Instructables Halloween Postcards 2012

Trick or treat! We love celebrating Halloween here at Instructables and the season is fast upon us. We always send out post cards to mark our favorite holiday, and we're doing it again this year!  If you'd like to receive a postcard, please leave a comment here by Monday October 15th, and we'll send you an address request through our normal prize claiming system. Happy Halloween!

Topic by kazmataz   |  last reply


Small self-contained energy source

Hello,            I am interested in making a energy source similar to iron man's arc reactor in the fact that it is small, self contained, and and powerful. I would like it to be hand-held, but I can deal with slightly larger or even desk size. It needs to be long lasting. I am well aware that an arc reactor is fictional, but I just need something that may be similar. It can be a large project (I have time) but needs to be not super expencive. Around $500 is the max I can go for!  I hope someone can help, 13islucky

Topic by 13islucky   |  last reply


How Do You Cut Your Piece??

Hey guys, this is my first Forum topic. Now today I would like to ask y'all how do you cut your pieces? I mean, I've been trying from ages and I can not get a smooth edged cut piece. Now I have used a hacksaw as well as a plier both of which have failed to produce a smooth edge. The results can be seen below. Also I do not have any sandpaper and neither do I have any shops near my house which supply it! Can I ask you all how you cut your pieces? Answer fast. Best answer gets a cookie! Lol. 

Topic by DELETED_akshat21045   |  last reply


Instructables in Edutopia

We got a nice mention in Taking Back the Class from July 2006 Edutopia. Some of the most intriguing aids reside at Instructables.com, a site produced by Squid Labs, a silly-sounding but serious organization staffed in part by alums of the MIT Media Lab. Instructables, part of the group's Engineering for Good program, tackles projects it hopes "will make a positive impact on the world," allowing anyone -- not just educators -- to upload detailed instructions on how to build or create a wide variety of projects. They're illustrated by photos or step-by-step drawings and include how to build a robot out of a computer mouse, how to craft a marshmallow gun, and how to create a helicopter toy.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


Our 2013 Halloween Contests are here!

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to announce our 2013 Halloween Contests. :D We have four categories this year - click through to find out more about each. FOOD // for spooky foods, both savory and sweet COSTUMES // complete costume builds including face painting and body painting PROPS // for costume accesories, anything you'll take with you while in costume DECORATIONS // for stationary objects used to decorate your home and yard   P.S. - We're changing it up a bit this year. Here are the most important things you need to know: Any Halloween themed project or costume posted November 8, 2012 and after is eligible to enter one of the contests. Each instructable you enter can only be placed in ONE of the contests, so choose the best category! The contests are open until November 11, 2013.

Topic by jessyratfink   |  last reply


Improve your room contest ONLY Drawings?

I had a questions for the improve your room contest. Is the contest only of plans for a better room or can you actually do dirty work like making awesome lighting arrangements or modifying an outlet to include USB charging??

Topic by HavocRC   |  last reply


Rubber Band Gun Made out of Cardboard?

Would anyone know how to make a rubber band gun like the one made by Vat19 here?: http://www.vat19.com/dvds/bandit-guns-pump-action-semi-automatic-rubber-band-gun.cfm I imagine making it would be fairly easy, but finding what pieces to cut out would be a challenge. The pieces probably would probably made out of thick cardboard preferably. (because cardboard is easy to get)

Topic by seawee65   |  last reply


template for building fullsize replica porsche (or other sports car)

I love this project here - http://thechive.com/2010/06/02/how-to-build-a-porche-for-a-few-hundred-bucks-40-photos/ I'm wondering where I can obtain software/plans to get cross cut templates. e.g. slices every 10 or 20 centimeters. from front to back. like how this guy in NZ built a db5 - see the templates that can then be covered- http://www.gizmag.com/3d-print-aston-martin-db4-replica/28518/ cool. you  understand what i mean?

Topic by altomic   |  last reply


Arduino ADC & Decoupling capacitors.

