Temporary Car window Tint

How can optically clear(not hazy) window tint be applied such that it can be removed at night?

Topic by Toga_Dan   |  last reply



A No-See-Through visor for a Halloween costume?

Hai there! I had an idea for a type of robo-ish, army costume. I wanted a gas mask, with the visor tinted out, then a ring of red LED's behind it, but I didn't want my face to be seen, and i didnt want to buy a $20 can of window tint for a little visor when it might not even work. Anyone have ideas?

Topic by Justin Mai   |  last reply


How do you safely tint a Motorcycle Face visor yellow?

How would one tint a face visor yellow? Not clear yellow but a pretty solid yellow that you can't be seen from the outside but you can see through from the inside? Whats a good way to do this that's safe and such.

Question by ikoda   |  last reply


Insulating home window tint for cheap?

Winter is coming like they say on the wall...For me it means I need to find some option to increase the insulation rating of these old windows.3mm thick glass in not really fully sealing sliding frames is a pain.For my last place I had the permission to put proper foil on the windows at my costs.I guesstimated what I need and just ordered the required amount on a roll.That was a few years back though and now prices exploded.Last time I had to pay around $3 AU per meter, now the same material is quoted at $14.95 AU per meter :(My windows go from floor to ceiling and at these prices covering them would cost me more than a months rent.I am sure insulating window tint is available outside AU as well.Does anyone know any sources with half decent prices and low shipping costs?Found one supplier in the US willing to ship to AU but was quoted over $100US for the shipping of one roll (120m).Means all up I would be looking at still a bit over $600US plus postage and there must be cheaper options :(

Question by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Blue-ish tint to my projector?

I recently bought a digital lcd data projector from garage sale , i saw the projected image before buying and was happy with it , but alas once getting it home and setting it up the image now has a blue tint it. the projector model is,  Sony VPL-351QM  lcd data projector . i think it was made in about 1994 , and it weighs about 25 kgs, to be honest when i saw it i thought it was some sort of old digital cinema projector, like they use for the Ad's before a film. any help would be much appreciated.

Question by jesusofnazereth   |  last reply



Is it possible to tint plastic yarn so as to use the resulting tinted yarn for crochet or knitting projects? Answered

I have lots of white plastic bags, less colored bags from which to make plastinc yarn. The problem are : - the difficulty of getting colored bags; - finding bags with the right colors for a specific project. For instance, I wish to crochet a bag in white and ultramarine, but don't have any bag of the second color. If I could tint part of my plastic bags, I would be able to complet this project (a bag for my daughter, who is a Sea Cadet).

Question by Bedelian   |  last reply


HOW CAN I MAKE A TYPE OF PRIVACY WINDOWS(INSTANT TINT AT A FLIP OF SWITCH FOR WHEN PRIVACY NEEDED ANYWHERE/ANYTIME)? Answered

WHAT I AM TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH HERE IS A SAFE, HOPEFULLY INEXPENSIVE, RELIABLE, REASONABLE, AND VERY EFFECTIVE KIND OF INSTANT WITH VARIABLE OR ADJUSTABLE KIND OF TINT OR PRIVACY FEATURE TO WINDOW(s) IN PERCENTAGE AS TO HOW MUCH VISIBILITY IS ALLOWED THRU A WINDOW(s) FROM BOTH IN & OUT.CONCEPT IDEA: WHAT I WAS THINKING OF IS A FEATURE WE CAN ADD I GUESS SIMILAR TO TINT FILM THAT IS INSTANTLY, AT A FLIP OF SWITCH FOR WHEN PRIVACY NEEDED ANYWHERE AT ANYTIME ALSO ALLOWING VARIABLE "PRIVACY" TYPE OF SWITCH(SO A MAIN ON/OFF POWER SWITCH, AN INSTANT "ON" 100% DARKEN SWITCH, AND THE VARIABLE TYPE OF "DIMMER" AS TO IF WE NEED A VISIBILITY RATIO GIVING 0%-100%) - FIRST OF ALL WE NEED TO ACHIEVE AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE 100% VISIBILITY TO SEE THRU THIS GIVEN WINDSHIELD(s) BOTH WAYS FROM INSIDE AND OUTSIDE BUT IF I NEEDED OR WANTED INSTANT PRIVACY, I CAN FLIP A SWITCH AND/OR ADJUST (MAYBE A TYPE OF ROTORY DIMMER LIKE SWITCH)THE AMOUNT OF VISIBILITY THAT WILL CHANGE HOW MUCH CAN BE SEEN BOTH IN AND OUT.OK SO FOR BETTER UNDERSTANDING.... WHAT I WANT TO FIND/CREATE IS BASICALLY A KIND OF TINT FOR MY CAR (AND EVEN MY HOME OR OFFICE.) I GUESS MY FOCUS IS IN THE AUTOMOTIVE AREA BEING THAT WHERE I LIVE, WE HAVE ENFORCED LEGAL RESTRICTIONS BY LAW AS TO HOW MUCH LIGHT CAN BE PASS THRU THE TINT FILM AND WINDSHIELD OF A VEHICLE. HERE IN HAWAII A PASSENGER CAR HAVING MINIMAL OF 6 WINDOWS 1. FRONT WINDSHIELD2. REAR WINDSHIELD3. FRONT DRIVER DOOR WINDOW4. PASSENGER FRONT DOOR WINDOW5 & 6. PASSENGER REARS OR 1/4 WINDOWS BY LAW A FILM ADDED TO THE WINDOW CAN ONLY BE 35% DARKNESS TO THE SIDES AND REAR OF THE PASSENGER 2/3/4 DOOR VEHICLE AND ALLOWABLE 4 INCH VISOR TO THE VERY FRONT WINDSHIELD = CONSIDERED FOLLOWING THE LAW. OF COURSE PEOPLE DO GO DARKER AS IN UP TO 2.5% OR MORE COMMON IS THE 5%-20% ALL AROUND WHICH IS PRETTY DARK AND I CAN SEE WHY WE HAVE SUCH LAWS AS ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT BEING INSIDE A VEHICLE WITH 2.5%-20% ALL AROUND CAN & WILL GET DIFFICULT TO DRIVE ACCURATELY. ESPECIALLY PERTAINING TO REVERSING! LAWS IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT FOR 5-DOOR PASSENGER CARS, STATION WAGONS, VANS, SUV's, LIMO's AND TRUCKS. BUT WE WILL JUST STICK WITH THE MAIN 35% TO REAR AND SIDES. ITS EASIER....IN CONCLUSION, IF I OR WE CAN CREATE A TYPE OF METHOD OR DEVICE THAT CAN GIVE US THIS EFFECT OF PRIVACY AT OUR LUXURY. THE ADVANTAGES I'M AIMING FOR IS IT IS 100% LEGAL AS IN NO ONE CAN TELL RIGHT OFF THAT I HAVE TINT IT LOOKS VERY NORMAL TILL YOU HOP IN AND I TURN IT ON OR ADJUST IT THEN BEING EITHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE VISIBILITY RATE CAN BE NOTICED, IT CAN BE ADJUSTED DURING MY DRIVE RUNNING ERRANDS OR IF I END UP SITTING IN TRAFFIC UNDER DIRECT HOT & BRIGHT SUNLIGHT OR EVEN JUST PARKED AT A OPEN PUBLIC PARK, BEACH, WHATEVER... I CAN GO FROM 0%-100% INSTANTLY BY A FLIP A MAIN SWITCH, THEN BE ADJUSTED LIKE A HOUSEHOLD DIMMER KNOB ALLOWING FOR PERFECT PRIVACY OR SAFETY TO VISIBILITY DRIVING WHILE TRYING TO BLOCK OUT SUNLIGHT OR UNWANTED NOSEY PEOPLE PEEKING IN WHILE PARKED. HEY IF WE WANT TO GET MORE INTO IT AND COMPLICATED YET MORE TO LUXURY WE CAN ADJUST EACH WINDOW SEPERATELY! Ex.: I WANT/NEED THE FRONT WINDOW I SAY AROUND 60% & 5 OTHER WINDOWS MAYBE 15% BECAUSE I AM SITTING IN SLOW TRAFFIC DURING THE PEAK OF THE DIRECT SUNLIGHT AT SUN DOWN AS I'M SURE ANYONE WHO DRIVES OFTEN EXPERIENCED THAT IT CAN BE VERY BLINDING AND DANGEROUS AS YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SEE THE RED TRAFFIC LIGHT OR PEDESTRIAN, ETC... THEN I GUESS AS WE TRAFFIC START MOVING AND THE SUN IS NOW GONE IT IS DARK NIGHT, I CAN SAFELY ADJUST THE VISIBILITY TO ANY OR ALL WINDOWS...SEE COMPARED TO A ONE TIME DEAL AFTER HAVING A CERTAIN PERCENT TINT INSTALLED ON YOUR WINDOWS WHERE NO MATTER WHAT IT IS ALWAYS THE SAME, BUT WORSENS AS WINDOWS GET DIRTY IT GETS LESS VISIBLE TILL YOU GET CHANCE WASH THE WINDOWS OR PEEL/STRIP YOUR TINT WHICH WILL BE COSTLY & OFTEN MESSY. IN HAWAII IT IS FINED $250+COURT FEES+TAX, ETC. PER EACH WINDOW!!! MEANING IF YOU GOT LESS THAN 35% PERCENT LIGHT RATING ON THE MEASURE TOOL USED ON 5 OUT OF YOUR 6 WINDOWS = DAAYUUMNNN EXPENSIVE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ LOSS. AND IF YOU ARE CAUGHT HAVING EVEN MORE THEN THE 4INCH VISOR AND/OR THE WHOLE FRONT WINDSHIELD ITS FEDERAL OFFENSE AND ITS NOT GOOD... I DON'T EVEN KNOW OR WANNA FIND OUT EITHER.I HOPE I WAS AS BEST AS POSSIBLE CLEAR TO WHAT I WANT TO ACHIEVE. SORRY IF IT KIND OF LONG BUT DETAILS IS VERY IMPORTANT, AND I AM OPEN MINDED TO WHATEVER ANYONE CAN PUT ON THE TABLE IN IDEAS OR CONCEPTS TO THIS. NO WORRIES, JUST SHARE WHAT YOU THINK OR WHAT CAN BE DONE. PRETTY AWESOME IDEA RIGHT???? I HOPE TO GAIN SEVERAL IDEA CONCEPTS, DESIGN OR WHATEVER THEN MAYBE WE CAN FIGURE THE MOST EFFICIENT WELL ROUNDED BENEFICIAL TO PRODUCE. ** THANX FOR YOUR TIME

