7 Cool Bluetooth DIY Projects That’ll Upgrade Your Old Gadgets
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Bluetooth is among the most widely accepted ways for two devices to communicate with each other. Every phone, tablet, and laptop comes with Bluetooth built in, as do several peripherals. So with a little do-it-yourself (DIY) tinkering, you can do some wonderful things with this technology.

For any project in this list, you will need to know the basics of DIY electronics Beginner's Electronics: 10 Skills You Need to Know Beginner's Electronics: 10 Skills You Need to Know Many of us have never even touched a soldering iron - but making things can incredibly rewarding. Here's ten of the most basic DIY electronics skills to help you get started. Read More and have the necessary tools at hand. Some projects require specialized tools, as noted. And of course, always remember to take all the necessary safety precautions before you begin.

1. Connect an Arduino to Arduino via Bluetooth

The basic project you need to master is setting up Bluetooth on an Arduino microcontroller, and making it talk to another Arduino board wirelessly. Martyn Curry has an excellent step-by-step guide for this, connecting two Arduino boards 6 Easy Ways to Connect Arduino to Android 6 Easy Ways to Connect Arduino to Android Knowing how to connect an Arduino to an Android can open up DIY possibilities. Here's what you need to know. Read More as master and slave.

Naturally, you’ll need two Arduino boards and two Bluetooth receiver modules for this. To begin, start with his basic tutorial where he teaches you how to remote control an LED light on the slave Arduino via the master Arduino.

Then move on to the more advanced project, where the slave gauges the temperature outside and sends the signal to the master inside, which in turn displays the reading on a screen.

Learning the basics of setting up Bluetooth on two Arduino devices will open up a slew of possibilities for you, from beginner Arduino projects 10 Great Arduino Projects for Beginners 10 Great Arduino Projects for Beginners Completing an Arduino project gives you a sense of satisfaction like no other. Most beginners aren't sure where to start though, and even beginner's projects can seem rather daunting. Read More to outright weird Arduino projects 12 of The Weirdest Arduino Projects Ever Made 12 of The Weirdest Arduino Projects Ever Made Read More .

2. Wireless Notice Board for Phone Messages

This might be the easiest and most useful project to start with. With an Arduino board, a few wires, and an LCD screen, you can type text on your phone and display it on the screen. Just like that, you’ll have a wireless notice board.

This project requires no soldering or any advanced skills, you will only be connecting cables to parts. Even the code for the Arduino board is ready to download, and there’s a handy Android app you can grab from the Play Store. The whole thing should take no more than half an hour, and is the ideal way to get started on DIY electronics projects Get Started On DIY Electronic Projects with These Learning Sites Get Started On DIY Electronic Projects with These Learning Sites Building our geeky ideas has never before been so easy. Now is the time to learn DIY electronics, and these are our top recommended resources for doing just that. Read More .

3. Add Bluetooth to Old Wired Headphones

add bluetooth to old wired headphones

If you have a pair of old wired headphones that have broken This Is Why Your Headphones Keep Breaking This Is Why Your Headphones Keep Breaking How long do your headphones last? Weeks? Months? Years? If they're breaking way to quickly, check out this list of exactly how to prolong their lifespan, and save yourself some money, too! Read More , don’t throw them out. This cool DIY tutorial shows you how to turn them into wireless headphones by adding a Bluetooth, while also giving you a new plug to connect a standard 3.5mm cable.

You’ll need a mini Bluetooth receiver, adapters for a DC jack and a 2.5mm to 3.5mm jack, and that pair of old headphones. You’ll also need a soldering iron and a multimeter, both of which you can find at any hackerspace.

In the project, you will be taking apart the headphones and the receiver, and then soldering them together. Then you fit everything into the speaker, make a hole for the 3.5mm jack and the charging cable.

The whole thing won’t cost you more than $10, which is cheaper than even the best budget Bluetooth headphones The Best Cheap Headphones in Every Category The Best Cheap Headphones in Every Category Cheap headphones worth your money can be hard to find. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best headphones under $40. Read More we can recommend.