Hello, I have a sample Analogue to Digital Converter from Microchip.  (MCP3901). Now I want to use this ADC together with an Arduino (Uno) on a breadboard  in order to connect it to my laptop.  This works all very smoothly and all by all I am fairly happy with the result up till now. But, there is a small problem.  There is a small oscillation in the data when measuring over something with a large resistance (first 3 graphs).  The oscillation is absent (or greatly diminished) over things with small resistance. (last 2 graphs). I have only a basic knowledge about electronics and cannot get rid of (or even diminish) the oscillation. My guess is that I don't get the decoupling capacitors right. These are the symptoms: Voltage measured across the solar panel of a calculator during ~2s  (while lifting my hand). Look at the oscillation in the data . (the oscillation is about 50Hz ) And zoomed in: Secondly, in the case of a 100 kOhm potentiometer in series with a 2.2 MOhm          (There is no Omega in the special characters list?) I can see that the oscillation is scaled with the measured voltage. This means that the oscillation is probably internal.  (My guess is that the source is from the power lines which are probably not decoupled very good. And the oscillation manifests itself in the internal reference voltage) So, this goes from 0 to ≃0.2 V  (because it is a 100kOhm in series with 2.2 MOhm between 5V and ground.) increased in small steps (small turns on the potentiometer) Green = without decoupling Caps. Red = with decoupling caps (0.1µC ceramic in series with 47µf electrolytic, but it's pretty much the same with all caps.) (the oscillations here are more sinusoidal than the ones with the solar cell) And finally, there is no problem when measuring over something with a low internal resistance. Look at this graph of a (bad) potentiometer or about 100 Ohm.  And look at the near absence of noise and oscillations in the data. I can't immediately see why the ADC gives such clear data in this case. But this is definitely what I want. And a detail; Has anyone some Ideas on how to kill that oscillation? (I don't mean with fourier transforms and such)  If the decoupling capacitors are the problem, I have a limited choice in themc can you please say which ones I should search for? Thank you very much.  

Topic by Sparticles   |  last reply


Post your bike(s)

  I like bikes and to see how other people have them set up.   I've noticed that through the years I have collected a few photos of the different bikes I've gone through.   If you have a photo (or a few) please post them....... I'd like to see.  Feel free to include trailers,  gear,  or anything bike related. Thanks

Topic by onrust   |  last reply


recycled soda tab earings

 this is a likeable recycable, that will bring attention to any look.

Topic by pianolover10124353   |  last reply


color changing LEDs -not RGB

You know how you can buy RGB LEDs that fade between colors?  I'm looking for something along those lines, but with other colors.  I'd found a site once that had some, but I lost the link.  I think it had like purple/yellow/orange and other crazy colors, and I'm desperate to find these types of lights again.

Topic by aliasjanedoe   |  last reply


Preventing Kicked-in Bike Wheels?

After purchasing the toughest bike lock I could find, I got the wheels kicked in by a frustrated would-be thief who could only get through the plastic coating with whatever tool he was using. (he incidentally got all of the other bikes locked up outside my dorm.) The closest lockers are a 30 min walk away, and they only allow for a small, easily cut padlock. I have an uncharacteristically small dorm room, so racking it in my room isn't really plausible. Any ideas? Maybe a couple of spokes reinforced with steel bar, or a cheap homemade bike shed?

Topic by langleyLGLF   |  last reply


Metal Pedal Board

I want to make a aluminium pedal board. Will I have issues with ground, signal etc.?

Topic by Okapi10   |  last reply


iphone solar charger (again)

Have read through alot of topics but cant find my question answered... If i use 5v solar panels, with lets say 1000mA  power, and simply solder wires from panels to a female usb connector ex. if i buy a usb extension (male one end /female other end) and cut away the male part and solder the other female part to panels would this simple circuit charge a iphone ,,or would there have to be other electronic parts involved to make charging happen? If this does not work , im thinking of buying a car usb socket and solder to 12-15v panels ,   that should be bombproof as long as you now that the specific socket works with iphone right ? Downside of that , as i read somewhere on the net is that you loose power when transforming current down from 12 to 5v ? is that right ok hope someone has got a answer to me  regards

Topic by kristerh   |  last reply


Can't embed VIMEO code in VIDEO INSTRUCTABLE, can't enter contests

Hi, I am trying to create this VIDEO INSTRUCTABLE: https://www.instructables.com/id/ETCXMR0HMEXSW8C/ but I can't get the page to save the VIMEO embedding code ( Frankenstein Mad Science Lab - film set build from damian zuch on Vimeo.) ALSO: I tried to enter this in the Halloween Decoration contest but I get this message: "Sorry, your instructable isn't eligible; it may have been published before the contest entry date." The dates are right, I don't know what's wrong? Thanks DAZU

Topic by damianzuch   |  last reply


Heads up - we're sending out extra Halloween-themed newsletter this October!

Esteemed Instructabots, For the month of October, your favorite yellow robot will be sending out some extra newsletters with special Halloween content. We’re trying to get the best Halloween costume, props, and decoration projects out to you in enough time for you to make something for yourself before All Hallows’ Eve at the end of October. We normally send general interest newsletters on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Those will still arrive in your inbox and will continue to show off awesome recent projects. We will also be running one Halloween-themed newsletter every day of the week throughout October. They’ll feature themed collections of projects like “Couples costumes,” “Halloween Makeup,” and “Epic Costumes” with the best content from the past several years. Check your email, get inspired, and make something awesome this Halloween. You’ve got 31 days to make something awesome. Not to mention contests for Food, Decorations, Props, and Costumes. You could win a DSLR, tablet or other awesome things just for sharing what you made! You’re welcome to sift through all 2000 projects on your own (and make a collection of your favorites using our tools or Pinterest’s) if our themes don’t quite match what you’re looking for.

