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On a 3 button mouse...

Is it possible to replace the IR receivers from the xy axis's, with a rotary encoder from the scroll wheel? Is it just a matter of removing the IR receivers and putting in scroll encoder dials from other mouses? Now on top of that same idea, can you use pots instead of the rotary scrollers? I cannot find a pinout from a scroll wheel or a IR receiver anywhere...one of these would be nice also. The mice I'm speaking of are the early type non lit underneath. However a workup of both types wouldn't hurt as this will help with the newer stuff. End result being able to use 3 separate dial axis and buttons from one HID mouse board.?

Question by mred2    |  last reply


3D printed combination lock anyone?

I am in the finnishing stages for a fully 3D printed dial combination lock, similar to what would be used on a safe.Unlike what you might find in other places there is no metal parts.No crappy amount of possible combinations either, 72 per dial dial...I took me a few weeks and quite some filament to get from a draft in Sketchup to something that actually works as planned.As it was more a training excersize in Sketchup for me I had the the following goals:1. Everything is 3D printed with as little afterwork as possible.2. All required springs are 3D printed as well as all other moving or stationary parts.3. Where otherwise fasteners or screws would be required only short leftovers of filament are used to keep the parts in place.Only exception for security reason is the mounts for the front dial and holder.These should be glued or screwed in place if the actual intention is to use it as a working lock.4. The lock shall not be pickable by means of felling, hearing or just trying out random combinations.The above points I got sorted to my satisfaction.However I would like some feedback from trustworth beta testers on the general design and functionality.It is one thing to design something that just works but a bit harder to design it the best possible way.Another big drawback currently is that it seems to be impossible to export proper STL files in Sketchup once they reach a certain complexity.Automatic services or programs to fix these issues result in drastically increased file sizes.Some of the problematic part go from just under 200kb to over 10mb after "fixed".This is not acceptable for me and I have to work on fixing this issue.Most slicers correct these tiny errors automatically and produce a correct print but I prefer proper STL files of small size and complexity over inflated ones that I then need to double check for a long anyways.A few details need changing as my tests showed that you can't drive up print details to a certain level without risking to be unable to mount the parts without further sanding.I hope to have a full set of clean STL files ready for testing by the end of this month.If you are interested to try it out and maybe contribute to an improved version your time will be valued by being mentioned as a beta tester for the upcoming Instructable.Be warned though!This is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for someone who does not know how to calibrate all aspects of the 3D printer involved.The lock also uses quite a bit of filament, currently around 37m all up but I am working on reducing this by replacing solid parts with framework instead where possible.The assembly can be time consuming and frustrating if you realise only once finnished that you have certain parts in the wrong position or orientation.But as said, my goals were not really on making it as easy as possible LOLWhy desing a lock that is neither secure enough nor free of metal parts if there is other options ;)If you happen to work with an Inventor and PLA on the left side then I can provide ready to go .gx files if prefered.They would then be already confirmed to be working and usable on one of my printers.Let me know what you think ...

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Does anyone know how to reset one of these locks?

I found this lock in an old box from when we redid our house and its in good working condition and i know the code to open it. but the code is easy to guess and i want to change it but i cant figure out how to

Question by mchs60chip    |  last reply


How to make a fast speed clock?

I'm trying to make a clock which its hands move fast, as fast as around 30rpm. Preferably it will cycle like a regular clock, just sped up. Should I attach a motor to the set hand dial on the back? The motor I have at the moment is a DC motor 12v 36rpm except it is really noisy and it needs to be powered by batteries, and I don't think it will last for the length of time I need it to, around 2-3 hours of continuous rotation.  How do I attach it so the motor controls the dial? Do I need to use gears? I'm after the simplest, most efficient solution, please help me!

Question by theclash77    |  last reply


Xbox 360 Spring Showcase 2008 - GOW2, Fable 2, Banjo Kazooie 3 and more!

Xbox.com - Press InfoCrapload of new information and screenshots for...+ Gears of War 2+ Fable 2+ Ninja Gaiden 2+ Too Human+ Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise + Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts+ Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode OneThe links on the left are videos inside of ZIP archives, the links on the right are normal pages with info and screenshots.I can't get any of the videos because I'm on dial-up, can someone tell me what happens in the Banjo Kazooie one? That's the only one I care about anyway.

Topic by Aeshir    |  last reply


I Need to add a 3.5mm headphone jack to my gaming chair Answered

I Need to add a 3.5mm headphone jack to my gaming chair before the release of Final Fantasy 13 in march. problem is i have know idea how to do it the way i want. this is what i want. add the jack so i can use headphones with my chair, but still use the volume dial on the chair and for it to mute the chair speakers when i plug the headphones in. it don't matter if i have to leave the speakers unplugged as long as i can still use the volume dial. please use my picture as a wiring guide. Thanx guys for any help.

Question by joypad    |  last reply


LED's, Resistors, and Potentiometers

I"m having some trouble with my LED and pot. My LED is a white 2.1v / 30mA My power source is 2 AAA batteries in series at 3v my pot says 500K on the back and three leads labeled 1, 2, 3 When my pot is at the off position, my LED is lit up perfect. but when I slightly turn the dial my LED starts to burn out and turns bright orange, and if I turn the dial further (Or let it sit for a minute) my LED turns bright red. I know that's ruining the LED... But what I'm dying to figure out is how do I know what resistors I would need to use with the pot, What's the math?

Topic by surlistyc    |  last reply


Wanted: Some one to finish a code for Arduino and A6 GSM module. Will pay.

Hi! I need some one to finish/rewrite a code for A6 gsm module. I want to make one button SOS system with voice call. I found a working code that can dial one phone number and display returned information from A6 module, but i need to do something more. I need to dial 3 numbers in a roll, based on a returned information from com port.(BUSY, ERROR, etc). I`m total noob, and the code is NOT mine. So i`ll pay 20$ for your help. Bitcoins or other method. For more information contact me. Thank you.

Topic by trifonoff  


how to make a large wristwatch case?

I am a collector and amateur restorer of wristwatches and I have a couple of projects which require purpose made watch cases. This is because they are old pocket watch movements that are typically 40mm plus in diameter and in one case the crown is at 12 o'clock not 3 like a normal wristwatch. The standard OEM watch cases are generally too small and I am looking for something a little more elegant (but still masculine) to show off these beautiful vintage movements and dials (as such I intend to use a crystal back as well as front). I would like to do one of the watches with a yellow gold front bezel (if not a gold body) to set off the gold leaf/plate(?) numerals and hands (on a white dial). The body, lugs and back crystal bezel could be in silver (may even be preferable) as the exposed side of the movement is predominantly white metal with gold train and jewel holes. I have been thinking stirling silver for the main body and perhaps 18Kt gold filled base metal or solid 18kt gold for the bezel. I have no experience with jewellry making and would be very grateful for any suggestions regarding techniques that a keen novice could use to get a professional result. I would also be looking at jewellers screws to connect the 3 pieces. Just out of interest the second movement does not have a particularly interesting or aesthetically worthy dial so I am toying with titanium for the second project...........

Question by handles63    |  last reply


I have no clue what this is...

 With a sequence of click-click-click-click-click pause X'3? ( with an initial click-click ), I'm thinking that this electrical dial was for an alarm, then again it may not be as part of a warning/alert system at all.  Given to my dad by his dad who served in the navy in Nam. Here's a link to a video I uploaded to YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huHTDpLh9sQ&sns;=em thanks!

Topic by Lags witch    |  last reply


What is the best mini knex gatling gun on this site? Answered

 I'm looking for a small, powerful knex gatling gun that uses a small number of pieces (please, no videos or slideshows! I have dial-up and it will take forever!).  I want a good knex gatling gun (3-5 stars) that doesn't use, like, a trillion billion pieces, so can anyone help me?

