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Very expensive to warm at night the whole apartment when you sleep in a bed. Much better to save money on heating and warm a bed only. So I decided to make a heating blanket.
As the heating element I used the carbon tape. It looks like a thin, soft cloth and not interfere in a bed.
The carbon tape can be sewed, but instead it can be simply glued. Because of this I did it in just 1 hour!

Step 1:

To make the blanket I took 2 pieces of inexpensive fabric, 6 feet of flexible wire,
20 feet of carbon tape 15 mm from www.carbonheater.us, silver conductive wire glue paste, female plug 5.5 mm and iron-on no-sew hem tape.  The desired temperature can be determined from the table.
<p>Hi Shenzhen</p><p>Thanks for the guide. I'm huge admirer of your work.</p><p>However, I am uncertain as to how you wire the cables to the carbon tapes.</p><p>This <a href="http://cdn.instructables.com/FMT/L7CB/HRPSXPP9/FMTL7CBHRPSXPP9.LARGE.jpg" rel="nofollow">image</a> shows there are cables overlapping for one contact, but the rest of the contacts remains to be hidden. Do you have a circuit diagram I can work with?</p>
<p>1. You can just sew a wire to the carbon. You can use any threads you have.</p><p>or</p><p>2. You can glue a wire to the carbon tape. It must be a conductive silver glue. This is the best way to make a connection.</p>
<p>That didn't help.</p><p>What I want to know is whether you had a circuit diagram to work with similar to this one?</p><p>The red circles; are they where I should have seperate wire contacts?</p>
<p>Yes, you could make it as you wrote but I made it without cuting the carbon tape.</p>
<p>Hey Shenzhen!</p><p>Based on your carbon tape idea I would like to draw an helix with carbon and inserting it between two thin sheet of plastic using a laminating machine. The problem is that I need very thin carbon (1mm) and I am not sure your product will do :/</p><p>So I wanted to know if it would be fine to use regular carbon fiber (sold in big sheets) and to cut my pattern in it (as long as the width of the lines are homogeneous and that there is a beginning and an end). Then measure the surface, deduce the resistance and apply the proper tension to it so as to get an overall heat output of 5 watts.</p><p>Thanks a lot for your answer... it is VERY hard to find someone able to help me on that...</p><p>(secret: the aim is to be able to apply this plastic film on top of my anthill, I would heat without troubling them and without disabling proper observation. Arduino controled off course)</p>
<p>This carbon tape is 0.6 mm thickness only. 5 watts is enough for a mouse, you cannot even feel it with a sheet of carbon. To power a sheet of carbon you have to make two long aria contacts and they cannot be small points contacts.</p><p>Could you give more information about your adea and we could help with calculation.</p>
Thanks a lot for your answer! <br><br>I attached a sketch of what I am planning to make. All the black surface will be covered with the red strips (it was too tedious to draw them all... but I hope you'll get the point). The overall diameter of the disc is 20cm. Normally, 5 watts is all I need to heat my ants from 17&deg;C to 27&deg;C as the heating system will cover the glass of the anthill.<br><br>If your product is 0.6mm thick, I will definitly work with it.
<p>It should be one continuose ribbon. You can make it any design maybe a helix, hemi sphere, ect, but it cannot have those nice appendix. Just one long snake.</p>
<p>I do not know if you can see inside the nice appendix, but I draw lines! Straights and continuous. They have a beginning and an end =). The width is maybe to small though...</p>
<p>Hear is one 15mm carbon ribbon on your pattern and four black appendix where the tape cannot be placed.</p>
<p>You know what? </p><p>That's perfect! Let's say I wanna do that. I think the wiring will go the way shown on the pic. So if I count 50cm &amp; 12V if there a way to put a resistor not to have 15,6W of output? <br><br>Ideally would be 5watts which implies 0.42A so I will need a 28.8ohms resistor (I could even add a small potentiometer next to it to control the heat flow and thus the temp of the anthill). Am I wrong?<br><br>Oh, btw, you put turns in your drawing. I think the thickness of the tape will be higher at the point where it turns... Is there a way to avoid it?</p><p>Thanks again!</p>
<p>You could use a dimmer instead of resistor:</p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Dimmer-Single-Wireless-Control-Dimmable/dp/B004X4O1NG">http://www.amazon.com/Dimmer-Single-Wireless-Contr...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lerway-Controller-Wireless-Control-R106/dp/B00AHU2U7O">http://www.amazon.com/Lerway-Controller-Wireless-C...</a></p><p>And the carbon is like a soft fabric so you can turn it as you like.</p>
<p>Can I use both? So as to dimme it between 0 and 5 watts?</p>
<p>Yes they both are good ehough and will dimm from maximum to zero so you can find the best. The first has a comfortable remote but bulky receiver and the second vice versa.</p>
<p>Can I use both? So as to dimme it between 0 and 5 watts?</p>
Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. In my case the carbon tape did not heat up. Can you please help?