Topic by jessyratfink   |  last reply


Cardboard Halo Weapons

So these are my halo 3 weapons, made from cardboard.https://www.instructables.com/community/More-Cardboard-Halo-Weapons/ the new ones

Topic by nerfer192   |  last reply


Driving a bank of DC motors using 4x4 Driver Shield for Arduino

Hey guys,  I am trying to run 8 DC motors through this driver shield. I don't know how to wire it up neither do i know the code for it. I was wondering if anyone could help me.  Thanks

Topic by misty123   |  last reply


How to use Fiber Optics?

I am making a super-discreet earpiece/IEM that is intended for any use where you feel bored, where you are not supposed to use electronic devices. Meetings, lectures, classrooms, etc. Basically, it's a 3.5mm jack wired to a Balanced Armature driver. Essentially, I remove the big, thick and bulky housings of earpieces and leaving the smaller drivers in place. I've been using thin copper cables in the earpieces I buy. They work, but are still visible. I found that optical cables are near invisible, glass-like. I intend to wire them into my earpieces. So, do I require lots of circuits? I can do those, if they don't poke a black hole in my wallet. No more than USD100, if entirely possible.  I just want to know how to change electricity into light and back again, and allow for audio transfer from MP3 player to earpiece drivers.

Topic by chua_erei   |  last reply


Has anyone used the new Makerware 2.2.0?

Makerbot released the newest version of their Makerware last week. I haven't had a chance to play with it much.  There are some updates, but I've heard that some aren't so new (if you used skeinforge).   As cool as kitty-cat infill is, what do you guys think? Autodesk also released a 3D printing utility - on your 123D models page, click the "Fabricate" dropdown, then "3D Print at Home".  Give them a try!

Topic by andrewt   |  last reply


2 transistor Crystal radio amplifier kit - shortwave science fair

This kit is 5.00 dollars . To order send email. Then send check.  The amplifier  has the parts soldered on top of homemade circuit board. It is tested . I listen for KCBS, KGO,kSCO and several other stations with only a small ferrite on a crystal radio..  Only the circuit board is included.  The coil and tuning capacitor are not included. Many coil and variable capacitor combinations will work up to about  13 Mhz.  There is a small wire near the output which provides feedback when it is moved towards the input.  Each station is tuned individually as the feedback is different. Wrap several turns around the input coil (not included).  The variable capacitor is in parallel with the coil. The shortwave coil can be a 1 inch diameter with 13 turns of narrow wire. Stations I pick up are Radio Havana Cuba,  Radio New Zealand , Church and amateur. There are some cautions. It could include cutting tape for your circuit design.  The shortwave requires an external antenna. Schematic included. Crystal earphone is not included. Another transistor can be added for speaker  or 8 ohm type earphone.

Topic by halamka 


Peer Recognition: jessyratfink

Congratulations Jessy! Autodesk takes the time to recognize those who have gone above and beyond their duties and done what they can to make everyone's job easier.  Jessy was recently chosen as one of those to be recognized! Check out her profile and the 269 projects she currently has! (also, she is at over 12 Million views now)

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick   |  last reply


Some Videos I think You Guys Should See

While this may not directly relate to K'NEX, I notice a lot of stuff happening here in the K'NEX forums that are talked about in these videos. Please watch closely, and enjoy 'cause all of those videos are great. Come on, you know you do some of these... Everybody does this... And this... People who cuss on the internet really do sound stupid. "Profanity is no substitute for wit." And what is up with all this "swag" mumbo jumbo too? Swag comes from the word swagger meaning: "walk or behave in a very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive way..." I don't think that swag means what you think it means...

Topic by The Red Book of Westmarch   |  last reply


I'm Done

Hey everyone in the knex community, I have come to say that this message isn't pleasant. I am done with building knex guns now. I have focused more on real life and I am planning to join the military. I want to serve my country for a few years after 1 year of college. I don't want to play with knex or toys anymore, and I will focus on more important things.  So, thank you all for your consideration, especially my subscribers. You are all great people. After some time, you won't see new CODawesome knex guns. i know that I am not a popular instructables user, and I know that many people will be like "ugh, no one cares!"  This is a message for all to those who supported me in the past. Well, goodbye knex guns.

Topic by CODawesome   |  last reply


Making coolest self-raising loft bed for kid - please help with hardware!