Question by 171292    |  last reply


How can i have my home alarm system email me system status?

I have a concord 4 home alarm system from GE. It currently supports the following communication methods to report status. 1. GSM by means of a $250 module to connect to alarm.com 2. Outbound dialing to a pager # which will send codes which you need to look up to see what they mean. 3. Central monitoring station service which it will dial and send system status to. I've seen modules such as the Telguard TG-1 which will intercept the outbound dialing and convert the pager tones and transmit them over GSM to a central station as well. What i'd like to do is one of the following. I'd like to get the system status messages from my system, but I don't want to purchase the GSM feature or a pager as I already have a cell phone. I can add the enterprise paging feature from at&t; but I just feel there must be a DIY method for this. One option I've been considering is a phone line simulator component to basically have it connect to a server I have via a fake modem connection and use the GE Enterprise Downloader software to have the system upload/download from that using the phone line simulator. Beyond that, i'm not sure what options I have.. Would love some ideas.

Question by srberube    |  last reply


support SIP, Mutil-user managerment, international professional communication IC gateway with one,two,four port on sale

Call Features1. 3-way Conference2. Auto Answer3. Call History- Most Recently Missed Calls- Most Recently Received Calls- Most Recently Dialed Numbers4. Call Hold5. Call Forwarding6. Call Mute7. Call Rejection8. Call Transfer9. Flexible dial map10. Call Waiting11. Caller ID12. Do Not Disturb (DND)13. DTMF Relay- In-band, Out-band and SIP Info 14. Hotline15. support SIP domain, DNS name i. of server16. Multiple Proxy, Registrar, Redirect Servers17. Supports 2 service domains18. Volume AdjustmentManagement1. Firmware Upgradeable2. Upgrade firmware through boot monitor3. Config through Web, Telnet 4. Upgrade firmware and configuration file i. through HTTP, FTP, TFTP5. Support Syslog6. ND5 EncryptionProtocols1. SIP RFC3261 RFC3262 RFC3265i. Backward Compatible with RFC25432. SDP (RFC2327)3. RTP/RTCP (RFC1889 and RFC1890)4. NAPTR for SIP URI Lookup (RFC2915)5. STUN (RFC 3489)6. ARP/RARP (RFC 826/903)7. SNTP (RFC 2030)8. DHCP/PPPoE9. HTTP Server for Web Management10. TFTP/HTTP for firmware upgrade11. DHCP Option Codes for SIP (RFC3361)12. 802.1P TOSApplications1. Voice Mail Integration2. NAT Traversala) Static NAT Routeb) Traversal by STUN/UPNP3. Support Firewall4. Support Route/Bridge mode I/O Interfaces1. 2 RJ-452. Dual 10/100 Switched Ethernet Port3. 1 RJ11 for Phone(FXS) , 1 RJ11 for LifelineUSB-phone

Topic by cobbyzhou  


How can I make a USB to 56k Modem or Ethernet to 56k/fax Modem?

I'm trying to reconnect my Sega Dreamcast to the internet, the trouble is that it only has a 56k phone-line modem. How can I "slow down" my internet for it, without spending $30 on a store-bought (http://www.usr.com/products/modem/modem-product.asp?sku=USR5637) or editing my computer's registry and using its internal pci modem. (http://dreamcast-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t;=1956).  What would you guys recommend? Thanks in advance. :) Edit: As far as I know, Dreamcast communicates like a PC does on dial up - though sometimes there's not enough voltage through the line. Could a spare dsl modem be reversed, providing a dail tone and 56k? This is a better option for me than all the other methods mentioned because its automated and more like using actual dial-up. (No registry edit, no manual line swap, no voltage line regulator

Question by dairyfarmer777    |  last reply


Optical Image Stabilization

Hi everyone, I have a little awkward question here but I am sure someone who knows a little bit more about electronics can give me good advice. I took apart the lens from a consumer video camera and took out the Optical Image Stabilization module in an effort to figure out how it works and possibly hijack the signal so I can control the movement. In the camera this module is getting the signal from the accelerometer so it knows how to engage the two electromagnets and counteract the movement (shaking). What I have done is take the leads that go into it and try to fake what gyro sends to this element. So far I have noticed that when I short 1 and 2 or 3 and 4 the element goes to one side or up. So I put a potentiometer on it (2K ohm) and it gives me some control by turning the dial, but not good enough. Has anyone any idea how can I achieve a gradual movement of this lens element vertically and sideways with a slider or dial of some sort? Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Topic by Sudija  


game varieties Answered

Here's my situation. I got Call of Duty: Special Editon 3 for the ps2 after playing the Xbox 360 version because I loved the multiplayer mode. But when my ps2 game arrived, it was only playable in single or online. I have close to dial-up internet. I have a Wii, Ps2, DS lite and Computer, So I was thinking about just selling it and buying it again for the wii. But I don't know if it has multiplayer (local). I could also get a newer call of duty. My last option is selling my ps2 and it's 14+ games and buying an Xbox 360. What should I do?

Question by Epeoples    |  last reply


Need help with power supplies

I've been reading about electronics for a while and watching the Make podcast and I've finally started making my own projects. Anyway I have some cordless tools with 3 extra batteries but only one of them still takes a charge. So I thought it would be cool if I could put a power supply in one of my dead batteries so that I could plug it into the wall. I've been looking around my garage and thrift stores for a wall wart that would get the job done (the batteries are 19.2V Craftsman batteries I think they pull about 2000ma) but the closest I've been able to find is an old laptop power cord has a DC output of 19v and 3.9amps. So I'm not sure if that will work or if the extra amps will burn out my tools or something. Does anyone know if it would work? If not how can I dial down the amps?

Topic by cannedham160    |  last reply


AC Wall Unit Timer/Thermostat

I have an older AC wall unit in my apartment. It has 3 dials – one for temperature (1-8 where 8 is coldest), one for fan speeds (low cold, high cold, low fan, high fan), and a manual lever that opens the vent in the back. I’m reciting this by memory as I haven’t actually looked at it closely, but it has one of the larger 3 pronged cables that plugs into a dedicated outlet in my wall (perhaps used for a higher voltage). In any case, my intentions are as follows:    • Have a timer for the AC unit to plug into to turn off on programmable intervals           o Monday – Friday it will be on after 6:00pm until 7:00am the following morning.    • One nice feature would be to give it a thermostat capability.           o If the temperature is below 70 degrees during these time intervals, for instance, then the AC unit will shut off, otherwise it will power back on.    • Another obscure (and I’m sure complex) feature would be to allow remote access to the timer. I know that this requires some unique hardware, but I’m familiar with programming and can visualize the methodology in telling the timer/thermostat unit a different set of commands (let’s say I know that I’m coming home early – I send information to the device via the internet to have it turn on a few minutes before I get home). I understand the last part is quite complex, but it’s not a priority at all, rather, a neat little feature that would make this all the more worthwhile (and in my eyes more interesting). I know that there is a similar device out there (can’t remember the brand name) that has a lot of these features, but I’m not willing to drop $300+ on something like that. For now, my priorities are listed in order per the bullets. First and foremost is being able to program a timer for a wall AC unit. Second is to have it detect the temperature of the room and set it accordingly. And third is the availability to ‘talk’ to the device remotely. My question for you is: how can I get through the logistics on this sort of project? What components (hardware) am I looking at (general price range), and what degree of difficulty will this entail? I have my computer practically right next to my AC unit, so communication with the device won’t be difficult in those regards. Otherwise, I’m just looking for tips and pointers. If someone happens to know of a (cheap) unit that does most everything that I’m looking for, then great. I’m all ears and really appreciate any feedback.