Question by KrAx   |  last reply


Is there a colored, yet semi-translucent glaze that can be applied to metal?

I'm making my friend a replica knife from a popular game we both play. In-game, the blade has a reddish tint. Is there a glaze that can be applied to metal that will give it a red tint, yet still be somewhat translucent? Thanks!

Question by Fado Korok   |  last reply


I want to make clear and green tinted kryptonite crystals out of liquid acrylic resin. Mold making?

 I want to make them like the movie crystals, about 8-9 inches long . I don't know how to make a mold or what to make the positive from before I make the actual mold to pour in the acrylic.someone said styrene sheets and bonds to fill and smooth.any ideas?

Question by darkside3131   |  last reply


Is there a way to dye lexan/plexiglass into a translucent green color? Answered

I need to find a way to make lexan/plexiglass clear green. Should I use window tints? Does that come in the color I want? More importantly, does it come in a spray paint? Should I heat up my pieces and submerge them into hot water with the color in the water and let it soak? Should I just paint it? I want to be able to clearly see through it, but I also want a very deep (not dark, deep) green tint to the plexiglass. Can anyone help me?

Question by MattGyver92   |  last reply


how do you take out the rear back window?

Im trying to take out my back window off of my honda accord 96 to remove tint, but i dont know how ...help -Paul-

Question by    |  last reply


Desoldering help!!! Answered

I am a beginner at soldering and when I tinted my iron I didnt let my solder dry and put an accidental solder bead on the circuit board.I cannot get a vaccum or desoldering braid how can i get the solder off??

Question by crazyJ113   |  last reply


Is there a heat resistant coating I can apply to the inside of my, non-cid headlight housings?

I want to coat the inside of my headlight housings with a, heat resistant, blue liquid to mimic cid headlights. It would save me the price of expensive replacement lamps, but has to be transparent tint.

Question by Hubiewan   |  last reply


Divoom MicroPixels RGB+W Matrix Board ... HELP!?

Divoom MicroPixels RGB+W Matrix Board ... HELP! A while ago I ordered a 8x8 WS2812B RGB matrix, and to make a long story short the matrix I was sent was not what I ordered, but Is very nice, I kinda like it! It appears to be high quality, the soldering is flawless & the chip & led placement is perfect, and it included a grid bezels &  tinted cover I am perplexed in a way I have worked with hundreds of adafruits & neopixels & RGB leds but I dont remember ever seeing these, not a 100bit layout with 25mm RGB leds, these are basically 1/2 size of the standard RGB 50mm leds -photos attached- I was able to get a test animation and it seemed to run quick, it looked about as bright & colorful as Neopixels but smaller, the squares are very defined with the tinted cover/diffuser I have no idea what technology this is using, I was able to find the developer "Divoom" but they indicated this product is not open source so they cannot help me via the support pages! Anwyas outside of them I cant find anyone or anything documentation about these board, im very curious about getting it working, ive made a few clocks & this might complement a neopixel ring if I can start addressing these! does anyone have experience with this led/ic setup? or know what the official driver is?

Question by rdlockrey   |  last reply


Deep Green Plexiglass?

I am wanting to build a lamp as homage to the Nickelodeon Guts trophy. I have everything planned out how I want it. I will build the base out of MDF and cover it in black felt, the top will be plexiglass with some sort of light source on the inside of the plexiglass box. My problem is, I have no idea how to tint/color the plexiglass a deep (not dark) enough green as to not see the light source when it is switched off, but translucent enough to light up and cast a green light. Anyone have any ideas? I have seen online where you can order colored plexiglass, but that will get expensive very quickly.

Topic by skane2   |  last reply


Nanotech makes white LEDs 5x brighter than before with warmer light.

New research with nanocrystals has created a new LED that gets 300 lumens per watt. Even better, the light is a warm white and not the cold blue-tinted white that we all know.The crystals absorb some of the LED's blue output and emit their own red and green light. That combines with the remaining blue light to produce a soft white glow.Existing commercial white LEDs are also based on blue LEDs. But they use a phosphor coating that converts some blue light into a broad spectrum of yellow light. When mixed with remaining blue light the result is a harsh blue-hued white. Link

Topic by fungus amungus 


locksmith andover ma

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Topic by kara9865 


Is plasti-kote enamel brush on paint transparent? Answered

I have some plasti-kote enamel brush on paint and I was wondering if it's transparent? I want to paint it on some bottles, but I want it to look like stained glass and not a huge block of paint, if that makes sense. I have tried the tinting trick with the mod podge, water and food coloring, but after i baked it, it still peeled off and I need something that will be a little more durable for the project I have in mind. I had these and found them when I was cleaning up my crafting area and though why not try them, but I don't want to waste a bottle since i sort of need all of them for the project I'm working on.  Any help on this would be great.

