Washout! Is there a good way to backfill under a concrete driveway?

I just purchased a home, and we discovered some water damage to the fill under the driveway and front walk.  The driveway still has intact slabs, but a little freezing and thawing and I will have gravel instead.  I was thinking about trying to shove paver sand under the slabs, and into the gaps along the sides.  I was just wondering if anyone had a better idea, or suggestions on how to get the sand underneath and compacted enough to make a difference this winter.

Asked by Rutabaga1000 8 years ago


gas station-type driveway bell?

 Any thoughts on how to rig up one of those bells that dings when a car drives over it, like at a gas station?  We's love to put one across the end of our driveway...

Posted by sarahfish 8 years ago


Driveway alert system to smart phone?

I am looking for a driveway alert system (1,000 foot long lane), that will alert me by dialing my smart phone when someone enters and I am in the back 40.  Anyone have any ideas?  Thanks

Asked by juniperberries 2 years ago


remove oil stains from driveway?

How to remove old oil stains from concrete driveway

Asked by 9 years ago


What can I do with broken concrete, concrete in small slabs?

I have a lot of concrete from an old driveway that I got rid of with a sledgehammer. I dont have a truck to dispose of the concrete somewhere. So need to do something with it around my house.

Asked by DELETED_nuwave 8 years ago




Directing rain flow; how do I make rainwater flow into my yard and not into the garage at the bottom of the driveway? Answered

The downspout empties onto my driveway, which goes downhill to my garage, 50 feet away. I want to direct the runoff away from the garage and into the yard about 20 feet before the garage, without digging up the driveway and still leaving the driveway driveable.

Asked by 8 years ago


HELP! DRIVEWAY WARNING SYSTEM FOR CYCLISTS

My wife and I are moving to a new house that has a hidden driveway on a bend of a busy road that obscures our visibility as we exit. We are avid cyclists and ride around town on scooters, too. Does someone have a suggestion on a remote activated light system that could call drivers' attention to the driveway as we pull out? We have multiple lights on our bikes, but nevertheless, I'd like to enhance the safety of exiting. My only thought was to hook up some sort of lights to a darkroom timer and activate it for two minutes as we leave, but that would require burying a cable in pvc as far as I could tell, and the driveway is long. In short, it would be super inconvenient. What would be ideal is a remote activated flashing light set on one or both sides of the driveway, powered by battery that activated by the remote and turned off after a short period of time. Any suggestions on products or designs would be appreciated.

Posted by johnson.drj 6 years ago


Happy Birthday LinuxH4x0r

Best wishes for the years to come!(P.S. Sorry, no car in the driveway.........)

Posted by linuxmom 9 years ago


What is this green globby goo in my driveway? Answered

What is this stuff?? I noticed this green slime in my driveway one day. It's sorta gel-like, has some air bubbles, and is centered around greenery. I can sorta pick it up with a stick and it jiggles and doesn't really come apart. It reminds me of seaweed kinda. It was mainly located in the center of my driveway where we have weed growth. The appearance happened to coincide with a long bought of rain (nearly several weeks). I also noticed some in areas of our lawn and near the edges of our gardens. This is in Northeastern Vermont, photo taken this summer, '09. PS--I apologize if this is too picture heavy. Please let me know if it is. I just like sharing all the neat photos of this strange substance that looks like Slimer from Ghostbusters!

Asked by Pompom 8 years ago




Water shed-I have a 30 degree driveway about 1\3 mile long.When it rains I get a torrent of water to the hiway below.

I have installed 4" cross drain pipe with stocking and ducting, but the clay slit covers the large gravel and the water goes over them. I'm considering a swale with large rocks down the water paths. any helpful suggestions of construction before i spend more money.

Asked by matotunka 8 years ago


DRIVEWAY OBSERVATION & SIGNAL plus GATE OPENER

We have a hidden driveway into our rental property, blocked by a large electronic gate.  Need something to detect a vehicle in the drive (either a motion sensor or a touchpad type thing?) that will make, for example, a doorbell ring in the house, and a viewing camera that can handle tropical rains, that will show up on something like a baby monitor inside the home.  The gate has two remotes, rather cumbersome and easily misplaced.  We would prefer to keep these in the two vehicles and have a button or three in the house and garage, to enable us to activate the gate opening without having to go get the remote from the car.  I would like some ideas, plans etc as although I have some electronics knowledge I need someone who has perhaps already built something like this. Any ideas, anyone?

