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  • lr10cent commented on Chandler slowik's instructable The Stealth Bike3 months ago
    The Stealth Bike

    Depending on how much range you needed, and how clever you are, I suspect you could do it for a lot less than that! You could check out some of the electric motors, speed controls, and batteries available at sites catering to electric model airplane hobbyists. Maybe you could use some kind of friction drive, which would make things less visible and easier. But I guess you should enjoy what you've accomplished already. But keep the speed down and the brakes well adjusted!

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  • lr10cent commented on Not_Tasha's instructable Headlamp Battery Corrosion3 months ago
    Headlamp Battery Corrosion

    I hope you rinsed thoroughly. Vinegar can be corrosive. I haven't found it necessary. If the corrosion is really persistent, a pencil eraser can be abrasive enough to clean things up a bit. I had this problem with a really nice calculator, I think about 15 years ago. After everything was cleaned up, I used Corrosion-X, ACF-50, or one of those products. It only takes a little to protect the contacts. I haven't had to do it again since. It looks like the lens might be cloudy and the reflector dull. If so, you can improve things a great deal. Use plastic polish, which you can get at auto parts stores for cleaning up plastic headlights. If your car is old, you'll find the plastic polish brightens it up too. Clean off the reflector thoroughly and then use chrome spray paint on it. Really bri...

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    I hope you rinsed thoroughly. Vinegar can be corrosive. I haven't found it necessary. If the corrosion is really persistent, a pencil eraser can be abrasive enough to clean things up a bit. I had this problem with a really nice calculator, I think about 15 years ago. After everything was cleaned up, I used Corrosion-X, ACF-50, or one of those products. It only takes a little to protect the contacts. I haven't had to do it again since. It looks like the lens might be cloudy and the reflector dull. If so, you can improve things a great deal. Use plastic polish, which you can get at auto parts stores for cleaning up plastic headlights. If your car is old, you'll find the plastic polish brightens it up too. Clean off the reflector thoroughly and then use chrome spray paint on it. Really brightened up the tail lights on an old car I had which kept getting rear ended. If there's an LED bulb that fits your headlamp, they're more efficient and will give you longer life for a given level of light.

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  • lr10cent commented on happydupa's instructable Inexpensive Garage Lights From LED Strips5 months ago
    Inexpensive Garage Lights From LED Strips

    Yes, but then you need that 12V power supply.

    In case something burns through, you could use a fuse or a cheap current regulator to keep things under control. I'll admit putting them in series may reduce the reliability.None of this is worth it if the lumens per watt isn't good. I'm sitting next to a torchiere lamp I converted to LED's. With 3 "stars" of 3 LED's each, it puts out an awful lot of light for the wattage, which I seem to recall is 20 or 25. The light seems comparable to what it put out as a fluorescent torchier using about twice the wattage! It seems like more than it is, because it all goes up to the white ceiling and there's no lampshade to dim it. My memory is vague, but I think they might give off around 2,000 lumens. There's a switching regulator which keeps the current constant. Whole setup was, I thi...

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    In case something burns through, you could use a fuse or a cheap current regulator to keep things under control. I'll admit putting them in series may reduce the reliability.None of this is worth it if the lumens per watt isn't good. I'm sitting next to a torchiere lamp I converted to LED's. With 3 "stars" of 3 LED's each, it puts out an awful lot of light for the wattage, which I seem to recall is 20 or 25. The light seems comparable to what it put out as a fluorescent torchier using about twice the wattage! It seems like more than it is, because it all goes up to the white ceiling and there's no lampshade to dim it. My memory is vague, but I think they might give off around 2,000 lumens. There's a switching regulator which keeps the current constant. Whole setup was, I think, $40. Of course I had to use a heat sink, which is the head from an old lawnmower engine.It would be relatively easy to put the same "stars" on the bottom of the garage roof trusses. Stars with only one LED might allow the light to be spread out a bit more. Not sure how this compares with the light strips' output, but I bet it's more efficient. -----------------It's not clear to me that driving the lights from solar panels is such a great idea unless there's a battery in the system. Otherwise, skylights ought to be superior.