Question by taria   |  last reply


Odd wedding ring materials?

I was thinking about getting a wedding ring in the future and i am not the kind of person who likes to be traditional. My girlfriend is worth everything to me so a ring that would be worth almost as much as her would be a diamond ring made out of osmium, iridium, osmiridium, or platinum. i know that these are all in the platinum family (group) but would any of these make good materials for a ring? i would like an unusual material that possibly has some cool properties (like osmium has a cool blue tint). P.S. i know that osmium when oxidized has a smell and is toxic (and will cause the skin to turn black) i also know that platinum is a "traditional" wedding ring material and therefore can be made into a ring but the others i am unsure about.

Question by pmk222   |  last reply


small scale model boxes? Answered

I'm working on a diorama that has my local model shop in it, so i figured that, even though the windows are tinted, i can at least put some models and stuff laying around... so i could make paper model boxes. i have the dimensions, but i have two problems. 1) i don't know how to transfer my calculations (1cm x0.7cm x0.4cm) to the computer, and 2) i dont know how to make the model boxes 1/24 smaller without losing virtually al the detail... obviously im not looking for something perfect, but i also dont want the box top to be some random coloured pixels. can someone help with this? i could draw them, but i was hoping to offer these to other people, by making an instructable.

Question by the poodleo   |  last reply


crt monitor image distortion

I have huge 21 inch crt monitor which i found yesterday in the trash i plugged it in now. it works but the image has some distortions the color that should be black is bright gray and all other colors are like addition to it. the image looks very bright and with bright gray tint. setting brightness and contrast to minimum does not help much there are some kinda scratch lines across the display. the lines form a shape of a 'lightning' with horizontal lines and diagonal that connect them. the density of lines is higher when i switch to higher resolution the image size is severely affected by the brightness of what is displayed. it grows larger about 1 cm on each side when i open a window with white background other than that the monitor works ok in all resolutions from the bios screen and up to 1600x1200 what can be the problem ?

Topic by 11010010110   |  last reply


Infra-red flashlight help

Hello, I'm having troubles with my modded Infra red flashlight. It worked when I first did it, for a couple minutes, then the next day only one LED(One out of six) worked. The one that works is from the same package as the others, but the only visible difference is that the LED itself is tinted a lighter blue(Not visible in picture). The source voltage is 1.5 Volts (C battery) and the forward voltage of the LED's is 1.3 volts to 1.7 volts. I'm pretty sure the circuit is parallel, and there is a 2 ohm resistor is the circuit, so they shouldn't be over or under powered. Some help on what could be wrong? P.S. I'm in the right section of the forum right? I believe I am, but the lack of questions like mine makes me think otherwise. P.P.S. This my own thing and I'm NOT asking help on another instructable.

Topic by Kevio bro   |  last reply


Can you recommend an LED to me? Answered

I'm looking for a white LED that is 5mm or smaller.  My problem is that there is such a great selection of LED's on the internet, I can't determine which of the many options are best!  Here's my criteria: *5mm or smaller (cannot have a heatsink) *white (preferably without a bluish tint; a pure white) *wide viewing angle *bright (high mcd) † this is the order of priority for the criteria as well I understand that there's a trade off between viewing angle and mcd; ideally I would like to find a happy medium. Through the research I've done, I've heard names like Nichia GS, Cree 503D, and Jeled.  I'm not sure if these have a large enough viewing angle but regardless I wasn't able to find anywhere to buy these.  It would be great if you could include a link to a place to buy your suggested LED or at least insure that they are available for sale before posting a suggestion, after all it's not useful for me to know the name of a product I can't obtain.  As always, Thank you!

Question by cdubnbird   |  last reply


I need an advice on making electromagnet/solenoid from bare copper coil/other option

Hi, I have in my lab room thick tinted copper wire. I planned using them to make some electromagnet, but fail to find a solution on how to insulated them. At first I thought using those acrylic/enamel can spray, but I am not sure if it would fully insulated them. Would the acrylic/enamel penetrate between the contact gap and insulated them or will it just fail to do so? In fact, I am not even sure if it's a good idea to begin with, because I don't want to actually waste the copper. As an alternate option I thought using those magnet wire from the Microwave Oven transformer, the one with really thick diameter. I would uncoil them, and manually turn them.  I thought I could use some of your advice. Actually, I dont mind if the process takes time, I am just looking a convenient way. Thanks  Richard

Question by richardphat   |  last reply


Wood varnish questions

I want to varnish this birch plywood platform to keep it as waterproof and UV resistant as possible but also keep it as close to it's original pale birch colour as possible. i've never varnished anything before so i've been googling for answers and i'm getting some conflicting information, i've been looking at different clear outdoor varnishes and most claim to protect against UV light and not leave a yellow tint but most reviews say otherwise and some general varnishing info articles claim that clear varnish can't protect against UV at all and i'd need a dark stain which i really don't want. so what can i do to protect the wood against the elements and maintain the colour as much as possible? can i combine varnish with other stuff? i found some clear 'marine varnish' is this heavier duty than normal wood varnish or something?is there an alternative to varnish that will have a similar effect?if i need to modify the platform later, cutting bits out or drilling new holes is it ok to just apply another layer of varnish to reseal it or will it need preparing in some way or some additional step?

Topic by ambientvoid   |  last reply


Ideas for "Consuming" Outdated LEDs

Hello all! I have many of Cheap and Outdated LEDs (In thousands) lying around. These were purchased long time ago (2003~2005) when luxeon Stars were hardly available and costed Rs 1000 a piece. These LEDs are- 5mm 20 deg White ~100pc 4.8mm "Straw Hat" Low dome 100 deg White.~ Many 1)Both of them are rated at 20ma, 3.2 volts. 2) Straw hats are twice as better (Life, brightness, Even-ness) than low beam angle 5mm ones 3)I learnt the hard way using these in many precious projects. Now I know very well that 5mm LEDs dim considerably even at 20ma after a year intermittent use. I had made 36-LED matrixes (about 2 watts) with good spacing between LEDs, Legs uncut still went dim after a year. 4)There is a huge variation in Tint, Voltage and output of these. Straw hats are better , but still 5)These are not entirely Cheap in money per-se. Costed 3 Rs per piece. Today a reasonable spec Chinese 350ma Star costs 40 a piece. If we consider a bunch of 18 of these to make that wattage, They add up to Rs 55 6)Advices to throw them in the bin/ Donating/ smashing with bulldozers./ Overvoltage Fun etc are not my idea. 7)Don't want to spend tremendous time/energy/money than they're worth.

Topic by bhvm   |  last reply


Looking for ideas for a synesthetic exploration project!