Posted by Island-itis 8 years ago


LEDs Driveway Solar Setup

Help with LEDs (2 Part Question- Answer what you can) I got a reel of 5 Meters SMD 3528 Epistar LEDs Power Source: 12 Volts DC Wattage: 60 Watts Power Consumption (W/m):18 Watts / Meter LED Chip Model: SMD 5630 LEDs Number/M: 60 pcs / Meter How many Amps needed in a charge controller? Solar Cells Average Power (Watts): 2.6 Wp Average Current (Amps): 5.2 Imax Average Voltage (Volts): 0.5 Vmax Do I need to wire the solar cells 3 in series to reach 15.6 volts (Calculated loss so not 12v) and then parallel to reach 60 watts for the LEDs? (I plan to have around 70 watts just for incase and rely on the charge controller to lower voltage to 12V.) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (I am using a standard car battery. An old one that has lost a lot of juice, but I tested the LEDs on it and it still works.) Is this okay? Am I doing things right? Thank you all for your help!!! :o)

Posted by Learning Exp 3 years ago


Possible re-wire of current solar light? Answered

I purchased 7 ft solar lights to put on either side of my driveway so that I could easily locate my driveway when I get home at midnight. I live in the country where there are no streetlights and it's easy to pass and have to backtrack. The lights are really bright when they come first come on but only stay that way for about 2 hours. I'm hoping that I can learn how to rewire a bigger/larger battery into the system so that the lights will last longer.... still be bright at midnight. Is that an achievable goal when this class is completed, do you think?

Asked by twit7503 5 months ago


How do I get my cats to stop pooping in the walkway between my house and my car door?

My driveway runs beside my house, and up to my front porch. When I pule my car in to park, I have just enough space to walk between my open car door and my house. Thats were my cats have started pooping. I have had to start parking off the other side of the driveway, just so my children and I will not step in it. I would like to be able to park my car with out steping in poo. Any ideas. Thanks

Asked by gwendolynbender 8 years ago


DIY Driveway Alert System Problem

I tried to make a driveway alert system, but it has a problem. I connected a walkie-talkie to a Radio Shack PIR Sensor using this reed relay. Essentially, when the PIR sensor detects motion, it outputs 5 V which triggers the reed relay and closes the contacts, which connects the two contacts on the walkie-talkie button, which sends a beep to the other walkie-talkie. Problem: It works as planned, except that after the motion stops and the reed relay disconnects the walkie-talkie button, it will inexplicably re-connect the walkie-talkie button after about a second, and will repeat this cycle of beeping every couple seconds indefinitely. The strange thing is that sometimes it will work just as it is supposed to, but other times it wont. Other details: The PIR sensor is powered by a 9 volt fed through a 5 V regulator so it gets steady voltage, while the walkie talkie is powered by the regular AAA batteries. I am a novice with electronics, so don't rule out that I may have made a simple mistake.

Posted by doo0202 5 years ago


How would you make a visual notification system for when the mail comes? Answered

We have a long curving driveway so you can't see the end where the mailbox is. We end up checking the mail a couple times a day if waiting for something important. I've always wanted to do up some kind of thing where a light comes on when the mail is delivered by way of a switch that is turned on by the action of opening and closing the mailbox. Problem is that the mailbox is a good hundred feet from the nearest window on that side of the house (which is where i'd like the light to be) A wireless setup would be nice, but probably more complicated. Power down by the mailbox is available but house power for the driveway lights.

Asked by siamonsez 7 years ago


Wood Stove Ashes?

We have a wood stove, it produces ashes. Some of the ashes contain nails, so puting them on the driveway is not an option. We get 3 to 4 feet of snow. We know water and ashes make lie, so would not want to ruin any of our flowers or garden. How can we get rid of ashes in a green way

Asked by emit 8 years ago



wireless security camera @ the end of a 2mi long driveway. Signal only carries 300'.Amplifier/repeater? Answered

Hello, Trying to install security camera at the end of a 2 mile long driveway.The signal (900mhz) only carries 300'.Is there a (cheap) way of repeating or amplifying the signal?The camera is a Defender PHOENIX1 Wireless Video Security System, Indoor/Outdoor Night Vision Camera Thanks

Asked by pyrate808 7 years ago


A car just ran over my skateboard...

