Solar Panel Construction

Hello Everyone, this is my first forum post!I had a question and couldn't think of a better place to turn to than this.Basically, I am constructing, or planning to rather, an outdoor picnic table. I want to add some gadgetry to it and make it more multifunctional. Sorry to be vague, but a lot of it is still being worked out and since I'm going to post the project on here anyway, I'd like to wait to present the entire project as a whole.My question involves the use of solar panels as a table top surface. I have a basic understanding of how to create a solar panel powered system ( or But my question is this: does covering the solar panel with a piece of acrylic hinder its power collecting abilities? I'm thinking of covering the entire table top surface of my table with solar panels. Aside from the obvious downfalls of people using the table and blocking sun, I thought there would be enough time when its not in use to collect power. But obviously I can't have people eating right on the panels and damaging them. Any guidance would be GREAT! I just want to know if I should even entertain this design idea or separate the panels from the table altogether. Thanks!

Topic by jchorng   |  last reply

how to construct speakers?

Question by kyrros87   |  last reply

How to construct a U.F.O?

Question by mestes66   |  last reply

General Construction part1

Vince, Here's a few more pictures that I think are not in the instructables. The machine is at the college. I'll try to get some more pictures of it Monday. I see your confusion we need an end view of the Y rail showing the X stage mounted. I also made a 3D google sketch up of it that would be real handy. If I can find it.

Topic by Tom McGuire   |  last reply

Constructing a realistic lasergame

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. If there is no way I can make it work I will tweak the guns to be louder. Guns will have to hit over atleast 200 meters "For snipers". I know I need a double-convex lens but I just don't know wich LED I need. It would also help if next to a focused LED there is a way to send an infrared signal in all directions for just a while "For explosives". I have looked at ad hoc but no idea if it would work in there. For the suits I will most likely use sensors connected to a micro-controller/processor. Oh I forgot to mention that I am not using infrared lasers because they will most likely burn or damage the equipment.

Topic by xpalix   |  last reply

How are AudioStrobe discs constructed. ?

What drives the light track and how is it constructed? Thanks for any info.or signposting

Question by dahook   |  last reply

Help in constructing a battery charger

Hi there! I need some help constructing a circuit to charge a lead acid battery. The ratings of the battery are: 12v, 7Ah(Or so). The circuit must have the following features: -> Must be fairly simple (Considering the fact that i don't get all the components easily in the place i live, not even online) -> Must automatically cutoff when the battery is fully charged(Or near full). -> Must also have an indicator, (like the ones we have in a digital camera battery charger, which shows RED LED=Charging, GREEN LED=Full, something like that). -> Charging times can be fairly reasonable (Few hours for a full charge sounds reasonable).  -> Hopefully, some explanation on how the circuit works. ;) Thanks in advance :)

Topic by charmquark   |  last reply

Micro drone construction help

For a school project a partner and I are attempting to build a self controlling quadcopter. It should be able to use a specific input from a photo transistor and the be able to navigate on its own. The only problems that I can see running into at the moment are finding an atmega compatible rotor controller, and that not including the propellers it is going to be under two inches (5.08 cm). I would appreciate any assistance possible in finding a motor controller of this size, and will keep this post up to date with our project.

Topic by Kaptia Teramo 

variable frequency drive construction?

Hello i am working on a go kart but instead it will be powered by a 1/3 horsepower split phase AC motor. it operates off 768 watts and i am curious in using a Microcontroller and a high power H bridge to control it. can anyone help me or give me an idea on how to step up 12v dc into 120v dc and then using the H bridge to generate the frequency and also where to find some NPN transistors that can handle it and how to possibly reverse the direction of the motor?

Question by luig   |  last reply

Lost the "How to Build a Robot/Anything in a Week" write-up in Instructionable - ?

I'll lost the location of the excellant write up on physical robot chassis construction techniques. It included examples of making truss type chassis construction and the bolting (with slots) of flat planel of aluminum together to assemble a robot chassis.

Question by Hegemann   |  last reply

Need help constructing a transformer!!!

Here are my specs and anticipations for my homemade transformer: Im looking for my transformer to produce a voltage of 400vAC out of a standard 115vAC wall socket. If ive done my math, and this is where I would like do correctig if noticed I need a turns ratio of 1.2 : 3.5. That is 1.2 to 3.5 or 115 turns of primary and 350 tunrs of secondary. 115 X 3.5 = 402.5vAC respectivley. I have access to a fero-core so thats not a problem. Im using 22-20 gauge wire for the primary and 18-16 gauge wire for the secondary. If you find my wires to be of incorrect gauge please let me know. I realise 18-16 is rather large for a coil but I was trying to keep safety in mind do to the high voltage.

