How to Ask a Question in Instructables.





Introduction: How to Ask a Question in Instructables.

About: Retired technology teacher - 2 kids, I have an Hons deg in Design and Technology - 28 years as Computer systems engineer Trained as Electronics engineer in the Royal Air Force

In cooperation with several of the regular answers of questions here I have put together this short "how to get the best answer to my question" instructable.

Step 1: Search Instructables

Use the search box at the top right of the page - This will give back any similar subjects - Your question may well already be there.

There are some questions that get asked over and over (like "how do I talk to this girl/guy?") - if you have a search, you may not need to ask the question at all.

However don't ask the same question again, a couple of days later, just because you don't like the previous answers. Very rarely will the denizens of the answerers give a flippant or silly answer without provocation, so the answers you receive will in the main be the best we can manage with the information offered

Step 2: The Question

OK so you want to ask a question of the many users of this site. To tap into their extensive and worldly knowledge.

So what is the best way to:
a) get a suitable answer which will help you
b) Help the kind people who give their time and knowledge for free to help you.


Be clear in your mind what information you need.

Start your question at the beginning NOT in the middle.

Write your question in very clear terms outlining any/all issues or restrictions.

Be realistic.

Step 3: Extra Information

Tell us where you are (country will do).

What access you have to tools, materials, cash limits.

What your skills are - It's no good asking for information to resolve the energy crisis in the world if your unable to screw in screws or solder an electronic  joint together.

How much time and money will you want to spend on this project?

What have you done or found out so far.

Step 4: Some Things Just DON'T Work

Perpetual motion in any form

Free energy

Most things Ilegal

Most things that would in any sensible persons opinion be a danger to you and or your neighbours.

Anything very complicated for next to nothing.

Almost anything complicated that includes skills that are beyond your ability.

Step 5: Be Polite - We Do This for NOTHING

Be nice - it isn't just a matter of conforming to society - all the people answering you do it for nothing, most are going to be 30+ years old a little nice goes a LONG way.

Try to check the spelling - it isn't going to cost anything to down-load a spell checker and use it. Avoid text speak if only in the interest of clarity. Remember most of this site is in English, a very little of it is in Spanish, but none of it is in SMS. DON'T use leet speak, SMS speak or any shorthand that can't be read by any of our members for whom English is not their first language.

If you have a question, and it needs illustrating with a photo, PLEASE make the effort to make a decent, focussed picture of it.

RE-READ your question before posting, your talking to strangers so ask yourself:  Am I being totally clear - Is there any better way to get a quick answer (Google is usually the option - try it) - Am I asking too much - or is the time scale ridiculous (Urgent isn't going to work over a global internet system be patient) 

Step 6: Lastly

Just out of interest to us - (to keep us offering answers you know) - Come back and tell us what success you had. Publish an instructable and credit your knowledge suppliers. Say Thanks.



    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.


    2 Questions

    Your spacial management of your shop's woodworking & welding/metal areas?

    I know many members here have multi-purpose shops where you work with wood, metal, and possibly other materials. I'm interested to learn how you've integrated and managed these functions, not only for practicality but for fire safety, etc. (Actual likelihood is probably both integration & separation. But ???)
    Please explain how you've done it. And Pics or Video would be great, if you're into it!

    I am not too sure if this is a question for me - However I have an odd workshop where I mainly do small woodwork and jewellery projects with the occasional electronics project or repair and model aircraft build thrown in. It is in my double garage and I set it up as a mezzanine so i could still get 2 cars in the garage.

    It doesnt have seperate areas as the space is compact so I clear the bench for each project I do.