Yeah..... My friend came over and was riding my skateboardand he went up my driveway (which is a slight incline upwards) and tripped,which sent the skateboard out from under him and back down the driveway and into the street were a car who was just driving by at the exact same instant drove by and went right over my skateboard!!This all happened so fast that i didn't have time to jump and save my poor baby from that car. =(Oh well at least me or my friend didn't get run over. I'm not really mad at him, I am more mad at the driver who just kept on going after he had just run my skateboard over!!! Oh well i will just have to get a new deck. I will hang the snapped deck on my wall though.

Posted by TeacherOfTheWays 10 years ago


What sensor should be used, or what can i make to precisely align a vehicle up to a ramp?

Sorry i couldnt decide how to word my question but here is my situation and i would be gratefull for any input because i am not sure what would be the best or easiest way to go about it.  My car is lowered and therefore i can not park in my driveway without having a ramp(plank of wood) infront of each tire at the sloped base of my driveway. This does not bug me as much as the fact that every time i go to back out of or pull up to my driveway i have to align my tires as best as i can guess up to the ramps, take car out of gear, put on parking brake, get out, check one tire, then the other, and occasionaly move the ramps left or right before i can get back in my car and procede up into the driveway. Ok so its not only my laziness that fuels this project... my mustang isnt the quiestest and when its late I feel bad leaving it idleing (making noise) while i get out to make sure i'm lined up to the ramps. I would love to make some kind of proximity sensor or something that lets me know when each tire is propperly lined up.   I have thought about a few different things like a camera under the front bumper that feeds to a monitor on the dash, (similar to a backup cam) also i was trying to think of a way to use an old cell phone and its camera for this.  IR proximity sensors in the bumper attached to LED lights on the dash that tell me im lined up if the propper LED's are lit. I dont know much about them but maybe some sort of magnetic sensor or metal detector.  One issue is that the placement of the ramps can be detected in different ways depending on the sensors used. whatever the factor is, that is being sensed (reflective surface, metal, tiny magnets) needs to be durable and able to be ran over on a daily basis. Also I want something that can be fairly accurate, although an err either left or right of an inch would be alright. Sorry for being longwinded but i look forward to some ideas! Thanks!

Asked by colie1904 3 years ago


Ran Honda with E brake on (new driver)? Answered

Oops! Just got home today from school and realized that I drove home with the E brake on (around 10 miles). Should I be worried about this? Its mostly 35mph the way home, with 55 for around 3 miles. I noticed no burning rubber smell or anything that would indicate burning (but the windows were closed). I have done this occasionally on the driveway, but usually notice. The car is a Handa Civic, 2003 I think.

Asked by astroboy907 6 years ago


how to convery a self propelled lawn mower into a snow pusher, with blade? how wide balde, how to lift blade

You have a lawn mower for summer. You remove the grass blade, you create a snow plow blade and a frame to attach it temporarily to the lawn mower, then use the lawn mower as the source of power to blad snow off driveway, walks, side walks etc. Concern would be at what point would  belts begin to slip, or get jammed up. Don't know id anyone has tried it.

Asked by whiteyman 7 years ago


Motion sensor treat dispenser.

I would like to build a dispenser to give my dog a treat automatically when she drops a toy in a box. I have a treat dispenser that moves easily and can be attached to a pulley. I don't have the electronic know-how to make the rest. I am thinking a motion sensor light or driveway warning unit that sends a signal when a beam is broken could be used, but don't know how to connect it to a small motor that will only run for a couple of seconds and then stop. Any thoughts on how to do this and where I might get the equipment?

Asked by lynne123 8 years ago


Propane torch

I've considered several times buying a propane torch to burn weeds in my driveway, or melt ice. The one I'd like to have looks like a cane with a threaded connector on the handle end to attach a propane bottle. They all seem overpriced to me and I've always wondered if I could make one cheaper than I could buy one. I can find the tubing I need but I've never been able to find the rest of the parts.  Any suggestions or would someone like to post an instructable showing how to make one?