Topic by darthDIY   |  last reply

How can I make a solar panel?

Question by    |  last reply

Who knows how to build a blender bike? Where you can watch as you blend?

Saw one years ago at a festival, and they said it was super simple. when i've googled..found this something mobile and simpler. any ideas, we've got the parts! (i think)

Question by    |  last reply

What bridge design is best? Answered

I need to design a bridge for a project but it has to be made out of MDF that is 20cm x 33cm x 3mm MDF that is 3mm x 3mm x anything hot glue and string. It has to be strong, span 60cm have a 30cm clearance and be 20cm wide. It can have no supports and not attach to the ground. The wide MDF can only be used for the road and you cannot layer it.

Question by eggyeggyeggy   |  last reply

Why isn't plastic used in the construction of houses? Answered

If plastic can be customize to our needs, why can't plastic be customized to be non flammable, UV resistant, non toxic and thermally insulated to be used in house and bulding constructions? Petroleum based plastics are non biodegradable and would last for hundreds of years. Any reason why we do not see more houses built with this versatile product?

Question by blkhawk   |  last reply


How can i build satellite receiver and feed it to television directly?

Question by    |  last reply


Hi... I'm working on a design and i'm having a problem with how i can make a power supply for it. Mainly this what I want to do: Vin = 220v ~ Vout 1 = 7v Vout 2 = 12v Vout 3 to Vout 7 = 5v Can anyone help on how i can make this? Vout1 is for Arduino. Vout2 is for a coin acceptor. Vout3 to Vout7 would be used for servo motors (tower pro mg995)

Question by Gedon   |  last reply

How do I construct a maser?

So I have mentioned before about my plans to build a HERF gun using a magnetron powered by a highspeed motor w/ permanent magnets that serves as a generator(it's driven by a minature gas turbine engine). But the issue of collimating the microwaves into a beam that can travel at least 4 miles without significant diffraction is an issue I'm still working on. Now magnetrons have an efficient of roughly 70%.  So here's the idea: The magnetron's output coupling loop(antenna) will be inserted into a highly tempered glass cylinder that is attached to the top of the magnetron and the cylinder will be filled with either hydrogen gas or (anhydrous)ammonia. The oscillating RF field will pump the gas molecules at their microwave region resonant frequencies(if I use ammonia that will mean I need the magnetron to produce peak power at 24 GHz)and stimulate microwave emission by the molecules(population inversion). Has this technique ever been demonstrated experimentally? I know that RF radiation can be used to heat up hydrogen gas into plasma but maybe there are some references to masers constructed in this fashion.

Question by YugZ0h0th   |  last reply

Inclined Circular Column Formwork?

Hi everyone, I would appreciate it if someone can help me with this. I was looking for how to pour inclined circular reinforced concrete columns. When a circular column is straight, its base is a circle but when the column is inclined, its base is more to be oval. How can I place the formwork, how can I estimate the base of the column and how can I pour it. I would appreciate any sources regarding this issue! Thank you fro your attention to my request!  

Question by HMN93   |  last reply

How to build a verneuil furnace for synthesizing corundum?

I've been researching the verneuil process for a good while now and I'm absolutely sure i could synthesize gemstones in my garage, the only problem is that I haven't the faintest idea how to build the device I need to do it. Aside form the few demonstration pictures I've found and a hand drawn sketch of the original furnace I can't seem to find any technical information on the design. Anyone have any ideas on how I could do this?

Question by -Chrimson_And_Clockwork-   |  last reply

What material is best suited to produce good acoustics? Answered

I'm planning on building the Multi-Use Media Pod shown here on instructables, but I don't want to make it out of cardboard. I want to go a little high-end on this model, and in addition to making it bigger, I want to use a material that will produce the best sound and acoustics. What should I use?

Question by NANUman   |  last reply

How to construct a programmer for Atmel AT89S52 microcontroller? Answered

I have been trying to construct a ISP Programmer for AT89S52 microcontroller and my previous attempts were not fruitful... So please help me..

Question by batta420   |  last reply

how to construct 5000 AC to DC CONVERTER?

I have 5000 variable AC voltage. i want to convert 5000 volt variable DC voltage. please tell how to convert? and  components requirements ?

Question by selvakumarcns 

How do I construct a Pneumatic Cylinder?