I have a project I'm working on, the purpose of which is to create a kind of synthetic synesthesia by taking the information about different people normally interpreted by one sensory system, and transform the way in which the information is presented, such that it is being interpreted through a different sensory system. The most important thing to me is that there is some kind of legitimate scientific basis for the way in which the information is gathered and then reinterpreted. So, for instance, one iteration of this project that I've done was, using litmus papers, I determined the pH of various people's saliva. I then took photos of each individual and also scanned each strip of litmus paper; I then color tinted each photo with the color from their litmus strip, and thus, one could "see" what that person tasted like. What I'm looking for are ideas for sensory data collection. Or, really, even just data collection in general. I'm an artist by trade, and an amateur scientist by interest and inclination, so figuring out ways in which to reinterpret the data isn't something that I need as much help with. Particularly, I'm really stumped when it comes to measuring anything having to do with smell, and in specific, how to measure a given person's ability to detect smells (for instance, quantifying the extent of someone's hyperosmia). I know olfactometers and electronic noses exist, but have no idea as to how they work or how to get my hands on one w/ an art student budget. ;P I got the idea to ask around here for suggestions after stumbling across this instructable for measuring muscle sounds. Thanks for any help or advice you might be able to provide, and I hope you have a very lovely day! =D

Topic by pigeonpants   |  last reply


Help! Simple but difficult way to semi stick reflective mylar to sheet metal

Wow, the whole question fit in the Topic line!  Amazing! Well, anyway, we're in the process of finalizing a design for a solar hot water heater and are still trying to figure out a good/better way to stick our mylar to our sheet metal.  The sheet is about 10 ft. (sorry about that old fashioned non-metic system usage, but we're on the U.S.-Mexican border and most of the things here in Mexico are still measured in the old system - sigh) by about 4 ft. We have used axle grease - it's o.k. but hard to spread and to make into a VERY thin film.  If the film is not thin bulges appear in the mylar since itself is only about 2 mil thick.  It was good, on the other hand, because it allowed us to position the film correctly on the metal sheet... So, this time we tried silicone - out of a spray can.  It also seems to be good, perhaps a little better since we can spread it with a small paint roller but after several days it's not holding the mylar down well enought (which is probably to be expected since we're using silicone and it's not really sticky). So, we need something which will allow us to position the film (slippery) while being a very, tiny, wee, itsy bitsy sticky in the long run.  It cannot of course be anything biodegradable - like honey - yuck - for obvious reasons (it's going to be in the sun and eventually it will, biodegrade, into who knows what). Maybe silicone and ... Elmer's glue???  We're stuck.  And, after googleing till our eyes have dropped out, we can't find any reflective mylar with a sticky backing.  What the heck do they stick on those window tinting sheets??? Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated and of course, Have a wonderful afternoon!  :)

Topic by frazelle09   |  last reply


casting a section of a large sphere in polyester resin

Hello, all.  I bought a nice pendant lamp for my house several months back from one of the local big box stores on clearance.  I only got around to putting it up recently, and when I opened it (yes, I already feel stupid for not having opened it right away to check on it...), the main glass lamp shade was completely shattered! Sadly, the lamp was on clearance because it had been discontinued, and none of the stores in Canada have any of them in stock anywhere, so getting replacement is impossible. I really like the lamp, though, as it matches several of the other lights that my wife and I have purchased, so I figured that I would try my hand at making a replacement shade!  The shade is shaped as follows: it is a section of a sphere 19.5" across (the diameter of the section, not the of the entire sphere), and 5" deep.  A little math (x^2 + y^2 = 2yr) lets me know that the radius of the sphere that this shade is a section of is 12". Here is my plan, and I would like to know if I am crazy or if anyone has a better suggestion.  I am going to try to cast a replacement shade from polyester resin, 1/4" to 3/8" thick.  I was going to make a 2-piece mould from plaster, and use my wood router suspended from a gimbal (on a 12" radius arm) to cut the outer mould.  Similarly, I would suspend a plaster blank from the gimbal over my router (on a 11 5/8" radius arm) to cut the inner mould.  Then I would simply coat the two halves with mould release and pour/pump the resin into the gap between the halves.  I'll tint the resin with some dye to get it the amber colour that I want, then lightly sand to get a smoky translucent finish. My only questions are: 1)  will I be able to get this mould apart without destroying the resin casting, and 2) will polyester resin be strong enough for this kind of casting?  Another option would be to make a wooden mould, but I thought that I might be able to chip away a plaster mould, whereas a wooden mould would be a lot harder to get off of a stuck casting! Thanks!   PS, of course, if this works, I'll post an instructable of it!

Topic by roboguy   |  last reply


HELP, I NEED / desperately want A SUPER BRIGHT FLASHLIGHT for camping / boy-scouts [answered]

Inappropriate Incomplete Spam first thing first, i want absolutely the BRIGHTEST flashlight i can my hands on! how many lumen's should i shoot for (to impress others)? 100, 270, 350, 600, 900, 1500, 3600, 5000+ (5000 Lm i pretty sure is overkill)? i have an led flashlight i got for 12$ and is advertised to be over 600 Lm but I'm pretty sure its maximum is 70Lm. (it seems to be slightly brighter than the 9 LED tactical flashlight i had) but I'm not sure. i have no light meter. the LED itself is (as advertised) is CREE (i don't believe that either but again, I'm not sure).   i would like to make portable HID flashlight. my plans are to: BUY: 6V LANTERN HID KIT (BULBS) HID BALLAST 12V BATTERY (I"m not sure where i could find a suitable 12-15V 35W [or more] battery that will fit nice and snug in the lantern with room for the ballast. the battery should last almost a week with some moderate use.) i think a drill battery would work. i will take the original light out and replace it with the HID. then, i will need to find a place for the slim ballast [but where???] . then,i need to find a battery (i think a 12V drill battery should work [will a 14.4V drill battery with the case off fit in the modified 6V lantern flashlight? if so, where can i buy a affordable and well suited 12V-16V battery?] if there isn't any small, powerful (and preferably cheap), battery in existence? [4 by 4 by 2 array of AA rechargeable batteries seems promising and so does 6^2 by 2 array seem promising. 6 by 6 by 2 AAA] will the ballast and lamp work with less power (6W-34W)? is there a simple and small ballast circuit schematic i can follow? i never found one. so i assume no. :-( also is the 5000K neutral white, warm or cool? (i think it is the closest to neutral white with a VARY slight blueish tint) i think i got a grasb on this and i want 6000K (i want something led white but still bright and useful enough to easly see what i'm doing on campouts)

Question by -max-   |  last reply


Very basic electronics kits for 2 yearolds!?

My 2 year old daughter appears to enjoy the very basic geeky things that she's gotten her hands on so far.  Things like plugging headphones into the iPad to listen to music; building things with large Lego blocks; turning torches on and off; playing with little remote-controlled-cars etc etc. I'd like to see how she gets on with some sort of basic "electronics kit" which allows her to experiment a little while teaching her some very basic principals (like circuits require both a power source and a load). All existing electronics kits I've seen would be way to advanced for her.  For example, she's years away from being able to understand what "completing a circuit" means (i.e. any kits which require you to connect both a negative and positive cable from power source to actuator would be way to abstract for her). I'm thinking of making her a very, very basic "electronics kit".  Each component would be in its own little tinted, semi-transparent box. There would be several "sources" of electrical power (small battery pack, PV cells, little hand-cranked dynamo etc).  Each source module would have a single large DC socket to send power to another module.  Each source would produce about 3 volts and would have short-circuit protection. There would be several "actuator" modules like a lamp, motor, door bell, volt meter, radio etc.  These modules would each have a single small DC socket. Cables would have a large DC socket on one end and a small DC socket on the other.  The use of large DC sockets on the power source modules and small DC sockets on the actuator modules should make it mechanically impossible to create a "wrong" circuit (like connecting a battery pack to a  PV cell). And maybe some basic "control" modules like a switch, light-operated switch, oscillator etc.  Each  control module would have both a small DC socket (power input) and a large DC socket (power output to actuator). Each class of module (actuator, controller, power source) would have its own colour. My first question is: does a similar kit exist for purchase? If not, I'll make the kit for my daughter, unless anyone has good evidence that such a project would still be way to advanced for a 2 year old.  Of course, I'll start with the real basics like just a battery module, switch, light and two cables to see how she gets on with it.