Hi everybody.  I am going to make a loft bed that will raise automatically when my kid gets out of it.  What I'd like to do (please see attached files) is suspend the bed via pulleys and cables attached to one weight.  The weight would be just a pound or two (trimmable, of course) more than the frame, mattress, bedding, etc. so it will raise itself until the weight hits a stop leaving the bed a few inches from the ceiling.  If necessary some friction could be used to keep the speed reasonable.  At night it should pull down quite easily, and I believe that with this layout, it should come down evenly regardless of where it is being pulled.   I had wanted this to "float", but since it is going to be in a corner anyways, I may run a couple tracks down the wall with hardware to guide the bed and keep it from swinging. The big question I have is how to fasten this to the ceiling.  It is drywall with joists above.  Offhand I'm guessing the bed will be say 110 pounds, so about 225 pounds hanging from the ceiling with the bed empty.  I'd like to have an extra, what, 500 pounds wiggle room?  Worst case scenario, two 150 pound people sitting on the end of the bed...  I mean I can explain that this is a one person only contraption, but I REALLY don't want it coming down regardless of what gets thrown at this thing. Any ideas, criticisms, feedback, will be so greatly appreciated.  I think this could be really awesome, and I know it will make my son flip out!  He's got a very small room, and this will free up so much space. Thanks again.  John

Topic by jtiii   |  last reply


No Instutables for Curly Fries

There are zero search results for curly fries. Surely somebody out there knows how to make curly fries. I like Jack in the Box curly fries. Be the first to post an Instructable on how make great tasting curly fries! A copycat Jack in the Box curly fries recipe would be great. Here's your chance to post the very first Instructable on how make curly fries.

Topic by KomaToast   |  last reply


Wheelchair Stair Climber

Hi.  After a really bad car accident, my best friend is paralyzed from the waist down.  He's confined to a wheelchair.  He's also a big guy, 6'4 250lbs, and his house has a flight of stairs.  He uses a service to take him to appointments, and they send two guys to carry him down, and then up, but it's extremely expensive.  I googled wheelchair stair climbers, and there are a couple, but they are also really expensive and huge!  He uses a pretty standard invacare wheelchair.  I was wondering why there isn't an inexpensive or DIY alternative, basically a stair climbing robot with a powerful motor and battery.  Can anyone help me build one?  Or if someone builds one, I would be willing to pay for parts and labor.  Thanks!

Topic by silverfox1   |  last reply


Anyone familiar with the Phonebloks Project?

Anyone familiar with the Phoneblok Project? 

Topic by blkhawk   |  last reply


Pro Membership not working

I just paid for a 2 year Pro Membership, yet your site refuses to recognize my Pro status.  I'm also unable to download PDF files.

Topic by 70acres   |  last reply


K'nex Gun Review - RBLTR V.1 (Red's Breach Loading Tactical Rifle)

Hello All This is a review on 'RBLTR V.1 (Red's Breach Loading Tactical Rifle)'. The RBLTR V.1 was published on the 1st of July 2013, and is considered by red himself to be his most powerful K'nex gun he has ever built. After building the gun and seeing the internals, it uses a pin pull mech and they look very similar to the G36C mech. There are many nice features to this gun that makes it original like the comfort bar and the sights. The gun shoots yellow rods to anyone wondering. STATS Range 10/10 - The range of the gun is rather high than an average gun. I managed to get 50ft accurately and around 80- 90 ft at an angle. It it described that the gun can reach ranges up to 70ft in the original description so I think 70ft is a fair judgement. As I managed to get 80ft plus,  I think the rating is 10/10. Appearance/ Looks 8/10 - The gun at first sight looks pretty hardcore although this does not really matter, I personally liked the comfort bar and the sights. The gun has a solid build so I think around a 8/10. Internals 8/10 - The internals within the gun are rather good, although I have had a few jams so I think 8/10. Broken Pieces 9/10 - The gun does not use any broken pieces however in some places the performance of the gun will exceed if broken pieces are used. That having been said I think a 9/10. Comfort 10/10 - I admire the gun mainly for its comfort of the handle. This helps to make the gun more accurate while aiming therefore a 10/10 without a doubt. Rate of Fire 6/10 - The ROF on this gun is quite good. When reloading this gun it did not take too long but their has been a lot more quicker and so I think a 6/10. Sturdiness/Durability 8/10 - The gun is put together well as I said earlier and I find it firm. When building this and adding the comfort bar is seemed that it was weak but as I added to it, it strengthened. Although the permanent fore-grip is rather weak in my opinion and could be stronger so I think a 8/10. Overall - 59/70 - This gun overall is awesome and I would recommend to build it! Also keep in mind that this is my ratings and opinions of the gun. Be sure to check out The Red Book of Westmarch's other guns. I hope you have enjoyed the review! Thank you! Hunter999