4. Add Bluetooth to Any Car Stereo

Most car stereos today come with Bluetooth, but if you have an older car, you’ll need to figure out other ways to play music from your phone to the car stereo The Best Ways to Play Music From Your Phone to Car Stereo The Best Ways to Play Music From Your Phone to Car Stereo Want to play music from your phone to your car's stereo? Here are all your options and how to pick the best way for you. Read More . Generally, a simple Bluetooth FM transmitter can get the job done. But that means you get an extra device in the car, instead of an invisible Bluetooth car stereo. For the DIY enthusiast, there’s a better way.

The stereo in your car actually has enough space in it to add a Bluetooth module. It costs about $10 on eBay. All you need to do is pry open the stereo, hook up the module, and do a bit of soldering.

A few people who tried this also said they managed without soldering, but it would depend on your car stereo model. And well, nothing against the original uploader, but you might want to read our guide to soldering Learn How to Solder, with These Simple Tips and Projects Learn How to Solder, with These Simple Tips and Projects Are you a little intimidated by the thought of a hot iron and molten metal? If you want to start working with electronics, you're going to need to learn to solder. Let us help. Read More before you try and copy him.

5. Smart Bluetooth Helmet

add bluetooth headphones to helmet

Unlike a car, there is no stereo for your two-wheeler. But hey, Patrick Panikulam has figured out a way to upgrade a motorcycle helmet by adding Bluetooth speakers inside it.

You’ll need old headphones and a Bluetooth receiver module to take apart, a 3.5mm audio male pin, and some thin flat wires. And of course, a full-face helmet. It’s actually a pretty easy hack to put together, with minimal soldering and some make-do adjustments like sticking the speakers with double-sided tape.

But while this adds some much-needed features, remember, safety first. Don’t text and drive, don’t turn up the volume such that you can’t hear others, and generally do everything you can to keep your attention on the road.

6. Arduino Bluetooth RC Car

Who doesn’t love a good remote controlled toy The Best Remote Control Toys for Your Kids The Best Remote Control Toys for Your Kids No matter your child's interests, there's no cooler gift than a remote control robot, vehicle, or dinosaur! This list features 15 amazing remote control toys that kids will love. Read More ? Instead of going to the store to buy one, you can actually make your own RC car with an Arduino board and Bluetooth.

For this project, you’ll need a custom PCB designed by the maker. You can order it directly from EasyEDA or download the bill of materials and schematics to make your own. It’s probably wiser to order it.

Along with that, you’ll need an old RC car’s chassis as well as the cheap Arduino Nano Arduino Nano Pros and Cons: Is the Cheapest Arduino Worth It? Arduino Nano Pros and Cons: Is the Cheapest Arduino Worth It? The Arduino Nano is the cheapest genuine Arduino you can buy, but is it worth it? We take a look at the pros and cons of this tiny board. Read More , and other odds and ends like the Bluetooth module. This project requires some soldering too, so be ready for that. Once you’re done, install the Android app on your phone and start zooming around everywhere with your remote controlled Bluetooth car.

7. Bluetooth Padlock

Bluetooth padlock unlocks with phone

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could open a lock with your phone? The Bluetooth padlock is awesome, but it is also the most advanced project in this list. It requires some special equipment like a milling machine, a 3D printer, a laser cutter, and other things that you will find in your school or a local hackerspace.

Don’t be intimidated though. The maker, Kirand1, has written a clear set of instructions that take you through the steps of creating a housing, the shackle and locking pin, the faceplace, and then inserting the electronics (based on an Arduino board).

The final version will let you lock and unlock the padlock with the tap of a button on an app. It even works on a smartwatch.

Beware of Bluetooth Flaws and Security Risks

As convenient as Bluetooth technology is, it has a few flaws that you need to know about. In fact, the open and common nature of the wireless standard makes it a routine target for miscreants. If you’re doing any of these Bluetooth DIY projects, please read about Bluetooth’s security risks Why Bluetooth Is a Security Risk and What You Can Do About It Why Bluetooth Is a Security Risk and What You Can Do About It Bluetooth is useful, and makes connecting to PCs, cars, and other devices convenient. But are you aware of the security risks while using Bluetooth, even on the latest devices? Read More .

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