Topic by jack_kelly   |  last reply


Unusual uses for coffee machine cleaner or delimer/descaler

Some people can't be without coffee, and some love to keep thei machines as clean as possible.Teste is all and if is not right the day already starts bad...But what is that stuff really?It needs to be food safe, shall not damage or corrode and part of the machine and of course can't be harful or even toxic.The main ingredient is an acid.Some acids are considered to be very corrosive on almost anything, others can set set organic material on fire and some even etch glass.Limestone, coffee staind and build up as well as most minerals that might build up in your machine magically disappear with just some added water and time.Our candidate is named Citric Acid!Very weak on things we thing about when comes to strong acids but quite powerful on the offending stuff in our kettles and coffee machines.Knowing that means we could abandone quite a lot of expensive and specialised cleaning produduct for a fully natural and harmless alternative.Calcium deposits in the bath clean up really nice and quick with it - but read the warnings and dangers below!Same for long abused toilets as mentioned in my topic about it.Stainless steel cooking pots or pans are still a favourite for some people, the pain of cleaning them once something really burnt on badly not so much.Vinegar is a prefered choice here, if you stand the smell when heating it up.Citric acid can not only provide the same cleaning strength but also deal with the things vinegar can't.In some cases stainless steel can develop rusty pits or discoloration from overheating (not trying to make it glow!).And where vinegar just cleans off the burnt in food, citric acid also clean the steel itself.Up to a degree even badly discolored things come back to a silvery look if you give it some time to work.Ever had some rusty parts and tried vinegar to get them back to bare steel?Coke can add some slight protection by passivating the steel, but like on stainless steel citric acid can do more.Unless highly concentrated and hot it won't really affect and good steel quickly.On the other hand it is really aggressive on impurities, rust and certain hard to clean off residues.Words of warning, wisdom and advise!A little bit of hydrochloic acid in your stomach is not only required but also harmless.You wouldn't want in a concentrated form anywhere on your in you though....The same logic is true with citric acid - you can make some nice artificial lemonade with it to enjoy on a hot summers day.But highly conecentrate or even heated up the story is quite different!Proper protection should be as obvious as proper handling.And mishaps should be dealt with lots of water or baking soda right away.I stress this out as my last example will highlight the dangers of citric acid that are not reall known to the public.And if it is that dangerous for some things or even just one that you should not take the risk with living tissue when dealing with higher concentrations or temperatures.Side effect that could possibly be lethal!Shiny things are nice and even nicer if clean and sparkling.Chrome plating or using chrome even is plastic coatings is still common.A lot of tap and bathware is chrome plated, same for a lot of things we have in our households or tool boxes.As tempting as it might be to use citric acid to clean something that just might contain chrome you should not try it!Chrome is almost all of its salt forms is highly toxic, same for most if not all byproducts of chemical reactions involving chrome.Cirtic acid is extremely aggressive on chrome!The tell tale sign is a discoloration of your solution into a greenish-yellow tint!Another a distinct and really unpleasant smell!Some steels include chrome too, so if you notice a bad smell when cleaning then rinse all properly and using other ways of cleaning the item!Corroded chrome plated parts might benefit from a treatment though despite the risk.Unlike sanding the chrome down and contaminating everything with fine and toxic dust you only need to deal with liquids and breathing protection - doing it outside or in really well ventilated areas is a must do anyways here.Dsiposal of anything that caused a bad smell or yellow-greenish discolartion should be done in a sealed container at your local waste disposal center.Please lable it and and also mention it contains chrome dissolved in citric acid!If you placed chrome plated parts into a solution of citric acid by accident and only realise once the smell interrupted your movie session then first go outside!!!This means preferably every living being in the house!If you have use brething protection in the form of carbon filters but either way try to vent the house first by trying to open what you can from the outside.The removal of the metal and taking the container outside should be done as quickly and safely as possible.Unless you are prepared and know what you so stay outside, call the fire brigade and state what happend!A severe reaction with chrome is nothing you should risk your health for!Never, ever dispose of anything that cause a bad smell or discoloration through drain!Bring to a disposal center and keep possible poisons of of the enviroment!

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


The best car ad ever made

A family member sent me this ad that was posted on craigslist, while it was the most explicit ad I've ever seen, I'd prefer this over any normal ad. Enjoy those who feel comfortable reading this. DISCLAIMER:  I bleeped (****) out any explicit words...... Though I could have missed s-something.  And explicit's definition is different between people Side note: If anyone thinks this is a tad (or more than a tad) over the top, PM me or reply saying so. I'll delete it. - - - If you think you'll be offended by this ad... DON'T READ IT.  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - POS 1994 Honda Civic LX for sale - $600 (Marietta, GA) Date: 2010-07-11, 4:49PM EDT Reply to: sale-63pgj-1837513434@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?] That's right, you can own a piece of shi... history right now for only $600. You may wonder why I didn't post a picture and that's because with a car this crappy, a photo is not needed. Just imagine the worst possible car and then picture a camel taking a dump in the trunk and you'll have a close approximation. You don't need to worry about me lying... it really is a POS. There is no risk of you getting over here and finding out it's really a gorgeous gem worth thousands... that doesn't happen...ever. But if for some reason that's actually happened to you, then you are acquainted with a crazy cosmic karma that has never thought to even piss in my face. I almost had a date on PlentyofFish and you know what happened? The f***ing AC died. For two years while I was not dating, it worked fine. The day after I get digits, the AC craps out. The car also has a weird hesitation problem that was not fixed even when I replaced the fuel filter. What could cause all of these things? Satan in the drive train...that's right... it's rare, but it happens to guys like me. This car is actually demon-possessed so you can forget about any sort of easy fix. Jesus said you need faith to cast out demons like this and believe me there are only two people on the planet that have that sort of faith. One guy lives in a cave in India and the other guy is dead. And you can forget about the guy in the cave helping you because, if you can find him, he's just going to tell you how physical setbacks are really spiritual blessings...blah blah blah...yada yada yada. Exactly. Don't expect sympathy from any motherf***er that sits around in his underwear in a cave. Other problems with this car include busted boots on the tie-rod ends, busted wheel hub boots, broken AC, leaking power steering system, ABS light always on, check-engine light comes on occasionally, driver window sometimes comes off the track, paint has permanent dirt in it (yes, it's f***ing permanent...you can't scrub it out with anything less than sandpaper or some highly explosive chemical that causes cancer in 49 states and erectile dysfunction in the 50th.) The car does drive, but that's about all it's good for. Good luck getting it to pass emissions. I've never tried as it's still registered in Clarke County. If you want to date, this car is probably not for you. On a positive note though, I can assure you no one has ever had sex in it. It would take a miracle to get a girl to even sit in this car, much less take her clothes off in it. Other possible uses for this car included entertainment at frat parties. You could charge people $5 a swing with a baseball bat, although you still probably wouldn't recover your investment. You might be able to sell it to the Mythbusters and get the to test the myth, "Is it possible that a car could really be this s***ty?" Adam Savage and Kari Byron will have a field day and close it off with "Myth f***ing confirmed" and a side comment from Kari about how whatever d*****bag use to own it must have never been laid. There are some positives like a beautiful Lumar 32% tint job, keyless entry with remote trunk release, an Alpine CD Player, and Pioneer speakers in the door. So at worst, you can sit in your driveway and listen to music with a bottle of Jergens and a picture of Eliza Dushku. I really wouldn't recommend taking it on the road until you replace the tie-rod ends. You might crash into a bus full of nuns and then the Pope will reign motherf***ing hail fire down on your betrodden a** with more fury than the inquisition because you actually decided to drive and be seen in such an amazing POS, killing 20 of his lovely Sisters. One other thing you might use this car would be pushing it off a cliff. If you've ever wanted to see what it's like first hand for a car to fall hundreds of feet and smash against rock, then here's your chance. Although don't be surprised if this demon-possessed sleigh from hell manages to f*** up your good time even in that bold scenario. I don't know how it would, but it would probably figure out a way. If there are any parents out there reading this, don't let your children fall into the situation I'm in. I would never have ended up with this car if I had pursued a real career. But instead I majored in math where the best job I can find now is up in Portland with a bunch of bran muffin eating hippies, jerking off Moose for 75 cents a smile for some wildlife conservation sperm bank. Let your kids do something with good with their future, like wait tables at Denny's. Oh yeah... it's white, 4 doors, and automatic. Whooptie-f***in-do!  