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  • lr10cent commented on happydupa's instructable Inexpensive Garage Lights From LED Strips5 months ago
    Inexpensive Garage Lights From LED Strips

    I wonder how many lumens per watt these strips put out? It may make more sense to Also, if the current is regulated within the strip, I'm guessing you could put 10 strips in series and connect to house current, possibly with a diode or full wave rectifier*. Or maybe the LED's are enough. Doing this would require some real care due to higher voltage, and possibly a some money slipped to the building inspector.*Either would be inexpensive.

    I've had good luck with acrylic adhesive mounting tape. I think all or most of the 3M UHB tapes use this type of adhesive. Use FIRM pressure in places where it's safe to apply, and let it sit in a warm place for a day or two before stressing. If the light strips are flat enough, perhaps they can be mounted, using thin acrylic adhesive transfer tape, to an aluminum strip. Again I'm speculating, but that might help them keep cool. For those with vacuum pumps, a vacuum bag setup might apply uniform pressure to the tape without breaking anything. If taping directly to wood joists, a better bond may be obtained if you apply shellac, sanding sealer, varnish or paint to the wood to give a fairly smooth surface. Unless the adhesive (not the foam) is very thick, anyway. In any case, make sure e...

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    I've had good luck with acrylic adhesive mounting tape. I think all or most of the 3M UHB tapes use this type of adhesive. Use FIRM pressure in places where it's safe to apply, and let it sit in a warm place for a day or two before stressing. If the light strips are flat enough, perhaps they can be mounted, using thin acrylic adhesive transfer tape, to an aluminum strip. Again I'm speculating, but that might help them keep cool. For those with vacuum pumps, a vacuum bag setup might apply uniform pressure to the tape without breaking anything. If taping directly to wood joists, a better bond may be obtained if you apply shellac, sanding sealer, varnish or paint to the wood to give a fairly smooth surface. Unless the adhesive (not the foam) is very thick, anyway. In any case, make sure everything is clean. If you're sticking it to difficult plastics, there are special tapes for low surface energy materials. Lots of info on 3M sites listing what adhesive is best for what material.Or, if you want to go to the trouble, you can flame or plasma treat. I gather that the latter requires a fairly high voltage electric arc, and possibly an inert gas.A lot of double stick tape uses rubber adhesive. There's more strength after a short period of time, but otherwise I think it's usually inferior.

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  • Start Your Car With a Rope (Dead Battery Life Hack)

    I hope you'll explain that. It's just a way of making the motor turn over, which is what the starter motor does. I don't see how this threatens the catalytic converter any more than a normal start, particularly if the normal start isn't going well.

    I'm almost certain that I've push or hill started my Honda Fit at one time or another. It's a 2007.

    That trick was very handy when my Ford Fiesta's clutch cable broke 100 feet from my driveway. As it happens, I was able to get the engine running and just turned off the ignition and hit the brake when it was where I wanted it. A trip to the hardware store provided some odds and ends with which I fixed the cable. I ran it that way for several months until I got the correct part.

    Let's see. Volare (ugh!), Fiesta, BMW 2002 (with rust, of course), Honda wagon, Saturn (used, drove it for 18 years), and now a Honda Fit. Thirty one years of cars, all manual transmission. I learned to deal with the clutch on an International Farmall tractor. Then there was my Dad's very nice Puegot that I sometimes drove. My cars were all in the vicinity of Boston, MA, but I learned to drive in Vermont. I was considering a Prius, but I really didn't like the ones I tried.

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  • Bicycle Cell Phone Charger (Wind Turbine with build in Battery)

    I'm guessing that for you, weight is critical. I suggest you make a generator using a brushless model airplane motor. They can handle quite a bit of power with not much weight, particularly if they get a lot of air cooling. They're fairly cheap, too, at least in the size that you'd need to charge little stuff. Maybe one like this: http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id=V450327&pid=I...Note that the weight is under 2 ounces and the price is under $20! Also, the "kv" is relatively low, which means you can use a slower spinning, larger prop that can catch energy from more air. Even this one will go 5580 rpm to get 6 volts, no load. Hmm... I guess if you use a voltage booster, you can use a bigger, slower turbine and still get decent voltage. Or use a geared motor. Less effi...