Topic by Phoenix5794    |  last reply


Spring thaw drainage dc pump

Every year we get large puddles around our property in low lying areas. Our front sidewalk also dips down at our steps and gets a huge pool. I could shopvac the puddles but the problem is they REFILL slowly but consistently until the grass dries out during the spring thaw. This is a big problem because in the morning these large puddles are ICE and are slippery as anything. Then they thaw during the day and the cycle repeats - for a month or so.So I took an old cheap craftsman tool box and put in a 12v5A battery and a 12v5A pump. The pump uses 3/8" clear hose that you'd see coming from a condensate pump. I put in a 20 mesh filter reservoir thing to keep out small particles from the pump.I ran it and WOW - not only did it work perfectly but even my wife thinks it is "cool". The pump works at about 1 gallon a minute. I purposely did NOT want a high capacity pump. I wanted to move the water slowly and allow it to drain back in. Also if you move water slowly you have way less problem with sucking in leaves, etc. It just quietly does its thing and in about 1/2 hour the puddle is gone. The problem is - overnight the puddle comes back.So I'm going to wire in a dial to slow the rate of flow down.I'd also like to make a water sensor switch. The water has very little salt in it so no electrolytes to make good current. I tried zip tying two wires to the mouth of the intake and wiring them between the battery and pump positive side. No dice.Does anyone know how to make a water activated switch that would work here? If I could get that done I'd have both flow rate and auto on/off. Sweeeeet.

Question by SumG1    |  last reply


X-Ray Polaroids

Here's a good use of old radioactive material. Use it to expose Polaroid film to create some ghostly images of old items.Why would anyone do this? The author puts it out there pretty clearly:For some time I've been fascinated with the idea of reproducing these types of images in my home lab without great cost and with relative safety. As a collector of radioactive minerals and other ephemera, I decided that I wanted to use naturally radioactive materials as the source for my 'penetrating rays' rather than an amateur electrical x-ray machine setup.Polaroid film is readily available and it develops itself. However, a workable technique needed to be developed. How to expose the film for hours or days without the need for absolute darkness? How would I develop the film reliably after an exposure was made?The answer came from Kevin Clark of the Yahoo group, "GeigerCounterEnthusiasts". It was here that Clark explained his simple, yet reliable, technique for creating inexpensive Polaradiographs.Items you'll need: 1. A Polaroid SX-70, Type 600, or Spectra camera 2. A package of unexposed Type 600 or Spectra Polaroid film 3. One metal cookie tin at least six inches in diameter 4. A few sheets/roll of aluminum foil 5. Radioactive materialThat radioactive material can include:- Old, unused lantern mantles- Salt substitute or certain rock salts (Potassium Chloride)- Vaseline glass (plates, cups, or marbles)- Fiestaware plates and dishes- Welding rods- Old camera lens or vintage prescription eyeglasses (look for yellowed or browned optical glass)- Uranium ores and minerals- Exempt, unlicensed radioactive calibration sources- Radium containing clocks, watch hands, compasses, dials, and gauges- Tritium gunsights and keychain fobsCheck out the site itself for the full story. It's a good read with plenty of information about the history of x-ray photography.via Neatorama

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply


Arduino stop the loop?

I have a problem with my code, i basically move a motor with the help of 3 relays, when a sensor does not detect the presence of an object part of a call, everything works perfectly, if it was after having called the function CHIAMATA() the arduino loop() stop unexplains, i certainly made a mistake, but i do not understand which. thanks for your help this is the code.... #include #include #include swRTC rtc; //create a new istance of the lib SoftwareSerial mySerial(3, 2); const int buttonPin = 19; const int sensorPin = 9; const int allarmPin =  13; int buttonState = 0; int sensorState = 0; int relay1 = 8; int relay2 = 7; int relay3 = 6; int var = 0; // initialize the stepper library on pins 8 through 11: void setup() {     rtc.stopRTC(); //stop the RTC     rtc.setTime(12,0,0); //set the time here     rtc.setDate(4,6,2012); //set the date here     rtc.startRTC(); //start the RTC   Serial.begin(19200); //choose the serial speed here   mySerial.begin(19200);   pinMode(allarmPin, OUTPUT); } void loop() { while(mySerial.available()!=0);{}delay(10);     Serial.print(rtc.getHours(), DEC);     Serial.print(":");     Serial.print(rtc.getMinutes(), DEC);     Serial.print(":");    Serial.print(rtc.getSeconds(), DEC);     Serial.println(" "); //stato riserva croccantini sensorState = digitalRead(sensorPin); if (sensorState == HIGH) {     // turn LED on:     digitalWrite(allarmPin, HIGH);     Serial.println("Croccantini esauriti");     Serial.println("Spia allarme ACCESA");     Serial.println("Tramoggia DISABILITATA");     Serial.println("Imposto la chiamata");     while(sensorState == HIGH) {CHIAMATA(); break;}   } else {     // turn LED off:     digitalWrite(allarmPin, LOW);     Serial.println("Croccantini OK");   } if (sensorState == LOW && rtc.getHours()== 12 && rtc.getMinutes()== 00 && rtc.getSeconds()== 5) {startmotor();}   //start manuale carico/scarico   // read the state of the pushbutton value:   buttonState = digitalRead(buttonPin);   // check if the pushbutton is pressed.   // if it is, the buttonState is HIGH:     if (buttonState == 1) {       Serial.print("Pulsante alimentazione manuale ATTIVO");                               // turn on:   // singlestartmotor();   }         } void startmotor(){ //numero di cicli di carico da eseguire (5) while(var < 5){ pinMode(relay1, OUTPUT);   pinMode(relay2, OUTPUT);     pinMode(relay3, OUTPUT); digitalWrite(relay3, LOW); //ABILITA TUTTO //AVANTI digitalWrite(relay1, LOW); digitalWrite(relay2, LOW); Serial.print("AVANTI"); delay(1000); // wait 2 seconds digitalWrite(relay3, HIGH);//STOP TUTTO digitalWrite(relay1, HIGH); digitalWrite(relay2, HIGH); delay(1000); //ATTESA PER INVERSIONE MARCIA //INDIETRO digitalWrite(relay3, LOW);//ABILITA TUTTO digitalWrite(relay1, HIGH); digitalWrite(relay2, HIGH); Serial.print("INDIETRO"); delay(1000); // wait 2 seconds   digitalWrite(relay3, HIGH);//STOP TUTTO   delay(5000); // wait 2 seconds   var++; }} void CHIAMATA() { mySerial.println("ATD329xxxxx135;");//dial the number, xxxx ix the phone number. delay(100); Serial.print("Chiamata in corso..."); return loop();}

