10 Great Gizmodo Reader MacGyver Moments

We had 10 limited-edition Opena iPhone cases, laser-etched with our Gizmodo logo to giveaway. Your challenge to win one: regale us with an awesome MacGyver moment you’ve had. These are your stories.

Congrats to these 10 winners!


I recently moved to an area in the country only to find that I could not get adsl since I was just a bit too far from the exchange, and I was in dire need of Internet.

I found an old satellite dish lying around and this reminded me of an article I read about how to build a high gain directional wifi antenna, and it also reminded me that I had a copy of Backtrack 3 somewhere (snickers). So I built a cantenna first. Mounted that to the dish and lucky for me I live on top of a hill overlooking the township below. Pointed the thing towards town and presto, I had wifi networks in range.

I worked my magic with backtrack and was online! I only used it for some ebay transansactions that needed urgent attention then during the week after that I bought a 3g dongle (for which I now need to build a yagi for). P.S. I used to live less than 100m cable length away from the exchange so it was hard times for me….. I had to do it!

Trent Collins

My McGuyver moment was where we were out with our kids and when pulling their pants up the drawstring broke on our sons pants and they would not stay up. Madly looked around and all I had was my iPhone headphones and daughters hair clip. Ended up threading the headphones through the trousers with the hair clip, and presto- pants up and both son and dad not embarrassed in public

David Heseltine

My mcguyver moment would have to be when someone snapped my car antenna while I was in the shops. In the carpark I fixed it using chewing gum and wrapping tape for my ankle! Only things I had in the car that would work! It stayed together and worked perfectly for months until I got a new antenna. Thank you extra :-D


My McGyver moment would have to be a contraption I set up to get revenge on my big brother. He would constantly lock me in the cupboard, and put a broomstick in the handle. So I set up a draw string made of fishing line across the bottom of my bedroom door, which was attached to a bucket of water sitting above the door.

A second line of fishing line, a bit higher up, was set up that when someone ran through it, my bedside fan would turn on. Of course, this was set up with flour in front of it, ready to blow all over my saturated brother. All it took was me punching him, then running into my room (making sure to avoid the fishing line). Needless to say, I copped a few bruises from him after that lol but it was worth it.


Couldn’t afford a stereo with aux (i was 15). But got an old all in one record player/raido from Nan, which the turntable was pulling off from base, but still worked. Under neath it had RCA into the phono. I disconnected and input the headphone to rca cord from a walkman and later discman into it so I could pump out my sweet sweet tunes on the 1970′s stereo. I also made a few additionion outputs from the speaker point to get 4 speakers pumping from it. Basically ripping off the board on the back and twisting in some extra cord.


Got home one day and found myself to be locked out. I’d left my keys in my room, on my bedside table. So I climbed onto the bin and over the fence into the backyard. I could see my keys from the window, which was locked about one and a half inches open. After sitting around for around 10 minutes, boredom got the better of me and I grabbed the pool cleaner pole along with a pen that was in my bag.

I tied the pencil to the end of the pole with a hair tie and went back to my bedroom window. After taking the fly screen off and maneuvering the pole into the room without hitting the fence, I started at the painful task of trying to hook the keyring onto the pencil. A fair amount of swearing later I’d hooked the keys and pulled them out. Since I didn’t have a backdoor key on that set, I used a upturned wheelbarrow to climb back over the fence and unlock the front door.

Oddly enough I always put my keys in a draw now, never lying around.


My Macguyer moment was riding my $2k bicycle to work and forgetting to bring my bike lock. With the only security device available being a padlock, I didn’t have too many options. That was until I got to my desk and in a light-bulb moment, I detached the 1.5m USB extension cable from my PC, ran back downstairs and using the padlock on the end of a ‘fold the cable in half and loop it through’ technique, I’d manage to secure my bike and not half it stolen by the end of the day.


My best MacGuyver moment would have to be when my brother and I were driving in his mini moke from Broome to Darwin during the monsoon and cyclone season. We got smashed by a monsoonsal down pour just outside of Katherine and the rod bettween the windscreen wipers that pushes and pulls the drivers side wiper broke. We used our boot laces to tie the two wipers together and then threaded it up through the top of the drivers door so my brother while driving could pull on it to make the drivers side wiper go up and then the other wiper would pull it back down. It got us home in one piece.


I dont know where to start. in our print shop its a Mcgyver moment everyday. i should probably start a blog. we print on digital xerox machines and the techs that come out to service them are often very impressed by the peices of strategically placed card or bent peice of plastic. we do what we have to to keep our machines running. elastic bands and paper clips have been used to keep stock inline and bent cutting strips used to stop paper jams. we have even made a block to knock paper up out of a stack of paper that has been covered in tape..


CPU Fan on my PC Failed, so i ended up buying an aftermarket Heatsink And Fan. Forgot to buy Heatsink paste and couldn’t get any until the week after (This was a friday night). Turns out toothpaste does the trick nicely!

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