Disassembled Gadget Art: Where Old Smartphones Go to Die

Inspired by Todd McLellan’s Things Come Apart object breakdown photography series, Kevin of Etsy shop FEIPPO carefully disassembles smartphones of yesteryear and frames all the pieces for display as wall art. I say smartphones, but he also has some classic Nokia brick phones available as well, which I’m surprised he was able to tear down at all based on how well they were assembled in the first place.

Prices range from $140 to $240 depending on the phone, and each includes all the phone’s original components, although there’s no guarantee if you reassemble all the pieces that it will work again. Still, certainly something to keep in mind in the event of an emergency.

I wonder what my grandchildren will think when they see one of these hanging in the hallway when they come to visit. ‘Whoa grandpa, what the heck is that thing?’ I imagine them asking while taking digital photos with their cybernetic eyeballs and posting them to the latest social media platform telepathically.

[via DudeIWantThat]

Ever wondered how those viral TikTok ‘Sunset’ lamps work? Here’s what is inside them…

YouTuber BigCliveDotCom calls it a low-power floodlight using “undesirable LEDs”.

Whether you’re on TikTok or even on Instagram, chances are you’ve stumbled across these ‘sunset’ LED lamps. They’ve pretty much shot to popularity over the last month or two, known for creating a perfect circular projection of ambient light, looking like a sunrise, sunset, or even a circular radial gradient of the rainbow spectrum. Influencers are sharing pictures about it, VICE even wrote an entire article on it, and it’s been plagiarized so many times over, I honestly don’t know who the original creator of this lamp is. What I DO know, however, is that it isn’t worth what it costs.

How the TikTok Viral Sunset Lamp works

The sunset lamp can be basically broken down into three components – the LED, the lens, and a dichroic film that helps get that unique color-gradient. Both the lens and film are made of plastic, and the LED is a basic off-the-shelf component that barely costs a couple of cents when purchased in bulk. To be brutally honest, perhaps the most expensive part of the Sunset Lamp is its shipping fees… but enough product-bashing. Let’s just look at how the lamps work, and how you could potentially build your own for under 5 bucks.

How the TikTok Viral Sunset Lamp works

The way the lamp works is similar to a floodlight, or a car’s headlamp – an LED emits light, which is focused using a lens. Similarly, the sunset lamp uses a small 3W LED along with a dome lens, that refracts the light beams in the shape of a perfect circle. Given that car headlights need to be bright, they even use reflector panels to ‘multiply’ the light, but that isn’t really the case with a sunset lamp that’s more focused on creating an ambient ring of soft light. The Sunset Lamp does, however, come with a special dichroic film that’s glued to the back of the lens (you can see it in the teardown image below) that creates that unique gradient. Different lamps use different films, creating everything from an orange halo to a light yellow one, to even those psychedelic rainbow gradients. The dichroic film changes color depending on the angle at which a beam of light hits it – causing that halo effect with colors changing from the center towards the edge.

How the TikTok Viral Sunset Lamp works

What you’ve got at the end of the day is quite a masterclass in branding too. Calling it a low-intensity floodlight wouldn’t move as many pieces as calling it a ‘sunset lamp’ does. It’s easier to grasp, sounds more poetic, and resonates well with its audience – the same way a ‘Retina Display’ sounds much better than a ‘display with high pixel density’. Couple that with the fact that the lamp absolutely took off on TikTok and it really helps explain the product’s sheer success.

If you still find the idea of a Sunset Lamp rather intriguing but you don’t want to spend an average of $25 to buy your own, you could easily build one using parts available online. Just look for a good ‘condenser lens’ on the web (they come for a bunch of cents on AliExpress) and pick up a cheap nightlight from your nearby hardware shop and you can practically put together your own sunset lamp for a couple of bucks. You can get your hands on dichroic film from a gift shop too (just test out those metallic gift-wrapping papers) or better still, just take a marker to the back of your dome lens and color it in.

Or if you’re just plain lazy, go ahead and buy one off Amazon.

How the TikTok Viral Sunset Lamp works

How the TikTok Viral Sunset Lamp works

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Your Apple AirTag meets a drill to create a keyring hole with in thrilling DIY!

Apple has put a lot of effort into designing the round-shaped AirTag, and it shows in the compactness of size. The tracker manages to fit in the UWB (Ultra-Wide Band connectivity module) version in such a small space that’s barely bigger than the battery fitted inside. Compare that to the Tile Mate or Galaxy SmartTag, and you already know which one is more practical. The small footprint and chip-like thickness of the AirTag make them ideal for real-life usage, and it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket – as another advantage. Apple AirTag though has one chink in the armor. It doesn’t come with a keyring hole, and that’s frustrating, to say the least. The only way to use it as a cling-on tracker for your keys or other things is to buy an extra peripheral. Or is there a way to get around it?

As teardown pros iFixit got down to opening the latest Apple accessory – that’s making all the news – they decided to drill a hole in the AirTag itself. To make it keychain-ready, like the competition, they carefully drilled a punch hole on top of the tracker using a 1/16” drill bit. Surprisingly, the AirTag survived the operation without any functional dystrophy, post the drilling bit. Even the sound profile didn’t change much, so the accessory is as good as out of the box. Yes, it does have a keychain hole now!

iFixit demonstrates how to precisely drill between the notches in the circuit board to avoid puncturing any circuitry and make the tracker non-usable. Removing the battery is another thing that needs to be done without fail before venturing out if you do want to try this DIY to create a loophole in your tag. It should be noted, even if you manage to replicate iFixit’s feat, it will certainly void the accessory’s warranty. Opening up the battery housing isn’t as easy as the other two trackers, and requires some effort and a steady hand. So do keep noted about the facts.

Designer: iFixit

Drilling a hole in the AirTag demands a steady hand, and only venture out if you know what you’re doing. Else, this could turn out into an ugly misadventure.

Cute little tracker the size of a half-dollar coin. The only thing that is a deal-breaker is the absence of a keyring hole.

The compact size of the Apple tracker took a considerable amount of R&D to arrive at the final, commercially available form factor. That’s how precise the design process was in refining the final product!

The circuitry and the battery fit snug into place, making perfect use of the small space inside. However, it is not an easy task opening the AirTag as compared to the competition.

It’s better in looks and functionality for real-life usage due to the small footprint and the round shape. Just imagine the scenarios you can put the tracker to use.

The Tile Mate has a square shape while Galaxy SmartTag goes for a rounded off squarish-shape. While they both are bigger than the AirTag, Apple’s tracker is more aesthetically designed.

The circuit board and the magnet on the AirTag make it more or less opaque to the X-rays. The image here gives a very good idea of the space you’re left with to drill the hole.

Make no mistake, the AirTag is not as easy to open as the other two trackers in question.

So, are you ready to take the risk, and put your AirTag on the line for the sake of convenience and saving a few dollars?