Question by cris92    |  last reply


Portable aircon blowing the compressor again and again? Answered

I have my sisters protable aircon here and with the summer on the way I am now finally required to see if I can fix it. But I am somehow lost with this one... Problem: The aircon runs perfectly fine as it is supposed to for about 3 - 4 weeks with usage depending on how hot it is between 4 and 6 hours a day. But without any warning, noise or things like that the compressor simply stops running - or does not start. Noone really noticed what happened but noticed it no longer cools. Fixes so far: During the warranty period, which is over now, the unit was replaced twice by the shop. After that it had to be dropped off at a repair center where the compressor was replaced twice. After each compressor replacement we were told the compressor failed because the unit was not used for weeks and then it had to run for too long - total bogus if you ask me.... Checks from my side: Twice I measured the failed compressors and there was no resistance in the motor anywhere, totally burnt out or a thermo fuse blown I would say. Even after 3 hours of ongoing use the compressor won't get any warmer than my fridge or freezer compressor. So I rule out overheating. Pressure levels seem to be fine too although I can only measure from the service port and can't check hot and cold side seperatly. However: The unit seems to have a timing/safety problem. On my aircons it is impossible to make the compressor start again once it completed a cycle, only once the gas pressure has equalised it will turn on again. If, for example, the aircon just shut off and you set a lower temp on the dial the compressor will jump in right away. Even worse if an additional fan is blowing in the wrong direction, then the unit might turn on again seconds after it shut off. Conclusions so far: I am at the point where I say the starting under still high pressure is causing the motor to stall and then burn out. Only other thing I can think of would be a very badly designed compressor.... Since the compressor is still working (so far) I am now tempted to add a resettable fuse that is just a bit higher than the nominal motor current. Questions: A fuse might help to protect the motor but certainly is not the best solution. Am I correct to assume that the motor will need far more power to start if the system is still under nominal pressure and not equalised yet? If all my assumptions are more or less correct then what would be the best place to add a timer that prevents the compressor from starting again too early? From what I can understand from the electronics inside it seems a set of triacs of thyristors is switching the compressor, but all marking on them are removed ROFL Would have to do some more digging to check for they are driven to draw a better conclusion on the type, might even be tiny SSR's !? ;) At this stage I would consider a simple 555 timer that activates once the compressor is turned off by the electronics. Once running the timer will block the signal to the triacs or whatever is used until the time is run out. Might even go for a simple timer relay if I can find one in my spre parts boxes. If I go for a 555, how can I integrate it ? Can I just keep the start signal for the timer high as long as the compressor runs? How do I "block" the start signal from the electronics to simply reset the timer before it runs out? Currently confusing myself here with the starting, stopping, timing and getting it between electronics and compressor :(

Question by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day - Dec. 8

This sounds like loads of fun: Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day!Scheduled for December 8, 2007. Just spend the entire day in costume and character, but don't actually explain what you're doing- context, costuming, and behavior are key! Never admit you're a time traveler, and make really, really bad attempts at keeping a low profile.Three options:1) Utopian/cliche future- "If the Future did a documentary of the last fifty years, this is how badly the reenactors would dress." Think Star Trek: TNG or the Time Travelers from Hob. Ever see how the society in Futurama sees the 20th century? Run with it. Your job is to dress with moderately anachronistic clothing and speak in slang from varying decades. Here are some good starters:- Greet people by referring to things that don't yet exist or haven't existed for a long time. Example: "Have you penetrated the atmosphere lately?" "What spectrum will today's broadcast be in?" and "Your king must be a kindly soul!"- Show extreme ignorance in operating regular technology. Pay phones should be a complete mystery (try placing the receiver in odd places). Chuckle knowingly at cell phones. 2) Dystopian Future:- This one offers a little more flexibility. It can be any kind of future from Terminator to Freejack. The important thing to remember is dress like a crazy person with armor. Black spray painted football pads, high tech visors, torn up trenchcoats and maybe even some dirt here or there. Remember, dystopian future travelers are very startled that they've gone back in time. Some starters:- If you go the "prisoner who's escaped the future" try shaving your head and putting a barcode on the back of your neck. Then stagger around and stare at the sky, as if you've never seen it before.- Walk up to random people and say "WHAT YEAR IS THIS?" and when they tell you, get quiet and then say "Then there's still time!" and run off.- Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell "NOOOOOOOOO"- Stare at newspaper headlines and look astonished.- Take some trinket with you (it can be anything really), hand it to some stranger, along with a phone number and say "In thirty years dial this number. You'll know what to do after that." Then slip away. 3) The Past:- This one is more for beginners. Basically dress in period clothing (preferably Victorian era) and stagger around amazed at everything. Since the culture's set in place already, you have more of a template to work off of. Some pointers:- Airplanes are terrifying. Also, carry on conversations with televisions for a while.- Discover and become obsessed with one trivial aspect of technology, like automatic grocery doors. Stay there for hours playing with it.- Be generally terrified of people who are dressed immodestly compared to your era. Tattoos and shorts on women are especially scary.

Topic by canida    |  last reply


Eyeclops night vision 2 review

              I haven't used the eyeclops night vision 1, so I can't make any comparisons. From the photographs, you can see two sets of lights on either side and a ring of leds around the camera lens. When in low power or "stealth" mode, only the lights on the sides are on. In the dark, the glow very dimly, you have to be 3 feet or less to see  them glow and it's still very dim. When in long range mode, the lights on the sides turn off, replaced by the circle of lights in the middle. These are clearly visible at close range, even in daytime, although still with less intensity as a red led. The knob toward the eyepiece is for adjustment of eye. I don't see what it does. The knob on the end near the camera adjusts focus. Seeing things at long range clearly and close range clearly require different adjustments. It's real infrared technology. You can switch between "military" and "spy" The difference between "military" and "spy isn't much. One of them is normal, infrared vision, and the other applies a green layer, making it seem like the view from COD. The 6 knobs along the middle don't do anything.  It uses 7.5 volts using 5 AA batteries. There there is only one LCD, despite it claiming dual LCD technology. The skirt on the eyepiece is detachable. The strap feels pretty cheap, I plan on making it into a head light sort of thing later with paracord or elastics. Objects appear closer and you have no peripheral vision though. The latter problem is something all night vision goggles have. Overall, it's not a bad deal for a $50 toy. The most annyoing thing is that the dials are a bit loose, so running or shaking them makes a rattling sound, giving away your position if you were doing covert sneaking around or playing a prank.        This is useful for scanning an area in the dark without revealing your location. It's also useful for night spying. What this toy cannot do is read words or anything in detail the size of words. Although navigation is possible, the lack or peripheral vision is a problem. Possible Mods: Add an airsoft or rc car battery to replace the 5 AA batteries. The half near the eye piece can be cut off I think. You would have to add a new compartment for the batteries though and the light from the LCD would leak out. I would add a strap of two so you can use it hands free. I would also attach a smal telescope or lens backward so objects appear normal distance. The peripheral vision problem could hypothetically be solved the same way people make DIY fisheye lenses. Extra infrared LEDs flashlights and other lights could be added around a house, allowing you to cover up the lights, not exposing your position. Another idea is infrared led throwies. They would function like NATO infrared glow sticks, allowing people to track a certain target or where to fire.

Topic by starwing123    |  last reply


Memories.....like the corners of our minds......

Some fond memories: How many do you remember ?Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.Ignition switches on the dashboard.Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.Real ice boxes.Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner or an open hearth.Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.Older Than Dirt Quiz:Count all the ones that you remember, NOT the ones you were told about! Your ratings at the bottom. 1. Blackjack chewing gum 2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water 3. Candy cigarettes 4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles 5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes 6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers 7. Party lines 8. Newsreels before the movie 9. P.F. Flyers10. Butch wax11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (OLive-6933)12. Peashooters13. Howdy Doody14. 45 RPM records15. S&H; Green Stamps16. Hi-fi's17. Metal ice trays with lever18. Mimeograph paper19. Blue flashbulb20. Packards21. Roller skate keys22. Cork popguns23. Drive-ins24. Studebakers25. Wash tub wringersIf you remembered 0-5 = You're still youngIf you remembered 6-10 = You are getting olderIf you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age,If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt ! (PS: This is me :-) )I might be older than dirt but those memories are the best part of my life.'Senility Prayer'...God grant me...The senility to forget the people I never liked;The good fortune to run into the ones that I do,And the eyesight to tell the difference.''Hey Dad,' one of my kids asked the other day, 'What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up ? ' 'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him. 'All the food was slow.''C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat ?''It was a place called 'at home, I explained. 'Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:Some parents NEVER owned their own house (my Dad did, it cost him $14,000 for a 3 bedroom rancher), wore Levis , set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.My parents never drove me to soccer practice. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow). We didn't have a television in our house until I was 8. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger. I was 14 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called 'pizza pie.' When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.We didn't have a car until I was 9. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather's Ford. He called it a 'machine.' It started by pushing a button on the dashboard. I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every morning.. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them.Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it ?MEMORIES from a friend:My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to 'sprinkle' clothes with because we didn't have steam irons. Man, I am old.