    1 more answer


    Isn't it fun to dream:-)

    Start anywhere in your work space, as you get more equipment then you push around and rearrange. It helps if you start as an electrician, because that helps you handle power outlets..

    can someone help me draw a schematic please. Im having problems creating a schematic for a 12v input with 5.5v and 3v output. thank you


    I am not sure this is where I am meant to be putting this question but here goes. I have taken on a project to brighten up my tired paint work on my car and I have sanded. primer coated. and started to apply the base colour coat when two drops of paint landed on the hood I want to fix these dark spots before I go any further I have never painted a car before and don't want to spend the earth to fix it pls someone help what should I do

    1 reply

    Please ask in the main question area of the forum.

    i fitted two 1n5402 diodes 200v in series in a 12v system is it safe

    if not it will do a lot of damage any help would be great

    rgds tommie

    2 replies

    Please ask in the main question area of the forum.

    1. I have no idea where or how you have fitted these diodes. i need a diagram and a photograph of what you have done.
    2. put this into a separate question by selecting the explore, then Answers buttons from the home page. then select ask a question.
    You will get a wider response.

    Really any questions? Okay well can't hurt to try I gues. I am making a laser game/tag system and I would like an IR detector/sensor that can tell the difference between a direct hit and a near hit fly by so that the "bullets"can still cause sounds on a near hit. The sensor should be as invisible as possible but should have a very clear and acurate detection.

    4 replies

    Please ask in the main question area of the forum.

    Well you will be better off copy and past the question into the question forum rather than attaching it to my instructions.

    At the top of the page you should see "ask a question" take it from there.

    BUT for my opinion you will only be able to detect a direct hit on the sensor. You could have several in a cluster so you can be wounded but I can't imagine any way to detect an IR beam passing by.

    Usually the "laser" games i have seen make a noise from the gun to indicate a shot and I guess if your not hit you can assume a close miss.

    i don't see the ask a question button that you are mentioning. could you take a screenshot with an arrow pointing to it? (i am new to instructables)

    I'll post the question on there then I gues. Thanks for your help. If I don't find a better solution i'll just tweak the sound to be a bit louder.

    Hi all,

    I have been into DIY Solar / Wind for a while. Everything been working great until I planned to replace my lead acid batteries for the 3.6V LG HG2 3000mAh 18650's. With the lead acid I could power my house anytime during day (using solar panels) or night off-grid with ease. So, I bought a lot of 200 18650's and spot welded them in 4S50P. Balanced them, and all that good stuff (time consuming, and a learning experience). Installed a BMS on it too, have a 30 Amp charge controller for 4x100W solar panels which I reserved for this project. Now, I have been searching for a while if these 18650's can be used anytime (connected to solar panels and with the power inverter feeding the house at the same time) ... with no success.

    Can I solar charge and use these 18650's simultaneously or does it has to be charged first, disconnect from solar, and then use with the power inverter?

    3 replies

    Please ask in the main question area of the forum.

    Will do, Thanks

    How do I remove cured Wipenew from my headlights? Thank You!

    1 reply

    Please ask in the main questions area.

    Subject: Bluetooth Communication Freeze

    I am using 2 ARDUINO NANOs, communicating between them through 2 bluetooth devices HC-05 and HC-06. HC-06 is transmitting data continuously to the HC-05 at a baud rate of 57.6 Kbaud.

    .I noticed that approximately 90 minutes after the 2 devices are paired and connected, the communication between them freezes. At this time, the 2 ARDUINO NANOs are still alive, and the status LEDs of the bluetooth devices show they are still connected. The only way to reestablish communication is to remove power from one of the devices and apply it back. This causes the 2 devices to disconnect, then search and connect again.

    I would appreciate any comment on this issue, mainly about the possible reasons of this communication freeze and ideas to solve it.



    1 reply

    No point in this comment being here you should put in in as a question.

    Some young people are under the illusion that we can help them bend
    the laws of physics of which they know only one ( probably gravity ).

    We are not Wizards but older people with discrete Knowledge, experience and we I get it wrong sometime.

    There are ranters, conversationalists, liars, re-qualifier-addoners, tricksters,
    sex inquisitors, and weapon makers that ( I try to avoid ) and most should
    go to the forums.


    1 reply

    The young exist to be irritating to the elders, the elders to be irritating to the young.