Posted by jpoling 2 years ago


how do you make a sliding iron gate roll smoother? Answered

Have a heavy iron driveway gate that has two sets of brackets fitted with 2x3 inch grooved roller bearing wheels. I have oiled and cleaned them on a regular basis, but the gate is hard to start rolling. When you do get it rolling it can rapidly develop momentum. I would like to be able to open this gate with minimal effort. My wife struggles to make the gate to start rolling. A solution would be most welcomed and appreciated.

Asked by phorton70 4 months ago


Build Your Own Electric Car Instructional DVD set

If you are interested in building your own electric car, but don't know where to start, you want to order the BUILD YOUR OWN ELECTRIC CAR instructional video. This training DVD is based on a REAL-WORLD project that I built in my driveway, and if I can do it, SO CAN YOU! In the video, I take you through STEP-BY-STEP of what it actually takes to make your own electric car. The vehicle is featured on Instructables at: https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-Electric-Car/ Get your copy right now by ordering at 300MPG.org!

Posted by bennelson 5 years ago


I want to install my own home security system with cameras, keypads, electronic locks...? Answered

Building this massive fence around my buddy's house and it's going to have an electric opener on the driveway gate, so it will already need a keypad for that, but there will also be a smaller gate that I'd like to put an electronic lock on and have a keypad for that too. I have seen sone keypad intercom systems that tie into your phone system and let you open the gates from the phone and even forward to your cell if you aren't home and let you talk to whoever is at your door. I was wondering if there are any security system installer or enthusiasts in the community that could point me in the direction of some resources, websites, or brands for security system components and accessories and whatever you need to tie them all together. We are in a pretty rural area so I am not really worried about the window sensors and that whole side of it, though it might be nice to have the option later. What I really want to do is to have cameras in addition to the keypads and intercoms on the driveway and walking gates. I also want the info to be really easy to access from anywhere in the house, I.e. intercom piped into the phone as I mentioned before, as well as the video on the computer over the network and hooked into the cable so it can be seen on any tv in he house. Bonus if I could view/hear/control the equipment with my smartphone or computer at work. Basically what I need is like the K-nex of security/home automation electronics.

Asked by siamonsez 6 years ago


Lighthouse pulsing light

Hi all - I am building a wooden model lighthouse, it will stand 5 feet tall and become my driveway landmark. I have been searching for a good light circuit, a non-LED version, preferably using 120v AC. I would like the light to just do a slow flash or pulse and haven't found a circuit anywhere. I did find one SCR simple circuit using a high rated capacitor, but I am looking for more options. I have a coloured halogen which should do the job well enough. So have any of you brainiacs come across any circuits close to this description - thank you for reading / responding. Bill

Posted by bstacy37 1 year ago


Does spraying rubbing alchohol on your body work as mosquito repelent?

I live way out in the middle of no-where, and my driveway is at least a mile long. Because of the distance from civilization, and the densly packed woods all the way around my house, i like to take hikes in my woods in only socks and shoes. But lately the mosquitos are getting reallly bad, to the point where i take the mosquito repelent with me so i can apply it every two minutes or less. I heard somewhere that rubbing alchohol works as a mosquito repelent and i wanted to hear from someone who was tried it. Do you have any other suggestions for repelent? With that much skin exposed, i can't risk too many mosquito bites.

Asked by PyroMaster007 8 years ago


I rev the engine and something thumps!

So I got back from my drive today and came up the driveway in neutral just for funnzies, but while in neutral if I rev the engine up quickly, around 4k RPM's there is a serious thump.  The whole car gives a pretty good shake when it happens.  When I bring the RPM's up smoothly I don't notice it so I am not sure what it could be.  I thought it may be a clutch engaging, but what would engage at that speed that wasn't in already.  I also thought it might be a clutch disengaging, but that would result in a serious thump, just a smooth wined-down.  The car is a 2003 dodge durango with 160,000 miles on it.  It is an automatic which can somehow kill itself when trying to start going, and it is the coolest, most durable car ever.

Asked by jj.inc 5 years ago


Have Any Good Stories to Share?