Topic by Goodhart    |  last reply


External aquarium heater with digital control

I lost about 300 fish just a few days ago when my tank heater decided to stay on when it failed.(examination showed the theromstat contacts were fused together)So far I never worried about failing heaters as so far they just wouldn't heat anymore once the failed.This time I lost about $400 in living creatures and 2 years of breeding.Guess that is the punishment for being away for a few days - a bit over 50°C in your tank...Normal tank heater come in the submersible form or with the clear instruction NOT to submerge them abvoe a certain line - usually under the rubber capEither way they all love to fail within a few years if you are lucky, otherwise sooner.The one thing I always hated is that you need to find ways to hide them in your tank, in some cases you even need to a heat shield to protect sensitve critters in your tank.I though that there should be a cheap and easy way to eliminate most of the annoying factors....Simple, digital temperature controller....You find digital thermostats for your fridge and freezer for around $30-100 bucks, depending on the brand and features.Downside is they all activate the output once the temperature gets too hot.For under $10 you can get universal thermostat controllers- just a tiny white box with the display, two buttons and a few wires...Won't place a link but with the above you should find them on Ebay and Amazon for as said under $10.These can be set with the min temp being above the max temp - this effectively reverts the output state ;)Looks a bit weird when setting the temps this way but after that the power on the output is alive once the temp is BELOW of the set temp.And you can set the differential as low as 0.1°C if you like, but 2-3°C are fine for most tanks.Abandoning the internal heater thermostat....As the number one cause of failure apart from water getting inside we should not use the internal thermostat anymore now.To do this without messing around the temp is simply dialed way above what you will need for your tank.E.G.: If you want 24°C in your tank over the digital controller than the heater thermostat is cranked to 27° or higher.The on-off will be handled through the power our new digital controller provides.Sealing a heater....You should not have to do this but an awful lot of heaters simply fail because water makes it inside somehow.I use a bead of UV curing resin or UV curing epoxy glue for the first stage.The glass won't really expand, so the rubber from the cap won't expand much either.All we do is to add another layer of sealing protection.That stuff however is not always fully qualified for being suberged or just in contact with water a lot.So we add another bead of aquarium grade silicone on top.This also protects our tank from any harful chemicals the UV glue might otherwise release over time.Going external...With an external filter pump it just does not seem to make much sense to have a heater insde the tank.For some reason those filter manufactureres though about almost anything, including build in UV sterilisation - but not a heater...Using a bit of 5mm PVC drain pipe, two end caps and some hose fittings for your aquarium hoses we are set again.A bit of stainless steel wire from the gardeing section of hardware store helps too - the soft, flexible kind, not the really stiff and hard wire please!Design of the external heater:In one end cap you want to drill a hole of the same diameter as your heater tube, a mm bigger won't hurt too much but don't make so small that you need brute force to get the heater through the hole.Seal the inside and outside of the cap with silicone.If you want the heater to be replaced easily in case it does fail again (which it should not!), then you a pipe with a screw fitting and a screw on cap.Keep the assembly steady and secured while the (aquarium grade!) silicone cures - if in doubt let it cure for few more days.The lenght of the pipe should be so that there is enough space left in the bottom so the heater will have about 6cm until it would touch the other end cap.The pipe connections can be for one on the other end cap if you mount the pipe somehwere, otherwise both connectors should on the side of the pump and as close to the caps as feasable.Again, seal the inside and outside of these connections with silicone and let it cure.It helps if the fittings are of the screw in type with a backing nut.Downsides of having an external heater...You need to clean it out when you clean your filter, an added few minutes.If the heater thermostat is set too high and your pump is not running the water in the pipe and hoses will rise to the set temperature of the heater.For a medium sized tank that is no problem, for really small tanks it should be considered though - set the thermostat of the the heater not to the max if you think you might forget the water circulation one day ;)Upsides of having an external heater...The biggest benefit of having and external heater with a digital temperature controller is the lifespan.I used a dirst cheap 400W tube heater like this for over 6 years until finally the actually heating element failed.With the nicely illuminated temp display the times of checking the sticker on the tank or trying to read this tiny floating thermomoter are over as well.Possible upgrade options if you know how to solder or at least know how to correctly wire a relay...With an external tube comes the option to include a UV sterlisation lamp on the other end.The tube will be accordingly longer but a submersible lamp only costs a fraction of these ready made solutions that you still need to attach your your hoses somehow - and they are often quite big...Apart from that there is the option to modify a digital fridge thermostat (about $20-100 bucks) like the STL-1000.As most of them can't be re-programmed for other than cooling use and only have a single output for the compressor the internal relay needs to be replaced.Just select one that somehow fits inside once the original is removed and wire the NC and common output for your heater.Not in mood to fiddle with a controller and solder? No problem either!Just wire another relay to the output.Means the power that the controller switches on it will then switch your additional relay on.This gives you the option to use the proper contacts again to turn your heater on.Using a normal fridge controller this way however requires thinking the wrong way around for the temps.Remember!! : The frige controller "turns on" when the temp goes ABOVE a set temperature!!If you use it like this and connect your heater directly it means it will only turn off once the temp is BELOW the set temp and it will never again go below, only up and up and up....The added or exchanged relay however gives us the option to reverse this to some extent.You set the controller to the MAX temp that you want in your tank.Let's say 24°C , by default this gives a 3°C hystersis, meaning depening on the programming of the controller it will turn on at 27° or close to it - keep that in mind add realise that it means your 24° might need to be set to 21° so the temp won't go over 24° in your tank.Ok, got it, but what exactly happens now and why does it work?When the controller reads below the set temp, like when setting up a new tank with cold water from the tap, it won't provide mains power on the compressor output.It knows the "fridge" is fine right now.Our added relay will be off for the same reason, however we connected our mians power to the common contact of the new relay, the heater on the NC (normally closed contact) and from there back to neutral.Means our heater will get power when the temp controller in the OFF-state.Now the temp start to go up in your tank and sooner or later it will reach the set temp you adjusted the controller to.Suddelny the controller sees a risk for your food in the fridge to go bad and decides to turn the compressor back on to cool it down.As we added our relay it means it will turn on as well.Our NC, normally closed contact, opens and the heater turns off.From ther is just continues within the range of about 3°C....You added digital temp display to your nice fish tank, don't have to worry anymore about your heater prematurely failing and if you like:Some controller offer an alarm output.This can be used with an added relay the same way as before and would then warm you if you heater burnt out and the temp in your tank goes too low.Why so "complicated" if there is microcontrollers?Anyone can use some Arduino and do the same with ease - if anyone can program what it is required.However, even our average Joe with no electronic skills can to the above mods within a few hours excluding the curing time for the silicone.Back to the basics, and after all we already have a microcontroller inside out firdge controller ;)And as said, if in doubt then even a $10 one will do the trick without any mods to it.What about that stainless steel wire?? Don't tell me I wasted 5 bucks for nothing!You did not...Long heaters or UV lamps certainly benefit from it.But even a smaller one is much more stable inside the pipe if you create a simple wire cage for it.The stuff usually comes in a rolled up form of a 10 or 20 meters.With that it is easy to make some loop with the heater ube in the center.Just make a wrap around the pipe with enough left either end to form a ring or spiral that fits inside the pipe.There is not much spring action happening with this wire, so the loops can be quite big and you just push them inside inside while decreasing the diameter until they slide in.If you have a 3D priter you also just print a ring with a hole for the heater and some spokes to cneter it in the pipe.What about heat transfer and even temps in my tank?With the usual in tank setup you have to ensure anyway that the heater is in the waterflow.Otherwise one side of the tank warms up more than the other.With the heater being in the flow of the external pump directly we pump in warmer water and suck out the colder water the other end.Results in a more stable and even overall temperature especially on long tanks.Enjoy!

