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  • xaenon commented on fcfelix's instructable Fire Lamp2 months ago
    Fire Lamp

    Shut up and take my money! lol.Seriously, this is really cool.

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  • Self Excite an Alternator Without Any DC Generator, Capacitor Bank or Battery

    I hate to be 'that guy' - but this is the principle by which the alternator normally works in your car. Once the field gets power and the alternator generates electricity, the system operates at a higher voltage than the battery, so it could be said the alternator is 'self exciting' at that point. You can actually pull the cable off the positive battery terminal once the engine is running and it will continue to run because the alternator is powering its own field coils. This is NOT recommended, however, because the power surge could possibly fry the expensive electronics in the car, and there's also the possibility of a spark which could ignite hydrogen gas generated by the battery.

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  • xaenon commented on Alex in NZ's instructable Stereo Cabinet4 months ago
    Stereo Cabinet

    As someone who is a fan of old console stereos, I'm glad to see that the idea of one is still alive and well, and done with modern electronics. Good show!

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  • Converting an Old Radio Into a Spotify Streaming Box

    Regarding your stereo-to-mono adapter cable: You should have TWO resistors there - one for each channel. What you've built will 'favor' the right channel when the signals are mixed.

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  • xaenon commented on mikeasaurus's instructable Unusual Uses for Zip Ties8 months ago
    Unusual Uses for Zip Ties

    Color coded key keepers. Different colors for different sets of keys. Useful if you have a lot of keys that look alike.

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  • xaenon commented on bcamrl's instructable PackageSafe8 months ago
    PackageSafe

    PS118: I would build the box so that it latches automatically when closed. You could then leave it open for the deliveryman; when he leaves the package inside, he shuts the lid and it locks automatically. Of course, this makes it useless for any subsequent deliveries, but it would be generally sufficient for those who don't get more than one delivery a day, and my approach could be accomplished with a common latching type lock mechanism.An alternative would be to use a mailbox service, which is not only more secure, but they frequently will text you when a package arrives, and they'll often hold packages for several weeks if you're on vacation or something. It's especially useful if you're more high-volume like myself. Yes, it's inconvenient to drive to the physical location to pi...

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    PS118: I would build the box so that it latches automatically when closed. You could then leave it open for the deliveryman; when he leaves the package inside, he shuts the lid and it locks automatically. Of course, this makes it useless for any subsequent deliveries, but it would be generally sufficient for those who don't get more than one delivery a day, and my approach could be accomplished with a common latching type lock mechanism.An alternative would be to use a mailbox service, which is not only more secure, but they frequently will text you when a package arrives, and they'll often hold packages for several weeks if you're on vacation or something. It's especially useful if you're more high-volume like myself. Yes, it's inconvenient to drive to the physical location to pick stuff up, and it costs a few bucks, but I've never had a package go missing. You could also specify that a package be held for pickup, which generally costs nothing, though again, you have to drive to the UPS/FedEx/USPS facility to retrieve your package(s).

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  • xaenon commented on woodshopcowboy's instructable DIY Folding Board9 months ago
    DIY Folding Board

    You could use corroplast (corrugated plastic sheet) instead of cardboard. Duct tape sticks well to plastic; on top of which corroplast is waterproof, easy to work with, and fairly durable. It's used to make signs like the political signs you see in peoples' yards. A sign shop may even give you a couple of discarded (reject) signs if you ask nicely.

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  • xaenon commented on mikeandlauren's instructable DIY Powder Coated Yeti Cups9 months ago
    DIY Powder Coated Yeti Cups

    Learning something new is never a waste of time. Perhaps it wasn't cost- or time-effective for one particular project, but now the author can use the experience and materials to powder coat other things, or make as many Yeti cups as he wishes, perhaps even sell them himself. After all, they're all knockoffs, right?

    Powder coating is fairly tough; it CAN be scratched but it takes a bit of effort. As for electrical insulation - I'm not sure I'd trust something as thin as powder coating for 120 volts. You might want to consider Plasti-Dip. I've used Plasti-Dip on tools to insulate the grips, but it's a fair bit 'thicker' coating than powder coating.

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  • xaenon commented on jackp77's instructable Ammo Can Bluetooth Speaker Power Supply9 months ago
    Ammo Can Bluetooth Speaker Power Supply

    Looking at the pictures, I see the amplifier board has a pair of RCA connectors on one end. Are those for a 'wired' input? If so, does this module switch over to a the 'wired' connection when the Bluetooth is unpaired?