Topic by hunter999   |  last reply


My K'NEX WASP (+ Mods, Internals, and Video)

The WASP (War Assault Semi-automatic Pistol, designed by oodalumps) has always intrigued me. I mean, come on, its a semi-automatic TR8, you can't go wrong with that mix. The gun is great. It is nice looking (well, I think it is, my mom said it looked like a backwards boat...), it is simple, it is almost foolproof, and it gets relatively good range for being a SA gun. It is not piece consuming, and it is heavily customizable. Features: Good range (for a semi-automatic gun): 20 - 30 ft. (it kinda depends on what ammo you are using, what type of bands you have, and how many) Easy trigger pull (compared to other semi-automatic guns) TR8 included Sturdy (except for the TR8 "bay," the area below the TR8) No bullet jams (I ran at least 100 rounds through this thing, and the only thing that jammed was the trigger) Semi-automatic mechanism could be used in almost any gun (The first 15 pictures are of my WASP [including one pic of oodalumps WASP], some of them may contain image notes if you want to know more about the gun.) After you have looked through the first 15 pics, you will notice that the background changes on pic 16. The gun in pic #16 is a WASP, but this WASP has a grey connecter magazine. Admittedly, this mag did not work the best, but it was a good try all the same. I believe the mag could have held 5 - 10 bullets, and would have been sweet if it had worked. Give it a try for yourselves. Now move on to pic 20. In this pic, you will see another WASP mod, but this mod has an oodammo rail that you could use. This rail was very crappy, and it needs some work, but, overall, I got it to shoot 20 ft. (not using oodammo). Enjoy! -The Red Book of Westmarch

Topic by The Red Book of Westmarch   |  last reply


Burning Questions Contest - Limited to the 15 topics?

Really?  Is the Burning Questions Contest Limited to only answering the 15 questions given.  From the contest description and official rules it sounds like you can only submit an answer to one of the 15 questions noted.   Is this true?  From the entries its obvious that this is not understood.  Let's expand the questions to be answered to make it more interesting.....

Topic by wannabemadsci   |  last reply


led motorcycle brake light working in conjunction with the normal tail light

Hi i am trying to find some information on how i can make an led work at around 9v constantly on then get brighter to 12v when a switched is pressed so it can act as a brake light for my motorcycle

Topic by smithyblu 


Sparks fly when you machine titanium.

Hey everyone, I was surprised at what happens you machine titanium at 3200 rpms. Check out the sparks that flew while machining a 2"x1/8" titanium disc. Some sparks would even combust in mid air like tiny fireworks.   Brent

Topic by Mrballeng   |  last reply


Solar Energy

If you have any idea about solar cooker than share with ME... 

Topic by ramoliya_ankit   |  last reply


how to convert negative pulse to positive

Hello.. I built a transistor scr to turn on leds in my car from my remote.. my remote uses negative pulses to turn on and off... now the problem is that the scr needs a positive pulse to turn on but it uses negative to turn off,, so turning it off isn't a problem.. Im pretty sure I can just use a transistor to do this.. here is the schematic I used to build the scr...http://www.talkingelectronics.com/projects/TheTransistorAmplifier/TheTransistorAmplifier-P2.html#Latch  ... fig 75b... is there a way to modify this circuit to make the turn-on negative or just a way to use another transistor to make my negative pulse positive? I could easily use an automotive relay to do this but im trying to make this as small as possible and its still on the breadboard.. I want to get this figured out before I put it on pcb.. thanks for your help

Topic by aclark32 


Bug report - login issues

Late last night (12-1:30 AM Central) and this morning (8:41 AM Central) I was unable to login. It would not accept my password and username. One time I got an invalid password error, but mostly it simply refreshed the page and did nothing. Happily, the problem resolved itself at approximately 8:59 AM Central time this morning. Just FYI. I'm using Chrome on Vista.

Topic by Lithium Rain   |  last reply


Filling Hollow Plastic

I need help with my cheap sword. It's hollow plastic so it tends to bend and flop. What should I fill it with so it's more heavy and stiff? I want the fill to not shift or melt/disolve the sword please.

Topic by Lotsa Bad Luck   |  last reply


Getting started to microcontrollers(designing and making a development board or just using it in a circuit )

Please I would like some help to get started with micro controllers. I would please like to know how to design and build my own development board but using a different controller and also how to use the to just make a circuit like the instructable on the Aurora 9 bar. Thank you.

Topic by Haryson II   |  last reply


"In the Blimp of an Eye" and "Wiebelbot" at Ciné Kadee in Ghent, October 26th and 27th.