Topic by ry25920   |  last reply


Cloning the famous ARA-2000 antenna for SDR use

Several years ago the company behind the original ARA-2000 antenna, Dressler Hochfrequenztechnik, closed.The ARA series of antennas, like many other products by this company never got a patent, instead it was trusted that no one would bother to replicate it.A bit like the Swiss Army knife, many tried to copy it, none really managed to match the original quality.There is quite a bit of hacking still going on for this antenna, most projects though seem to be abandoned at the time of writing this.I am currently trying to figure out how to create an entire clone that everyone who knows how to properly use a soldering iron can build.There is a lot to consider here...The active element is of quite unusual shape and needs to be wound around a cylinder of a pretty accurate diameter.My initial tests showed that for example aluminium foil with some unavoidable wrinkles already has a negative effect.And a change in diameter of just 2mm means the entire antenna only performs badly for the entire band.This part is thankfully already solved to my satisfaction using thin copper sheets and some stiff plastic sheet.Quite a pain though is the MMIC part - the amplifier that makes the antenna active.There is a ton of MMIC blobs available, either solo or as a ready to go amplifier.Downside is that without really knowing any characteristics of the original is comes down to guesswork.And as most of the cheap SDR dongles won't provide a BIAS TEE I will opt for an external power supply for the amp.I might provide the option for a inline use a bit later though.Why clone the ARA-2000 antenna?For starters you need to forget the mythical stories you might have heard about this antenna."Picks up even the weakest signals!", "Totally linear over the entire bandwidth" and so on...Without the amplifier the antenna is actually not even average in therms of reception performance.My initial tests with a network analyser showed that the anteanna actually is behaving really weird (without the amp!).Although this first bit needs further testing, it seems that most, if not all of the work in the 1.5-2GHz range is done by just the straight connecting strup going from the amp, or in my test case the coax, to the wrapped antenna part.For anything in the more interesting frequency bands it seems that the antenna is not using anything like a discone, whip or ground plane antenna.Instead the 3rd harmonics of a given frequency provide the max power output from the antenna but it arrives at the cable at the right frequency.Especially in the lower frequencies, below 200MHz there is also quite some phase shifting happening.As a passive antenna it seems to be almost impossible to find a frequency to transmit on without using some matching trickery first.But when it comes to size or looks, the ARA outperforms everything you can think of unless you want to constantly adjust the length of your whip antenna.And if you check what is available in real (user) data in terms of noise and signal quality than most other antenna types are far worse.The design provides a wide frequency range with very little noise, almost like a build in filter.Considering that mostly harmonic frequencies are used not that surprising.Getting hooked on SDR means you start little and then you want more and more.Unless you really need the low frequency HAM bands below 50MHz the ARA is a good choice that just makes sense.What is quite surprising in the original is the total lack of protection for strong signals.Sure, we might never need a lightning arrestor because all is enclosed in plastic and has little attraction lightning, but someone hittiing the transmit button close by....I will have to do some more checks to determine whether or not more protection is required.What is the problem with amplifier?For starters, no one really knows what was used in the original - they all just guess based on how well the real design matches some datasheet.Means whatever was used might as well be a custom made solution.I checked a few datasheets for MMIC amps but could not find any useful reference to the handling of things like negative gain, phase shift or a constantly changing impedance.Some however state that a 50 or 75Ohm signal is provided at the output.If I interpret that correctly than those MMIC's not only amplify but also do some matching.In most cases you won't need an amp that works outside what the antenna can provide.Problem is that I don't like regretting things later on ;)So IMHO it would be best to use a wideband MMIC covering all from about 1MHz to a few GHz.Additional filters can then cut off what is not required or where the antenna starts to fail.What is clear by the original design is that the cable shield acts as a ground and most likely also has a balancing function.It would make sense to add a ferrite trap close the the receiver to filter out what the cable might otherwise mess up.Can the frequency range be lowered to get even the low HAM bands?The answer is YES and NO.It is not a big problem to extend the cone shape and then hope to come much lower.Issue with this is the helical, long periodic design.As basically only the 3rd harmonics are used for all interesting frequencies any ARA type antenna going much lower would end to be really long.You can't just make it longer!One thing is to have a full and even number of turns.The original only had two, three turns is bad, four means the entire antenna is slightly longer than your average downpipe for your roof gutters....Other, seemingly logical alternative would be to stick to two turns and to increase the diameter.Apart from the size problem here we would also change the shape of the foil quite a bit and I have not done enough tests with that to provide a conclusion.Are there alternative design options?As it turns out copper pipe is available in 80mm diameters for the use in chimneys as well as downpipes.With a proper machine it would be pretty straight forward to remove what is not used as the active element.Milling a pipe or rod is these days a common thing in many good workshops.But on a hobby level and low budget....One of the best options for cheap test antennas of this design is to use tinting foil - the cheapest you can find ;)Just read the lable and make sure it does not use a metalised film.If it has no UV protection and no tinit at all it is best but hard to find.A little less stiff is the stuff to cover school books or cupboards.Vinyl is bad though!If you look for copper foil in the cheap online places you mostly find the suff used for shielding in rolls of 200x1000mm.Unless you have a really sharp knife or really suitable sissors this stuff is a pain to cut as the glue tends to stick very good to whatever you use to cut through.Don't ever try one of these blade type cutters for paper and pictures unless you put a slight oil film on all cutting surfaces first....In some hobby shops you can get copper foil without any glue in different thicknesses - this stuff is the prefered option.Not only cheaper than the China rolls with glue but you invest a bit more and get a thickness that does not wrinkle right away when working with it ;)Cheap, steel downpipe and cutters or nibblers?I though about and I tried - and I failed LOLUnless you use a pin type nibbler and custom made rig the result is quite bad - at least mine was.What works though is to use thin aluminium sheets, cut them and then bend them around a suitable template.But I ran out of old laminated sings to salvage and the duble sided ones I have left are too much work.What comes next?Well, I have a few rolls of copper sheets coming next month, the cheap glue covered type.This time however I will leave the plastic cover on and use tape to secure the foil to the pipe.A two-stage amp with external power supply is coming too so I can do some more tests in this area.For the time being I will opt for some 3D printed end caps but with a bit of luck can find something easier next time I have time to waste in the hardware store.Excluding cable and a cheap USB or 12V power supply, the current costs of building the anteanna are around $40US.About half of that if you don't cennectors and attach the coax directly.Another experiement I am working on is to use copper tape, 12mm wide, to create the antenna in a semi-fractal style.I am hoping this will provide a high enough gain so the antenna is usable without an amplifier.Right now the biggest issue is to find a really SDR suitable way to deal with strong signal close by.I will keep you update here when I start with the new antenna and upload some pics along the was of building it.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