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    I'm guessing that for you, weight is critical. I suggest you make a generator using a brushless model airplane motor. They can handle quite a bit of power with not much weight, particularly if they get a lot of air cooling. They're fairly cheap, too, at least in the size that you'd need to charge little stuff. Maybe one like this: http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id=V450327&pid=I...Note that the weight is under 2 ounces and the price is under $20! Also, the "kv" is relatively low, which means you can use a slower spinning, larger prop that can catch energy from more air. Even this one will go 5580 rpm to get 6 volts, no load. Hmm... I guess if you use a voltage booster, you can use a bigger, slower turbine and still get decent voltage. Or use a geared motor. Less efficient, but maybe easier. But they're getting harder to find.Furthermore, I suggest you use a hand carved wood prop, er, turbine with two blades. Easy to make and light. Just remember that, for a turbine, the flat (or concave) and convex faces on the prop are reversed. That is, the flat side faces the wind. http://www.gryffinaero.com/models/ffpages/tips/pro...I'm pretty sure that I've seen a fairly simple circuit to rectify three phase power, which means you could use all three of the motor leads and, therefore, all the motor's coils.Another way to boost power is to put the device on a pole to get it away from obstacles. Even just getting it higher off flat ground will get it into stronger winds. Up to a very high point, the wind increases the further it gets away from the ground, though at the peak of a cliff, dune, or ridge it's also quite strong, as you've probably noticed.You could carry two or more sizes of turbine to adjust for different wind strengths.I wouldn't know how to optimize this without a lot of investigating and futzing around. For instance, you can control voltage vs current by wiring the coils in different ways. (Rewinding not necessary but may be helpful if you're really into it. But I'm sure if you did optimize things, you could get a lot more power for less weight.Wind power hobbyists have probably got this all figured out. They even make their own generators, though most are too big and heavy for you. BTW, I forget what it's called, but there is a low current generator that someone in the third world invented which uses the oscillations of a tight ribbon in the wind to move a magnet over a coil to generate electricity. Maybe that would be simpler and lighter, and less likely to bruise your finger if you grabbed it. Much less efficient, though. OTOH, you can probably carry a larger one rolled up.

    A good source might be Digikey.

    For someone who needs a generator in a hurry, your solution seems excellent.For something more efficient, perhaps extract the motor, put an o-ring on the case, and mount so that the o-ring rides on the tire or rim. But that's much more work!I've thought of mounting magnets somewhere on the wheel and a coil on the frame next to them. Come to think of it, maybe you could have a toothed wheel that interacted with the spokes. It would have to be soft and you'd probably want to put something on the spokes where the wheel hits them. But it would work a lot better in the rain than a friction-based drive.If you continue to develop this, you might check out some of the cheaper brushless model airplane motors. Better magnets and lighter weight. You could also put some rare earth magnets in a CD-...

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    For someone who needs a generator in a hurry, your solution seems excellent.For something more efficient, perhaps extract the motor, put an o-ring on the case, and mount so that the o-ring rides on the tire or rim. But that's much more work!I've thought of mounting magnets somewhere on the wheel and a coil on the frame next to them. Come to think of it, maybe you could have a toothed wheel that interacted with the spokes. It would have to be soft and you'd probably want to put something on the spokes where the wheel hits them. But it would work a lot better in the rain than a friction-based drive.If you continue to develop this, you might check out some of the cheaper brushless model airplane motors. Better magnets and lighter weight. You could also put some rare earth magnets in a CD-ROM or similar motor. That's how the brushless model airplane motors got started. Amazing amounts of power for very light weight. Props are fun to carve, too. http://www.gryffinaero.com/models/ffpages/tips/pro...It may not take as long as you think, and it gives you a lot of flexibility. I guess with the cooling fan, the parts are already matched up. Some interesting types of generators seem to be coming onto the market:http://bicyclehobo.com/dynamo-chargers-outside-of-...You might have to rob a bank first. ;-)

    Actually, I think it might increase air resistance on the order of 2 or 3 percent, VERY roughly. An cyclist and his bike might have 5 square feet of frontal area, which of course is a very crude way of estimating air drag, but is probably not horribly far off for lousy shapes like people, wheels, and tubes. If the fan has a frontal area of 20 square inches, that's close to 3 percent. The actual situation is much more complicated, but this gives us an idea of the magnitude. Keep in mind that, at least at slow speeds, there are other significant sources of drag besides the air.

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