I would like to know if anyone has made a Pneumatic cylinder out of an old Coleman Lantern green gas tank. Or What about making out of PVC? I'm making a halloween prop that it using a door closure as a piston. It needs about 60 to 70 pounds of pressure per use and will be fired about 10 times. It uses up about 5 pds of pressure on each firing. Any ideas on making a cheap regulator for this would be helpful too. The prop will be outside in the woods for a haunted trail. So having it self contained would be nice. I didn't want to run an air hose 150' to make it operate. Thanks.

Question by ijtw69   |  last reply

How to construct a film projector using a geneva mechanism? Answered

I am doing a project of making a geneva mechanism and then employing this mechanism i have to constructing a working model of film projector. First part regarding the making of geneva mechanism is complete but i can not find anything regarding the design and construction of such a projector that uses this mechanism.

Question by usama164   |  last reply

how to construct a simple circuit using LDR and transistor? Answered

Materials: LED, LDR, BC337 transistor, 10k trimmer, 500ohms resistor.. 

Question by animeguild53   |  last reply

Problem constructing a solar powered waterfall, please help? Answered

Hello, I have constructed a waterfall in my garden. It consists of a small dc pump which consumes 0.35a at 12v and a bigger pump which consumes 0.87a at 12v and a 5050smd led strip encased in a tube to make it waterproof, which consumes 3.7a at 12v totally 4.9a at 12v. I have a solar panel with 12v 30w and a solar charge controller with 12v 6 a capacity and a sla battery 2v 7ah capacity. I calculated a runtime of 1.4 hours when all three devices are connected together. But they last for only 30 seconds and then the charge controlled shuts them down with low battery indicator. I don't know what went wrong, can someone please help?

Question by himtec   |  last reply

Trying to construct a battery powered usb hub. Will this work??

Let me start of by saying that I suck at electronics and to tell me to build something from scratch would completely miss the point of why I am asking this :P What I want to do is use readymade components to combine into a portable usb hub. I want it to be highly customizable and powerful enough to power several usb devices at once. Such as powering several usb speakers, recharging a phone and so on for extended periods of time. And it has to be as energy efficient as possible without costing a gazillion bucks. If I was not at all worried about wasting power I would have solved it already :P Here are the parts I have picked out. 1. 12V Rechargeable Li-on Battery 9800mAH;=item41577f8596#ht_4008wt_804 2. Hobbywing UBEC-8A;=item3a65376410#ht_2324wt_785  3. Powered 7-Port Usb hub;=item4156468fe5#ht_4224wt_804 I hope someone can help me out with confirming that my setup would work. Or tell my exactly why it would not. I would greatly appreciate it :) /Nicklas

Question by AlmostNormal   |  last reply

Custom MP3 player advise. Both code and construction?

Going to take an old 60's portable radio, remove guts (except batter supply and speaker) and then incorporate an inexpensive mp3 player to play out of the speaker. I don't see too much trouble with this, but not sure if someone has done this before (seen similar, but not exactly like this, i.e. bigger radios, or ones that plug into walls) Also, seeing if anyone has written a psuedo random algorithm that will play 4 random songs from one list, then a random from another, and then repeat the whole process again. The idea is to play 4 ransom songs, then an old radio ad, then back to songs, etc. Anyone have advise (other than the "don't do it", or "it's too hard")

Question by robertocarlo   |  last reply

how to construct a camera charger and can anyone explain its working?

How to construct its circuit

Question by sandiri   |  last reply

I want to build a Transmission Line/ T-Line Subwoofer Enclosure

 I have been wanting to build a Transmission Line subwoofer enclosure to house 2 10 inch subwoofers. I'm not exactly sure what subwoofers I will be using yet, or the specifications on them yet either. The only thing that I am worried about while constructing this box, is the calculations. I am good in math, and geometry and all of that stuff, but I don't know where to start. If someone could take a moment and explain to me what the calculations and the steps that would be needed to construct such an enclosure, it would be much appreciated. Thank you. 

Question by brandencota   |  last reply

Noobie needs help on how to construct LED light project

Hi,I need help on what and how to achieve the following:I want to use led's to create an indoor ceiling lamp in the configuration as shown on the attached image. This consists of either self constructed strips (or bought strips //sources in the uk would be appreciated) of Leds, which even with my pitiful knowledge of electronics and components, I know, requires 12 VDC. As it is an indoor light in will run from a uk mains of 230Volts. So how can I safely rig this light, with the voltage difference?What I need to know is 'What' components I need to set this configuration. I found this web page,but not being electronics savy, I dont really get the jist, apart from a capacitor and resistor is required. see ( need to know what I need of what, and at what resistances etc? and'How' to wire it all together, in laymen fashion please!!Also, I have shown a total of 21 LED's in my image, but this is not set and could very to 4/9 a strip. I just want to cover a distance of 20cm. again sources on pre-built strips/kits would be cool.many thanksDan

Topic by danskimanuk   |  last reply

how to construct a low voltage protection system using annunciator?

