda collection for the Switch, maybe. I wonder if there's any way to swap the camera on the 3DS, since the one it comes with is nothing short of 2003 mobile phone-tier in how bad the quality is. :aishafrown:

23rd January 2017, 04:54 PM
Love that gif. Definitely appropriate and I approve!

I hope so as well. It deserves a remake and a possible addition of more areas of possible. I know it would be highly unlikely but it would be awesome to have more land to explore and more side quests. That was one thing I felt OoT was missing from its initial release, then again maybe it's me just having a desire for more things to explore within that game.

I swapped out the camera. Bought a new one because the one that was still in the old case had the cable split in half so it was useless. Not sure if it's the motherboard port or the cameras or the cable itself. Either way it's not a big deal, it's not really used for gaming on that console right? I'm new to the 3DS system honestly. I took it apart and repaired it before I ever played a game on it hahaha.

24th January 2017, 04:40 AM
In total I've probably used the cameras for a couple of hours, tops. And that's out of hundreds spent on games. Augmented reality never really took off on the 3DS. I remember going to a Nintendo event before the 3DS came out. They had a whole bunch of them to play and the camera/AR games were certainly eye-catchers and no doubt shifted some units, but beyond that I've never seen the features used. Tried out the 3D cameras with my cat but ultimately found that it was all very gimmicky. So no big loss on the cameras there, Sparky. If you had sold it to me I'd probably have never found out. Great job overall and I'm loving the inadvertent colour scheme.

25th January 2017, 10:10 PM
Thank you much! And that's good to know, I wasn't entirely worried about needing the camera for games itself but just in case. Not sure what it is. Oh well


Date: 4-1-2017

And I'm back with another project! This time I repaired a PlayStation 3 my coworker found on the ground. He text me with the photo of it asking if I could fix it. 684

Since he gave me the 3DS to have I was willing to fix this system for free.

Now when I got home I plugged it in to see what the problem was. Turns out it has the dreaded "Yellow Light Of Death". So after looking around a bit online I found a guide from the same site that helped me with the 3DS. I bought all of the necessary items I needed (thermal compound, thermal pads, etc.) and played the waiting game for the parts to come in.


I followed the steps and took the PlayStation 3 apart. Replaced the thermal pads and heated the CPU and GPU with a hair dryer since I didn't have a heat gun. Put it together and to my dismay it didn't work.

Realized I needed a heat gun because it would solder the CPU and GPU back into place. Borrowed one from a coworker. Retried everything but with the heat gun, reapplied some new thermal compound. Put it back together and tada! Worked like a charm!

My co worker got lucky as well with this freebie. It's the first generation PS3 so it can play PlayStation 2 games as well! I tested all generations. Had no issues after I fixed it. Started up on first try and everything ran smoothly!




Some photos of each game. Make that two gaming consoles fixed!