<p>Yes, I can.</p><p>The carbon tape just a heater. It always work when you connect it to <br>power. So the problems could depend on power supplay, connector and <br>connections only.</p><p>What is the carbon tape lenght?</p><p>What is voltage?</p><p>On your photo I cannot see connection points. Could you, please, make a macro photo of connections.</p>
The voltage is 12V
<p>I'd grab a multimeter and check if the supply voltage is good. If it is then I'd connect it between the power supply and the heating element to see whether any current passes through. If it does (but it's too low e.g. in the ranges of mA or tens of mA) then probably the resistance of your carbon tape is probably too high for the given voltage (it doesn't push through enough current through the tape). If that's the case then you'll probably need some other heating element with less resistance (shorter/thicker/wider carbon tape or some nichrome wire instead) I'm afraid.</p>
Hey Ryia, <br><br>You may not have enough resistance for 12v, you might try a lower voltage. Maybe a 3.7v 18650. You will need enough amperage too, a few AA's will not work. <br><br>Richard
<p>Just imaging and win $100 US dollars!</p><p><a href="http://carbonheater.us/" rel="nofollow">http://carbonheater.us/</a></p>
then you can buy an electric blanket, inspected from the UL for $17.35 at Walmart, 9 heat settings. auto start, auto off. You donkeys won't be happy till you burn a bed down.
Hi jdrego1, <br><br>What You state is correct we could go to the Walmart web site and have thing shipped to our door in 2 days for $9.95. <br><br>However, I infer that you think that spending more money with an unsure result is a bad thing. Further I infered that you think taking a chance of &quot;burning down the bed&quot; would stop these types of efforts. <br><br>If my inferences are accurate, in this you are greatly mistaken.<br><br>People on this site are makers, artists and other such rabble. They think a burnt finger, or running out of a smoke filled room is a part of the glorious process.<br><br>If this sounds crazy to you, I recommend you spend more time at the wamart website or othet place of your choice. <br><br>Instructables is not the place for you. It is full of new and dangerous things and ideas<br><br>Yes, be afraid, be very afraid <br><br><br><br>Richwierd
<p>hi there</p><p>I have heated pad that stopped working</p><p>When i opened it up it is wires with small square blocks</p><p>Does anyone knows what these are</p><p>How to test where problem is.?</p>
Hi Flash, <br><br>Heating pads often die due to a fault in the circuit. If this is true in your case, unplug the heating pad and use an ohm meter to locate the fault.<br><br>Richard
<p>You should measure the square blocks resistanse and find a bad contact place.</p>
<p>Im attempted a quick test of heating the carbon tape. I used a 12v battery within a holder and attached the two ends to two separate heat resistant wire and then each wire to an opposite end of a 22 inch length of the tape to create a loop. After doing this for a while, the tape did not generate heat but the battery did. Could you suggest an explanation and a solution? Thanks.</p>
Hi Jon, <br><br>You effectively shorted the battery. <br><br>The resistance is affected by the length of the conductor, you did not provide enough resistance and the battery was going as fast as it could, and ended up over heating<br><br>Try again, but double the length of the carbon tape (or decrease the voltage applied to 3.7v) <br><br>Refer to the link and you will see the cause and effects. <br><br>Richwierd
<p>The carbon tape is resistive conductor and cannot do not heat if it powered.</p><p>Could you, please, publish a macro photo of the contacts you made.</p><p>And one more thing. As you can see in that table:</p><p><a href="http://carbonheater.us/temperature.htm">http://carbonheater.us/temperature.htm</a></p><p>there's no temp at 12v and 50cm (~20 inch) cause it will be more than 100C.</p>
I am not familiar with carbon tape, but this looks like a good idea. Is it safe? Is it efficient energy-wise?
<p>The carbon heater is the most energy effective heater. Just like any other heating element, it requires compliance with the rules of safe operation. <br>One of the main advantages of the carbon tape is its resistance to repeated bending, which greatly increases the safety of use.</p>
Shenzhen, thank you for sparking the idea. you don't know it yet but because of the simple idea you have been responsible for designs that are being used in Afghanistan to save lives. This project (obviously slightly modified) has been designed in the the field, with your help of course, to warm replacement fluids for wounded and dying soldiers that would have otherwise gone into hypothermia or shock resulting in possible death. Countless service members will never know that you are the reason for their survival, but I want you to know that in a way you are a hero. <br><br>Never stop improving, and before you know it you'll change the world.