Got any interesting experiences you'd like to share? Scary? Happy? You get my point, right? Kind of like these:https://www.instructables.com/forum/Crazy-things-youve-done/https://www.instructables.com/forum/Driving-Stories/https://www.instructables.com/forum/Ever-saved-a-guys-life/Here's a scary experience I've had:. Some friends and I were bored so we took a walk to the fire station. We brought along some markers and cardboard and decided to kill time with some harmless Hijinks. We held up signs that said "Free Lemonade" with an arrow pointing in a random direction. People honked their car's horn or waved, it was all good and fun (We were in fifth grade BTW). About fifteen minutes in I hear screeching and my friend yells "RUN!". Not knowing what was happening, I look behind me and see a huge cloud of white smoke. We ditched the signs and booked it out of there. For a few seconds I didn't know what we were running from, but I could tell by the look on my friend's face it was bad. When I asked him later, he said that the guy driving the car looked pissed. He said the smoke was from the car pulling a hard U turn and accelerating towards us. We knew the car was chasing us so we ran into the bushes by the driveway of a cop's house. We heard a car coming up the driveway a few feet from us, and got really freaked out. We saw that it (thankfully) was the cop's patroll car. We ran up to him and told him about the car. He said he saw the smoke and called it in on the radio.

Posted by Spl1nt3rC3ll 10 years ago


Today Has Been Strange...

Anyone else notice? It started small, then got huge. First, my friend's cell phone somehow got from his pocket to into his backpack, without being touched. My other friend (when changing for PE/weights) noticed he had been walking all day with an ipod cord in his shoe. I found a penny on the ground, put it in my pocket, then it somehow turned into seven pennies when I put my hand back in a minute later. The grand finally, I get a call from mom telling me my neighbor's lung collapsed and to get over there ASAP. Mazee was frantic, everyone was frantic, the door was locked, I stepped in dog poo, the fire truck came, couldn't make it up the long, steep, driveway. The ambulance came, was able to make it up, and took her to the hospital. There, my day all in a nutshell.

Posted by Spl1nt3rC3ll 10 years ago


Tennis Project Collaboration

I roughed out a design (reversed engineered from various pictures) a tennis ball rebounder for a co-worker but it doesn’t look like he has the interest to build it anymore.  It’s a nice piece of equipment for anyone that likes to play tennis since you can set it up in driveway or basement.  Here are a couple of examples: Video 1 Video 2 I would like to do an instructables collaboration on the project with someone that would find this useful.  I would tweak the design (overall size, hardware, etc.) with your inputs.  Your responsibilities: Buy the materials which I’m estimating at less than $100.  Note that purchased versions cost up to $500. Build it - requires only a saw and drill Take a few pictures of the build and final product. Help with the documentation if needed  In the end, it is your rebounder to enjoy.  See my past instrucables for examples of my work/documentation. 

Posted by mtairymd 1 year ago


Motion Triggered Horns

I'm starting this one over, I made a mess of the last topic. Essentially what I'm starting with is a driveway wireless alert system (http://imgur.com/a/RgDeG)  and a car horn. The car horn is wired to a push button switch. (http://imgur.com/lg7Gbvj) What I'm trying to do is replace the [S] (switch) with this wireless trigger. The alarm speaker outputs at a very low voltage, ~0.08v: https://vimeo.com/75827101 The alarm LED's output 1.75v (measured from + on the one LED and - on the other, there are three total, in series) What would be the best place to tap in to get voltage from to trigger the relay? I think from the previous post I'll need a transistor switch of some sort? This is the part I need help with. Usage: Tractor pulling hayrack riders over a bridge, I'll place the sensors ahead of the horns so by the time the tractor is at the sensor the hayrack is right at the horns. Hope I posted in the right spot. Thanks

Posted by jinstructr 4 years ago


F-N-R transmission from old ford Tranny

Okay I'm making a 2F1R (2 forward 1 rear) trike from and old 550 GSX Susuki. I have seen many builds for electric reverse drives. I want a Mechanical Drive F-N-R gearbox. I have never opened an transmission "YET" but Im about to. I have a Ford AOD Automatic Overdrive out of a F-150. Does anyone know how to get to the Planetary gears? Once I get them out I want to make a metal case to mount between the Engine and Rear Swingarm so that I can use the engine to power the reverse. Here n Georgia there are some very steep driveways and parking spots. I'll need the power from the 550cc engine to back out. Thats noping also I dont just spin the tire off doing it LOL

Posted by UntamedGypsy 7 years ago


I bought one of the Harbor Freight 4 camera video surveillance systems to keep an eye on my driveway and yard.