TEDxBaghdad - Iraq - violence, dust storms and open sourced manufacturing

Baghdad Iraq. It was once the jewel of the Muslim empire and epicenter of knowledge in the Eastern world. Now it is best known for corrupt governance, bombings, and dust storms. It was also my parents’ home. After visiting once in 1991 as a child the few memories I have of Iraq seemed to be shouting matches as my parents yelled over the phone making overseas calls. Names of Uncles I had never met were mentioned and a phone was handed to me and I was left to nervously fend for myself with my weak Iraqi slang and an Uncle who apparently knew all about me while I knew nothing of him. The country was an impenetrable black box to me that would spit out another refugee somewhere in the world every few years or so. Sixteen years later the first wall between Iraq and me was broken. In 2007 my nuclear family had traveled to Syria and for the first time I met family members who still lived in Baghdad. I knew them now. My uncles and cousins grew flesh and blood. I could feel their prickly faces as we greeted with the traditional Iraqi 4 sided cheek kiss. They could graciously give me their dishdashas as gifts. Names finally had faces, but those faces were deep, sunken and afraid. 2007 was a bad year of sectarian war in Iraq, which is why the Damascas district of Harasta was flooded with Iraqis. The sound of construction continued through the night to keep up with the massive (ab)use of the "tourist" visas. I saw something in the Iraqis in Syria that I hadn't seen before; something that scared me. I saw hopelessness. It was then I settled on a long-term project to return to the country and share something that I had just discovered around the same time: the future doesn’t come prepared -- we make the future. The do-it-yourself attitude that was growing in America was being combined with the culture of sharing that you find in hackerspaces, at instructables.com and in open source technology. This atmosphere made anything possible. You want to build a vertical generator without any spinning parts? Sure! How about a walking quadraped robot with a sofa? Do you want to quit your job, write zines and sell them in the crafting circle? Sure! Start a business! Write a novel! Organize a benefit concert! Sure - sure - sure! “Make your own future” was the message. It was a message of hope - it was the message that I wanted to share in the Middle East, and especially in Iraq. In 2011 the opportunity to work on sharing this beautiful message in the Middle East presented itself to me, so I quit my robotics job and took it (sorry Andrew). A few friends and I started a tiny organization called GEMSI - The Global Entrepreneurship and Maker Space Initiative. We funded ourselves through Kickstarter and our first project was a Three-Day Maker Space hosted at Makerfaire Africa. We were hoping to let people experience the feeling of the Maker Movement first-hand. We collaborated with Emeka and the team from MFA, Cairo Hackerspace, along with many amazing egyptians from all over the country. We had a successful first attempt at sharing the message of "Yes you can!” It was a great start, but Iraq was still an impenetrable fortress to me. It took till 2012 and a chance encounter with friends in Cambridge, MA for me to find my first avenue back into Iraq. Via my friends, I met someone who’s friend was affiliated with TEDxBaghdad. A few steps removed, sure, but when I heard about TEDxBaghdad I knew I had found my way in. I knew TEDx and the types of programs they hosted; I knew they were hopeful, inspired, and shared a vision for a brighter tomorrow. I started communicating with Emeka from MFA, who also works with TED, and he put me in touch with Yahay. After my first skype call with Yahay I knew I was going. Someone else had done it - someone broke that barrier, did amazing work in the country, and survived. It wasn't the death trap my family was telling me it was. There was a new narrative being woven and I knew what I needed to do. I booked my flights before I even finalized any workshops. I needed to meet the TEDxBaghdad team. Later, I called my parents and told them I was going to Baghdad and they said, "Shinu?! Inta Makhabal?!" That probably means exactly what you think it does. Needless to say, they had their concerns, but I was going regardless. Now that the tickets were bought, we started planning. Yahay put me in touch with Abdal Ghany, one of the Iraqi organizers living in Baghdad. He coordinated everything. It was amazing. These guys kick some serious planning butt! Ghany basically told me, “Show up and give your workshop. We'll take care of the rest.” This was a welcome change from the hours of facebooking, planning, and coordination I usually have to go through to schedule events. It really seemed like this was possible. I was going to give an Arduino and 3D printing workshop in Baghdad and I was really excited! I sent an email to Sparkfun and Makezine asking them for open source electronics donations since I knew bringing my electronics box through the airport wouldn't be a good idea. They sent me a nice goodie-bag of beautifully packaged Maker products. These two organizations have given me a tremendous amount of help throughout the years, for which I am extremely thankful. I packed a suitcase filled with 2 3D printers, 25 Arduinos, an assortment of other open source hardware and sensors and headed out looking a bit like a bomb development lab. Yeesh! Somehow I made it through China, Saudi, and Turkey without any serious interrogation. Mostly just really quizzical looks from my unzipped bag up back to me... "You're a teacher?" they ask. "Yes," I say, "yes I am." Turkey was the stop before Iraq. Turkey was brilliant, sunny, lush, and seemed to be comprised of mostly happy smiling people walking by the sea. Coming from the deserts of Mecca, this was a welcome sight. I let the green of Turkey wash away the dust of Saudi Arabia. The mishmash of cultures, sounds, foods, religions gave me a great feeling of liberation. This was a lively place and the two hackerspaces I met up with there, Base Istanbul and Istanbul Hackerspace were fantastic hosts. Furkan and I spent a lovely day together chatting about Maker culture as it spreads through the Middle East and then in the end we had a potluck BBQ with members from both hackerspaces by the rocks of the sea. It was great to see these two Turkish hackerspaces and to be reminded that this movement is truly global. My dream of hackerspaces empowering people globally is really possible – and it’s great to know that it is a dream that is shared by others. I left them full of enthusiasm and flew directly to Baghdad. Landing in Baghdad was strange and a bit concerning. Looking out of the window all I could see was a brown cloud. We were landing in a dust storm. I had heard about the turab (dust) of Iraq, but this was the first time I saw it in person, and it would be one of the things most often on my mind. Getting a visa for me was surprisingly easy, except for the fact I forgot my passport on the plane and two guards had to escort me one to each side back to the airplane to retrieve it. But once I had my passport, I told them my laqab, which is the full name that includes ancestry. Showed them a copy of my dad’s passport and my Iraqi birth certificate and I was in. I was hoping for a nice stamp, perhaps with some Iraqi relic on it. But they took my passport and wrote in it: "Originally Iraqi", so there it goes, it's official. Ahmed, my cousin, was not at the airport when I took my paper work and headed out to the lobby. The airport was sparsely populated and heavily regulated. I barely managed to snap a picture before a guard came up to me and had me delete them from my phone. In the lobby I met a man just released from a Swiss prison. The Swiss had given him the option to be sent back home to Iraq, or be jailed. He chose to leave and come back to Iraq. This becomes a theme later as I see more and more people, all of whom desire to leave the country to become refugees elsewhere. It seems that when hope runs out for the country you live in, the only option is to find a new one. This story is one of a million various stories of struggling to find a new life. Each varies in its details, but all have survival at their core. Ahmed arrives 30 minutes late, apologizing. He's wearing jeans and a polo. His hair seemed freshly cut and his face was serious. We had never met before. The only thing I knew of him was that he thought I was reckless for coming. He had been spending hours on Skype with me attempting to convince me that coming would be a bad idea: "You have no idea how bad the bugs are. Just wait till you see the dust storms. The heat will kill you... etc" But once I saw him in person it all changed. I didn't think I'd grow to like Ahmed, but I grew to appreciate his ways and he became like a brother to me before I left. He took me to Mansour, a neighborhood in Baghdad, telling me stories about Iraq as we travelled. This is the neighborhood where the house my dad designed and family built stands. On the ride home we had our car checked for bombs at least 4 times by what Iraqi's call Saytarat, which is the equivalent of a checkpoint and, to me, seemed a total nuciance. They were the reason he was late. What would normally be a 20 minute drive can become three hours long because every