<p>As far as it disipates heat, sure it's not efficient. I'm also concerned about safety... i'd place some current limiter circuit or so, i don't want to be the human torch :D</p><p>Besides this, i like the idea and the execution :D</p>
Oh yeah, I definitely lovethe idea! I'll be ffollowing these fine instructables.
<p>Yes, on the IR-camera all <br>heating elements look like a light bulb:)</p><p>I showed how to make a base, <br>a central element of the design. Of course it can be improved.</p><p>From the viewpoint of energy <br>savings, the most effective positioning the heating element on the <br>mattress under the sheets. Then more heat remains under a blanket.</p><p>If you still need a blanket, <br>then to retain more heat you need to use a thicker outer fabric, <br>providing better insulation properties, for example, thick wool, <br>Thinsulate, and so on. <br><br>Using the AC adapter from the laptop <br>is convenient because there is already a short-circuit protection. <br><br>For added convenience, this blanket I connect via remote RF <br>dimmer. This allows you to adjust the temperature, turn on or off at <br>the right time. A little later I'll write about it and show pictures.</p>
I had never heard of carbon tape. This is all very interesting. I'll be following your projects now. <br><br>Thanks for sharing.
Do you have to use that kind of wire?
<p>We can use any type of ultra flexible wire. </p>
OK cool thank you
<p>Hello, I am interested in achieving temperatures of up to 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. The area I will be using has the following dimensions: 1.2 m x 9 m. </p><p>I need to learn more about your recommendations for spacing out the strips of the carbon fiber tape for evenly dispersed heating of the area. What distance between strips of the carbon fiber tape would you recommend? Please note that the external air temperature is 20 degrees fahrenheit. </p><p>How many strips would you recommend to be placed in the area, and would you recommend running them lengthwise or across the width of the area I need to heat? Furthermore, what is the width of the carbon fiber tape you would recommend for this project?</p><p>If you could provide us with a quick layout of the carbon fiber tape within the provided dimensions of 1.2 m x 9 m, that would be greatly appreciated. </p>
<p>Your task looks quite simple.<br> But for the clear answer to your question, we need from you a detailed information about your project.<br> What would you like to heat?<br> Can you use a 220 volt power supply?<br> How much power you are willing to spend a maximum (watts per hour)?<br> Wind power?<br> Can you use a thermal insulation?<br> What is the maximum thickness of the insulation you can use?</p>
Here's the connection.
<p>Please look at my pictures. In the first photo you can see that the part of the plastic insulation of wires removed and bare wire sewn to the carbon tape. It also shows that in the wire and carbon tape is applied a silver glue. Due of using a silver glue the bare part of wire can be very short. This is the most reliable way to connect.</p><p>In the second photo a long bare wire simply sewn to the carbon tape. Silver paste is not used, so a bare part of the wire must be very long. This connection method is very easy to do, but its reliability is not high enough. Over time the copper wire will oxidized and the contact may become unstable.</p><p>Unfortunately, your photos does not show how long the bare parts of wire are and if you used a silver glue. Please cut the white threads, open the twisted parts of carbon tape and show us the bare wire.</p><div> Connection the carbon tape is not difficult. I am sure together we will be able to do it.</div>
<p>Please, vote for us in APOCALYPSE PREPAREDNESS CONTEST:</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Carbon-tape-to-survive-6-in-1/#statsModal" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Carbon-tape-to-sur...</a></p>
<p>Based on this graph (see reference at bottom) and ohms law, the resistance of this carbon tape is 17 Ohms per meter, Because V=I*R 12/.7=17 and the table show .7 amps to flow through 1 meter of tape at 12 Volts.</p><p>The resistance of dry skin can as low as 1,000 ohms/Inch, wet-saltiy skin however can be as low as 100 Ohms/Inch. with around 40 inches in a meter the resistance of one meter of wet-salty skin is around 4000 Ohms.</p><p>Because the carbon tape has a resistance far lower than that of skin and electricity always takes the path of less resistance human skin could not short out carbon tape.</p><p>Also typically a voltage of 50 Volts or greater is needed to shock someone.</p><p>Table Reference (http://www.carbonheater.us/images/Current-Length-Temperature.jpg)</p><p> Skin Resistance Referance (https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=6793) </p>
<p>I can sometime sweat a lot at night.... wouldn't I get electrocuted one the wet path of my skin had a lower resistance than the carbon tape? With an electric blanket the heating wire is insulated in a liquid proof coating, but this seems to be insulated by just water absorbing cloth.... Thanks so much!</p>
<p>Yes, you should insulate it from your body but I recommend you to test what kind of insulation will be enough.</p>
This seems like a fatal flaw in this material. Either you have to coat it with a waterproof material or you can only use it in situations you know will stay dry. What do you do in your designs? Coat it with some kind of silicone sealer?

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