Topic by Downunder35m  


Shooting at UT Austin

Wow. September 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm The university is closed. Due to the events of today, the campus is closed. Unless you are needed for essential operations, all faculty, staff and students are urged to leave campus. Students who live on campus may return to their residence halls. Because the area around the Perry Castenada Library (PCL) is an actively investigated crime scene it is urged that area be avoided. As you leave the campus, please exit the campus from north exits. Employees who ride buses to work may catch the bus at Dean Keeton or at on 23rd and San Jacinto. Please go to http://www.utexas.edu/parking/ for shuttle information. If you are in buildings near the PCL, please exit buildings from exits away from PCL. Please direct any questions to 1-866-657-9400 Announced September 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm ---------------------------------------------- Important Numbers * Emergency Information Call 512-232-9999 * University Police Call 911 or 512-471-4441 from any campus phone * Environmental Emergency 24-Hour Hotline: Call 512-471-3511 * Fire Emergency Dial 911 from any campus phone or call UTPD at 512-471-4441 * University Health Services 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line: Call 512-475-6877 * Facilities Services Emergency Call 512-471-2020 ----------------------------------------------   Text Message Alerts You can sign up for campus text alerts to get emergency text messages delivered to your mobile device. --------------------------------------------------------------------   Gunman opens fire at UT in Austin, kills himself By KELLEY SHANNON, Associated Press Writer Kelley Shannon, Associated Press Writer – 23 mins ago AUSTIN, Texas – A student wearing a dark suit and a ski mask opened fire Tuesday with an assault rifle on the University of Texas campus before fleeing into a library and fatally shooting himself. No one else was hurt. The shooting began near a fountain in front of the UT Tower — the site of one of the nation's deadliest shooting rampages more than four decades ago, when a gunman ascended the clock tower and fired down on dozens of people. Within hours of Tuesday's gunfire, the school issued an all-clear notice, but the university remained closed, and the area around the library was still considered a crime scene. "Our campus is safe," school President Bill Powers said. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo expected the school to be "completely open and back to normal" by Wednesday morning. Authorities identified the gunman as 19-year-old Colton Tooley, a sophomore math major. His parents did not immediately respond to a message left by The Associated Press. The 50,000-student university had been on lockdown while officers with bomb-sniffing dogs carried out a building-by-building manhunt. After the gunfire, authorities searched for a possible second shooter, but they eventually concluded the gunman acted alone. Confusion about the number of suspects arose because shots were fired in multiple locations, and officers received varying descriptions from witnesses, campus police Chief Robert Dahlstrom said. Before reaching the library, the gunman apparently walked for several blocks wearing a mask and dark clothing and carrying an automatic weapon, witnesses said. Construction worker Ruben Cordoba said he was installing a fence on the roof of a three-story building near the library when he looked down and made eye contact with the suspect. "I saw in his eyes he didn't care," Cordoba said. The gunman continued down the street, firing three shots toward a campus church, then changed direction and fired three more times into the air, Cordoba said. A garbage truck driver leaped out of his vehicle and ran away, as did a woman carrying two babies, the construction worker said. "I'm not scared, but I was scared for the people around me," Cordoba said. Randall Wilhite, an adjunct law professor, said he was driving to class when he saw "students start scrambling behind wastebaskets, trees and monuments," and then a young man carrying an assault rifle sprinting along the street. "He was running right in front of me ... and he shot what I thought were three more shots ... not at me. In my direction, but not at me," Wilhite said. The professor said the gunman had the opportunity to shoot several people, but he did not. Police said it was unclear whether the gunman was targeting anyone with the AK-47. Oscar Trevino, whose daughter works on campus, said she told him she was walking to work near the library when she heard two shots behind her. She started to run and fell down. She said she later heard another shot. "She's freaking out. I'm trying to calm her down. I've just been telling her I love her and relax, everything's fine," Trevino said. Acevedo said officers were able to track the gunman's movements with the help of students who "kept pointing in the right direction." The police chief said he believes the gunman ran into the library as officers closed in on him, then shot himself in the head on the sixth floor. Police did not fire any shots, Acevedo said. Powers credited the school's crisis-management plan and social networking for quickly warning students, faculty and staff. The university's text messaging system reaches more than 43,000 people, he said. Laura Leskoven, a graduate student from Waco, said she was in a media management class when she received a text message from the university saying there was an armed person near the library. For the next 3 1/2 hours, Leskoven and about 30 of her classmates sat in a locked conference room trying to keep tab on events through Twitter, blogs and text messages. "We were kind of shocked," Leskoven said. "Our professor said, 'Well, we need to get upstairs' because we were on the first floor of the building." Student Joshua Barajas said he usually is in the library in the mornings but was delayed Tuesday when he made a rare stop for coffee. "These little mundane decisions could save your life. If I hadn't stopped for coffee — and I never stop for coffee because it's $4 — I could have been in that building," Barajas said. "It's creepy. I don't even want to think about it." On Aug. 1, 1966, Charles Whitman went to the 28th floor observation deck at the UT clock tower in the middle of campus and began shooting at people below. He killed 16 people and wounded nearly three dozen before police killed him about 90 minutes after the siege began. ___ Associated Press writers April Castro and Jim Vertuno in Austin, Ramit Plushnick-Masti in Houston, and Diana Heidgerd in Dallas contributed to this report.