Hi in our college for our first year mini project , we were given a problem statement and based on it we have to find a solution , but i am not able to ,so here is the problem statement "low voltage protection system using annunciator generate 5volt power supply from 230volt ac and activate beeper when power supply is below 180volt.choose components with appropriate materials.list the important property based on which the material is chosen for the components .draw the waveforms of current and voltage at specific branches and node.find the laplace transformations ." so if any one  does come across some ideas please help i have my first review coming by so reply ASAP guys

Question by archanapurvi   |  last reply

looking for help fabricating a mechanical arm for use in the construction industry?

I am looking for person or persons that posses the ability to help me build a mechanical arm. I need help with the computer hardware/ software end.  The arm will be used to hold a power washer hose.  Many applications I want to use it for. Endless possibilities.   Are you up for a challenge?  I live in NY but will travel. Dave S.

Question by davesender   |  last reply

i have a science project competition to attend but i don't know what to build and how to build it.? Answered

I need to construct something for a science project but i don't know what to construct and how to construct it.

Question by ultraed   |  last reply

looking for robotic arm constructed out of legos with three finger gripper and thumb used in under water contest

I'm looking for the robotic arm constructed out of legos with three finger gripper and thumb used in under water high school contest.? It was controlled with an IC off a Breadboad.

Question by wschmidt   |  last reply

How to construct a Bascule bridge using only popsicle sticks, glue and cotton strings?

How can we construct the truss structure and the hinges, mainly the hinges, using only the sticks, thin (1 mm cross section) cotton strings and glue? can u please suggest ideas for the design of the same?? We would also appreciate if you'd give us suggestions for the construction of the open-close mechanism, which incidentally, what a Bascule Bridge is all about!

Question by fear_black_death   |  last reply

Theory, execution and actual construction of a 'Bullet-Shot Location' like system Answered

 How could it be done? I have revised a version using only two microphones that once one of the microphones 'hear'  the sound, a timer will start and will stop once the next microphone 'hears' it.  This would essentially enable you to draw a line straight down the middle of the gun. It would also allow for tracking the location in real-time. How could you physically build it for a cheap set-up. I'll upload a couple of diagrams some time.

Question by Lance Mt.   |  last reply

How can I construct a piezoelectric generator using cheap materials??

Hello! I am asking this because I need help in making my research project for my fourth year in high school. The concept of my research is to harvest energy from people stepping on something similar to stairs. after harvesting the energy, I plan on storing it in a pair of AA NiMH batteries for future storage, but I am still not sure on how I will go about this. As a high school student, I don't have any advance knowledge on making generators like you brilliant people do.  Please help me. Thank you!

Question by maxene   |  last reply

I need help with programming the opening and closing of a lid?

Okay so I'm trying to build something that will allow the li I placed on a vial to open and close according to the time protocol I assign it on Audrino. The lid is a flip, spring action lid made from hard plastic. The programming shouldn't be a problem, but I wanted to see if there is another easier way to go about this keeping the whole thing under 100grams. At first I was thinking adding Velcro to the top on the lid and on the side of the vial that the lid retracts to. The lid moved by a micro piston of some sort all powered by a watch battery a chip programmed by Audrino. But I was thinking if there is some sort of mini lever arms or somehow rig a magnetic reed switch with a magnet an use the polarities to push pull the lid? I'm just having trouble with the design, getting very frustrating. I attached a picture of a very very quick doodle of what I mean. The top design is with the Velcro idea. Thank you so much, really hope I learn something from you guys and others too!! Picture of ideas: Thanks again!  :D  sorry for long message! 

Question by Aehtesha   |  last reply

How do I construct a GSM antenna to boost reception of GSM cell phone signals, inside my house ?

The GSM signal is weak near the place I reside. I want to construct a GSM antenna to receive GSM cellphone signals inside my house. Am a novice but have constucted a few projects. Thanks for attention.

Question by  

High school senior project: something I can construct and donate to the physics department any suggestions?

I want to build a demonstration unit that would be useful for the physics teachers.  It has to be fairly challenging to construct, but not impossible or particularly costly.

Question by danielsb7676   |  last reply

can any body help me in the construction of a wind mill ? or can anybody help me to study abt the parts of wind mill ?

Can anybody help me to do a study abt the components of the wind mill ?

Question by mysolar   |  last reply