Two problems arose. 1. Cable distance. "Tech support" says the 'cables' can't be more than the 60' that comes with the system because of loss of signal...( obviously never heard of Instructables.com)....The wires in question are very thin Can I adapt the RCA camera up to exterior coax and run a larger 12V power cord alongside the coax, then convert the video signal back down to the BNC connector and achieve a 'boostable' signal? 2. I have solar panels and 12 volt batteries throughout the property, sheds and garage. Would I be able to just power the camera locally instead of running a power cord from the receiver power supply to the camera?     And.. what's a BALUN? Thanks

Asked by GrumpyOldGoat 7 years ago


Brand new 5.5hp engine/packer won't run?

Hey peeps, me again. My father recently put up a little shed (one with the frame and tarping) and he put a dirt floor in, and also we just put new gravel in the driveway after digging it all out. Well he's borrowing a packer from the construction company he works for, for packing the dirt down and possibly the driveway. It's got a brand new 5.5 honda utility engine on it (although it had a big lump of clay fall on the gas tank, it's nearly inverted :p ). We had it running last night but it was fluttering, we only had to move it so we never used it. Today, a whole different story, it sputterd for about 5 seconds and stopped. We (well me, he's just sitting here drinking) can't get it to work. I've cleaned the sparkplug. Pulled the gas tank off and completely emptied it out thinking maybe someone at work put diesel in it by accident or something. Put it all back together, and I got it to run for a couple second a few times. Also, I pulled the oil dipstick out, and it's one of those engines where it's not a verticl dipstick, it's basically diagonal, on a slant. And the tag that's still attached to the engine showed a diagram where it shows to check the oil, and showed where the oil level should be. Well Not the case, oil literally GUSHED out of the opening as soon as I opened it. (Long long post I know).. So I emptied the oil out so it wasn't "flowing" out of the hole (after this is when I got it to run a couple times). I'm so "fricken" confused. I know what I'm doing, just finished a advanced engine course. But what the fuck?! My last guess is perhaps change the oil (gas in it?!?). It's now 6:10pm and well basically no day left. I've spent all day tinkering with it. If anyone actually made it to the end of the post, I really need some help. Anyone have some ideas? Thanks in advanced

Posted by Punkguyta 10 years ago


How would I mod my car's alarm system to call/text my cell phone whenever it goes off? Answered

 Last October (Oct. 12, 2009), my car was broken into in my own driveway, about 1:00 am. The thieves got away with my entire audio system and gps. Ever since then, I've developed somewhat of a phobia of leaving my car unattended. I have to check on my car fairly close to every two hours or I start to have a minor panic attack, including while I sleep, and I am beginning to have major problems staying awake for school and work. I saw this instructable ( www.instructables.com/id/Motorbike-Phone-Alarm/ ) and realized how much stress it would take away if I had something similar to this. However, this example was activated when the motorcycle was moved. I would need to have a phone that could be wired into my car's pre-existing alarm system, and programmed to call me whenever the alarm goes off. Any ideas on how this could be done?

Asked by ashap517 8 years ago


Automatic transmission "lever" broke off ('03 Ford Explorer).. Help?

Okay, so here's the rundown. I drive an old '03 Ford Explorer. Seeing as I'm 16 and yet live in the humble abode of my parents, I get the chance to share a driveway (and oh what an experience!). One day, I park behind my mother's vehicle, and she needed to get out. I was out with a friend at the time, so she decides to attempt to move it herself -- without the keys. She attempts to jam the car into neutral to roll it out, and lo and behold, the lever for the transmission breaks! I'm in absence of the ability to tow, nor have I had time to call a local mechanic for an estimate. Albeit it's an older car, but I'd love to have it repaired. The lever itself is hanging from a couple cords, and I do have a spare wheel that I can have installed, so I decided to come here with my question. Does anybody have a clue on what I should do, and if possible, a bottom-line price that they could shoot over? Anything will help.. Thanks! (Images will be added VERY soon.)

Asked by icemith3 4 years ago



Moss Wall Hangings?