Topic by AngryRedhead    |  last reply


Ultrasonic soldering bath

Making a working ultrasonic soldering iron is not as easy as I though it would be.Finding tanrsducer of suitable design and size is even harder.So I thought I start with something easier and share the thoughts here.If you need to solder impossible to solder things then quite often you could get away by wetting the entire area.For example the end of a wire or a lug where it won't matter that you can solder on the bottom as well as the top.Back in my days flux core solder was a rare and very expensive thing to find.So we had a little soldering pot and flux pot instead for working with lots of wires.Dip, dip, done....The pre-soldered wires where then easy to work with and the ramaining flux on then was enough.Doing this for metals like aluminium, stainless steel or even ceramics seems impossible at first sight.China offers cheap ultrasonic transducers including the required driver electronics for very littel money these days, despite the trade wars.The most obvious solution would then be to get a cheap and big enough soldering bath and to attach the transducer to it....Won't work though and if it does then not for long.Problem is firstly the heat transfered to the ceramic parts of the trandsucer and secondly the fact that most of these soldering baths use quite thick steel for the container.Add the that you deal with quite some grams of molten metal and you know where I am going.Building your own ultrasonic soldering bath to solder the impossible with ease!Project costs:40kHz transducer with driver board : about 50 bucks.Thin walled stainless steel bowl ( about 50 to 100ml but go bigger if you like) : about 2 bucks.Leftovers for an enclosure can be wood, plasic or your favourite 3D printer.Ultrasonic horn: About 500 bucks from your favourite engennering company or you need to make it yourself - I prefer the later.Main design considerations for the horn:We need something to keep the heat away from the transducer that also amplifies the power coming from it.That is why we can use a bowl or container that has a small bottom daimeter as the transducer if need be ;)There is a good reason a commercial horn costs a lot of money.They are preferably made from titanium and they need to perform as advertised right from the start.We substitude by using some aluminium round stock and a lathe.It is advisable to leave the transducer as it is!Do not take it apart to mount your horn directly onto the ceramics!Use a long enough set screw or include the required thread on your horn to mount it onto the transducer.If you prefer to use stainless steel doe to the lower heat conductivity then be my guest.The horn should have the same diameter as the mating part of the transducer for a quarter of the wavelength of the transducers frequency in the given material.Please look up how fast sound travels in your choosen material and calculate it properly.Having the lenght of the thick part right is quite cruicial.The thinner part that amplifies our movements should be about a quarter of the diameter of the transducer.For example: if the mating face of the tansducer is 40mm in diameter then the thin part of the horn should be 10mm.The length again is a quarter of the wavelength or the same as the thick part.Where thick meets thin please allow for a 3 to 5mm radius and make sure this area is nice and smothly finnished.Now, length is quite critical here....As we will mount our finnsihed actuator free hanging under the bath we need a feasable way to comapensate for our tolerances by creating our horn without a simulating software. I found that welding a short stub onto the container works best but with aluminum it is harder.I assume most will opt for welding a 6mm soft steel threaded rod onto the container.Either way the container surface must be kept flat for the mating surface of our actuator rod.So it is best to make the stud yourself or to use a suitable replacement - like using some flux and your stick welder for create a makeshift spot welder ;)If you decided on using steel for the horn then of course you can just mill a 10mm piece with a suitable thread and flat mating surface...What you want to end up with is a screw connection that has a flat mating surface and no empty spaces, fine thread prefered.Tuning the horn....The ensclosure is easy to make as a box, so the only thing to worry about is insulation but nothing to affect performance.So I just assume you have it all ready ;)With the horn at one quarter wavelength either end our thin end will be too long unless a short stud is used for a direct fit.So whatever you had to add for the part on your container or bowl need to be removed from he horns thin end.Try to keep the gad for the threaded part as small as possible as it affects the resonace.As things never turn out perfect the first try I prepare some thin steel washers - 100mm outer diameter in case you wonder and stick with the above example.I use a strong neodymium magnet and belt sander to create washers from very thin to slightly thinner ;)Taking off slightly more from the horns end will then allow toadd these washers if required - but please do a try as it is first when you think you got the measurements all right!For an aluminium horn you will of course use aluminium washers here.To do so fill the container with some water and place a sheet of thin alumiium foil on top of the water.Turn it on and within a few seconds you should see holes appearing in the fiol or even small fractures.If nothing but noise happens it is quite certain your rod will be a bit too long.Unscrew and take about one tenth of a mm off the thin end of the horns mating surface to shorten it.Try again with the foil and if no better remove some more material.Once you see some action try adding a layer of aluminium foil between the mating surfaces - screw it tight!The foil won't last long but if the action on the water is far better until it fails you know you took off too much.The washers come into place if the tuning won't work at all.Sometimes you can cut off a little bit again and again but the piece will remain too short ;)Especially if you have an aluminium horn and needed to use a steel screw on the bowl...So once the shortening of the horn fials you add a washer to get slightly above the original length and start replacing the differently thick washer until you find a sweet spot.The tricky part is over, now to solve the heating poblem...Using some glass seal as used on wood fire ovens not olnyl provides good insulation to our enclosure but also prevents the vibrations from spreading too far.As our hardware store won't just give use the little bit we need the rest can be used to insulate our container.Dending on the size and shape of your container I hope you decided to buy a container tha fits your heating element...I found that replacement coils for lab heaters work fine but some small fan heaters also use round heating elements instead if wire spirals.For a custom shape it is quite easy to use a coil of heatin wire rated for your mains voltage and a glass fibre sleeve for insulation.To keep it all in shape just wrap some steel wire over it - over the insulated coils of course.The temperature control can be as fancy as with a microcontroller or as simple as using a dimmer like I did.Most heating elements will go glowing red hot if the mains voltage is not reduced.It makes sense to limit the dimmer's movements accordingly by testing it.Just do it in the dark afeter exposing a small bit of the heating wire from the insulating sleeve.Once you see a faint glow coming dial it back a bit until you can see any glow - that should be the max setting.For a big bath or to save time you can of course crank it up to what the glass insulation can tolerate but be aware that solder can boil over!I do a temperature check either with a touch free IR thermometer of by checking how quickly some rosin boils off.If you need to dip bigger parts you need a higher temperature, so I think a digital or sensor temp control is not really required.Once you found a sweet spot to hold the solder temp long enough without getting too hot or cold just mark it for reference ;)Using the ultrasonic soldering bath correctly.Cavitation is what the work for us, so we only need to activate the ultrasonic part when we need it with a push button or food pedal switch.We do not use any flux or resin!That means if you used the bath for normal soldering and or resin then clean the remains off the surface first.A shiny and clean surface is best but the oxidisation will happen quickly so don't be too disappointed ;)Start by dipping in a clean copper wire.Some solder might stick but it won't look proper.Now dip it in again and while it is in push the button for about 3 seconds.Like magic, if tuned properly your wire is soldered and properly covered to where it was dripped in.Try the same with some slightly sanded or at least clean aluminium wire, but use the button right away for about 5 seconds.The wire should be coated with solder once more.You can try a glass rod or some stainless wire next but I guess the working principle is clear now ;)Not everything will bond with solder, especially not if it is not clean.A piece of glass with your fingerprint on it might just fail and some ceramics will only let the solder stick without actually bonding.You should always check the mechanical strength of your soldered connection before having to rely on it ;)And why would you need such a machine?Well, most people won't have any use for it.Those who do might not be able to afford a commercial model.And there is always those who just want it all...If you know why you need such a thing than you have an alternative now at a fraction of the cost.You only need a lathe or someone who can machine the horn for you.Another benefit is that for smaller containers it is possible to weld a small "bridge" over the top.Should be placed so the bottom is in the solder while top is above it.In many cases you will then be able to use this plate to heat up whatever you need to solder on.Like a glass plate where you would like to solder a wire to.Once up to temp turn the ultrasonic part on and use a normal soldering iron and flux flree solder.Works quite well for these small solar panel kits...Ok, and how far away is our cheap ultrasonic soldering iron?Not that far :)I already have a topic for this though....

