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  • LaserDave commented on Gronings Wild's instructable Exploding Sun Lamp Design5 months ago
    Exploding Sun Lamp Design

    @Gronings WildThis is one of the most creative and visually-striking uses of light and fiber-optics!! An improved, modernised version of the early 70's fiber-optic lamps that used a vertical spray of fibers mounted to a base, forming a mushroom shape, which was a guilty pleasure for many people. I think the nostalgia factor also contributes to its grand appeal. Terrific job!!If you don't mind, however, I'd like to contribute a few tips for your readers (and maybe for yourself) that will give you even better results!![] - Verify that the remote-controlled LED bulb you choose doesn't use an infrared (IR) line-of-site technique for controlling the bulb, it won't see the signal from inside the sphere. There are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi versions that work well, some of them from a Smartphone app...

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    @Gronings WildThis is one of the most creative and visually-striking uses of light and fiber-optics!! An improved, modernised version of the early 70's fiber-optic lamps that used a vertical spray of fibers mounted to a base, forming a mushroom shape, which was a guilty pleasure for many people. I think the nostalgia factor also contributes to its grand appeal. Terrific job!!If you don't mind, however, I'd like to contribute a few tips for your readers (and maybe for yourself) that will give you even better results!![] - Verify that the remote-controlled LED bulb you choose doesn't use an infrared (IR) line-of-site technique for controlling the bulb, it won't see the signal from inside the sphere. There are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi versions that work well, some of them from a Smartphone app.[] - Avoid using Superglue (CyanoAcrylate) to hold the fibers in place, it produces vapours as it cures that can leave a thin, cloudy film. Fiber ends rely on clarity for maximum light to enter the fiber, but this film can block light and affect overall brightness. A great alternative is clear RTV silicone tinted with a tiny bit of acrylic paint which will cure in just a few minutes. This can open up other creative opportunities for the colours at the base of each fiber. [] - Since the profile of the fiber ends are what dictates the amount of light that gets in, there are several techniques that can be used to allow much more light to enter.1 - Squarely cleave the end of the fiber with a razor blade or hobby knife to make a clean, flat surface. Clipping the fiber will give pinched, squished ends. 2 - Add surface area to the end by *gently* heating the plastic (or glass) with hot air to produce a slight "blob", or lens. This works well for the other end too, increasing the size of the glowing "dot". (This technique requires practice).3 - Have the fiber ends begin as close to the bulb surface as possible.Sorry for the long-winded post, I wanted to provide tips that can be used for this and any hobby. Great project, and beautiful results!!Cheers from Canada!!

    Thank YOU for the kind words regarding my feedback. I wanted to clarify that the hints and techniques I offered were "take home" tips that can be used for this or any application. The RTV silicone mixed with acrylic paint is a trick I use almost everyday for a variety of things from colour-coding wires, to colour-matching pieces of a repair. The sky is the limit with this idea and I know it would be a valuable tidbit for anyone to have in their "Cerebral Toolbox". If you mix the silicone with a little corn starch powder, you get a quick-setting, flexible white putty that can be molded by hand with a million uses. Mixing in a tiny bit of colour, then spreading the translucent silicone into a thin film, a type of "rubber stained glass" is perfect as a sleeve ...

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    Thank YOU for the kind words regarding my feedback. I wanted to clarify that the hints and techniques I offered were "take home" tips that can be used for this or any application. The RTV silicone mixed with acrylic paint is a trick I use almost everyday for a variety of things from colour-coding wires, to colour-matching pieces of a repair. The sky is the limit with this idea and I know it would be a valuable tidbit for anyone to have in their "Cerebral Toolbox". If you mix the silicone with a little corn starch powder, you get a quick-setting, flexible white putty that can be molded by hand with a million uses. Mixing in a tiny bit of colour, then spreading the translucent silicone into a thin film, a type of "rubber stained glass" is perfect as a sleeve to slip over small light bulbs to change their colour for lighting up control switches or the instrument panel in a car.The other recommendations regarding the super glue, controls for the LED bulb, preparing the ends of the fibers, and having them closer to the bulb... were directed mainly toward readers who might be doing this project and need a boost, they may not have a white background. Your results look great so these tips don't really apply to this project, but may be handy for future creations. I've seen many people accidentally ruin optical parts from the stray superglue vapours, I've done it myself, yet it's a hazard many people are unaware of. Readers may now prevent ruining many hours of work.Again, things like 'lensing' the ends of the fiber take practice, patience and also depends on the type of fiber. A hot knife could certainly make a clean flat on the end of plastic fiber, but glass may need to be held at a controlled distance over a small flame to get it just right. I've used this technique with glass and plastic fibers for years with various applications using lasers and LEDs. (Several were 50um, thinner than a human hair)Great job with your project, I've been admiring the photos ever since!!