There are patches of that verdant velvet known as moss all around my neighborhood and I'd like to propagate some of it indoors. I was wondering if I could make some kind of wall hanging on which to grow moss. Here are some of the ideas I've brainstormed without a lot of details because I haven't got them. That's what I need you for. Please respond with your suggestions. 1. Cover a frame (I have one that I took a canvas off of) with pond liner (or waterproof roofing paper if I don't have to buy a lot of it), laying channels of organic peat or coir fiber (coconut peat) on top of it and laying a mixture of cheap driveway sealant and the same peat on top of that (with just enough sealant to hold it together, with one end of the channels exposed for watering. 2. Some kind of hypertufa wall hanging that is waterproof on the back with hollow channels inside for watering. I'm not too keen on this idea as making hypertufa seems like a long and difficult process, what with all the drying and curing. Also cement isn't very environmentally-friendly. 3. Some rocks, peat, coir, mulch or some combination thereof sandwiched between a layer of wire mesh and some kind of hard waterproof (or waterproofed) backing. I could start this out horizontally if need be so the moss would help to hold it in.

Posted by vegagitator 10 years ago


Reviving lawn light solar cells. Answered

Hello All, I have several solar cells from old dead lawn/driveway lights.  Ultimately, I'm sure that it was the rechargeable battery that failed, but the solar cells are in some sorry shape, also. While they have not been tested outside in bright sunlight, in my workshop, shining a high lumen flashlight (unsure of exact output, but it does reflect significant heat to the lighted area) produced less than 600mV.  The rechargeable battery is AA size (1.5 V). The cell faces have heavy oxidation, which is going to block light, I know.  The cell faces are encased in some sort of clear epoxy/resin substance.  The connections are badly corroded, rust is evident around cell connections (which I found strange, but perhaps it dripped down from housing screws).  I know that the connections can be replaced somewhat easily, but what about the oxidation?  Without knowing what material is is encased in, how should I proceed in removing oxidation? No flashlight can compare to the sun, I know this.  But even without a true solar test, I know that these cells will not experience optimal performance.  What can be done to revive these cells? Thank you in advance for any suggestions!!  You all help me learn! Huck

Asked by huck alexander 5 years ago


How build a cost-effective device that automatically clears exhaust fumes out my garage?

Soon I'm going to move into a building which shares living quarters with a garage. I'd like to rig up some sort of relay-triggering device that opens a nicely sealed set of vents (one intake, one output) and activates a fan exhausting garage air  - one that activates the minute I open the garage door, and then continues exhausting fumes for a few minutes after I drive the car away (and close the garage door). After those couple of minutes, the fan would stop, and the vents seal shut Due to the "lay of the land" (garage right off a busy road, with very short hidden driveway) I will be backing the car in, so exhaust gases will be concentrated at the back of the garage (close to living areas) - rather than near the open garage door. And as my car has a turbocharger, I often need to let it idle for a minute or two ( to let the turbo cool down) before turning it off to park. So it would be most useful to be expelling those exhaust fumes out of the garage! The question is - what's really the most simple and cost-effective platform for this kind of a system? Could a 555 timer, a few discrete components and some relays do the job elegantly? Or am I better off just diving into Arduino-Land?? Any related ideas (solenoid-closed vents, efficient fans, ducting through walls, etc ) that are especially thrifty - would also be greatly appreciated!!!

Asked by rockandroller 3 years ago


How can I open and insulate a single heavy wood sided garage door not using an electric opener or traditional hardware?

I have 3 single, older, traditional wood-sided garage doors. I am making a room out of the garage and, fixing 2 doors, but still want 1 door to open. Each door is 8'Wx7'H with 5" horizontal T&G siding. I planned to add some 24"x14" wood window sashes across the top, add insulation and some kind of thin paneling, doorskin or such to the back side and trim out the front side with 1/2" x 3" redwood. The fixed doors are no real issue, but what I'm puzzling about is how to make one door openable, but yet weatherized, and without all the traditional opening hardware showing inside. The windows & their framing, the trim, and  back panels will add weight, maybe alot. I want to remove all the exsisting spring hardware, so it looks like a room inside and not a garage. I thought about some kind of block & tackle, or manual gears to lift the door, but I just don't know. Also, I want to keep the doors appearing on the outside like regular doors, but modernized, and all 3 the same. Any ideas, (wild or otherwise, I'm open) to lift and open a door like this? I considered remaking the doors into carriage doors, but my driveway is sloped, so that could be a problem for rollers and any type of weatherproofing. I wanted to avoid completely remaking the doors any more than I already am. Thanks for any ideas.

Asked by geniem 5 years ago