For anyone with kids near Ghent, Belgium: You can see my "In the Blimp of an Eye" and "Wiebelbots" at Ciné Kadee in Ghent on October 26th and 27th. Ciné Kadee is a movie and multimedia festival for the young, packed with a lot of things to see and do. A.o. kids can help fly my blimp and build their own Wiebelbot. See you there!

Topic by masynmachien 


The coolest geek toy i've ever seen.

The title says it all. Simply put, the coolest geek toy I've ever seen. Granted, it's not really a toy but, some geek girl is going to be soooo happy. Wish I knew how to make this

Topic by sway 


Comment Tree Userscript

Discontinued, has been replaced with Instructables Enhancer Hey, still remember back in the day when on 'ibles there were comment trees? Did you also wish to get the nice old comment trees back? Well, as of now it is possible! I made a userscript that'll give you back the good old comment trees! Please keep in mind that it is still in the beta phases and thus has bugs. Anyways, here's the script: http://pastebin.com/au4rpH7T To install it downlaod a userscript plugin (chrome: tampermonkey, firefox: greasemonkey) and copy-paste that code in that pastebin as a new userscript. Make sure that the userscript is active on https://www.instructables.com/* Please report any bugs you find! Known bugs NONE!

Topic by Sorunome   |  last reply


You're a foreign AIR. How much is the $1.500 stipend in San Francisco?