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  • LaserDave commented on TechnicalKid's instructable Simple and small full-bridge-rectifier10 months ago
    Simple and small full-bridge-rectifier

    Hi Tech... No, I'm not German. However, I'd love to know how the word "also" hints to you that I am. The system seems to have placed this single word apart from the rest of the paragraph without much of a reason for doing so. Is using that word by itself some sort of Germanic practice, or does it have a significant meaning when used in that language? Very curious about this though.

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  • LaserDave commented on TechnicalKid's instructable Simple and small full-bridge-rectifier11 months ago
    Simple and small full-bridge-rectifier

    Just a quick comment to point out that there is a minor error in your schematic. The positive (+) output of the bridge rectifier goes to the negative (-) side of your capacitor. A simple enough error to make, and even easier to correct in your schematic. (Just move the '+' to the capacitor's bottom conductor, or flip the capacitor symbol vertically)This is a great 'ible that will be helpful to many beginners of electronics, but this small error could be problematic for them.- - - Edit - - - Also, the capacitor specified in the schematic and in the Parts List is "100uF", which seems to contradict the 1,000uF you've used on your board. Choosing a 1,000uF capacitor would be a much better choice in most cases, in addition to reducing the ripple, it would be more capable of supply...

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    Just a quick comment to point out that there is a minor error in your schematic. The positive (+) output of the bridge rectifier goes to the negative (-) side of your capacitor. A simple enough error to make, and even easier to correct in your schematic. (Just move the '+' to the capacitor's bottom conductor, or flip the capacitor symbol vertically)This is a great 'ible that will be helpful to many beginners of electronics, but this small error could be problematic for them.- - - Edit - - - Also, the capacitor specified in the schematic and in the Parts List is "100uF", which seems to contradict the 1,000uF you've used on your board. Choosing a 1,000uF capacitor would be a much better choice in most cases, in addition to reducing the ripple, it would be more capable of supplying the short, transient bursts of high-current whenever the load requires it.

    Just a quick comment to point out that there is a minor error in your schematic. The positive (+) output of the bridge rectifier goes to the negative (-) side of your capacitor. A simple enough error to make, and even easier to correct in your schematic. (Just move the '+' to the capacitor's bottom conductor, or flip the capacitor symbol vertically)This is a great 'ible that will be helpful to many beginners of electronics, but this small error could be problematic for them.- - - Edit - - - Also, the capacitor specified in the schematic and in the Parts List is "100uF", which seems to contradict the 1,000uF you've used on your board. Choosing a 1,000uF capacitor would be a much better choice in most cases, in addition to reducing the ripple, it would be more capable of supply...

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    Just a quick comment to point out that there is a minor error in your schematic. The positive (+) output of the bridge rectifier goes to the negative (-) side of your capacitor. A simple enough error to make, and even easier to correct in your schematic. (Just move the '+' to the capacitor's bottom conductor, or flip the capacitor symbol vertically)This is a great 'ible that will be helpful to many beginners of electronics, but this small error could be problematic for them.- - - Edit - - - Also, the capacitor specified in the schematic and in the Parts List is "100uF", which seems to contradict the 1,000uF you've used on your board. Choosing a 1,000uF capacitor would be a much better choice in most cases, in addition to reducing the ripple, it would be more capable of supplying the short, transient bursts of high-current whenever the load requires it.

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  • LaserDave commented on andrewwilson's instructable Emergency Stop Button 11 months ago
    Emergency Stop Button

    DC motors certainly do produce Back EMF during operation and generate electricity upon power removal, however, Universal motors contain no magnetics to act on the (decelerating) spinning windings and cannot generate electricity that could be used as a brake. While it's true that there is Back EMF produced while the motor is operating, it is due to the magnetic fields collapsing as the commutators break contact with each coil as it rotates. But that disappears as soon as power is removed.Unless there is a constant magnetic field to act on the coils as they decelerate, there will be no voltage generated to shunt and brake the motor. Any motor that contains permanent magnets will generate electricity (not Back EMF) that can be shunted (shorted) to produce a load on the motor to slow it down.

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  • LaserDave commented on tlp801's instructable Trash-Vac!!12 months ago
    Trash-Vac!!

    FetterChiller - At first glance that idea would appear feasible, but I am scratching my head about this particular fan because of its enormous THREE AMP power requirements. In my decades of experience, I have rarely encountered general-purpose fans that pulled anything over one amp.Most fans are efficient and draw low enough power as to permit continuous operation without taxing the system they are supposed to cool, so requiring power of this magnitude just for the fan boggles the mind and suggests that the device this fan was intended for would be expensive to run for any substantial time. I do realise that the author had this in his part bin, but that power supply is a beefy one that will continue to eat power while it's waiting to be used. Maybe you could switch the 110v instead.My s...