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  • xaenon commented on vyasch's instructable Organizer From Old Container10 months ago
    Organizer From Old Container

    This would probably work well with the plastic jugs kitty litter comes in, as well. They're large and fairly sturdy, and to clean them out just requires a little rinse, since cat litter is just ground-up clay.

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  • xaenon commented on AdrianaM39's instructable Fan11 months ago
    Fan

    You could easily make a stand for something like this out of scrap cardboard. It might not be as sturdy as 3D printed parts, but it would be completely adequate nonetheless, and would cost little to nothing. Also, I agree with other commenters - there is no need for a microcontroller. A simple toggle switch and appropriate power source is all that's necessary to operate a small fan like this.

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  • xaenon commented on mchampio's instructable Pothole Reporter1 year ago
    Pothole Reporter

    This wouldn't work in Toledo. The streets up here are pretty much ignored.

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  • Add Bluetooth To A/V Receiver Amplifier Within 3 Minutes

    Some might say I am a museum piece myself. Bear in mind that not everything 'old' is 'junk'. You might be amazed at how good those old consoles sounded, particularly the 'big' names like Magnavox, Zenith, RCA, Motorola, Grundig. These were the premium sound systems of their day, often costing the equivalent of two or even three thousand dollars in today's prices, and it's remarkable how well they hold up. They're elegant and stylish (okay, 'stylish' is subjective, but still) and built like tanks.This particular unit belonged to my father, who purchased it new in 1967 or 1968, and sprung for the optional 8-track player as well. I know, records, eight tracks, all obsolete. But that's the beauty of it. It can still play those old things, AND now it can play streaming audio and MP3s...

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    Some might say I am a museum piece myself. Bear in mind that not everything 'old' is 'junk'. You might be amazed at how good those old consoles sounded, particularly the 'big' names like Magnavox, Zenith, RCA, Motorola, Grundig. These were the premium sound systems of their day, often costing the equivalent of two or even three thousand dollars in today's prices, and it's remarkable how well they hold up. They're elegant and stylish (okay, 'stylish' is subjective, but still) and built like tanks.This particular unit belonged to my father, who purchased it new in 1967 or 1968, and sprung for the optional 8-track player as well. I know, records, eight tracks, all obsolete. But that's the beauty of it. It can still play those old things, AND now it can play streaming audio and MP3s too. Museum piece? Maybe. But a WORKING museum piece. My daughter is fascinated by the record player. And another generation learns of Frank Sinatra...

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  • Add Bluetooth To A/V Receiver Amplifier Within 3 Minutes

    I did something similar to give new life to an old Magnavox console stereo. I can listen to MP3s and internet radio on something that was built decades before either of those things was even conceived, and it sounds wonderful.

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  • xaenon commented on mtobin4's instructable All-in-one PC Build (Luggable PC)1 year ago
    All-in-one PC Build (Luggable PC)

    Most laptops have fairly mediocre graphics subsystems. You can get high-end graphics in laptops it's gonna co$t ya. Also, most laptops are proprietary in design, while this uses more common architecture and can be more easily upgraded or repaired. The trade-off, of course, is the bulk and limited portability, and obviously this is somewhat more purpose-specific.

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  • xaenon commented on Multi3D's instructable LED Art1 year ago
    LED Art

    Just don't put it on display in Boston.

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  • xaenon commented on TheSpodShed's instructable Mega Power Bank1 year ago
    Mega Power Bank

    This is a great idea, and the instructions are well written. One thing I'd add to this would be some form of light, preferably LEDs, which would allow this to also be used as a high-capacity lantern-type flashlight. Such lights are always useful when you're away from municipal power. You could also add a lighter-type plug to charge this device from an automobile's electrical system. A nice feature there is that you won't need a regulator; your car's built-in voltage regulator will provide the proper voltage to charge the battery.

    That type of socket usually does, yes. They're built specifically for use in 12VDC systems.

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  • xaenon commented on MakinThings's instructable 1$ DIY cable lug1 year ago
    1$ DIY cable lug

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yArknfAMCCs

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  • How to revive a portable 8-Track tape player

    Even if the tape mechanism is completely trashed and unusable, it's often worth buying these old units anyway. It isn't hard to convert them into nice speakers for your smart phone / MP3 player / tablet / etc - either 'wired' or 'Bluetooth'. And the unused tape slot is a nice place to keep accessories. Or even the phone or MP3 player itself.