So you want to be the next Instructables Artist in Residence? That’s awesome! Being on Instructables was one of the best experiences of my life (if you read my final blog post, you already know that). The only bad part is when you have to say goodbye. But, even if you manage to get over the after-Instructables broken heart (good luck with that), you have to be careful about the risks of a broken wallet, too. Yesterday, a fantastic author from another country asked me if the $1.500 stipend was enough for living in such an expensive city as San Francisco. Honestly, I’m not the best money adviser, but as a Colombian who was living five and a half months in the Bay, I want to share with you my experience with the economical part. Despite I had an awesome AIR program coordinator (Noah Weinstein), the help of my friends Alisson Sombredero and Jennifer Hansen, and all the Internet for investigating, there are some things you can only learn by yourself, at your risk. So, let’s suppose you are a foreign artist, from the middle class of your country, with a normal job, who wants to travel to the amazing Pier 9. What kind of things you have to keep in mind? NOTE: I’m not an official spokesman from Autodesk. And some things can change from now until you read this post. So, if you have any doubt about the AIR program or need some help, ask the Instructables AIR Program Coordinator. 1. Plan ahead: The AIR program is a very tempting opportunity, and probably you want to be in Pier 9 RIGHT NOW! But think: what is the best moment for you to be in San Francisco? How much time will you stay? Do you have any savings? Will your parents support this amazing opportunity? Do you have any responsibilities that affect your decision (a steady job, girlfriend, spouse, children)? What will you do when the AIR ends and you have to return to your country? Do you have any debts? How is your English? Do you have emergency contacts on the city? When I took the decision of being part of the AIR program, it was October of 2012, for starting March 2013, with a duration of three months (at the beginning) so I had 5 months to prepare myself for the travel. So, you have to think: how much time do you need for preparing your travel? 2. Your stipend: You will receive US$1.500 monthly. With good planning and some restrictions, you can have a good time with that money. Autodesk pays the materials and tools for your projects. But remember: the AIR program doesn’t cover air tickets, visa paperwork, health insurance, taxes and other extraordinary expenses. It’s all on you. Besides, it’s a stipend, not a salary. Be careful with those words when you talk with a migratory authority. A salary implies a work contract and work visa, and you aren’t an employee, but a vendor who probably will enter to the United States using a B1 Visa (Business/Tourism), with a stipend for covering housing, food and transportation expenses. So, don’t use the words “salary” and “work”. Use “stipend”, “invited”, and “artist in residence”. Instructables helped me with an invitation letter explaining to Migration what kind of activities I would do on the AIR. Autodesk is very prompt with stipend payments, but there is not an exact date for paydays. It’s between the first and second week of every month, but it can varies. So, at least the first two or three weeks of your time in SF are on you. And you have to eat, transport, pay your rent and deposit, and so on. Think between $2.000 and $2.500. 3. Housing: You will need to rent a room and to share the house with somebody else. And getting an economic and good room is a very complicated mission in San Francisco. Especially if you will stay only for 1 to 3 months (landlords prefer long term tenants). The best site to find a room is Craiglist. However, everybody can post on that site, so be prepared to find some bizarre stuff… Before you go, Google Maps is a mandatory tab in your browser. It’s a good idea to know the area. Every time you see a room offer, look how far is from Pier 9 in San Francisco. Keep in mind something: San Francisco is just a city from a big area named “San Francisco Bay Area”. In the Bay Area you will find a lot of cities and towns like Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, South San Francisco, San Mateo, Redwood City, Concord, San Leandro, etc. A lot of people live on the nearest towns and take public transportation to San Francisco. Don’t forget to investigate if the neighborhood of the room offer is a good area to stay. If you can’t get a room before you arrive to San Francisco, think about a hostel for the first days, meanwhile you find one. (But just for the first days). Or you can try couchsurfing. Don’t trust in the $80/night hotels on Mission, because you can find a very creepy experience. Back to the room for rent: Try to get a furnished room, or you will have to buy at least, a mattress (and you can’t take it home at the end). If you are good cooking, having a kitchen will help you to save money. When you get the room, most of the landlords ask you to pay the first month plus the deposit. The deposit is some kind of backup money for the landlord, in case you break something, damage something or don’t pay your rent. At the end, the landlord must return your money. Consider it some kind of saving. But be careful: try to have a written contract, always ask for a receipt of every money you give, show to your landlord the fails of your room (take pictures just in case), and don’t break anything. My experience: my first three months, I lived in Treasure Island (in the middle of the Bay Bridge. Believe it or not, it’s part of the city of San Francisco). Good neighborhood, old room, furnished, $625/month, $600 deposit (so, my first payment when I moved was $1.225), creepy landlord (if somebody named Israel offers you a room on Treasure Island, it doesn’t matter how nice he sounds, basically… RUN!) Next two months: I lived in Oakland (passing the Bay Bridge). Beautiful house, fantastic landlords, good neighborhood. $600/month, $500 deposit. The farther the house is from San Francisco, the better and cheaper will be the room. My recommendation: try to get something in San Francisco. All the fun is in that city! I loved Treasure Island, but probably you can find a better neighborhood. If you get a room in another town, you will have always to think how you can return to home if you are going to have some night fun. Maybe it’s more expensive, but you have to consider carefully the next point. 4. Transport: You will find these ways for commuting: • MUNI: This bus and metro system are exclusive for the city of San Francisco. $2 per ticket, but you can use the same ticket in the lapse described on it, or all night long. It works 24 hours. • BART: Bay Area Rapid Transport. This metro communicates San Francisco with the nearest cities and the SFO Airport, and it’s a quick way to travel inside the city. According to the distance, you will have to pay. If you get a room in the east bay area, think in more or less $3.65 per ride. And it doesn’t work in the middle of the night. • AC Transport: Bus in the East Bay Area. $2.10 if you are travelling inside Oakland, $4.20 if you need to cross the Bay Bridge to go to San Francisco. • FERRY: I never used it. I leave you that mystery. • CALTRAIN: This train communicates San Francisco with the farthest towns in the Bay Area. More expensive. Think in $8 per ride. • CARPOOLING: It works only at week mornings. In a marked point, a driver picks up two or three passengers for using the Fastrak (more economic toll to pay). Most of the time is free, but the driver can ask you for one dollar tip. Very economic and fast, only if you din't mind to take up a strange car with other two or three strangers. You can manage all of the public transportation options using something called Clipper Card. Avoid the taxi cabs. They are very expensive! My recommendation: If you live in San Francisco, MUNI is the cheapest, safest and best way to travel. You can get an Adult Muni-only Pass for only $66 and for that month, you can travel all you want inside San Francisco. You can get it in any Walgreens. Or you can try getting a bike. Living in another city implies you have to organize a logistic plan for your transportation, including: BART, MUNI, bike, AC bus, carpooling, Caltrain, Ferry, free shuttles, and thinking like Cinderella every time you are invited to a party in San Francisco. I prefer to pay an $800 room in San Francisco and $66 in transport, than a $600 room in Oakland and $300 in transport. Here is a recommendation from Canida: There is a bike share in SF. For $88/year, you can borrow a bike for as many 30-minute trips as you like. Exists a bike stand directly across the street from Pier 9. More info here. 5. Food: If you can buy groceries and make your own food, awesome! You can find microwaves on Pier 9. In my case, it was cereal with milk and fruit at morning, sandwiches at night, and lunch on the food trucks near Pier 9. Think in an average of $11 per lunch or dinner, depending of the place and if you want to add a soda or a dessert. McDonald’s and Burger King aren’t good options. You can find some good Chinese lunches and Safeway’s specials for less than $8. Remember: the prices showed on the menu don't include the tax. My weekly budget for groceries (for breakfast and dinner) was $30. 6. Cash: Ok, there’s some delicate point in this talk, and probably one of the only things for improving in the awesome AIR program: your monthly stipend probably will be paid in a $1.500 Rewards Card. The good news: a rewards card is very useful! You can buy on Internet, you can carry a lot of money on this single card, you can use it as a debit/credit card, and you can pay with the card in most of restaurants, food trucks and stores. The bad news: you still need cash for some things (especially for paying the rent). And there is no simple way for changing your electronic money for cash. You can’t do withdrawals in an ATM or bank, you can’t consign that money to an account, you can’t do international transfers, you can’t pay debts and you can’t get cash back when you buy stuff. Besides, some places require a minimal bought if you want to use the card, or charge an extra amount. And probably you will have to spend all the rewards card money before returning to your home country. So, be prepared. Luckily, I found an awesome person (I won’t say her name because everybody will ask her for that kind of help) who changed some of my cards for cash, so I could defend myself. 7. Shopping: You will need (or want) to buy extra stuff: personal care, towels, blankets, clothes, gifts, etc. The best places are Target (Mission St. at 4th) and Ross (Market St. at 4th). You will find some good sales, but remember: the excess baggage can be a headache when you have to return to your hometown, and airlines charges for that, $200 at least. 8. Communications: I got a good plan for my smartphone on T-Mobile: for $50/month, unlimited minutes, messages and data. Maybe you can get a better plan in another cellphones company. You will need specially the data. Believe me, in U.S., nobody does anything without consulting Internet first. 9. Tips: Tipping is very important in U.S. I’m not telling you have to give a tip in every place (you are in a personal “war economy”, after all), but there are a lot of situations where you definitively have to leave a tip, between 15% and 20% of the bill. And don't forget: you are in San Francisco, so you have to visit some cool places! Some attractions are free. Others, (like Alcatraz) are between $20 and $30. Maybe more, if you want the star treatment. Don't take a guided tour into the city. With enough planning, you can go to the best places with less money. Maybe it looks like too many troubles and considerations, but we are talking about moving to another country for at least one month. And remember, this awesome company will pay you for making whatever you want to build, using their out-of-this-world tools like 3D printers, lasercutters, waterjets and CNC machines, and giving you the materials. It's a fantastic opportunity you will love forever!!!!