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    FetterChiller - At first glance that idea would appear feasible, but I am scratching my head about this particular fan because of its enormous THREE AMP power requirements. In my decades of experience, I have rarely encountered general-purpose fans that pulled anything over one amp.Most fans are efficient and draw low enough power as to permit continuous operation without taxing the system they are supposed to cool, so requiring power of this magnitude just for the fan boggles the mind and suggests that the device this fan was intended for would be expensive to run for any substantial time. I do realise that the author had this in his part bin, but that power supply is a beefy one that will continue to eat power while it's waiting to be used. Maybe you could switch the 110v instead.My suggestion for anyone considering the use of a 4.7" fan of this type, for this or any project, is to select one whose power requirements are much more reasonable such as those in desktop computers. Those fans typically draw half an amp or less at 12v, they are inexpensive and can be found in any electronics store or surplus vendor, with eBay being the best.

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  • LaserDave commented on AUGUSTO VJ's instructable EMERGENCY PHONE CHARGING HACK1 year ago
    EMERGENCY PHONE CHARGING HACK

    No, that's wrong, I think it is you who needs to study electronics, It seems you've mistaken Voltage for Current. With the exception of LEDs, electronic components do not 'take all they can get' and self-destruct. For any component, the manufacturer's spec sheet provides the minimum, typical, and maximum ratings for its Voltage and Current. Further, even IF every component required regulation, it would be automatically handled by the phone's power management system.It's the Current that varies in response to a load of a device's tasks. An example might be an LED clock, it will pull different Currents depending on the number of segments lit at any given time.Voltage, however, IS critical when powering circuitry. Voltage-sensitive components contain junctions and insulation that excess v...

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    No, that's wrong, I think it is you who needs to study electronics, It seems you've mistaken Voltage for Current. With the exception of LEDs, electronic components do not 'take all they can get' and self-destruct. For any component, the manufacturer's spec sheet provides the minimum, typical, and maximum ratings for its Voltage and Current. Further, even IF every component required regulation, it would be automatically handled by the phone's power management system.It's the Current that varies in response to a load of a device's tasks. An example might be an LED clock, it will pull different Currents depending on the number of segments lit at any given time.Voltage, however, IS critical when powering circuitry. Voltage-sensitive components contain junctions and insulation that excess voltages will destroy. Most components do have a voltage range within which they are happy and perform as expected, but that range can be very narrow. The voltage requirements of microprocessors is very strict, a minor deviation of even a fraction of a Volt can have extreme consequences. That aside, today's phones usually require 5 Volts with a small deviation tolerance. The reason is simple, the microprocessor monitors the incoming voltage and will reject anything out of range. This is somewhat paradoxical because the internal battery is usually rated at 3.7 Volts, and the processor is rated at a voltage that is lower still, typically between 1 and 3.3 Volts.There are many people offering comments containing sloppy or incorrect electronic information, so I will conclude my overly-thorough blather with a blurb about the car charger unit. This charging unit plugs into a vehicle's cigarette lighter to access the 10-15 Volt DC supply. Inside the chunky 'cube' resides a switching 'buck' converter circuit that provides 5 Volts after efficiently (> 85% typically) converting the input voltage that will accept (depending on model) between 6 and 30 Volts.

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  • Make 4 Useful Things From 9V Dead Battery

    I really don't like when alarmists reach for the "it could start a fire" card whenever something electrical is suspected of having even the slightest risk.First - the forward voltage of most white LEDs (in addition to blue, purple, pink etc.) is more than 3 volts, so that leaves us with 6 volts to deal with. The current through a 100-Ohm resistor at 6 volts is a mere 60mA, which is 0.36 Watts - MAX.Deduct from this value... the battery's internal resistance, the additional fraction of a volt for the LED's forward voltage (3.3v), and that these values were based on a full 9v battery. So, yes, a 0.25W resistor would be entirely appropriate. Fire? Have you ever seen a (sub 2W) resistor fail under extreme overload conditions? They turn black and burn out, sometimes with smoke, may...

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    I really don't like when alarmists reach for the "it could start a fire" card whenever something electrical is suspected of having even the slightest risk.First - the forward voltage of most white LEDs (in addition to blue, purple, pink etc.) is more than 3 volts, so that leaves us with 6 volts to deal with. The current through a 100-Ohm resistor at 6 volts is a mere 60mA, which is 0.36 Watts - MAX.Deduct from this value... the battery's internal resistance, the additional fraction of a volt for the LED's forward voltage (3.3v), and that these values were based on a full 9v battery. So, yes, a 0.25W resistor would be entirely appropriate. Fire? Have you ever seen a (sub 2W) resistor fail under extreme overload conditions? They turn black and burn out, sometimes with smoke, maybe even a 'crackle', but they don't burst into flames or produce enough thermal energy to ignite something nearby. Resistors are manufactured out of non-flammable materials designed to withstand heat.

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