car is checked for bombs. They are everywhere; throughout the city, on every road. We passed the guard who watches over my family’s neighborhood, and he takes his hand off his machine gun to wave at Ahmed, and I begin to recognize that weapons, car inspections and burned out cars are normal here, so they don't think to comment on it - like an empty lot in Detroit, or the homeless in San Francisco. We got to my family home with no time to rest. I had to leave to meet up with Abdul Ghany and the crew at a Cafe in an hour and then conduct the workshop in two. Ahmed comes with me - he doesn't trust people we'd never met before and won’t let me out of his sight. I trust first till proven otherwise, he has learned to do the opposite. It’s a telling sign of how different our lives are on a day-to-day basis. As soon as I met the TEDxBaghdad crew, I felt at ease. MNA, Abdul Ghany and the entire crew were thoughtful, hardworking, and inspiring people. I was really happy to have intersected with them and they helped me in more ways than I could count. We first met up at Everyday, a local Mansour café. Everyday cafe was hyper airconditioned and everyone seemed to think it was hotter than it was. The crew was awesome, they were really a great first introduction to the excited young people of Baghdad and they certainly have the famed Iraqi hospitality. But here's a tip: do not order a fajita in Baghdad ;D. Mohammed Al-Samarraie pulled out their iPads and started showing me video production work he was doing for TEDx. Abdul Ghany comes a little late and we have head out to the workshop. The workshop was held in a two story office building surrounded by palm trees. Looking out the the tinted back window we could see the muddy river run past, winding and dark. Slowly the TEDx people started trickling in. Then I started to get nervous. The checkpoints didn't bother me, the tanks in the streets were not an issue, but here were these people coming to learn something from me. What could I share that would really matter to them when they had so much to deal with daily? What could I share that could be relevant to people who see bombings as I experience lightning storms? I have been to other places in the world to share this kind of information, and some of those places have had political problems and ongoing revolutions. But Iraq was the first country I had been to that really seemed like a war zone. I decided that first I needed to learn from them! What were their projects? What did they hope for? I hoped they would learn from each other and get excited about their projects and I wanted to be able to share things that were relevant to them. Thus, everyone was encouraged to talk about who they are, how they learned about TEDxBaghdad and to share their project, share with us their mission, or share an inspiring story. I was amazed to hear about all the incredible initiatives the crew was doing. From intercultural exchange programs, to street clean ups, to historical artifact preservation, each of them shared and I started realizing something. They were not as interested in new technology as they were interested in arts and culture and after hearing about a few of their projects I started realizing why. Learning about culture and paying attention to the arts gives people the ability to pay attention to details. They can look at another human being and see all the subtleties that make us who we are. We each fall in love, we struggle, we question, and have doubts. Arts give depth to a black and white world. Sectarianism is difficult when we pay attention to the commonalities that tie us all together. What would the world be like if anyone who wanted a weapons license was required to have visited India, could pass an art history exam and could play stairway to heaven on the guitar? We were in a sort of office building near the river which ran by dark and muddy looking through the tinted windows. One by one, they stood up in front and gave their short presentations. There were doctors, engineers, and designers in the crew. They each stood up and told the story of how they found out about TEDxBaghdad and it was incredible. Each of them had a friend recommend it to them, and it was mostly done through Facebook. Some people's projects were related to health, culture, antiquity preservation, and connecting Iraqis with the rest of the world. While they spoke I made a graph of the things that connected all of their ideas together. It was a beautiful thing to see. The common themes were to help Iraq as a country through the integration of new ideas and how to bring a new face of Iraq and present it to the world. To have the news about Iraq be about amazing things, inspiring things, rather than explosions. Being in that room with that energy made me feel like we were already on our way. I pulled out the boxes of donations given to us by Sparkfun and The Make Shed and now it was my turn. I told them about my story coming into contact with my friend Alex through instructables.com, how being in San Francisco and Cambridge opened my eyes to a new way of entrepreneurship using communities and open source technology. And how they could make anything they could imagine if they got together to do it. We discussed how sharing and collaboration was a common value that held the entire system together. I used the concept of the LED throwie, which is a simple idea by Graffiti Research Labs to connect an LED to a coin battery and a magnet. They used it to throw at ferrous buildings as a form of electronic graffiti but once they uploaded it to instructables the idea was out there and people were inspired to take it and derive many other projects. You can never know what will happen when you share something or when you create a tool and share it. People created outlined throwies, LED floaties in balloons and finally we start seeing LED floaties which are sequenced to act like a light show at a phish concert. Hahaha! We then talked about the Arduino an easy to use microcontroller designed for artists. It's a bit of technology that is a simple and easy to use platform to build interactive projects. We talked about how the open nature of the project people can use the Arduino and then use shields to add features like being able to connect to the internet or play MP3s. Open source tools make building new products a lot like using legos. We were in the middle of using some of the sensors The Maker Shed had sent us to make a DIY heart rate monitor when the power went out and all went dark except for the LED throwies we had made. It suddenly felt very intimate. We put all the LED throwies in the center of the room and huddled around it for story time. The feeling of connection was palpable for me. Sure the lack of power meant that we were not going to be able to 3D print, but being in the dark with TEDxBaghdad was one of my favorite memories of this trip. The lights went on and we had a long question and answer session / photo shoot. Some of the doctors were interested to use the Arduino based heart rate monitors to replace the broken ones in the hospital. I heard about this and was flabbergast that the most basic and cheap tools I had brought with me might have a direct impact and may even save lives. Technology might not solve the political problems of the country but it seems that there was a lot of room for development and that the crew I was with was creative and excited to make use of it. I passed out 20 Arduino kits that day, including the Lillypad which is a version of the Arduino intended to be sewn into clothing. Although there were very few engineers in the audience, everyone seemed to be buzzing with ideas and ways to use the Arduinos. What a great workshop! I was super excited because not only had they understood the message, they seem to have been infected with the feeling of capability! Now to seal the deal, we were all going to go out and eat a classic Iraqi dish Simach Masguf. Ahmed has been calling me hourly making sure that I was OK, but I felt safe enough with my new friends so we all headed out to a fish spot by the river. Hours go by, lots of fish is eaten, and lots of juice is drunk. Some of the crew smoke some sheesha. It was like I was with new old friends. My Iraqi slang was improving hourly and although we had just met I knew me and TEDxBaghdad we're going to be working together again very soon. I would have stayed all night eating and chatting about future projects and the problems to solve in Iraq, but the cerfew was about to set in and we had to jet. Yeah, there is still a curfew. On the ride home my head is filled with contradictions. Hope and confusion mix in my head as my family rings 4 more times. I get home safe and decide that the only way to deal with the complicated situation in Iraq was to act with irrational hope and optimism. That's the way TEDxBaghdad seemed to work. And that's going to be mine as well. The next day there were five explosions in Baghdad so TEDxBaghdad and I decided against going out to the Iraqi National Museum even though we had to request permission to go. We meet instead back at Everyday and there we solidify our commitment to working for a more beautiful Baghdad and a country which will become a producing nation once again. Sharing with the world it's art, science and literature like it once did years ago. +BG

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