Topic by M.C. Langer   |  last reply


Electronic Circuit

I have a spst relay(operating voltage-12v) using for switching the solenoid valve(24VDC and 0.5Amp) which connected through 24 V battery. relay is again connected to the transistor BJT NPN . So please suggest me that which transistor is most suitable.

Topic by jay_3189   |  last reply


How to mod keyboard to use SPST switches?

I'm converting my bluetooth keyboard into a foot controller for my iPad. I opened it up today and I don't understand how the signal gets sent in a keyboard. It looks like the piece of rubber presses down to a white dot, and I don't get how that works. How can I mod this to use momentary SPST switches to send signals as if they were keys on the keyboard?

Topic by brand0nized   |  last reply


Adding a timer switch to a water heater (need electrical and contactor advice)

This is going to be my first instructable, but I need a little help first. This is the plan: I'm going to wire a countdown wall switch to a contactor that is rated to handle the water heater. I know they sell direct water heater timers, but those are big and bulky. The are also set time of day timers. I want something that I can set that will turn off after a set time once the switch has turned on. I have found many wall switches that do exactly this, but they are not rated for such high currents. So, I will use a contactor to do the job. The diagrams I have seen show the wall switch to be wired directly to the contactor. First question: Will the contactor pull only the power that is needed or do I need to add a resistor so that it will pull significantly less power? In the same line of thought, would I save any power by using a contactor that has a coil rated much lower than line voltage and using a resistor for the wall switch to achieve it? My water heater wired up to two 20 amp circuit breakers. Should I assume that 20 amps is the max resistive load for each heating element? If so, will this contactor suffice? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Y4R0UG/ Thank you all.

Topic by Jarun   |  last reply


How to skech or program your arduino without any IDE down load and install.

Www.codebenders.cc.   They are on facebook viemto and utube over 16,000 members can not be wrong.

Topic by Liamthe1st   |  last reply


Arduino alarm on mechanical clock

I am new to arduino and I am trying to hook a mechanical wooden gear clock to trigger an alarm or chime when the clock hands hit 12. Does anyone know how I can go about this or any tutorial/instructable that does this or something similar?

Topic by zippystix   |  last reply


Identifying a Mask

Hello, I am after any info about this mask and any history of it please. Here are a few bullet points of info about the mask. -From Canada -Giving to from sister 25 years ago -Strange goings on have been happening in the house with horrible vives coming from it. for at least 15 years -When moved downstairs it started acting up. -Blowing on neck when reading book, man called Tom communicating with her, calling her by her real name but her family normally dont. -spiritualist have been in and sensed spirits. -the mask will not burn even though it is wood. -the women is now petrified Any help would be appreciated Thanks Hannah

Topic by Hannahlouise123456789   |  last reply