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  • xaenon commented on Penolopy Bulnick's instructable Unusual Uses for Socks1 year ago
    Unusual Uses for Socks

    When I had a tube in my shoulder, they recommended using the calf of a cut-up sock around my upper arm to keep the tube from flapping around. I've also used the calf of a sock to protect a bandaged area of my leg.

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  • xaenon commented on MakinThings's instructable 1$ DIY cable lug1 year ago
    1$ DIY cable lug

    Actually, it was a cold chisel, like you'd use to knock welding flash off of a metal object. I'd start by flattening the tubing slightly into an oval shape. Then I'd insert the stranded wire, and use the chisel and hammer to crease the tubing enough to grasp the wire. Then it was a simple matter to just tighten the vise down to close the crimp. A little solder, a little heat, and some shrink tubing, then all that was left was to flatten the end and drill the hole.I don't even buy premade battery cables any more. I just buy the bulk wire/cable and some copper tubing and make my own.

    To be honest, I just size them according to what I need. I have copper tubing in a couple of sizes on hand, I find something that's as close as possible to the wire gauge I'm running. If I have to use a piece of tubing that's significantly larger than the cable, I'll either fold the wire back inside the area where I crimp it or cut the tubing lengthwise so that i can crimp it smaller. For very small gauges of wire, I use the regular Radio Shack-type pre-made lugs, since they're inexpensive (particularly in quantity) and easy to keep on hand.I haven't had one of my home made lugs fail yet, and I've used them on everything from lawnmowers, to the aforementioned scrubber machine, on up to diesel-powered dump trucks. The first one I ever made is still in service, 20-odd years later, in...

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    To be honest, I just size them according to what I need. I have copper tubing in a couple of sizes on hand, I find something that's as close as possible to the wire gauge I'm running. If I have to use a piece of tubing that's significantly larger than the cable, I'll either fold the wire back inside the area where I crimp it or cut the tubing lengthwise so that i can crimp it smaller. For very small gauges of wire, I use the regular Radio Shack-type pre-made lugs, since they're inexpensive (particularly in quantity) and easy to keep on hand.I haven't had one of my home made lugs fail yet, and I've used them on everything from lawnmowers, to the aforementioned scrubber machine, on up to diesel-powered dump trucks. The first one I ever made is still in service, 20-odd years later, in my old Ford hot rod.That said, I would not use them to, say, wire a house - not because I believe they're unsafe, but because electrical codes are very specific about what is and isn't acceptable for utility electric.

    Actually, if you look closely at the commercially-available lugs, you'll discover that they're made pretty much the same way - stranded copper wire crimped and soldered into flattened tubing. Oh, sure, the parts-store variety is prettier and has a shiny zinc finish on it, but it's the same basic construction. The 'inconsistent resistance' is only an issue if you DON'T use solder, as it is possible for moisture and corrosion to seep in and compromise the contact between the cable and tubing.

    For low-voltage applications, there's nothing particularly 'unsafe' about this. Automobiles have exposed lugs similar to this for connections at the starter, the engine block, and sometimes at the battery itself. And if you have the tools to make your own lugs out of copper pipe, the savings in time AND money can be substantial. Premade cables with lugs like this are not particularly cheap, and there is time involved with getting into the car and driving to the vendor and/or ordering a 'proper' part. I used a similar strategy to build the cables necessary to get an old floor scrubber back into the fight; the manufacturer's cables would have taken like a week to get and cost nearly $80 apiece, and frankly, weren't much more elaborate than what I built. The only thing I did differe...

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    For low-voltage applications, there's nothing particularly 'unsafe' about this. Automobiles have exposed lugs similar to this for connections at the starter, the engine block, and sometimes at the battery itself. And if you have the tools to make your own lugs out of copper pipe, the savings in time AND money can be substantial. Premade cables with lugs like this are not particularly cheap, and there is time involved with getting into the car and driving to the vendor and/or ordering a 'proper' part. I used a similar strategy to build the cables necessary to get an old floor scrubber back into the fight; the manufacturer's cables would have taken like a week to get and cost nearly $80 apiece, and frankly, weren't much more elaborate than what I built. The only thing I did differently was to heat-shrink where the lugs crimp to the wires to minimize corrosion. I didn't even use a crimping tool, just a hammer, punch, and vice.

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