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


How to ride DH safely

1. Always wear a helmet, wear body armor as well when needed (how much depends on course, and what you find to be suitable) at all times. 2. Look ahead of you. The faster you are going the further ahead you should look. 3. Stay focused and try not to concentrate or think while you are going at high speed, this tends to slow you down and/or cause accidents...practice alot and everything should come naturally with flow! - Before a run get a song or something that gets you "in the mood" in the back of your mind,and go for it - before you know it you'll be through the track/race no problem...you should all ready know the track turn for turn before doing this. 4. Make sure your tires have appropriate tread on them and are not cracking/damaged 5. Check your bike over in the parking lot before going up the lift. Ride it around and check the brakes and tire pressures. 6. Get enough sleep before riding and especially before racing. 7. Don't drink or get high before racing or riding (you can do it, and seen it done, but if you want to win or want to be safe...don't) 8. Stay relaxed and dialed in on the bike, be as relaxed as possible mentally before you start a race but be pumped physically at the same time. 9. Know the track as well as you can before racing it (the later steps will go into greater detail on how to do this). 10.Learn to 'pump through the ruff stuff'-pull up on the face and push down on the back side of bumps/rocks/landing trannys, etc... 11. Stay light on the back brake as much as you can and try to lock it as rarely as possible if at all...it may cause you to wash out. Only lock the brake on extremely sharp turns or to get into a turn if a cuttie won't be efficient enuff. 12. Try to go as fast as you can when you can-->PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL like a bat out of hell in the open or out of turns when/where ever you can. 13. Practice "cutties". 14. Buy the "Fundamentals" DVD available here on pinkbike.com or at most bike shops and study it...take notes if you have to. You will find how to do "cutties" on the DVD as well as many many more "fundamentals" for DH riding-----> BUY IT, you will be glad you did. 15.Off camber: make sure you weight your outside foot and stand the bike on the egde of the tire, that way it will stick 16. Rock gardens: the faster the better- you will bobble across the top and be on you way before you know it, rather than getting packed down and ending up with major arm pump. 17. Braking: only ever do real braking in straight lines, you can brake on corners but do it conservatively and only to slide around sharp turns better as it may cause you to wash out as mentioned above. The less you brake the faster you go and fast riding is a winning formula- think about that. 18. >>>Don't Crash It can have you out for the rest of the season and that can prevent you from winning races----obviously. Just dont ride like an idiot and attempt things that will probably end in you getting hurt. Ride within your limits! 19. (Words of Pro Down hiller Steve Peat from the "fundamentals" DVD mentioned above) "Stay as light as you can on the bike and pump through the back side of rocks or rough sections as a skateboarder pumps a vert ramp" to gain or maintain speed and momentum. 20. Trust your tires throughout the course. If you believe and have faith in your tires grip, chances are they will have grip fine. If you don't trust your tires and BELEIVE that they wont grip and you will probably fall, chances are they won't grip and as a result you will indeed fall. 21. Walk the track and look for new lines or which lines are best to take and are the fastest 22. Tuck when ever possible to conserve energy. Pedal hard in the open spots before the ruff stuff then tuck and pump and repeat. 23. True your wheels to increase your speed and pedalling efficiency 24. Don't use big fat mud bog tiresfor DH(i.e. 2.6"-3.0") EVER...unless your DH course happens to be a downhill mud swamp 25. Learn to brake with out losing traction , this helps in straight line braking before turns. 26.Push yourself in the warmups, (not stupidly) and give 95% of what your maximum was when you were pushing yourself, in the actual race. This way you wont fall, but you are still hauling a$$. 27.Practice shift points, it is very important to be in the right gear at the right time or youll be sucking wind trying to pedal a flat stretch in too high of a gear. On a fast stretch where you need to begin pedaling to maintain that speed, youll be spinning out. Know what gear to start in and what gear you need to be in at every point in the track. 28. If all else fails look fast across the finish line where everyones watching. 29.When learning, set your fork/and or shock harder than you would normally, this will teach you to use to body rather than relying upon the bike. 30. Try to pick memory markers for your self; tree stump, odd looking rock, etc... and break the course down in your head so you can become very quick overall. 31. Practice simple skills such as manuals (good for roots), Hops, roots/rocks) and of course cutties 32. Commit to berms, brake on a berm and it will end it tears, aim to "rail the berm" to do this - hit the berm at a speed that isnt too fast (this will cause you to slip up it) and not to slow (you will slip down and is slower duh) The ideal speed should carry you round as g forces will push you into the berm. 34.Take a couple of the "Learn to race" clinics offered before many of the sanctioned races. 35.Play with your set up, everything from seat angle, to brake postioning- it can all make a big difference. The more comfortable you are on the bike the faster youll go, the steepness can be different for each course(for instance) so tweak it a little each time but dont EVER change your entire setup before a race. 36.When walking the course, look back up at it. You will find new lines looking up rather then down. 37. While riding (including in the air) never squeeze the seat with your knees. This makes it impossible to flow smoothly, and makes you a ridged weight to be tossed around at the mercy of the trail. It may feel safer, but it will cause you to wreck and lose speed when you would not otherwise. In the air also, it you pinch your seat then you can not compress the lip and extend for landing. Also you can not whip and prepare for upcoming turns and bumps. The ONLY time that pinching your seat would be appropriate is when doing a suicide no hander which, if you can do it without loosing speed, is a cool way to entertain the crowd. 38.Learn to crash,it is an important skill to have that will save you alot of trouble in the long run. 39. Work your way up to the big stuff. Even if you are a good rider always warm up on an easier trail then go for the harder stuff you set out to conquer. Same for riding in general- dont go tackle the hardest trail on the mountain without first being able to do the easy ones---this may sound somewhat obvious but alot of people just cant get this bit of logic into their skulls without being told directly. 40. If the drop doesn't have a great tranny, hit it with more speed. this will cause you to have increased foreward momentum and less downward ( static ) momentum and make the landing smoother. let your bike go off the drop first. 41. If you are in the air ( off a jump drop or whatever... ) and your back end starts to dip too much, tap your back brake, this will cause the front end to dip forward. ( this is used all the time in Motocross) WARNING: Use this with caution and only when its a neccesity. 42. XC riding will make you faster. I always love watching the out of shape downhillers crossing the finish line and nearly having a hear attack. The more tired you are the more mistakes you make and the more likely you are to get hurt. Pedal! Then pedal more! 43. Train like a mofo. During my DH racing times I would spend the summer mornings doing 5-8 runs on local dh trails then dirt jumping and XC riding in the afternoon= Legs that were strong/fast as hell. Dont forget to train in the off season too. 44. Develop a training schedule not just for biking and racing but to keep in shape in general. The more you ride the better you will be. Like Ito was saying, do as much of each mountain biking discipline as possible with emphasis on Down hill. Cedric Gracia wins because he is a great all around rider as is Minaar. 45.Commit to the front end of your bike in corners. Watch Sam Hill, no-one does it better. NOTE: BEFORE DOING THIS, make sure you have practiced it and know how to do this technique at speed (Note is courtesy of Iceboy) 46. Don't pedal like a mad man out of the gate. Pedal, but let your bike gather speed and focus on keeping it. Racing comes down to one thing - exit speed , in particular your speed out of corners. Wait until you feel the flow before you start pushing it harder. If you pedal too hard from the start you'll flip in 60 seconds and get back on your bike a go harder to make up the time. Then you'll flip again. Speaking from experience on this one! It's all about being 'zen'. At least that's what all the dudes who keep beating me are telling me. Learn how to go as fast as you can through turns and sections to know your limits. 47. Make your riding FEEL slow when you are going fast! If you feel fast it's because the trail is catching up with you too quickly for you to process all the info in a comfortable time frame. Probably because you are too busy worrying about going fast and not feeling the flow. Look out, you are about to flip. It's that zen thing you're missing. 48. Practice having FLOW in all your riding, down hill (speed as well as flow), Dirt jumps (flow), XC(speed and flow), what ever (FLOW)... 49.Dont be intimidated by other riders, stay focused on what you have to do not what they are doing, if they crash pay atention to why, and try not to make the same mistake. 50. Learn to go over jumps at as high a speed as possible with out overshooting or losing speed by going too high. Jumps and learning to land them without thinking is a VERY beneficial skill to have... (if you want to stay low coming of jumps learn to soak up the lip...you will go just as far but you'll stay lower) 51. When doing a j-hop, bunny hop or going up the face of a jump don't forget to push into the ground and then come up to get more air. 53. The rougher the place you are riding the more ralaxed and flowy you should be trying to go . 54. Spend time at the track and just watch other riders(especially how they are going through the tricky sections that you are having trouble with), see what they are doing wrong and try to not make the same mistakes, also watch for where the speed spots of the section are. 55.Read Brian Lopes's & Lee McCormick's book " Mastering Mountain Biking Skills", this book covers everything you need to know in great detail from top to bottom, it is with out a doubt the most comprehensive guide for how to ride/race mountain bikes and how to handle and practice everything involved in riding. I HIGHLY RECCOMEND IT, and would say that it is the BIBLE for Mountain Biking! 56.Look where you want to go not at what you are trying to avoid. if you stare at the tree you are trying to go around instead of the trail around it you will more often than not hit the tree. 57. As mentioned previously-The faster you are going the further ahead you should look, always look at what lies further ahead when riding downhill AND avoid staring at your front wheel--staring at your front wheel will slow you down drastically and often will lead to crashing. 58.To re-inerate what Harding.Thomas was saying; do not focus on obstacles like stumps logs and rocks, because thats were you will go instead of where you want to go. In essence, keep an eye on where you want to go and you will go there. Do not look down at what your riding over, let your bike deal with the terrain, thats what its for. This is a very important tip to increasing speed and improving flow. 59. Before you go riding, I find that a simple 10 minute warm up on flat land and practicing tight turns and j-hops helps loosen you up and calms you down If you have any other tips, tell me! ill post them in the list.

Topic by struckbyanarrow